Coach Skye they call me. My first group fitness class was probably one of the most intimidating things I have had to do. (I’ll get to that in a different post) Well, apart from the Trends Talk that I got roped into doing in front of the staff at Longevity magazine, whilst I was interning for them. Coaching a big group of people is the same kind of feeling you get when you’re about to make a speech, except way more invigorating! Basically, I love calling the shots …
Well, first things first. I have always been somebody who can never just “fit in.” Strangely I like to stick out, but in a good way and I especially hate it when people try to control me. I pretty much like calling the shots and have never really been one to follow the crowd either. Since I was a kid in school, I could never fathom why other kids would try to do what was considered cool or why they had to hang out with a certain crowd. I never really had an interest in that. More importantly, my interests lay elsewhere and were usually to do with myself, real friends, family and being the best I can be in my own life. You can call me an over-achiever if you like.
Not to say that I was a weirdo or some sort of nerd, I was actually kind of cool. I just floated and made my way confidently but quietly through it all. In addition, I always kept it real and couldn’t stand fake people. I have always been very self-assured and that is only something I realise and value today! In fact, that’s probably why I now dislike the corporate world. I like calling the shots in my own life too and since the fresh age of 10 I’ve known that I am an entrepreneur and leader at heart.
In the last two years I have probably gained more experience and knowledge than most do in five years. Simply because I was not prepared to settle for the conventional 9 to 5 job like the rest of the world. I also have a really crazy obsession with challenging myself and know no limits when it comes to my ability. I believe that if I am taught, I can practice it. Why do you have to settle for one thing when you can be successful at many?
Another thing I think plays a big role in where I am today is my “old soul.” This gal never seems to fail me. Well, except for when I was perhaps a little too young to sit and mingle with the adults after dinner, I have a classic personality and a brain full of life wisdom. Not to brag or anything, but for most of my life people well over 40 have told me that I am far beyond my years. I just never felt silly like other young girls around me or clueless. (No offense!)
I was in control for most of the time, down to earth, responsible and level headed. I pretty much had my head screwed on and even when I did or do let loose, I still seem to have this really strong ability to remain in control of my body, surroundings and choices. Yet, most around me were quite the opposite. What it comes down to is that I never try to be anybody I am not and even when things tried to force me to change I would not budge. Today, I maintain this principle.
Self-assurance = Self-confidence. (In case you were one of the many who ask me how I project confidence.)
You’re A Fashionista Slash Coach…?
Okay so before I go off track. You’re probably a little confused as to how I ended up in the fitness and health industry when I studied an awesome Bachelors Degree in Fashion at LISOF. Good question my friends. Jokes, there is a method to my madness. In fact, there is multiple layers to my method.
Fashionista slash Coach is probably the best way to describe me actually. You see like I said earlier, I have always been a leader and people come to me for advice. In addition, my mother is a seriously talented artist who passed on her brilliant genes over to me. The creative gene runs in my blood and since school I too have the ability to innovate, conceptualise and create. I used to express my creative edge through clothing which in turn lead me to style and later to LISOF.
I Have Always Been Pretty Versatile
You should know though that before this discovery I really wanted to be a marine biologist because I had a crazy obsession with dolphins. I even forced myself to get through Biology exams in highschool, but I decided against studying it. I would have done well, because I am academically inclined. But I would have felt too boxed in and needed to do something more out-of-the-box.
So there is your answer. My course at LISOF was out-of-the-box and provided me with the tools to be as versatile as I want to be in my life. You see we didn’t just study Fashion. We were taught how to read people, the psychology of people, relationships, clothing and society. We learnt marketing, branding and business finance. I learnt how to lead people and presentations, identify and predict trends in the world. We even learnt to consult, style and provide people with top notch services. Not to mention the amount of stressful and impromptu films and concepts we had to pull out of our arses.
These skills are life skills and certainly helped give me the confidence to do what I do today!
More importantly, these skills allow for a multi-dimensional work approach. Through my understanding of trends I was able to identify that fitness, health, fashion and beauty are all linked and in fact form part of the mind, body and soul. Three spheres which cannot be separated from one another. Plus, I was self-studying fitness and health in my spare time at home through tons of YouTube videos, google and social media influencers. Nobody really knew about it, but whilst studying at LISOF I made a decision to begin a new journey to achieving a super fit, healthy and stylish Skye.
Not knowing of course that it would eventually transform into a business or career. And the journey was not easy because I had to push through bumpy and uncertain times. A break-up, a new boyfriend, new groups of friends, crazy alcohol infused nights, varsity exams, my first job, moving out the nest and avoiding shitty foods like the plague. But, I am here aren’t I? So, if I can do it you can too!
I pretty much discovered that whatever I ended up doing, an office job wasn’t going to cut it. I knew I needed to help people and guide them. That I needed to be free to go on adventures, be active and look great whilst doing it!
But, Does This Job Even Exist?
Okay, before I get carried away about this grand lifestyle you need to know the crap I had to endure first. Getting to where you kind of know you want to be is not an easy task. Besides, when I received my degree most people expected me to get a position at a high-end fashion magazine or some other big fashion label. (Nobody really knew about my desire to venture more into fitness and health.) So, I went and got an internship at Longevity magazine. Impressive right! I actually wanted Elle, but the universe got me its sister magazine. Funny enough it is a wellness magazine, so in the long run it worked in my favour. I pretty much got a crash course in health.
