The Fit School Story: Our Journey (so far)

Fit School has been established in Epping since 2013 and on 13th January 2018 we’ll be hosting our first BIG Fitness Day Out. Just in case you wanted to know more, here’s the story of how Fit School (and the family Laing) came to be:

Once upon a time there lived a boy and a girl (well 20 somethings actually). The boy had recently re-trained as a personal trainer and moved from the frozen North to find a new life for himself in London. The girl had recently re-trained as a fitness instructor after quitting life as an IT Consultant.

Their paths crossed at a top end London health club.

After a little help from friends and persistence from her, his frosty exterior warmed and during the hot summer of 2004 they shared lunches, team taught fitness classes (Body Pump and Body Combat) and fell in love.

Roll on a few years and it became clear to the boy and the girl that in spite of enjoying teaching fitness and Pilates classes to London’s office workers, they both had bigger vision. Like square pegs in round holes they wanted to share their expertise and inspire others but the traditional gym model wasn’t where their future was heading.

Years passed. Their love grew. And whilst love blossomed so did the boy’s personal training demand and skills. He trained pro and ex pro footballers and managers. He trained Surrey’s most exclusive residences. He also trained Claire from Steps and fronted her Christmas fitness DVD in 2008 (5 Step Fat Attack).
The girl’s writing and business credentials expanded too, writing for some of the most popular wellness magazines, partnering with leading fitness clothing brands as well as smaller startups and teaching her own share of London’s leading ladies.

In 2009 Chris and Karen were married and in 2010 they moved from London to Epping, filled with the excitement of a new stamping ground and expecting their first child.

And that first child, a baby boy, was to be a catalyst for the next phase of their business lives alongside their family life.

As Isaac grew, Karen started classes locally. The community classes she had always wanted gained ground. So too did her writing and business skills. She would go on to write books for others, to present locally and on a national stage on fitness and women in business.

In 2013 the collection of classes and workshops came together under the Fit School umbrella. Chris and Karen created Fit School Limited. They wanted to build that vision they’d first had when they worked in gyms. The vision of inspiring and empowering others by teaching how to get healthy, move more or train for specific events. Fit School wasn’t just about class attendance, it was about growing a system of classes and group training which individuals could plug into and learn from. It was about creating a community.

Their collective expertise would be packaged into Fit School with a focus on inclusive classes in community venues. Top end information and knowledge packaged into group classes to make it affordable AND inspirational.

All good stories are about adventures. The protagonists start on their journey and learn along the way, this enables them to grow and achieve even more than they’d imagined for themselves. The same is true for us and Fit School. In the past 5 years we’ve asked questions, made mistakes, learned from our members and from those who have been and gone. We are embarking on the next stage of our adventures. We want to cement our community focus, find a hub for our services, take on apprentices and expand our timetable without losing the inclusivity or quality.

On 13th January we’re hosting our Fit School BIG Fitness Day Out where we’ll be inviting not just our regular attendees and members but also friends, family and partners. We’ll be trialling new classes and offering the opportunity to try existing favourites. We’ll be launching online programmes to help get you on the right tracks. Do join us. We’d love to see you there.

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