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Niagara woman encourages movement through quarantine with Motivation to Move

By Brittany Carter

Burdened with this pandemic’s shelter in place measures, holding onto fitness motivation while maintaining physical distance can seem impossible; one Niagara woman is trying to inspire and motivate others to keep moving.

Consistent exercise is an integral part of Fran Bazeley’s life, but she understands how difficult it can be to find the motivation to stay active.

It’s difficult, but not impossible, she clarifies.

“I would get my workouts in when I would teach, or just on the weekends. I wouldn't make time during the day. But now in quarantine all we have is time.”

Bazeley leads Les Mills Body Combat and Body Pump classes at GoodLife Fitness in between working as a hairstylist at Headlines Hair Design on Victoria Avenue and her role as a wife and mother. But as busy as she’s been, she says frequent exercise is what’s kept her balanced.

“That's what's kept me so sane, I guess because it makes you feel better. It takes off the worries of the world.”

Now, with local gym’s being shuttered along with many businesses to manage the spread of COVID-19, she says she’s turned to exercise more than ever. And she hopes to inspire others to join in. She created a Facebook page called Niagara's Motivation to Move, where she posts inspiration to get people moving any way they can.

That can mean more than just working out. Bazeley says though not everyone may be able to get into traditional exercise routines, simply spending time gardening, going for a walk or doing laundry can drastically improve your mood and help you shake out the crazy.

“I get so many steps just doing my laundry,” she says.

And though she admits she hasn’t posted to the page as frequently as she intended, she has still received positive feedback from people telling her to keep it up. Between that page and sharing her own workouts on her personal social media, she says the response from friends and family have been overwhelmingly positive.

“That's why I kept doing it, because I've gotten so much feedback. At first, you're like oh my god, people must be looking at me like, oh, here she goes again.”

“But there have been some women that have come to me and said they wouldn’t have worked out if I wasn’t working out. So, that makes you feel good, right. You're like, Oh, well maybe I am making a difference.”

She says honestly, that’s all she wants.

If sharing her own fitness journey will inspire others to do the same, she says she feels like she’s doing something right.

“You just have to want to. Working out, it's not easy. It's not like people like to do it, it's just more the benefits afterwards.”

The endorphins are the goal. Sweating to workout videos at 5 a.m., going for evening jogs, joining fitness classes when you can muster the motivation – it’s all done in search of those endorphins. That incredible strength felt after pushing your way through an intense workout is worth the pain, sweat and fatigue it took to get there.

Bazeley says she’s been chasing that feeling since she first started working years ago. After breaking up with a boyfriend, she says she hit the gym with baggy sweats and t-shirts, with no idea what she was doing. And though the specific location and classes may have changed over the years, essentially, she never left.

“Body Combat changed my life.”

And she says through teaching, she’s watched first-hand how the class has impacted those she teaches. First-comers often start at the back and as they keep coming back, she says she watches their confidence grow until they start making their way to the front.

“You see this growth and confidence. Those people start to feel better, look better. And then you see them talking to people - they're not afraid to be there anymore. Then they start bringing their friends. It's just a magnificent change to see from a person that is in the back, and then, you know, ends up in the front.”

That’s the same life-changing experience she says kept her coming back – and why she’s now so passionate about the classes.

But whether you find the motivation to get moving through organized group workouts, or you simply spend an afternoon gardening or doing household chores, she says her message is the same: find the motivation to move when you can for your own personal wellbeing, you’ll be happy you did.

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