By Rita Bratovich.
It’s that first bin night of the new year when you roll out the recycling bin clinking with empty champagne/wine/beer/spirit bottles and the garbage bin brimming with bacchanalian detritus, that you remember your hastily scribbled resolutions and decide to take action.
If you’re anything like most goal-setters your list probably consists of various “new me” stylings, including getting fit (or at least, making your pre-Christmas wardrobe fit); learning a new skill; pampering yourself; becoming spiritually robust and exploring your creative side.
Thankfully, there are loads of options in Sydney to cater to every predilection – in some cases, all in the one place.
City East Community College is like a one-stop-shop of new experiences. Established as a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) in 1952, it has built a menu of diverse, affordable short courses that continues to expand. Let your inner artist emerge through a painting class, photography, mosaic or weaving. If you’re musically inclined, how about learning the piano, violin or harmonica – or the instrument you were born with: voice. They say learning a language helps stimulate brain activity, so why not give Dutch or Indonesian a try? Expand your culinary skills, discover mindfulness or be more sustainable by using worm farms and composting. If you’re wanting to change or improve your career, there are a number of business courses available, some with accreditation. City East Community College offers courses in a number of locations in the Eastern suburbs and inner Sydney area.
Many people who resolve to get fit will invariably toy with and then reject the idea of joining a gym. This is often because they’re wary of rigid contracts or they find the hours and location inconvenient. Snap Fitness slaps down those excuses by offering flexible membership options, 24/ 7 access and member’s entry to any of its 2000 plus gyms around the world. Snap Fitness is one of the fastest growing fitness franchises, which means it’s always up to date with the latest equipment and trends whilst the qualified instructors will help keep you on task and make sure you don’t hurt yourself.
Lisa Trujillo Active Wear has solved one of the biggest problems many people face when first joining a gym. Founder, Lisa, a personal trainer and gym instructor found that a common complaint from her female clientele in particular was that they struggled finding good quality tights that looked great, performed well during training and made them feel confident as well. From this the her active wear line was born, the high waist of the tights allows for the stomach to be tucked in, a major concern for women and the signature cut of the tights helps to emphasise the tone and look of the legs. Lisa also runs special bootcamps around NSW so keep an eye out for those if your looking to get out of the gym every once and a while.
If you prefer fresh air, point scoring and something a little more traditional, perhaps a spot of tennis? Marrickville Tennis Club, handily located on the edge of Henson Park, is a friendly, relaxed sports club where you can get coaching, play a social game or two, or get serious and enter competitions. The extremely reasonable yearly membership fee ($8), entitles you to discount rates on court hire and other services as well as access to club facilities. The friendly vibe will give you incentive to follow through on your goal. You can’t fault that.
Were ‘try something different’ and ‘gain new skills’ on your list of resolutions? Do both at Sydney Trapeze School. The St Peters based indoor facility will help you realise your childhood fantasy of joining a circus. Experience the exhilaration of swinging high above the ground, then leaping off the trapeze and grasping the arms of a trusty catcher – all with a safety harness and net of course!
Catering for beginners through to advanced, the school offers a variety of courses in trapeze, silks, trampoline and body conditioning. They also have a cool street circus program where you can learn to juggle, ride a unicycle, walk on stilts or balance on a barrel. This could be the career change you’ve been looking for.
If you prefer to have two feet on the ground – shoulder width apart with fists clenched and close to your chest – then it sounds like you’d prefer to learn a martial art. Sydney Karate Club teaches mixed martial art styles in an un-intimidating environment with expert instructors and classes for all levels. There are many benefits to learning a martial art: it’s an effective method of self defence and as such, helps build your confidence and self assurance; it improves stability, fitness, flexibility and strength; it sharpens concentration and clears the mind; it is steeped in traditions of honour and respect.
Sydney Karate Club is a not-for-profit organisation with rates aimed at making it accessible to most people. They offer a free first lesson for any of their classes, so why not try your hand at it and see if you’ve got the chops?
Another martial arts option is Brazillian Jiu Jitsu, which is great for the competitive types as it offers opportunity for local and international competition. myBrazillian Jiu Jitsu Academy (myBJJ) is a world wide organisation with studios in Camperdown and other Sydney locations. They have classes in traditional Brazillian Jiu Jitsu, kickboxing, self defence, open mat from beginner to advanced, as well as special programs for kids and women only.
With so many opportunities to learn and experience new things in this big city, there’s no reason not to turn your new year’s resolution into a new you revolution!