Caroline. 48. BMF member for 10 ½ years at St Albans, Hertfordshire.
Why did I join BMF?
I was made redundant just before I got married. Great timing. Two of my friends knew I liked sport and thought taking me to a new exercise class they had found would cheer me up.
I went along as I had time on my hands and gave the class a go, not expecting anything in particular.
I was pushed in that first class and found everyone friendly, with an instructor who really knew his stuff. I wasn’t sure about it all but found myself signing up that night - and going to class at least twice a week for the next 10 ½ years!
Why do I go to BMF?
I have made terrific friends at BMF over the years and the socials are brilliant. You meet people of all ages, levels of fitness, shapes & sizes. Everyone is welcomed and we look out for new members to make sure they are included in team and partner work. The camaraderie is something else.
They push you and get you moving, but always done with fun. They adapt the class to the weather, the terrain and fitness levels. We all groan at burpees though.
There is something about training outdoors and we all turn up in every sort of weather. The classes in snow are my particular favourite. The driving rain is horrible but you feel terrific after a class in that. A gym class can never give you that.
I love that fact you never know what each class will be like - except for excellent! You can choose your level but the instructors know where you should be.
Even though I enjoyed all sorts of sport, BMF is the one thing I have continued to do over a very long period of time. It has really improved my overall fitness - both strength and running. I never thought I would get up every Saturday morning to do a fitness class but I love it!
I also enjoy doing other fitness classes alongside BMF - weight training, HIIT, speed-walking. It’s a great combination, but BMF is my favourite. There are competitors out there but not with the same professionalism, people, longevity and value.
It’s not just your physical fitness it helps, but mentally as well. My job is pretty full-on and I have two young children so my brain is constantly on the go, full of decisions and responsibility. BMF is the perfect antidote to that by being able to switch off, take on instructions for the exercises and get the body moving in the fresh air.
Had a bad day? Do BMF and get it out of your system. Had a good day? Go to BMF and have great fun.
I had two daughters within 11 months of each other whilst at BMF. As my body was used to it, the doctor advised it was best to keep going, lowering the levels and exercises as my pregnancy progressed. The instructors gave me alternative exercises and advice the whole way along. I felt brilliant, rather than worried, just completely safe with people who knew what they were doing. I was able to keep going to class until 6 months gone.
6 weeks after each daughter, I was cleared to go straight back to BMF again. I was a bit nervous about going back to class as there were new people and instructors, as well as those I knew. I needn’t have worried - it felt great to be back and getting myself back to fitness. It definitely helped the post baby body and it was also good to have that time to yourself.
The Worst Time
I have had complete support from BMF (the fitness and the people) at the worst time of my life. After my daughters, I lost 5 babies in 15 months, including a set of twins, due to stress, which led to the awful decision that I would not have the big family I had always dreamed of.
The grief was indescribable.
I went to BMF twice a week as usual - it was the hour I could just focus on exercise and breathing. The instructors kept a watchful eye on me to ensure I was physically ok, without making a fuss. My friends I had made at class knew and they were there for me. I have sobbed through class and my classmates would run alongside me, put a hand on my shoulder without saying a word and encourage me when we did the team and partner sessions.
The support was incredible and demonstrates that your classmates are damn good people.
My advice? Try it. Join. I fully intend to carry on doing BMF for the next 10….20+ years.