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Back in May, we ran an Instagram competition to find three inspirational members to be our new ambassadors. Meet Melanie.

Melanie joined Fernwood Gungahlin in 2013 after she’d reached the limit on what could be achieved with the equipment she had at home. She wanted a change and liked the look of the classes offered at her local Fernwood. “Les Mills classes, Functional Fit, Body Attack and now FIIT30 – they all drew me in and kept me coming back. I love the SH’BAM class especially,” she reveals.

Having been the victim of bullying in her younger years, Melanie had developed insecurities, which led to emotional eating and weight gain. Joining Fernwood has given her self-esteem a massive boost and being surrounded by supportive women has done wonders for her mental health. “The thing that motivates me the most about coming into Fernwood most days are the smiles I receive as soon as I walk in, and the happy faces working out.”

“It’s not hard to walk into Fernwood for me,” she says of what motivates her on those days we all have where we’d rather binge on Netflix. “It comes down to discipline. But I know I’m always going to get a really great workout. Sometimes I jump on the treadmill, sometimes I smash out a great leg session or do some really heavy weights. I love the variety and the challenge – it keeps me coming back.”

Melanie was over the moon when we called her up to tell her she’s one of our new ambassadors. “I was absolutely stoked, I didn’t expect it at all! I feel like I’m an average person going to the gym, but obviously I’m doing something right,” she laughs. To us, she represents all that Fernwood is about – a supportive place for like-minded women who join not only for the tough workouts, but who also want to meet some great people along the way. It really helps that she shouts it from the rooftops, too!

The mantra she follows is “just give it a go”. She doesn’t beat herself up if she fails at new workouts or classes, as she knows she’s given it a good crack. “It doesn’t have to be the best effort in the world, just do what you can and give it a go!” Melanie says. We think that’s a great way to approach life. You’re not going to be an expert the first time you try something, but give it your best shot and soon you will be!

The give-it-a-go attitude Melanie has developed since joining Fernwood helps fuel her body positivity.

“I think becoming confident in yourself – not just what you look like, but your mindset, too – definitely contributes to a more positive attitude about yourself,” she explains.

“I think Fernwood has changed my life for the better because I’ve really grown in confidence. I’ve seen my body get stronger and I’ve done things I never thought I’d be able to do.” Doing a cover shoot for a national magazine in just a white business shirt being one of them!

So what’s on the health and fitness horizon for Melanie? There’s so much happening at Fernwood to keep her coming back every day of the week. She’s particularly keen to get more involved with the Les Mills SH’BAM classes.

“It’s so much fun, it’s a really great workout. I’d love to do some instructor training and be on the other side of the gym floor,” she says. “And I’ll keep working on my strength goals, getting stronger both physically and mentally.”

Looking for more inspiration? Check out some of our favourite Fernie classes.


Photography: Heidi Boardman