I have been questioning what to write for this first blog post for a few days now and I feel that the right place to start is with the Nicole Rebecca Fitness journey. Where did we begin, where are we now etc etc.. There is a little bit of info on the page about this but we are about to go much more in depth and let you in on the ins and outs of how we got to where we are now! This is going to be a long one, I promise they won’t all be like this! Get comfortable!!
So where did this all begin? We are going to go way back…
From the age of around 5 years old I asked my mum to take me to dance lessons. I had dreams of becoming a ballerina long before I put on a pair of ballet shoes! After 3 long years of me pestering her, I finally started to attend dance classes.. And guess what, I fell head over heels in love! I danced from the age of 8 until I was 18, completing a BTEC diploma in dance and with dreams of becoming a dance teacher and owning my own private school. When I finished my college course, I did the typical teenager thing and chose to get a job in a hotel rather than pursuing my dreams.. I wanted to earn money to go out with my friends! I’d be annoyed at myself for this but I truly believe everything happens for a reason and leads you to where you are today!
From here I worked for several years in hospitality (not something I loved AT ALL) before deciding to go traveling in Australia in 2014! I spent 2 years traveling around Oz and met my now fiancé there in February 2015. When we returned to England we moved to Manchester as this is where my fiancé is from. I am originally from a small village in Somerset, so living just a few miles outside of Manchester City Centre was a small shock to the system.
At this point I felt completely lost. I had just left one of the most beautiful places on earth, where I had spent 2 years making the most incredible memories and having the time of my life, to living in a place I had never even visited, with people I hardly knew and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life either. I felt like I had to figure everything out as quickly as possible. I was 25 and thought that I needed to know exactly what I was going to do with the rest of my life!
I was so desperate to figure things out, I put my attributes into a programme on google that matches you up with jobs that might suit your personality.. And in comes working in a private day nursery! Google basically told me that I needed to work with people, that I was kind and that being in a position of care would be well suited to me. I had always liked the idea of working with children, always being the teacher in role play with my little sister, so I embarked on a journey that took me through an apprenticeship and later, on to Manchester Met University where I study Early Years and Childhood Studies. I am currently in my final year!
Whilst working at the nursery, a friend of mine asked me if I would like to attend a yoga class with her. It was always something I had wanted to try but had been too nervous to give it a go. I agreed that I would go, if in return she would attend a pole fitness class with me. In November 2017 we attended our first pole fitness class at The Pole and Shape Academy and I have never looked back! I started poling and soon increased the volume of practise I was doing each week. I felt like I was getting the piece of my soul back that I had lost when I stopped dancing at 18. Pole is SO much harder than it looks and the determination to keep getting better and to improve your strength and fitness is what makes it so addictive.. It is also incredibly empowering!!
Alongside feeling lost when I returned from Australia, I was also incredibly unhappy in my own skin. I had piled on a lot of weight and was very unfit. By the time I started attending Pole & Shape I had already began on my own fat loss journey and was attending outdoor fitness bootcamp classes and was beginning to feel a little more confident in my own skin. At the beginning of 2018, the same friend that had dragged me along to yoga, asked if I wanted to share some Personal Training fitness sessions with her. I jumped at the chance and started training (properly) in the gym for the first time in my life. I began to fall in love with resistance training, how it makes your body feel, how strong you can become and the changes it can help to achieve in both your physique and your mindset.
Fast forward 18 months and I went to watch some friends compete in a bikini competition. This was something that was so unknown to me and although I had been to watch the year before, it was still something that I swore blind did not interest me at all. After watching the girls compete I felt incredibly inspired and gingerly mentioned to my coach that I might be interested. That was it then, the ball was rolling and in November 2019, after the most intense, life changing few months of prep, I stepped on the Pure Elite stage in Margate. I competed in Bikini Tall and International Model and placed 3rd in both categories in amongst approx 20 other girls. I will always be incredibly proud of this moment. The culmination of months of hard work, the tears and tantrums, the pressure on your relationships, but also the sheer clarity of what you want and where your focus needs to be is so so empowering and liberating.
During my prep I reflected a lot on how I felt, what I wanted from life, what I enjoyed, what I didn’t and how I felt about the whole process in general. For me, my fitness journey has been quite literally life changing. Yes, my body has changed drastically from what it was a few years ago but more so, my mind is completely different. Feeling strong and empowered on a gym floor, surrounded by women that shout your name from the rooftops is incredible and it made me come to the realisation that I wanted to be able to pass this feeling on to other women. If I could help just one other woman feel the way I felt, then I would be beyond happy.
I began my personal training qualifications towards the end of the prep and qualified in April 2020, right in the middle of a pandemic! Great timing!! I have always been a forward thinker, but I do think I fell on my feet with the way Nicole Rebecca Fitness began. I wasn’t really considering starting TeamNRF when I did, as the gyms weren’t open and it seemed like an impossible task but I was helping my sister with her own fitness journey and she was posting it on her social media platform to keep herself accountable. From here, a few girls started to message me asking whether I was taking on clients. I decided that it would be silly to turn them down and TeamNRF began to blossom.
Due to the nature of 2020, I felt there was a place for a home training platform and so NRF HOME was born. This is a less personalised approach but has still become an incredible community of likeminded women who just want to be fitter and healthier and who achieve this by moving more in the comfort of their own home. I am grateful for the opportunity to create this community and for being forced to think outside the box (obviously wish covid had not happened!!) as I don’t know that I would have ever considered it before and now I really don’t see myself living without it. I love training virtually with you all and shouting at my computer screen like a mad woman!! It is really important to me that we all remember that no two females are the same. We have different lifestyles, different goals, different availability and different ways of exercising that we enjoy. Not everyone needs, or wants, to go to the gym!
I always knew that I wanted to create team, it is much easier to succeed if you have likeminded people around you supporting you, offering words of wisdom and being a shoulder to cry on..Right from the start the girls have shared this ethos with me, it really is a team for empowered women that empower women! Over the last 8 months we have built a team like no other. My glorious NRF girls support and guide on another and watching them grow and start to believe in themselves is the very best part of my job. Together, we can achieve all of our dreams!
In a relatively short space of time i really feel that we have built something pretty special and this will only continue to grow and develop over the years to come. We are always learning, adapting and changing to create the very best service for the team. This is just the beginning of something very, very beautiful. Nicole Rebecca Fitness is my baby and always will be.
Team NRF – the healthiest, happiest, most confident you!