I am starting a new segment on the blog this week which will see me interview some extraordinary people who are living authentic lives and helping others. The kind of individuals that you just can’t help but gravitate towards; who radiate positivity and energy and often times are also very generous with their time and advice.
MEET ELLE COOPER
I met Elle Cooper a few years ago but it was only this year that I’ve got to spend some time with her via our personal training sessions. She’s got a beautiful personality; someone who instantly makes you feel comfortable so the pain of a workout is really something you only notice after the session is over… I started on my training journey with Elle when I was going through a few challenges in my life so her friendship and support was invaluable. I’ve interviewed Elle a few weeks ago and took some photos of her on Bondi Beach, which is where she lives and works.
Tell us a bit about what you do and how you help people in your profession?
I work as a personal trainer and nutritionist helping people on their journey of building a healthy lifestyle. A lot of times it is also being that emotional support to my clients by simply practicing active listening. It is so rewarding to be working with people that are keen to introduce healthier choices into their diet and pursue their fitness goals.
What was your first job out of school?
I was a drummer in a band with 4 other girls and worked part time in a surf shop. It was a fun 2 years but I longed for travel so I’ve decided to move to South Korea and teach English. And what an experience that was: new culture, great food and just an overall different experience.
How did you start your fitness/wellness journey and why?
I’ve grown up in a household where healthy food was always aplenty. I was actually quite chubby as a teenager with a really big appetite… I’ve gone to the gym for the first time when I was 16 years old as I wanted to lose weight so I guess that was my main goal at the time. It actually took me a good few years before I figured out how to change my diet and how to lose weight – it took many years and many tears literally. I’ve realised I had to understand a lot more about nutrition to determine what works for me. Around this time my Mum was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis which prompted me to further research about the power of nutrition. I became a lot more interested in general well being.
I’ve literally spent the next 10 years learning, researching, experimenting and understanding how nutrition and exercise affects general health. It’s been a long road to discovery but I feel confident that I understand what works and what simply doesn’t.
At what stage of this journey did you consider the career in the fitness and health industry? What was the catalyst?
I had the great fortune of working on Hamilton Island as an island concierge which was the perfect outdoor playground for fitness. I would get up really early every morning and head down to the beach to structure my own workout sessions. And not long before my girlfriends were joining in and I suddenly I found myself training a small group of girls who kept suggesting I do this as a career.
I’ve learned from other trainers on Hamilton island, from e-books and then working at reception at Fitness First when I moved back to Sydney. I wanted to observe the trainers, the programs they followed with their clients and learn from them which propelled me to start my own business as a trainer later down the track. I decided to obtain my formal education at the Australian Institute of Fitness where I’ve got my qualification as a personal trainer.
At what stage did you decide to work for yourself and what was your experience starting out?
Personal circumstances took me to Perth 3 years ago which is where I’ve opened up my business as a massage therapist and personal trainer. It was a new concept to me as I’ve never run my own business before. Working for myself is a very positive and empowering experience and I enjoy the interaction with my clients.
How did you end up back in Sydney and creating your amazing business helping so many people achieving their health and fitness goals?
I really missed Sydney whilst living in Perth and reading about the strong health oriented culture that was gaining momentum particularly around Bondi, I’ve decided to make a move again. The beach lifestyle and being closer to my family were very strong motivators in my decision making at the time. Also living at Bondi beach and being part of a health aware community was always one of my dreams. It makes all the difference being surrounded by like minded people.
What does a day in Elle’s world look like? Take us through a typical day in your life.
Early morning starts are really how I roll, most of the days before sunrise. I train at Beach Fit gym on Curlewis street in Bondi which is where my clients meet me for their workout sessions as well. However training for me isn’t restricted to a gym facility alone – you can find me swimming, walking or running outdoors especially when the weather is nice. I try to ensure I get to bed early every night as a quality sleep is very important to me. I generally split up my sessions – separate out the cardio work out from weight training and do them at different times. Cardio most often in the mornings and weight training in the afternoons. Consistency however is key which translates to daily training of some kind. I created my work around my lifestyle which of course allows me to say that I truly love what I do and look forward to going to work every day…
How do you relax and rejuvenate?
It is a very timely question as I’ve been working really hard in the last so many months often 7 days a week and I feel I should start reclaiming my Sundays. Eventhough I must say that I often have days when I can take time for myself in between client sessions or classes so there is a nice balance of work and play pretty much every day.
I enjoy catching up with friends and family over a nice meal or going to church on Sundays but also just having some ‘me’ time is something I really value.
If you had the opportunity to have lunch with anyone in the world and ask them a few questions, who would you invite and why?
Great question. I always said I would be thrilled to spend some time with the creator of The Simpsons. I admire the creativity and the effort spent on producing so many episodes that are funny and entertaining. But in reality I think the person I would absolutely love to meet in person is Arnold Schwarzenegger. I’ve read his autobiography and he strikes me as a person who has always pursued what he wanted without any fear or hesitation. I find that incredibly appealing and inspiring.
Where do you see yourself in the next 12 months?
In terms of career, I’d like to have a larger influence on the general population and spread the message about healthy lifestyle and positivity. I’d like to see people living active lives enjoying every day to the fullest. I am planning to start my own blog and perhaps also writing an e-book so I can connect to people who might be searching for some tips online.
What are some of your favourite things to do in Sydney? Favourite spots?
I love going to the beach, dining out, training, catching up with friends, sunny days and going to see live performances. My favourite spots are around Bondi Beach but I also frequent Darling Harbour and the Rocks. I am a real sucker for water views.
Where would your dream vacation be?
It would be a wakeboarding holiday in the Maldives.
What advice would you give to your 21 year old self?
You are beautiful, you are wonderful and you are capable of doing everything you want so just do it!
Thank you Elle for sharing your words of wisdom. If you are interested to train with Elle you can find her at Beach Fit at Bondi Beach.
Love and light,
SIDE HUSTLE TO FREEDOM
and find out how I turned my side hustle
into my main business.