We had the good fortune of connecting with Anna Veale and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anna, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
In my 20’s and early 30’s, I had the energy to juggle the demands of work, family and friends with minimal disruption to my wellness and enjoyment of life. I enjoyed the buzz of being busy and my body and mind were sharp. I had created a brilliant life for myself, with a career that didn’t feel like work and I had supportive people around me to keep me grounded. It was when I had children and moved countries that I first experienced the feeling of being out of balance. When I wasn’t with the children, I was working and didn’t allow myself any time to myself which in hindsight was exhausting. Because I loved my work so much, I used that time as my ‘time out’ from the children without realising that in order to fill my cup, I actually needed time on my own (preferably in nature). Balance is an interesting concept and the meaning changes as we go through different seasons of life. For me, being balanced means keeping my physical and mental health in order so that I can be flexible to life’s ebbs and flows. It means knowing myself well enough to understand and honour my needs by putting structures in place so I can show up to life with energy and passion. Balance to me is having the understanding that I can’t do EVERYTHING at once (and that’s ok), and to remain fully present. (a work in progress for me!)
What should our readers know about your business?
My business has been built out of 3 things. Passion, luck and commitment! In 2003 I was living a very different life to the one I live now. It was a great life, but not the one I wanted to live. I had a good job climbing the ladder in the corporate world and I was living with a guy that I loved very much. But something was missing and I knew that the only person that could change the trajectory of my life was me. After making the painful decision to leave my partner, I found myself living at home with my parents and I had hit a cross road. With a promising career path in Human Resources, it would have been easy to dive in to work to distract myself from the break up but I decided to take a leap of faith, quit my job, follow my passion for wellness. I retrained and got my Diploma in Personal Training and Sports Massage Therapy (making life long friends along the way) and shortly after that got my first job earning 50 quid a week training the local rugby team. It was the hottest summer in UK history and I had so much fun transforming relatively unfit lads in to lean, mean rugby machines over the 6-week pre season period. Financially, I was earning nothing in comparison to my 9-5 job but my soul was alive and I couldn’t wait for each training session to arrive. Although I wasn’t bringing in an abundance of money, (far from it) I found a drive and inner confidence that confirmed that I had made the right decision which deafened any self-doubt and negative dialogue that I experienced. Lesson no 1: When you work in an area you are passionate about, you feel energised and often it doesn’t feel like ‘work’. Yes, there will be areas you don’t like as much but the feeling of satisfaction and flow far outweighs these moments. Shortly after I qualified, I went to a corporate event and offered free sports massage sessions to the law firm that were playing a charity match in the hope of winning some business in their practice. To my surprise, none of the lawyers took me up on the offer but I had a queue of just turned professional rugby players eager to have a treatment! I spent the afternoon working hard on their un-humanly large muscles and was later approached by their physio who offered me a job! Lesson no 2: Luck comes to those who put themselves in situations where magic can happen! That chance encounter led me to 4 successful seasons with the Saracens Rugby Club learning my trade from the best doctors and physios in the business! There were challenging times during the first few years of business. Going from a steady income to literally making ends meet gave me the experience of budgeting. Learning the ebbs and flows of my business and planning my holidays for the quiet times allowed me to rest instead of stressing about getting clients and having the energy to work hard when the clients were in abundance. The fitness industry is renowned for anti-social working hours and that taught me to manage my days and enjoy the longer breaks in the day. Lessons: You have to be committed to go out alone and absolutely resolute in succeeding. You are the boss, the employee, the accountant, the secretary, the cleaner and everything in between. You have to anticipate challenges, welcome opportunities to learn new skills and think twice before pulling a sicky! Celebrate the small wins but don’t take them for granted. Swallow the disappointments, learn from them, don’t take it personally and move on. Commit to putting self care at the top of your priorities. Self care will look different for everybody. For me, self care is getting enough sleep, seeing uplifting people, getting out in nature and losing myself in a good book.) Commit to action. Dreams stay dreams unless we back them up with clear goal setting, planning and action. Fast forward 19 years (I can’t believe it’s been that long!) and I have got married, had 2 children, moved countries twice and added Pilates and life coaching to my qualifications and skillset which means I really can offer my clients the body and mind experience when they work with me. For too long in the West, we have treated the mind and the body as separate entities. In my experience of working with hundreds of people over the years, it is evident to me that we can’t have a strong body and a weak mind. And just as importantly without a strong mind, our body can’t show its true potential! I am really excited for what Fresh Coaching has to offer in the future. In 2019, I took my business online offering coaching over the phone and on zoom for those that aren’t local. I also love bringing my functional training classes to the homes of many around the world with my Fresh Active membership. My real passion is working with men to help them achieve overall wellbeing in their lives. Stress is at an all time high and one of the main causes of disease in the west. Depression and anxiety are taking lives too soon and severely impeding the quality of lives for many. I feel lucky every day to be working in an industry where I can make positive change. At the time of writing, I am developing an online coaching programme aimed specifically at men who know they need to make changes to increase their wellbeing but aren’t sure where to start. This combined with my one on one offerings either on zoom or in person gives me the opportunity to connect with as many people ready to make positive change as I can!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
When I moved away from my family and friends in England I said that I wanted to live in paradise. I had pretty high expectations of what paradise meant to me and I can safely say that where I live has lived up to it! We live in the Bay of Plenty, in the suburb of Otumoetai and if you were to come for a visit, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want to leave. Our days would consist of lazy walks around the beautiful estuary which is situated just metres away from our little home. To cool off I’d take you to BENNY AND BREW or the EMPIRE BAKERY up the road for a drink and bite to eat before packing our bag and heading across the bridge to OMANU beach for a swim. Later in the afternoon we would head to Mount Manganui and wander the boutique shops and maybe have a massage or facial before grabbing a bite to eat in one of the many restaurants along the main strip. After dinner if you were feeling fit then we could burn off dinner by heading up the Mount and watching the sunset before heading home for some well deserved chill time. And if hills aren’t quite your thing then a casual walk around the base of the Mount with an ice cream from POLAR could be more appealing. The next day we would join Cille and her crew at the DOLPHIN SEAFARIS for a day out on the water spotting dolphins, orca, hammerhead sharks and other marine life, soaking up the Bay of Plenty by boat. Of course during your visit we’d hang out in my studio and spend the day working on your body and mind. Starting with a pilates class, followed by a beautiful meditation to set you up for your some vision boarding and goal setting. Through out the day we would eat delicious food and drink tea to keep the creative vibes going! If you had longer than a few days then a trip to lake Rotoiti for a swim and time for reflection would be on the cards. You could even try out paddle boarding or take yourself off for a tramp in the hills. There really is something for everyone up here and it’s out little piece of paradise.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am blessed to have an army of people who support and encourage my pursuits. I am one of the lucky ones that has a cheerleading squad who believe in me (sometimes more than I believe in myself). Thanks to the coaches that have provided the support and accountability to keep me focused, my clients, some of whom have been by my side since the beginning of my journey as an entrepreneur in 2003, my friends who listen to my self doubt talking then tell me to crack on anyway and to my husband and beautiful children who are by my side every step of the way.
Linkedin: Anna Veale