“I was in Singapore, working in marketing and communications when I decided to study fitness,” Vanessa said. “I had a list of 30 things I wanted to do by the time I was 30, and running a half marathon was on that list. Completing it changed my career path.”
After graduating, Vanessa established a business that ran outdoor boot camps at seven different locations. “It was boutique personal training for groups of 16 people, mainly ex-pats. It just grew organically, and we created an amazing community,” Vanessa said.
In Singapore, Vanessa and her husband adopted two children. Then they relocated to Vietnam, where they had a third child together. Using her fitness knowledge, Vanessa ran a boot camp from her home in Vietnam. “I realised the connection and community we created was mutually beneficial.”
Although she had qualifications and over seven years of industry experience, when Vanessa returned to Sydney, she had to requalify. By this time, she and her husband had separated, and she was predominantly caring for three children under six.
“I asked friends working in the industry which college they’d recommend, and they all said FIA,” Vanessa said. “FIA also recognised prior studies and industry experience, and the trainers were phenomenal. They are so switched on, supportive and willing to share their knowledge. But the greatest gift was that I had to re-do all the business units and that meant creating a business plan.
“I gave it 100 per cent, and it became the blueprint for my new online fitness business, Workout Work In. I wanted to encourage people to move more and stress less. I designed a holistic 45-minute practice, with 30 minutes of workout and 15 minutes of meditation and mindfulness.” Vanessa wondered how she would start her business while single parenting – that is until COVID-19 closed down gyms.
“It had to be online! It’s early days, but I already have 60 clients from Los Angeles to Saigon,” Vanessa said. “I run the live sessions from my home. In between classes, I’m putting on loads of washing or prepping for dinner! I love that I am steering my own ship, reconnecting with people I’ve trained in the past and creating an inspiring global community. While I know this is the product of a lot of effort, energy and self-belief, I am grateful that I laid the foundation for this while I was studying with FIAFitnation.”