top of page

You're NEVER too old - My Story



HOW I CHANGED MY LIFE


At the age of 50, I go to work every day and feel so, so grateful that I get to do a job that I absolutely LOVE.


What does my job give me?


I get to do something I love every day

I get to mix with lots of amazing women

I feel like I make a difference, I am giving back

I get to share my knowledge with people who want to listen

I have built a community of women who have now become friends, support each other, laugh with each other and some have gone from hating exercise to loving it (job done!)

I wake up everyday and I feel proud of myself

I am my own boss and I do it MY way


I really could go on.....


But it hasn't always been like this for me and I have done many jobs over the years that I've hated, that I've dreaded going to, that have left me feeling depressed, that have sucked the Ali out of me and left me feeling lost and like I didn't know who I was anymore.


I have taught fitness both full and part time since I was 25, mixing it with my Textile Design work (My degree is Textile Design), but because the fitness industry doesn't pay well, I have always felt (until now) that it wasn't a "proper" job and when I was younger, even though I was an amazing fitness instructor (my classes were always full) and Personal Trainer (I always had a waiting list of clients), I never felt proud of myself, I was embarrassed to tell people what I did. I know! I look back now and I actually want to slap myself for thinking like that! But when you're young you are influenced more by others thoughts about you.


When I returned from Australia at 43, life got very complicated and I stopped teaching fitness. My kids came first and so I got jobs that fitted around them. I hated those years. I felt depressed, I felt like I'd totally lost my identity, I lost my self worth, I had low self esteem, I was negative and I felt like I was most definitely on the treadmill of life (Read that blog here)


I knew deep down that teaching and motivating people was where my passions lay, it was where I was meant to be. I was a natural motivator/communicator and it's what I wanted to do more than anything. But I don't think back then that I knew that was what I wanted to do. I just knew I didn't want to do what I was doing right then


IT WAS STARING ME IN THE FACE


Even when I had my own business in Australia as a Textile Designer I spent more time (and enjoyed it way more) blogging, interviewing designers from all over the world and trying my hardest to motivate other Textile Designers and guiding them onto the right path, than I did actually designing.


I even wrote an online book about starting a Design business and sold 100's of copies to fellow designers. My passion for motivating people was always staring me in the face, but I chose to ignore it time and again. The sentence in my head that kept coming back to me again and again was "you need to get a proper job"! So I actually spent most of my life wondering what this "proper" job was, when, in fact, it was right there, under my nose.


The actual advice I have always given my girls regarding what subjects to take at school/Uni/ what career to follow is to 1 - follow your true passions 2 - Do what you find easy/what you're naturally good at. The reason why you find it easy is because you are interested enough in it that it doesn't feel like hard work/a chore/something you dread. I should have been following my own advice!


At 44 I really wanted to get back into teaching, but I put blocks up everywhere...


I'm too old

I'm not fit enough

It will cost too much to start a business, I can't justify that

I can't afford to not have a "proper" job

I don't have the time

I'm not clever enough to go back to studying

What if I fail


I could go on....


So for about 4 years I went back and forth, back and forth. The more I thought about it, the more I talked myself out of it and the more I was losing myself. I was losing my self esteem, self worth, self identity and my purpose in life.


But then Covid happened!


Covid for me was a huge catalyst. I got made redundant. I was forced into making a decision about my future.


I suddenly had time to think, I had time to really take a step back, look deeply at my life and make real, positive changes. FOR ME!


I have always known, but I tried to hide from the fact, that I have always been happiest when I'm motivating people. I think it's my natural talent and something that I knew I just had to do. I love people, I love making a difference to peoples lives and I have a MASSIVE passion for exercise/health/nutrition. I look back and it has ALWAYS been staring me in the face, but I chose not to acknowledge the bleeding obvious! Until I was almost 50!


YOU'RE BORN WITH IT


I decided to go back into the fitness industry. I knew that that was where my heart and soul lay. I look back now and I think that you are born with knowing what you you really should be doing with your life. But I think most of us choose to ignore it. I think if you do look at what your passions are, what makes you get excited when you think about it/do it and what you are naturally good at, then you won't go far wrong in choosing the right path.


I did a Pilates course years ago, but as a young fitness instructor, I didn't use it much. I was addicted to cardio back then and I loved teaching aerobics, step, spin etc, that was where my passions lay. But as a 47 year old I saw fitness very differently and I wanted to teach something that I felt was long term.


So I put my big knickers on and I jumped onto a very expensive and very HARD Level 3 Pilates course.


I won't lie. I was crapping myself. I had zero confidence, my self worth was at rock bottom and I was mixing with others who I thought would be young, fit and were currently active within the fitness industry. Well, I was wrong. The course was full of people just like me.


It took me a year to do the course and it was the toughest thing I've ever done. I have many fitness qualifications and a Degree, but that one was the toughest by far. Maybe it was because I was older and juggling kids and family life. I don't know. Maybe it was because I put a lot of pressure on myself.


But when I passed all the exams, I have never felt so proud of myself ever in my life.


I knew as soon as I did the first day I had made the right decision. Everything all of a sudden just felt RIGHT. Everything fell into place and I've not looked back since


Since then I have started my business, I work damn hard at it, but I can honestly say that I LOVE my life, I love my job and I LOVE making a difference to all the many women that come to my classes, read my blogs and follow me on social media.


SO WHAT ABOUT YOU?


What about you? Are you where I was? Are you thinking you're too old to make a change to your life? Well I'm here as cold, hard evidence to say, NO! No you're most definitely not!


I'm happy to help you if you're where I was a few years ago. Message me, we'll go get a coffee. Let me help you xxx



215 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All

2 Comments

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Ali you have pretty much described the last 18 months of my life - things changed when I started attending yourclasses - I found me again, with your constant encouragement I realised I could do it! When I found me again it gave me the confidence to admit I needed to change my work - it wasn’t working! Thank you for supporting me when I cried on you after class when it all got too much one night and checking in on me - for all your positive words Helped! I love your classes and the lovely ladies that attend! I’d say you have achieved some pretty great things!!!

Like
alibenyonpilates
alibenyonpilates
Nov 03, 2023
Replying to

Oh wow, thanks for the lovely comment Sharon. I'm so glad that you're on the right track with work again now. It's a great group of amazing supportive ladies and it's so good to know that, yes, we really have got each others backs 100% If you ever want a coffee, im here for you xxx

Like
bottom of page