However, the internship itself was the first time I realised sitting around on a laptop in one room all day was NOT for me. Being forced to churn out mass produced content and to manage every online marketing task was not stimulating enough. I may have been good at it and still like to write my own blogs. But when you’re too bombarded to eat a lunch outside for 10 minutes of fresh air, there is a problem.
There were other factors that came into play when it had transformed from an internship into a job like pay, hours, environment and people. Don’t get me wrong, I learnt an exceptional amount on the job and definitely mastered the art of being prompt, confident and savvy. I also enjoyed the events and celebrity interviews, but that was just the highlight of the job. So, I decided to move on and take a massive leap in my career instead.
I began another job search. This time my heart told me that I needed to venture into a slightly different path. Having no specific qualifications in fitness besides life experience, a wellness magazine and my own daily practice I didn’t think it was possible. Then Body20 popped up in my job seeker search. I managed to secure an interview and on the day I just walked in with nothing but myself and my passion. Guess what? That was enough for them to hire me as there new EMS (electro-muscular stimulation) personal trainer and studio manager. It was more than that though.
The job opened up a new door to a new life. And for many, getting a job is purely about making loads of money. It is so much more than that for me and by making these risky choices that go against conventional beliefs, I get to live life my way. Whether or not I earn a whopping salary. And yes! Many people did question my decisions and were very confused about where I was headed. However, I knew what was important and where I was going so I took the bull by the horns.
Oh, I forgot to mention that Body20 was all the way in Kyalami! I would drive all hours of the day or night to get from home to work and back. Some days I would wake up at 3 am just to get to work and train my first client at 5 am. Other days I would finish work at 8 pm and only get home by 9 pm. On top of this I started coaching a free bootcamp every Monday evening, voluntarily. I wanted to get as much fitness experience as possible.
I then also missed the creative side of things so I began doing freelance copy and graphic design work. This lead me to a freelance job where I would work in-house when I was off-shift at Body20. This job did not last long because I was not passionate about what I was doing there and in all honesty it became quite impossible managing all the work from 3 jobs.
At this point I was also selling Herbalife and doing a bunch of different things to build up my non-existent brand and make some extra cash. That’s when I realised that I have all the skills and potential to start my very own business that has the influence of a magazine and the energy of a gym – without a boss. I then created an Instagram account called Skyezee FashionFit and from there began building my own story. This was a pinnacle moment because I unintentionally created my very own business name!
Around October 2017 I started to burn out slowly.
The drives to Kyalami and back were getting tougher and I had little motivation. I was struggling to manage the workload. Luckily, an Instagram message popped up from a friend telling me that the Boxing Club in my area was looking for a new Boxercise Coach. Of course I wasn’t very interested knowing I already had a job. However, I decided to meet the owner in any case. Turns out the job is less hours, closer to home and allows time during the day to get my personal work done.
Plus, it is a new form of fitness. It is BOXING FITNESS! You don’t get better than that. The freaky thing is that I had always driven past the gym on my way to Longevity, wondering about what the fitness there is like and wishing I could attend the gym myself. It is funny how life works sometimes. Leaving Body20 was not easy because I enjoyed the job and loved the EMS equipment, but it just wasn’t suitable anymore.
Now, the new challenges were mastering the art of being a Boxercise coach, building up my own business and clientele whilst still making enough money to survive on my own. Stressful is an understatement. Another hurdle was definitely overcoming the fear of speaking in front of large groups of people. You know that saying, “fake it till you make it?” Well, that kind of got me through the process. I had to learn an entire Boxercise routine and be able to coach classes about 4 days after learning it. Seems like I pulled it off, but inside I was really really – well, shitting myself! I had coached bootcamps before, but this was more intense because it was an actual job. Anyways, the invigorating feeling I get from coaching people is out of this world!
My Life Today
All of this madness brings me to where I am now. I am a fashionista and creator who loves to coach people in life. A transformation coach who has established her own brand and business at the raw age of 23. I have my very own image consulting program which combines fitness, health and fashion as well as my own health product range.
I am constantly trying to establish a balance in my life between socialising and relationships with coaching, laptop time, sales, personal fitness and consulting. It is definitely not easy going on your own and takes a pretty ballsy person to actually follow through with it. But, if in your heart you know your worth and your potential – whatever you do, do not settle! Do not listen to that family member or boss who tells you that cannot make it. Go and do it.
Do not be afraid to fail. I know I do all the time.
You will burn out.
There will be tears or days of doubt.
But, fight through it and you will see the rewards filtering into your life slowly.
There are times when I doubt myself and times where I am so confident that nothing could stop me. Some days when I regret it and wish I had a normal job with a guaranteed salary every month.
But, you know what – nothing changes the fact that following your dreams is the only way to achieve the life you want to live. It really is an exciting journey. And mine is just beginning!
Be bold. Spontaneous. Courageous. Fearless. Be a fighter.Take chances. Learn. Never give up!
Thank you for reading my story. Keep your eyes peeled for more about Skyezee FashionFit or read about my Fasting experience.
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