Emma's journey to 'fitter, stronger and happier'

In her own words, member Emma says that before joining Fernwood St Agnes, she and exercise were “not friends.” Although since becoming a member in 2016, Emma has found through regular exercise she is stronger, fitter, faster and can keep up with her kids.

My mental health journey

"I came to Fernwood at a low point in my life, suffering burnout from my work and experiencing a resurgence of my anxiety and depression. I have always experienced anxiety, but at the time I joined Fernwood it wasn’t very well managed."

Joining Fernwood

"Before joining Fernwood, exercise and I were not friends. The thought of group exercise caused me anxiety. Despite this my dear friend convinced me to join Fernwood, reassuring me that there were all kinds of women there, and no one would judge me.

"So I joined, and I made a commitment to myself to attend three times a week - do a class, use the cross trainer or just do something. Two years and hundreds of workouts later, here I am fitter, stronger and happier. Exercise and I have become friends and I'm 11kgs down and have lost 16cm from around my waist.

"I enjoy sprint and the occasional Body Pump class, and in the last year have also started PT once a week. I still attend 3- 4 times a week around work, study and my four kids. My progress has been slow, but it is sustainable. As I tell myself, progress is progress no matter how slow.

"Regular exercise has supported me in my wellness journey and I believe that if I didn’t join Fernwood I would have completely burnt out. Getting stronger, faster and fitter has changed how I feel about my body and myself. Now I treat myself with the same love and respect that I previously I only gave to others.

"I'm am so much fitter and stronger. I can do handstands! I play with my kids more, and have so much more energy. I love it when I do something that would have tired me before, and I’m not even puffed!"

My Fernie community

"The best thing about Fernwood St Agnes is the trainers. I just feel like I fit in. There is never any judgement, and there is always someone you can go to if you need. It's a very welcoming and supportive community.

"Thank you Fernwood for helping me on my wellness journey. You have changed my life! Thank you Adla for convincing me to join, and an extra special thanks to my PT Dimi for inspiring me to challenge myself and growing my confidence for my body to do some pretty awesome things."

My advice to anyone thinking of joining Fernwood

"Do it! Regular exercise has been key to overcoming my depression and anxiety. It really does help."

If you or someone you know needs support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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