HALE W18 Masthead


Amanda Whitley

This is not Clare.

Ever been tempted to try something new fitness-wise but been too unsure or intimidated? I know I have. But sometimes, you need to just get out there and try it – who knows, you could find your new passion!

We are so lucky in Canberra to have oodles of options when it comes to sport and fitness – from the traditional gyms, running, cycling and walking to more adventurous pursuits like karate, roller derby or pole dancing, there really is something for everyone.

Here at HerCanberra, we’re making it our mission to roadtest some of the different fitness activities around the capital. Our intrepid tester, Clare Barbaro, will try a a new activity each fortnight and give you the lowdown on what’s involved, what it cost, what she liked (and what she didn’t) and some of the places you can try it for yourself.

If you’d like to introduce Clare to your activity of choice, leave a comment and we’ll sort something out.

In the meantime, I’m going to let Clare introduce herself and why she is so keen to embark on HerCanberra’s Fitness Roadtest!

[box]I’ve recently become a The Biggest Loser addict…and I have a reason for this…

When I started uni  (a few years ago now!) I started to feel the pressure, as any student does. In desperate need to find a release for my stress, I joined a gym and started running and doing gym classes as an outlet for my tension. It was great…I felt amazing!

Before I knew it I had lost a couple of kilos and toned up. I still ate whatever I wanted, but I was doing enough exercise to keep me even on the scales.

Straight after uni I moved to London and boy did my life change. Don’t get me wrong, London was really great, but also super tough. I quickly ran out of money with the cost of living and my lack of income for six months. So I ate whatever I could; obviously I couldn’t afford a gym membership; and if anyone has been to London they’ll know the weather isn’t exactly ideal for exercise. Before I knew it I had…THE HEATHROW INJECTION!

This ‘disease’ is what London-living Aussies dub as the weight gain they all get once they pass Heathrow airport. Almost every Aussie I knew in London put on weight, unless they could afford a gym! English people don’t eat like Australians do, the food is much ‘heavier’ and of course we all drank beer. Big mistake! Like the contestants on The Biggest Loser I let myself go.

I vowed to lose all the weight I’d gained before I got back to Australia, so I joined my local London gym. A couple of months later I was moving some very heavy boxes at work, and threw out my back and damaged a muscle in my leg. I attended nine months of physio, had ultrasounds, MRI’s, x-rays, the lot and still no-one could fix me.

Naturally this happened as I signed a 12 month contract to my gym. Luckily, the gym had a pool and I started swimming as much as I could. But do you know how unappealing swimming is when you have to walk (correction limp) 20 minutes in the snow or rain to get there?!?!

So now I’m home (in Australia) and I’m still seeing doctors left, right and centre to try and fix the problem…but I have really learnt a lot about myself and my body through this ‘no-money no-exercise’ adventure. I have started to understand which exercises use which muscles and which foods are actually good for you and which foods are not. So now I’m on a mission- Biggest Loser style!

Starting in April, I will be trying different fitness activities around Canberra, a new sport each week. I will explore the locations, prices, ‘sweat’ level, and how I feel during and afterwards. So, here we go… wish me luck![/box]

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://hercanberra.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/clare-1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Clare is a born and bred Canberra chick in her mid 20s. She has an obsession with Europe and travelling in general and spent the last two years working for a PR company in London and travelling at every possible moment. She love fashion, shoes, fashion magazines, reality TV, chocolate and fitness- not necessarily at the same time![/author_info] [/author]


Amanda Whitley

Amanda Whitley is the founder and director of HerCanberra. In her 'spare time', she instructs zumba, loves to cook (and eat), and wrangles two gorgeous little girls. She's done everything from present the tv news to operate a stop and go sign and is passionate about connecting Canberra women. More about the Author

  • Jenna Clarke

    Clare is welcome to come to one of my Yogalates classes at Griffith shops on a Tuesday night at 6pm or 7:30pm or Thursday morning at 6;45 pm !! We don’t run classes in the school holiday though.

  • Its free and worth the view once you walk to the top of Mt Ainslie. This is a very popular Canberran exercise destination for residents, runners, triathletes etc

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  • Come try Karate with me Clare!
    I chose martial arts over regular gym classes because it gives me something to think about, other than just how many reps. It is self defence, strength and conditioning, yoga and pilates, boxing, stretching and flexibility all with a strong core focus.
    Tuesday and Thursday nights 7-9pm upstairs, next to Southside Physio in Tuggeranong.
    Contact Sensei Joe Roses for more details.
    We welcome anyone game to give it a go. First class is always free and there is no obligation.

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