It's wonderful that we're celebrating Elixr's 15th anniversary this month. So much has happened on this amazing journey – challenges, adversities, success and great joy – and I'm grateful to have shared it with our members and with an incredible team.
Where it all began
In 1997, I sold Healthland Fitness Centre to a global corporation – and while I had pangs of regret about selling my pride and joy, I gained invaluable knowledge and experience from the process. I also realised that I never again wanted to work for a business where the bottom line was the main priority.
That type of bottom-line thinking is in direct conflict with my belief in the pursuit of excellence. I believe that if you do the right thing by providing excellent services and facilities, success will follow. This approach has served me well throughout my 45 years of experience in the health, wellbeing and martial arts world.
I was under a restraint of trade for a few years, but by the early 2000's I was ready to re-enter the fitness industry. I knew it would be too challenging to compete against big corporates that offered very similar services and facilities – and I also noticed the start of a wave of mind-body programs led by yoga and Pilates.
At that time, Katharine Millard, our current Pilates Education Director, introduced me to Pilates, and I dived into learning and challenging its principles. Elixr opened its doors in June 2002 on Park Street, with Katharine, Nicki and I teaching Pilates. Rachel Crompton, our current Pilates Director, joined us soon after.
With my yearning for excellence and knowledge, I contracted trainers from Pilates schools in North America to educate our instructors, and Elixr began to host Pilates instructor training courses. At the same time, I hounded physiotherapists, anatomists and exercise science lecturers for more knowledge.
I was never content with the lack of exercise science in Pilates, and I was concerned about the numerous myths associated with the discipline. So, with Katharine, who has a Master's in Exercise Science, we created a curriculum for the Elixr School of Pilates – a school where we proudly educate and develop capable Pilates instructors with a sound understanding of exercise.
Yoga is an art form with a philosophical base, and so we looked for great teachers who were also committed to being life-long students of yoga. Don Peers was already gaining a good reputation in the yoga world when he joined us at the very beginning of our journey, and Trevor Tangye also started teaching with us in the early years. Over the past decade and a half, we have maintained a wonderful team of teachers, some of whom have been with us for over 10 years – Don, Trevor, Yuki and Margaret.
My greatest appreciation and thanks go to the thousands of members and the team I have worked with, who have supported me and helped me to live my dream. A special thank you to the Elixr members who have stood by me since the Healthland years. May we all share many more healthy years.
The last time I was in lockdown was in 1969, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, because racial riots broke out...