In celebration of our Gymbox Originals month, which is running throughout September, we will be profiling some of Gymbox’s most unique team members and find out what makes them so darn special. To kick off the month, we meet new addition Jenny Lawford, 26, sales guru at Gymbox Covet Garden. "I never do anything by halves" she says. We meet her.
How do you feel about being picked as a Gymbox Original?
Chuffed! J Usually I’m usually just called ’odd’, so it’s much nicer to be labelled as original! I’ve only been at Gymbox for about seven weeks, so I feel like I’m part of the furniture now. Everyone’s been super welcoming.
And in what ways do you think you are original?
I never do anything by halves and have always been very creative. I’ve dressed differently and be a huge culture vulture since I was a teen - I guess I’ve never grown out of it. I don’t think the arts and fitness have to be exclusive. I wanna mix it up a little.
Has fitness always been a big part of your life?
Truthfully, no. I always danced, but it was only when I started performing professionally that I realised how much stamina was required. So I started adding HIIT training as well as circuits and running whilst on tour – and became a bit more of an addict. Now I realise how much more energy it gives me – and I love the social side of fitness. Nothing better than getting sweaty with some amazing tunes and people from different walks of life.
Absolutely. Tell us about your music and fashion worlds
Well, I started singing professionally as soon as I graduated from drama college in 2009. I’ve always been in bands and have done bits of session singing, but mainly I’ve worked more within musical theatre/cabaret. I’ve done a fair amount around Soho and Camden, I’ve sung with a quartet in Rhodes, and cruised around the world in an Edith Piaf tribute band.
Impressive. You run a vintage clothes outlet called Planet Attic, how did this come about?
My style has always been a huge part of my on stage persona, but it was only really after I got back from my last contract cruising that I came home and looked in my attic and thought ’Gosh, I have a lot of stuff!’. Hence the name, Planet Attic. I started selling it via ASOS Marketplace and then it got to a point where I was scouring boot sales and sourcing my own stock!
Does fitness play a role in this at all?
Definitely in my singing! Trying to do an hour long act where you’re on stage the whole time, singing live and dancing takes a lot of core strength to ensure your breathing isn’t affected. Plus your general health can really dictate how your voice sounds, so it’s vital that you keep your diet in check, drink buckets of water, and make sure you’re on it in terms of fitness.
Are you a good brand match with Gymbox?
Obviously our philosophy is ’anything goes’ - that’s definitely me! Some days I want to wear a huge pair of designer heels with a full bodied skirt to work, other days I wear leggings and 80’s trainers. It’s how I feel that day, and Gymbox embraces this. Additionally, I think as a gym we have a real ’work hard, play hard’ ethic, and I’m all about that. Be it in the office or on the gym floor - let’s work flat out, push ourselves to the limit, then we can out and enjoy life – looking amazing!
Tell us about your role
I’m basically an ambassador for the club. I try and spread the gospel of Gymbox and let people know what we’re all about. Be that out on the street or people who come in because they’ve heard good things. I tour them around, tell them how we can help them achieve their goals and help people through the membership process. Then once they’ve joined, I ensure that they feel supported throughout and answer any queries.
What have been the highlights for you so far?
It’s not a highlight as such but I LOVE the people in this club. Everyone, from the members who come in like clockwork every day and remember what I was doing at the weekend to the people who work in the office. We all love music and get on so well that it never feels like a work environment. Even the DJs – they’re all great!
Any amusing anecdotes from your time at Gymbox so far?
My manager is very fond of practical jokes. Which is great for him - not so much for anyone on the receiving end of it! He knows I have a fear of certain rodents and I’d been discussing seeing them on the tube that morning. So he thought it’s be great fun to make a fake mouse and set up a whole elaborate story which resulting in him throwing it at me. I don’t think he realised how scared I am – I’m talking a 10 second long scream and tears! It amused them all greatly though...
What have you learned about people since working in this job?
Sometimes in the Capital you put your head down and get from A to B, without really interacting with anyone. At Gymbox, you could be a weight lifting tattoo artist doing a class with a boxing ballerina – I think it’s amazing that you can meet such different people but essentially you all have the same passion for training and self-improvement. So I guess really I’ve learnt that you can’t judge anyone - there are some incredible people in London and I think we’ve got a big chunk of them here at Gymbox.
And learned about yourself?
That I really need to stop talking sometimes. Over and out.
Check out Planet Attic on Facebook.