To celebrate International Women's day, we caught up with a number of Women within Digme....
Here, we catch up with our Head of Ride, Charlie..
1: Tell us a bit more about your role at Digme
As the Head of Ride at Digme I wear a number of hats. Along with teaching my own Ride classes (and, Strength & HIIT on Digme at home) I also work on development of our current instructors through observation workshops and Talent ID - including training and running the Ride Academy and recruiting new instructors. I work closely with my team of Ride instructors making sure they feel supported. This includes programming, scheduling - working with the Studio Leaders to come up with original events and theme rides for each month.
2: What gives you the most job satisfaction?
The best part of my job is building and creating a community - I love bringing people together through the power of movement. There's nothing better than encouraging and motivating other people to achieve their goals. I also love seeing my instructors grow in confidence and being their most authentic self to motivate others. Teaching is emotionally and physically exhausting and it takes alot to be up there on the podium cheering people on day in day out. Next time you see your instructor, give them a hug!
3: What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
I'd have to say creating and building my own company and online fitness platform during the Pandemic when I had no-where else to turn. I had no idea what I was doing but I jumped right in and cracked on with it. It was one of the hardest things I've done, but also the most rewarding. Creating a space for people to come together and train during the pandemic was amazing - I noticed an overwhelming sense of community. I am constantly blown away by how (even now with Digme at Home) people continue to show up for themselves and for one another.
4: What were your ambitions growing up and did you see any barriers of getting where you wanted to be?
Growing up I wanted to be a professional athlete, whether it was tennis, lacrosse or netball. I didn't really see any barriers and I believed anything was possible with hard work, passion and determination. When I was 17, I won a bronze medal at the Lacrosse World Championships for Team England and then went backpacking around the East Coast of the US visiting Division 1 Lacrosse schools to try and get recruited. I was fearless in the pursuit of getting what I wanted, and eventually ended up with a Scholarship to the University of Virginia and then went on to play pro for the Boston Storm in the UWLX. One thing I STILL try to tell myself now is never, ever give up on your dream. It's never too late to start!
6: As a leader yourself, what leadership qualities do you feel are most important?
Some of the most important leadership qualities for me are:
- Be loyal to yourself at all times, and be loyal to your clients and to your team.
- A recognition that I'm constantly judged as a leader - it's important that as a leader I understand what my values are and live them 24/7
- A recognition that we'll always have setbacks/failures - but a reminder that we can take a set back and turn it into a comeback!
- Treat people with love, respect and honesty.
7: Our workforce has sadly reduced due to the pandemic. Within your role, talk us through some of the challenges you have faced.
The pandemic has forced many of us to step up, and step into roles that need assistance. Things are still constantly changing and as leaders we need the ability to be flexible, maleable and most importantly have a growth mindset. We must roll with the punches, but always stay true to our vision and keep moving forward towards the goal whatever it may be. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger!
8: I understand you have a background as a professional athlete? Talk us through this and how you made your way towards becoming a Fitness professional.
As a lacrosse player I represented Team England in two World Championships, winning a Bronze Medal against Canada in 2007, before moving to the US to complete my studies and play for the University of Virginia. After leaving university with a B.A. in Music, I plied my trade at the New York Athletic Club and more recently professional outfit Boston Storm with the United Women’s Lacrosse League.
After hanging up my cleats in 2017, I turned my attention to a new passion; an interest in the benefits of personal training and motivational group fitness led me to train as a cycling instructor at the Handle Bar Indoor Cycling Studio in Boston and compete in the 2018 Boston Marathon, before returning to London to pursue a career in fitness full-time and compete in the 2019 & 2021 London Marathons.
On my return I was invited to take up consultancy position at David Lloyd Clubs and led the development of their own rhythm-based indoor cycling programme. I am currently NASM-CPT qualified (have led corporate workouts for Amazon, John Lewis and Salesforce) and for the past two years worked as an instructor in London for SoulCycle. I am now the Head of Ride at Digme Fitness, where I teach daily Ride, Strength and HIIT classes.
8: Describe what it's like working for Digme in 3 words
Rewarding, inspiring, fulfilling!