Hornchurch mum uses lockdown lull to pursue fitness passion

Hornchurch resident retrains as aerobics instructor

Hornchurch resident Sarah Spong has become an aerobics instructor after deciding to pursue a life's ambition and retrain during lockdown. - Credit: Sarah Spong

A Hornchurch mum-of-two has used time off during lockdown to pursue her lifelong passion for fitness.

After 22 years behind the wheel as a driving instructor, 44-year-old Sarah Spong found herself unable to work when Covid-19 struck.

Suddenly saddled with unexpected free time, Sarah decided to branch out: “I have always loved fitness but I, like a lot of people, didn’t have the time to dedicate myself to exercise.

“I have always had a bucket list for what I want to do in life, and teaching aerobics was at the top of it."

Thanks to the generosity of her mother-in-law, Sarah enrolled on an exercise to music course which led to her qualifying as an aerobics instructor.

Despite having some reservations about being "the only 44-year-old on the course", Sarah got stuck in - despite previous health concerns.

"Before I started this journey I was taking CBD oil for my joints, and had told my GP I was worried I had arthritis."

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Sarah admitted she now feels much healthier and happier.

Hornchurch resident retrains as aerobics instructor

Sarah is on the hunt for more venues to add to her Thursday night classes at Barking Rugby Football Club. - Credit: Sarah Spong

Getting through the course wasn't without its challenges, particularly as there was a taxing theory exam.

"I found it hard because I don't have a technical brain," she said.

But she got there, thanks in part to the tutoring role played by "children's YouTube videos".

There was also a practical exam: "I forgot everything! I had complete brain fog on the day, but because of my personality, I got through it.

"I’ve always been able to laugh at myself, which I think helped.” 

With a qualification tucked safely in her pocket, Sarah has since set about building her following.

The instructor currently runs one class every Thursday night at Barking Rugby Football Club, but confessed she would do them "every day" if she could.

"The hardest thing is getting venues", said Sarah.

She has taken five classes since the end of May, and has a core group who are now thriving on Thursdays. 

With the government lockdown rules easing, Sarah is now juggling working again as a driving instructor as well - and loving it.

"I feel like I'm getting to do two types of teaching," she said.

Any venues able to offer space are asked to email sarahspong@gmail.com.

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