Dawn Showler, Personal Trainer at Fortitudo Fitness MK
Working with women to achieve greater physical fitness in the comfort of their own homes
When I was eight years old, I distinctly remember that a close aunt of mine, who would have only been in her early twenties at the time, became really poorly and frail. Thankfully, she did recover, but seeing her this way made me think: ‘I don’t want to be ill when I grow up’. It certainly left a lasting impression and definitely kicked off a lifelong passion for physical fitness.
Naturally, I adored PE at school and, after finishing, I worked in an office environment yet remained physically active. I was really excited when aerobics became the new craze and I was invited to become a part-time aerobics teacher at the class I regularly attended. I absolutely loved the work-life balance I had created, which was paramount as I had just given birth to my eldest daughter.
Three months before my youngest daughter was born, I found work as an evening typist for a law firm in Milton Keynes, which led on to working there on a part-time basis during school hours and training to become a legal executive.
Work and good health continued to go hand in hand. I flourished in the legal sector – eventually moving to London, where I spent 12 years as a practice manager for US and German firms. In 2016, Craig – my partner of 20 years – and I made the decision to move back to Milton Keynes to be closer to the girls, who were raising their own families.
Following a visit to the hospital when I was still living in Greenwich, I was shocked to see eight trolleys lined up outside the X-ray department with women suffering from fractures and breaks. There and then, I thought to myself: ‘I want to help women become fitter, healthier and stronger’.
After relocating to Milton Keynes, I enrolled on a personal training course, passed it and set up Fortitudo Fitness MK in 2017. I keep busy not only with my business, but also working as a part-time temp and volunteering for Age UK as a walking befriender.
I will be 58 this year – having enjoyed a fulfilling career in the corporate world – but now I feel I’m truly contributing to women’s wellbeing.