Just start: ‘What happened after I exercised for the first time in three years’

Just start: ‘What happened after I exercised for the first time in three years’

How Business Chicks’ CEO, Olivia Ruello, is back to moving her body

BY Olivia Ruello, 5 min READ

In partnership with ClassPassFor your exclusive one month free with Business Chicks, you can sign up here.

In the spirit of authenticity (which is what we’re all about at Business Chicks), I’m going to share a few home truths with you.

Before last Thursday, I hadn’t exercised in over three years (unless we’re counting running after a toddler, of course!). In the time between falling pregnant, having my beautiful daughter Gracie and getting back into work, somewhere exercising fell far down the priority list.

As more time elapsed, it not only stopped being a priority, but the prospect of stepping back into a gym or studio became more and more intimidating. It was much safer and less scary for me to just … not go.

It’s a vicious cycle, right? And it applies to any goal or item on our to-do lists that we keep on avoiding. The longer we take to start; whether it’s to write the first chapter, to reach out to that friend or, in my case, head back to the gym, the louder the voice in our head saying “I can’t” becomes.

When, in fact, we can. We’re just choosing not to.

After three years of not exercising, I’m proud to say I chose to give ClassPass a try. If you haven’t heard of ClassPass before, consider it like a ‘fitness membership’, only instead of belonging to one gym you get access to hundreds of gyms and thousands of fitness activities. You simply book your spot and show up!


I chose Dynamic Pilates which is a beautiful little Pilates studio and a five-minute walk from my office. I wanted to start with something that I had done before, wasn’t completely out of my comfort zone (hello, cardio!) and could practice a few minutes of mindfulness. Our instructor Hannah couldn’t have made me feel more comfortable and help me get out of my head during the class.

Without being hyperbolic, I cannot tell you how much I loved it. Okay, maybe not the plank leg lift but it was how that 45 minutes of moderate exercise left me feeling that mattered.

In the three years I told myself that I didn’t have the time, I’d been out of the game too long, or that something else was more important, I’d forgotten how much I genuinely love to exercise. How wonderful and what a privilege it is to really move my body.

Once I was back to my desk, I was ten times sharper and more efficient. I was clear on my goals for the day. Problems I previously couldn’t find clarity on, I suddenly saw from a fresh lens. After now going to a number of classes, I can’t overstate the value of having time to myself and being in my own thoughts has.

It’s 45 minutes where my mind is focused on just me and my body. It’s 45 minutes away from the desk, from thinking about the business, the whirring WhatsApp groups – it’s time for just me.

When I do that for me, I show up better for everyone else in my life. I’m a better colleague, mum, wife, friend and the hundred other roles we all play as women.

These classes are now locked in my diary. I have an accountability buddy. I’m slowly moving to new classes and trying some old exercises that I loved, like boxing.

This month, I really hope you might give yourself the opportunity to choose you and rewrite the stories you’re telling yourself. Whether it’s writing the book, texting your friend, or showing up at a gym class, like me, let’s just start. And, if you catch another woman just starting out, give her a high-five on behalf of all of us.

You can sign up with an exclusive Business Chicks offer of one month free. Download the app and book into the world’s largest variety of fitness classes, gyms and wellness studios. Choose from 1200 venues in Australia and use ClassPass when you travel to any of their 2,500 cities globally.



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