– by Aaron (Azza) Laurence
I have just turned 48 but 10 years of running Bondi Evolution has ensured that 48 really is just a number and not a reason to be nervous about being so close to 50 !
I was born and raised in New Zealand and although I enjoyed an active lifestyle – lots of sport, surfing and fishing etc – being “Healthy” was never a major focus.
I came to Bondi about 25 years ago and although I had a return ticket I decided to stay. The Sydney lifestyle got the better of me and before I knew it I was living for the weekends and over indulging to put it mildly! I was very happy working as a builders labourer, it kept me fit and strong and the Friday arvo beers on site at 2pm were a great start to the weekend. 15 years of that took its toll on my body though and it was my back that was first to call it quits with a burst disc which led to surgery.That is when my life changed.
I started my Cert III and IV at Randwick Tafe and over the year that followed I was introduced to Evolution To Wellbeing and Mike who was running Bronte Evolution, the only Evo group back then. After a one week trial I was deemed ready to go by Mike and started at Bronte as his 2nd trainer. Things were on the way up for me, I brought a push bike and even invested in a mobile phone!I was full of confidence and learned so much from Mike that before long I was opening my own Evo group at Bondi. It was tough at first to build the group – lots of guerrilla style marketing days where Mike and I would park up the Evo Utes and hand out Waters and juices with free week vouchers attached until council would move us on – but it worked and soon enough I was managing with a full group and living the dream life that Mike had promised.
No more 8-10hrs a day on the building sites, No more back-breaking work or liver damaging weekend binges. Running my own group meant taking more pride in my appearance and health and fitness. Longevity became more important and I was actually loving my new life as a Nanna – early to bed, early to rise, cooking, baking and reading haha!
While training at Bronte I met my lovely partner Amanda or “Bennie” as she is better known. She was one of Mike’s favourite Bronte Evo members and although her and I did not see eye to eye on the training front we ended up being a perfect match and now have two of the most amazing kids ever, Jackson 4 and Abi 1. We have our own unit in Vaucluse and all the happiness that a loving family brings. I also love fermenting vegetables, making Bone Broth and baking healthy loaves and muffins which are always a hit with kids. Another huge part of life at the moment is some training equipment that I invented called YBells. They have not only made my life as a trainer so much better but have also been a massive hit with my clients. It has been 4 long years perfecting them and for the last 6 months Bondi Evolution has used nothing else but YBells and are loving them!!
Changing people’s lives, encouraging them to push through the pain that would usually have them giving up and inspiring them to look after themselves a bit better is what drives me and keeps me motivated. I am not going to lie, I love Burpees and you would be hard pressed getting through a session of mine without doing your fair share of them!
That’s my story up till now. I look at it like a foundation on which bigger and better things will grow.
– Join Azza for one of his famous YBell sessions at Bondi Evolution: