This weeks Keep it Local features Aleta Fielding – the lady that saved me at the gym by doing my induction and then developing 6 weekly programmes for me. She then encouraged me to come to her RPM class which I initially thought she was mad for suggesting but 2 years on I’m still going twice (or 3 times!) a week. Aleta runs Aleta Fielding Fitness.
Aleta is a mummy to two beautiful girls and wife to Dave – a true ‘sporty’ family where in August they are embarking on a trip to Vichey in France so that Aleta can do her first half Ironman, Dave will do his second ironman and the children may get involved with the kids Ironman event so fingers crossed they all return with medals!
Have you always loved sport?! (I certainly haven’t!)
Yes, whilst at school I did lots of different sports including athletics, basketball and hockey. I was really keen to do Sports Science at Uni however I didn’t quite get the grades needed so decided to take a year out.
How did you get into the leisure industry?
During my year out I took a job at Woolworths which led me to management training. I did enjoy the role but deep down this wasn’t what I wanted to do in the long term. After a few years I took the plunge and handed in my notice to do a personal training course. I took on temp work through an agency so that I still had some money coming in – the jobs I had to do were anything and everything including working in a soft play centre.
The course covered everything from nutrition, sports massage, advanced fitness instructing, circuit training and cardio health so was really varied. At the end of the course you were encouraged to set up your own business but this wasn’t something I felt was right for me as I wanted to gain experience.
I sent out lots of C.V’s and letters and got offered a job at the Corsham sports centre. I wanted to utilise my skills so on my day off I did sports massage in Frome.
A job then came up at St Marys in Calne where I could combine both my management training and fitness training. I managed the scheduling of the classes and working in the gym. It was also during my time here that I had my two children and juggling shifts with Dave’s work was becoming too tricky.
& it was then you set up Aleta Fielding Fitness…?
Yes, I continued as an RPM instructor (& just recently trained as an RPM Sprint instructor) at St Marys. It was around this time that Insanity was really taking of and was the biggest selling home workout DVD. Insanity Live was starting to be bought out of the home into classes. There was nothing like it in our area so I took the decision to train and see if it was popular – which it is!! I now teach it 2 evenings per week.
Alongside Insanity, I also teach PiYO Live which is a unique class that takes inspiration (I say this as people always think they’re coming to a yoga or Pilates class!!!) from yoga and Pilates for a high-intensity, low-impact workout to strengthen and stretch your muscles. This really pushed me out of my comfort zone as it’s not like anything I’ve tried before. There is a reason I’m not an aerobics or step teacher – coordination is an issue sometimes!!! It took me a long time to feel confident enough to do introduce it to my timetable.
What’s the most enjoyable side of your job?
I love seeing people progress and achieve what they initially thought was impossible. I’ve done some very rewarding cardiac rehabilitation work with Bath RUH hospital. This involves helping and supporting people recovering from heart attacks or surgery to return to normal activities and work and then setting goals for longer term lifestyle changes. People with heart problems have been old and young and it’s the younger people that seem to really struggle with coming to terms with what’s just happened to them.
I’ve also done some GP referral work which has involved people coming to see me to see if exercise can help with conditions such as high blood pressure, back pain, depression etc.
So with teaching and being a mummy how do you find time to train for your half ironman?!
It’s a struggle!!! Both Dave and I have to fit it in around the girls and as the distances start to increase, the amount of time needed also increases. On a Saturday we’ll both take the girls to their swimming class and then usually I’ll run back to get my longer distance run in. Dave will then go out and do his when I’m back!
I don’t think I’m competitive but I like to push myself to see what I can do – the first triathlon I did wasn’t a sprint…it was Olympic distance!!
Do the girls take after you & Dave?
Exercise is second nature in our house – trainers by the door, new music playing on repeat to learn for classes, practising those classes in the lounge or bikes leant up somewhere. They always like to ‘help’ when I’m doing new routines and are often found standing with me doing the routines. We never discourage them and hope that they will grow up with a healthy attitude towards food and exercise.
Aleta teaches at The Oak School in Melksham:
Mon & Thurs at 7pm – Insanity (50 mins)
Tuesday at 7pm – PiYO (60 mins)COMMENT / LIKE / FOLLOW & SHARE!