From zooming with Daisy the dog - to opening her own studio
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
A fitness instructor from Ipswich said she was left with an uncertain future when lockdowns hit the fitness industry in the town but now she is fighting back.
Emma Atkinson, 42, has opened the new Fitology Studio on the Ransomes Europark estate after 14 months teaching classes via Zoom.
Mrs Atkinson, who lives on Ravenswood with her supportive husband David, and dog Daisy, said: "In the stages of lockdown our industry got shut down and I went on to Zoom - Zooming from my dining room.
"We didn't think we would still be Zooming 14 months down the line, it was initially more about keeping that community going."
Gyms temporarily reopened last summer but it was still a battle for instructors to find work as some gyms shut down and sports clubs only offered a limited timetable because of Covid safety requirements.
"When gyms reopened last summer I only gained a few classes back. I had to make a decision - 'did I want to stay with fitness?'" said Mrs Atkinson.
She decided she did and took a giant leap towards securing her own future.
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"It has always been a bit of a dream of mine to set up my own studio so I started looking for what was available and contacted a few instructors to see who would come on board with me. "
She has now recruited a team of 10 local instructors to work alongside her - who she is glad to support after a difficult time for the fitness industry during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mrs Atkinson, who will be teaching around 20 sessions a week herself, says the Fitology studio will be purely for classes ranging from Dance Musical to a combat class called Warfare.
She said it is "great" to be teaching classes in house again and says the Fitology studio is for people of "all ages, shapes, and fitness abilities."
She added: "It's good to get out of your house for 45 minutes for your mental wellbeing. I have always said if you are in my class and your are moving that's all I want."
You can book a class at the new Fitology studio in Ipswich on their website.
Classes are also still available online.