Hello! I’m Anna, founder of Mardy Bum Active Club. You might be thinking, what on earth is a Mardy Bum club all about?! Well, I grew up in the Midlands, and ‘mardy bum’ is what me and my siblings would call each other when we were being grumpy. It’s how we would playfully nudge someone out of their bad mood. So, that’s exactly what the Mardy Bum Active Club is. A recognition that we’re all human, we all have bad days – but that with a bit of positivity (and stubbornness!) those days don’t have to rule us. If you join us at the Mardy Bum Active Club, you’ll be joining a group of normal people, with normal lives (with some normal crappy days included) BUT who know that with the right attitude and a bit of movement, you can bring a whole of positivity and ‘who cares!’ feel good attitude to life, and exercise.
I created Mardy Bum Active Club for so many reasons. Most of all, I created it because I know firsthand, through some tough experience, just how important it is for our mental and physical wellbeing to find the motivation to get up and move – even just a little, in whatever way works for you. And how incredibly helpful it is to have people around you who cheer you on in that journey. That’s what I want this club to be, for us all. A cheer squad for when things get tough, and you need a little extra push.
My story is one of a few chapters. Growing up, I was involved in lots of sports – I was never excellent and I didn’t win first prize (actually, I once won backstroke in the regional swimming race, but probably only because no one else wanted to do it!). But despite this, I loved being involved – playing netball with my girlfriends, attempting tennis with my brothers, and running solo down to the tree in the garden and back.
When I was 28, my world was turned upside down in a split second. I was involved in a car crash that left me seriously injured – a fractured pelvis, broken hip and broken shin in three places. And, it’s hard to believe, but I got off lightly - the doctors told me it could have been much, much worse. It took me a whole year to get back on my feet – literally. Supported by amazing doctors, but also family and friends who worked their magic in restoring my confidence and belief that I could move again.
My accident sent my life in a different direction to the one I had planned. I wasn’t strong enough to go back to the fast-paced work environment I had been used to, so I decided to try a different route. My husband and I moved to Italy, where I spent the next few years recovering, learning Italian – and I found Pilates. I discovered Pilates in a tiny studio in the town of Treviso, where we lived. The classes were all in Italian, so even though I couldn’t understand lots of it, Pilates helped heal me.
Since returning to the UK, I now teach Pilates and I have done for the last two years, I love helping others to move, to feel the benefits of movement, the positive effect on their mind and bodies. My classes are for everyone – there are no rules, no one way to be, or dress, or look. Just people who value the simple benefit of getting moving, helping each other do exactly that.
Mardy Bum Active Club is my way of giving this community the activewear they deserve. Fun, individual, not taking itself too seriously, and up for whatever challenges get thrown at it.
I can’t wait for you to join us.