Over 10 years ago, I met a woman who would change the course of my life and help me shape the business that I have today.
She was someone I met in a Cert III fitness course that I was delivering, and her intelligence and initiative made me take notice (handing out practice test paper to help the other students, in the course to prepare for the upcoming assessments, is something you notice!). Teaching the evening courses usually meant that I was delivering to people coming into the fitness industry as a second career, and she was no different. What was different was that she was always bright eyed, interested, and prepared. Most people struggled to stay focused after a long day at work, but not Christine Naysmith.
Not long after this, we started a working relationship when I hired her as my personal assistant. I had tried previously with a few different people without much success, but something told me that Christine was going to be different. In one word, Christine is incredible. Having a fitness qualification in both land and water, she soon became sought after as an instructor – a big tick for me as she understood my day to day job. Soon she was delivering Gymstick workshops with me, and came with me to Gymstick HQ in Finland. We travelled to New Zealand and the US for Gymstick workshops and presentations at conferences. We developed social media content, created regular newsletters, updated the website, started Gymstick distribution in Australia, wrote manuals, filmed DVDs and started using Vimeo as a platform to sell digital content… this is just the short list of what we achieved together.
Christine is one of my closest friends. Having someone who worked so closely with me and in the same industry meant that I could confide in her and swap presenting stories (usually on a Monday when we were both back home). This friendship continued to develop even when she moved to Queensland and we never missed a beat. It was a transition for me, but it taught me that a respectful working relationship does not need a face to face contact. I saw her as my right arm (and perhaps my left one too!).
All good things must eventually come to an end, and Christine has moved onto a fulfilling full time role. I am really happy for her as she now has something new to get stuck into. Yes, I did cry (actually we both did), but reminded each other that our friendship will continue.
As 2020 starts, so does a new decade. I look forward to working with the new team of people that will now help me grow in new directions. Thank you Christine, I would have never been able to do, what I do now, without you.