She’s a powerhouse with a bubbly personality and now Margie Brown has been nominated for Fitness Australia’s Group Instructor of the Year title.
She won’t know until mid-February if she’s one of the finalists, but Margie was thrilled to learn of her nomination from a group of women she teaches at iGym.
Their submissions spoke of Margie’s “lovely combination of being both supportive and empowering in an engaging and sympathetic manner” and her “infectious personality”, besides being a funny and honest woman who is also a busy mother of four children.
Margie will have been a fitness instructor for nine years in March.
“I’m jumping between Forster and Taree iGym, and Forster and Taree YMCA and Wingham Pool for Aqua.”
She is on staff at the YMCA and is a subcontractor for iGym, and runs around 10 to 12 classes per week, including aqua, spin, step, strength training and freestyle aerobics.
She admits that until last year, she didn’t even know the prices existed.
âI shared it with my YMCA boss and no one had heard of it.
“I jokingly wrote on Facebook, ‘this is an award that wants to name me’, and people did!”
Her nomination was announced at the end of 2019 and Margie had to explain why she thinks she deserves the award and what she has done for the community (which includes leading the warm-up during the Dementia Walk in Taree ).
It is evaluated externally by a variety of fitness industry judges, with finalists announced in February, followed by an awards ceremony in May.
Margie’s journey to fitness came after a blistering moment that she thinks everyone needs to have before they change their lives.
“It’s a domino effect. Once you get the mental thing right, it all gets bigger and you take so much out of it. It’s a catalyst for a lifestyle change.”
She said she stopped eating “crappy” food and started doing exercise videos at home, as her kids “were climbing all over me.”
âIt took me a year to lose about 47 kilograms.
She loved working out and found it made her feel good and at one point she felt she could stand in front of people and do that too.
âI was supervised by a local lady here, and I started in front of the class and doing the movements but not speaking.
“I loved it and got stronger and stronger.”
She has her certificate 4 in physical conditioning and is currently studying a diploma in remedial massage.
She said the membership rate with the older generation is excellent. âJust sit down and stand up. All the gym members inspire me to keep going. They are just amazing.
“It’s the little things. Whether they can tie their shoelaces, or get tough in squats today, for some it’s a social thing.”
Margie said all she brings to class is herself.
âSomeone who took some of my early lessons said when the music started, ‘something magical happened to you’.
“I’ve been doing this for a year. Is that nice?
“I don’t think there is anything talking, but it has to be something.
“I love him so much. This passion is bubbling up and it’s fun.”
Margie can understand people coming the door and be intimidated into entering a fitness class.
“Just walking through the door is an inspiration. It’s a confidence building thing.”
Besides helping people lead healthier lives, Margie said it’s the relationships with people she’s built over time that mean a lot to her as well.
âI love people. You learn about them and become friends. I have a network of friends here. It’s personal.
âEveryone is so welcoming. A lady even came over one night and hugged me afterward.
âYou come when you’ve had a hard day and it makes your job interesting.
âI am so passionate about helping people through functional movement and having fun!
“I really want members / people in general to believe in themselves and give love to their bodies (and themselves)!”
Did you know The Manning River Times now offers last minute alerts and a weekly email newsletter? Stay up to date with all the local news: sign up here.