A Stockport woman has overcome chronic sciatica and mental health problems to open a women-only strength and wellbeing studio.
Now the mastermind behind the Cheadle project, Chloe Blair, is hoping her journey will be an inspiration to other women.
The Winners Strength & Wellbeing Studio on Stockport Road will offer seven class styles specifically designed for women, as well as wellbeing workshops.
For Chloe, the studio is the culmination of years of personal struggle.
“I had always been into fitness ever since I was younger, and one of the things was I knew that I wanted to help women,” she told the Manchester Evening News .
“I had severe sciatica when I ran — it got to a point where I could not bend down, I would be walking down the street and my back would just go, and I couldn’t even do any of the Joe Wicks workouts because I had trouble jumping.
“I had an MRI scan, loads of tablets thrown at me and acupuncture — but nothing worked.”
Sciatica is a medical condition which sees pain, numbness, or weakness radiate from the sciatic nerve — which runs along the lower back to the buttocks and leg.
Eventually, the physical pain in her body began to affect Chloe’s own mental wellbeing — before finding her own solution to both problems.
“It used to get me down,” she added.
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“Over time I realised the whole function of my body changed [with fitness] and I started to help myself.
“Since I found the training I did I have never had the pain — and through my journey of fitness I wanted to help others.”
Despite only training to become a personal trainer two years ago, Chloe’s business has gone from strength as lockdown restrictions have eased during the spring.
She began outdoor classes from April 12, and officially opened the doors to her own studio this week.
In that time, the studio has amassed nearly 120 members — smashing Chloe’s target of having 100 sign-ups by June 1.
She is additionally keen to stress that the space is open and welcoming for all women.
The 37-year-old said: “As a PT I recognise that the fitness industry ostracises many women who actually need it.
“Gyms can be intimidating for many women and access to mental health resources are often limited, [so] my aim is to create a space that tackles both issues.
“[This is] a space where women feel comfortable to push their fitness limits whatever level they are, and where they can get access to wellbeing workshops to help give them the tools to live a more positive and confident life.”
In the future, Winners hopes to expand into all areas of the north west and develop more female personal trainers.