WHEN Army wife Carolyn Done travelled to London a decade ago to watch husband Mike run the capital city’s famous marathon, the occasion sparked a healthy transformation in her own life.

“I was totally inspired that day cheering on the thousands of people pounding the pavement,” explained Carolyn, who currently lives in Brunei with Mike and their two sons. “After that my own fitness journey began. I started running and attending kettlercise classes to build my strength.”

The fitness fanatic excelled at kettlebell workouts, which took place during a posting to Pirbright, and a year later her instructor suggested Carolyn should enrol on a course to become a kettlercise trainer herself.

She did just that in 2015 and also got a place in the London Marathon the same year, completing the 26.2-mile course in three hours and 32 minutes and earning the house title of fastest marathon runner.

Carolyn’s next family posting was to Brunei and she embarked on it knowing exactly what she wanted to achieve.

“I knew I wanted to set up the kettlercise classes,” she explained. “I love working out, I love helping others achieve their goals and I know exercise classes bring like-minded people together.

“It took around six months to get the buildings insurance cleared and I applied to SSAFA for a grant towards kettlebells. I set up a kettlercise Facebook page and BFBS and the HIVE helped advertise it to the community.

“Classes started at the beginning of 2017 and they were an instant success – everyone kept coming back and wanted more. I was asked to provide evening classes so those working could also attend.

“Thanks to a second donation from the thrift shop, I now have more than 35 kettlebells and run five classes a week. Both men and women attend and everyone is fitter and stronger. They are an amazing group of people.

“It doesn’t matter what your level of fitness is. Some people started using a two kilogramme bell and are now up to eight or ten kilogrammes.”

Look out for more inspiring health stories in the winter edition of Army&You, out on 14 November.

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