Trainer Stories – 10 Years of Evo Coogee

– By Jayne McPherson
This month is pretty special for us down at Coogee Beach as we celebrate our 10 year training anniversary!!

I started Evolution Coogee back in April 2008 when I was working at a boutique health club in the City after meeting Founder of Evo, Mike Britton on a Pre and Post Pregnancy course. All my clients at that time were in the Corporate field, (many of my female clients were pregnant [hence the course!!]), most of them were incredibly stressed out, stuck in the daily grind and often struggling to squeeze a 25min training sesh into their 60min PT with me. Constantly running late, on the phone on the treadmill or sending their secretary’s to train in their place, the most ‘important’ part of their own day was sacrificed or compromised to deal with the daily stresses of a high-flying Corporate career.  Back in those days, stuck within the claustrophobic confinements of 4 gym walls and breathing in the false stale air of other people with only a couple of windows for a ‘view’ (that, or the sweating body of the person on the CrossTrainer in front), had a completely different meaning to what is considered now to be a non-negotiable essential and integral part of our daily life (mentally and physically), ‘time out’ to ourselves from the busyness of every day life and most importantly, the line between a ‘work life balance’.

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I have always LOVED group training and have always thrived teaching in the group environment and loved nothing more than jumping on my spin bike – anthems on so I absolutely loved the idea of an outdoor group when Mikey first suggested it to me – especially at the beach!!

Following on from Bronte and then Bondi, I launched Coogee, 10 years ago this month. Only two people turned up to my very first session.

It took a lot of hard work, dedication and commitment (and a LOT of patience from both Azza and Mikey as they mentored me through the process) but as my confidence and leadership skills grew, my business flourished and within 3 or 4 years I found myself managing and coaching between 60 and 100 people.

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At Evo, our philosophy (as many of you reading this will know), we never cancel a session and we train whatever the weather.
Over the years, many Coogee locals, (even people I have never met before) have come up to me in the street or stopped me in the local supermarket, to acknowledge the incredible and solid training community that we have, the consistent turnouts – day in, day out, rain, hail and shine and the incredible and relentless commitment from my Teams.

Our training location, the soft white sands and the ever-changing sunrises is something that many people can only dream of. Not just people who don’t have the fortune of living so close to the ocean like we do but for those who live in other continents of the world or wake up staring into the apartment opposite or a concrete jungle for their morning view.

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One of the most famous beaches in the world, our daily stomping ground is a paradise that many people often only get the opportunity to experience on a ‘once in a lifetime trip’ or put on the “bucket list” dream in the world of Social Media. That ever-changing sunrise, the smell of the ocean and the crash of the waves is always spectacular regardless of thetime of year or what the weather might be doing.

As well as the glorious blue skies and fluorescent electric pink light of the rising sun, there have also been many times when the weather gods have thrown everything they have at us. Whilst we always offer an indoor session on occasions like this, there is always a stream of regular die-hards who rock up regardless!!
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We have trained through 10 Australian Winters, a dust storm and one of the most ferocious storms ever to hit out shores. Regardless of the season, there have been many times when the heavens have opened and we have been drenched but to put it simply, it is these experiences and the camaraderie within the group that make us the extraordinary community of people that we are. “Because great things never came from comfort zones”.

There is nothing in the world that comes close to that feeling of having overcome or achieved something so deeply full-filling, placing two feet on the ground, overcoming the odds and the internal chat and doing exactly what you said you were going to do when your set your training week in stone that Sunday… of doing something that completely pushes you out of your comfort zone – all before your working day has begun!! Anyone can train when the skies are blue and the sun is shining, or head to the gym when it’s raining but nothing in the world beats the feeling of doing and achieving something that not many other people can claim to have done – and doing it consistently.

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Over the years, we have had some incredible and life changing achievements in the group as well as some huge physical transformations with our highest individual weight loss record standing at a massive 25kgs. PB’s have been smashed and races have been run… From half marathon’s, the Great Ocean Road, City2Surf, Sydney Trail Running Series, the Oxfam Trail walk and many other fun runs / events. There have been people who would have traditionally not called themselves a morning person, yet now they are hitting 3 or 4 sessions per week at the beginning of the day.  We’ve seen fellow team members train and compete in Corporate Fighter Charity Fight Nights. Some people have overcome a fear or a personal hurdle (running, sand training, boxing or simply getting back into a regular training routine). Mount Everest has been scaled and mountains all over the world have been climbed. The list of individual achievements is endless.

I can go on about all the physical achievements of individuals for days, yet that is not what inspires me the most. To see the simple things like people looking out for, encouraging and motivating their training partners, the early morning banter as everyone rocks up down at training or the chaos that ensures when a whale or dolphin is spotted out in the bay, picking up a heavier weight, holding each other to account in the mornings, sharing lifts, trying out a sand or a boxing session for the first time (and loving it!!), the constant chatter and hilarity in our WhatsApp groups, the camaraderie if we all get drenched, the daily “Fact of the Day” and the laughter that rubs off on passers-by. This is the highlight of my day and the inspiration of my weeks.

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We are a community of people surrounded by individuals who bring out the absolute best in each other in an environment where there is simply no judgement – clothes on inside out or back to front or hung over – every age, shape, size, level of fitness (and co-ordination!)  We all just share one common goal – to train hard and have fun!!!

This very community enriches my own life in ways that extend far beyond a training session. Not a day goes by when I don’t stop and reflect at how far we have come, the achievements we have accomplished, the weddings we have celebrated (we had 14 weddings in the group alone throughout 2017), the goals that have been smashed, the babies that have been born, extreme events like Spartan and Tough Mudder that have been ticked off, the countless number of pregnancies that we’ve had the privilege of sharing, the session attendance milestones, the birthdays and the friendships that have flourished.
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It has been an absolute joy to have been such a major part of so many people’s own individual personal journey’s and have them be such a major part in my own. I beam from ear to ear when some one stops me to acknowledge their commitment or recognise a familiar face they have seen down there year in year out and I can’t help but stand back and look with such immense pride, at the incredible community that we have.  Here’s to 10 years Team!!!

Jaynee :-))

You can join Jaynee at her amazing Coogee Evolution group for a one week free and see the amazing results for yourself: FREE WEEK TRIAL
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