For Lornelle Amory fitness is an act of creation.
T-shirts for her kickboxing studio Longevity Athletics Bermuda, read: “I created this body in the LAB”.
She set up the business at 100 Reid Street, near the corner with King Street, three years ago. It offers cardio kickboxing classes and personal training.
“I wasn’t really an athletic child,” the 36-year-old said. “When I was growing up, I thought I would be an elementary schoolteacher.”
But in her teens, she took several business courses in the Saltus Grammar School graduate programme.
“Head of SGY Jon Beard spoke to me about a project I did in a business class,” she said. “He asked me what was I going away to school to study. So when I let him know education, he said are you sure, because the project you completed was great. Once we had that conversation it made me think, maybe I’ll do business.”
She went on to study finance and accounting at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, then returned to Bermuda to work in the reinsurance industry.
“One day, I thought there must be something more to life than this,” she said.
Looking to spice things up, she joined a kickboxing class, she’d seen advertised in RG magazine.
“I thought I needed to do something more active,” Ms Amory said.
She thought she’d take classes two or three times a week, but she liked kickboxing so much she ended up taking every class on offer.
“I liked it because it was a stress relief,” she said. “You are working your entire body. If you like to hit things, that is a good thing as well. That is why I thoroughly enjoyed it. At the end of the day the results were a great thing as well. It is not that I was doing it for weight loss, but I did notice changes in my body in the aspect of toning, and inches being lost.”
Then the studio where she trained invited her to become a kickboxing trainer. At first she was a little hesitant, but the more she thought about it, the more it seemed right.
“I said if you enjoy it, why not,” she said. “That is where the shift came where I got into fitness.”
When she first set up the LAB there was a rush of interest, particularly from people she’d trained.
“That was a great thing,” she said. “It wasn’t like ‘who exactly is this girl?’”
Now, she has around 30 kickboxing students and 20 personal training clients, ranging in age from mid-forties to mid-sixties.
“The challenges for myself as an entrepreneur would be having patience and waiting to see things manifest,” she said. “I am a person who likes to plan and organise because of my background with finance and accounting, checks and balances. I had to learn that things take time and you have to grow with that.”
She said the LAB is not just about fitness, but also about camaraderie and people working out together as they each strive towards their own goals.
She did a pilot programme last year teaching kickboxing to youngsters aged from 10 to 15.
“The idea was so the children learn from young a healthy lifestyle,” she said. “I just wanted to try it out to see how it was going to go. It was very successful.”
She thought children in the programme developed self confidence and self esteem, and also made friendships outside of their usual circles.
“I am going to start again once school starts and people get back into a routine,” she said. “Kickboxing is a fun way to work out. You don’t have to have any level of fitness to join. It is great for people who want to learn more about co-ordination and agility.”
For the cardio kickboxing programme people can drop in for $20 a class. Ms Amory also offers a ten-class punch card that expires after three months, for $150. Students can also purchase a month-worth of classes for $175.
• For more information see longevityathleticsbda.com, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 537-1727