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
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.”