Michelle Bridges comes to the Gar­den City

MICHELLE BRIDGES IS VIS­IT­ING TOOWOOMBA FOR THE CHRON­I­CLE CLUB’S LAT­EST EVENT ON NOVEM­BER 3, SO STYLE MAG­A­ZINE TOOK THE OP­POR­TU­NITY TO HAVE A CHAT WITH THE WELL-KNOWN AUS­TRALIAN PER­SONAL TRAINER

Style Magazine - - Contents - BY JES­SICA KRAMER

To say Michelle Bridges is a ded­i­cated woman would be an un­der­state­ment. At 47 years old with a young son, one might think Michelle would be hop­ing to slow down and take things easy, but the per­sonal trainer is thriv­ing on her busy life.

“When I was a kid, my mum would ask ‘why do you have to do so much?’ be­cause she was wor­ried of me burn­ing my­self out,” Michelle says.

“If there’s any­thing pun­ish­ing about my ca­reer it would have to be my sched­ule.

“There is no typ­i­cal day; they’re al­ways dif­fer­ent.”

Michelle is de­ter­mined, how­ever. Know­ing how much she “preaches” about the im­por­tance of be­ing or­gan­ised and me­thod­i­cal, she tries to keep it so in her own life.

Over only a cou­ple days, Michelle can be in one state for a key­note ad­dress at an event, then fly­ing to an­other state for in­ter­views or train­ing, or hav­ing a day off with her son Axel — it’s hard to know from one day to the next.

“Some peo­ple think it would be ex­cit­ing, but af­ter a while it gets a bit har­row­ing be­cause you can’t even book in a fa­cial!” Michelle laughs.

But fit­ness is a life-long love for Michelle.

“It’s been some­thing that’s al­ways been a part of my life,” she says.

“From an early age I played sports and loved it.

“I had a go at ev­ery­thing, and fell in love with the idea of com­pe­ti­tion and equally in love with train­ing.”

At only 14, Michelle started teach­ing fit­ness in school to kids who weren’t into sport.

“I’m lucky I found what I love to do at such an early age.

“I didn’t even think about be­ing daunted by teach­ing peo­ple — within six months I went down to the squash courts and asked to teach fit­ness classes.”

It was one of the early ex­am­ples of an at­ti­tude that has be­come Michelle’s “call­ing card”, as she ex­plains it.

“I bite off more than I can chew and fig­ure it out later!” she laughs.

“It prob­a­bly was daunt­ing, but I got such a kick out of it.

“It’s those nerves that give you a kick on.”

‘‘ Ev­ery­thing I do is in­volved in the fit­ness world in some way.”

It’s the in­volve­ment in sport and fit­ness that Michelle ac­cred­its to many life lessons she learnt as a child.

“I learnt lessons like ac­count­abil­ity, re­spon­si­bil­ity, turn­ing up, how to win and lose, all as a child which I use as an adult,” she ex­plains.

Michelle has been asked many times what the se­cret is to be­ing so suc­cess­ful as a per­sonal trainer.

“That’s a very hard ques­tion to an­swer — I think the plan­ets just aligned, I think I was do­ing it at the right time,” she says.

“Not so many peo­ple were do­ing it at that point per­haps, and I put in a lot of hard yards.”

“We were the first in the field for the 12-week pro­gram, and it was bloody good; it still is!”

There were a good 15 years that Michelle spent “belt­ing it” and tak­ing jobs no-one else wanted to do.

“It got to the point where my friends would ask to pay me to come to events and I would have to say ‘sorry, that’s not how it works — I’ll be work­ing’,” she says.

She worked with on the ground with the peo­ple, ce­ment­ing ed­u­ca­tion and re­sults-ori­en­tated work.

“By the time I put my hat in the ring, I had all that ex­pe­ri­ence,” Michelle says.

“There’s depth to the work I’ve done over the last 20 to 30 years that have helped keep me in this work­place.”

While Michelle’s ca­reer to date has been won­der­ful, there are a few mo­ments she re­calls with par­tic­u­lar fond­ness.

“I look back on the Big­gest Loser with good mem­o­ries.

“There was a lot of pres­sure to get it right and it was hard, but it was a beau­ti­ful part of my ca­reer,” she says.

The other high­lights, Michelle men­tions, would have to be putting out the fit­ness cloth­ing and food ranges with her team, and the books — which took sev­eral re­jec­tions be­fore find­ing a pub­lisher who be­lieved in the idea as much as Michelle and her team did.

So what does the fu­ture look like for Michelle Bridges?

”We’re re­ally work­ing on get­ting my new key­note ad­dress up and run­ning, we’re look­ing at an­other book next year, new hard­goods and cloth­ing be­fore the end of Christ­mas,” Michelle says.

”Maybe, just maybe, I might be do­ing some more TV next year, but we’re not sure of that one yet.”

Michelle is also a Med­ibank am­bas­sador, which sees her fly­ing around the coun­try for Parkrun events.

“Ev­ery­thing I do is in­volved in the fit­ness world in some way,” she says.

In the mean­time, how­ever, she is keen for the visit to Toowoomba for the Chron­i­cle Club event on Satur­day Novem­ber 3. ”It’s a good fun thing. ”I’m very ex­cit­ing for com­ing to Toowoomba, to meet ev­ery­one and chat to them.”

PHOTOS: JEZ SMITH

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