Chew On It - The Journey Continues

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BY Richard Chew, Founder
Tuesday Jan 30, 2018
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The journey continues
Despite having worked in the fitness world for almost 40 years, my love and passion for it continues to grow. It’s a world which I adore and which has been most kind and generous to me.


It started with Karate…
Karate has played a very fortuitous role in my life. I started the discipline when I was seven – I didn’t really have a choice as my father was head of his Karate organisation. However, when I came to Sydney at age 11, my brother, a Karate instructor, did give me a choice: I could either train with him or follow any other path I wanted.
I have never forgotten how powerful it was to have that freedom of choice. It’s why I avoid telling people what to do and instead give them the freedom of choice. I have learned to inspire and motivate by sharing insights on the consequences of actions.
I went on to earn my black belt at 14 and soon after became a Karate instructor when my brother had me teach a regular class to adults. During this time, I learned to not only be a teacher, but also a leader – something which has benefitted me greatly in the fitness world and life.
My most fortuitous moment came when I was given Australian citizenship as I was going to represent Australia in the world championships in the ‘80s. Prior to this, my future in Australia had been uncertain as I’d had a student visa and had dropped out of university.
I have been most blessed in my country of choice.
Entering the fitness world
In 1979, I moved my Karate school to a new fitness centre called Healthland in Bondi Junction. It was there that I fell in love with aerobics and became an aerobics instructor – despite being tone deaf!
Within a year, I became the manager and soon after, part owner. Although I was more naïve at the time, it actually helped as I had no fear of failure. I also had nothing to lose and everything to gain. Working 70-hour weeks was the norm – manning reception, signing up members, teaching aerobics and Karate, and everything else that comes with managing a business.
I was 21 then and am now approaching 60. there have been incredible highs and lows in this life journey, and although the majority of my experiences have been good to great, nothing can compensate for the tragic loss of my favourite daughter.


A new focus
I’m at a time in my life where i will continue to commit to elixr where i am most effective. i haven’t been actively involved in the day-to-day operations of Elixr for some time and my highly capable niece Sue-Anne, who was the marketing director at UNSW, will now be managing Elixr.
While I will ALWAYS be involved in Elixr where needed, my plan now is to invest in my physical and mental health, and to share joy and success with family and friends.
A few months ago, I was tempted by 2 fitness chains to sell Elixr. After selling my fitness centre Healthland in 1997, I vowed to never to sell my health club again. Also knowing how much our staff enjoy working at Elixr and our members appreciating the passion and soul of Elixr, it was not difficult to turn down the offers.
Elixr is one of the few family operated health clubs in Australia and has a wonderful community of staff and members. We continue to thrive thanks to the dedication and passion of our staff and the wonderful support of our members. I am truly appreciative and thankful to everyone involved. I am also blessed that I have been immersed in an industry which I love and which defines me.


Save the date
On Saturday, June 30, we’ll be hosting a Sixties-themed party to celebrate Elixr’s 16th year and my 60th. So, diarise the date, come dressed in your best sixties outfit, and twist the night away. More details to come in the next few months!

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