Elise Bocking, elated at the reopenning of her studio in Woolgoolga. Photo: Trevor Veale
Elise Bocking, elated at the reopenning of her studio in Woolgoolga. Photo: Trevor Veale

Leaping back after lockdown

The day so many have been waiting for is almost here.

Fitness freaks will be champing at the bit - and those who've been going stir crazy or put on a few extra kilos in lockdown - will be flocking back, as gyms open again on Saturday with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

Like all things lockdown; the rules are little confusing and could change depending on the fallout from the Black Lives Matter protests.

For Elise Bocking, doors will open on Saturday morning at StudioMove Yoga and Pilates Studio in Woolgoolga, for 10 eager clients ready to get back into a real life class.

Ten is the official limit for fitness classes and larger gyms can have a maximum of 100 people.

During lockdown she's been operating classes via Zoom and Facebook Live and they've been a real lifeline for many, helping to keep isolation (and the 'bingo wings') at bay.

"It's a shame we were lumped in with gyms because we're in the situation where people bring their own mats and don't need to touch any other equipment."

Clients will be asked to wait outside and file in separately using hand sanitiser provided and place mats on the special markers on the studio floor.

Elise has owned and operated pilates studios for 15 years, first in Sydney then the past 10 years in Woolgoolga.

Elise Bocking, measuring out pilates mats, in preparation for her Woolgoolga studio opening again on Saturday. Photo: Trevor Veale
Elise Bocking, measuring out pilates mats, in preparation for her Woolgoolga studio opening again on Saturday. Photo: Trevor Veale

Coronavirus has put an incredible strain on her business.

"The hard thing is our costs haven't changed. We've still got rent, insurance, licences and all those ongoing costs.

"Thank goodness for Job Keeper but it was slow to come through. I had a whole month of bills and nothing coming in.

"It was a really weird feeling. I've never been in that situation before where I was basically unemployed. I had to ask my husband Scott for some petty cash so I could get a coffee."

But every cloud has a silver lining as the saying goes, and for Elise it's been the popularity of her online classes, inspiring the creation of her new website: pilateswithelise.com.

She already has 30 subscribers from as far and wide as Thredbo and Mount Isa.

"A lot of my old Sydney clients have also looked me up again."

She was hoping things would return to 'normal' in July.

"But we might have to wait two weeks to see if there is a second wave after the protests which makes me furious as we've all done the right thing."

On Thursday it was confirmed that a protester who attended Melbourne's Black Lives Matter rally has tested positive for coronavirus and it may be "impossible" to identify all of their close contacts at the event.

The non-Indigenous man in his 30s wore a mask, was not symptomatic at Saturday's protest and is unlikely to have contracted the virus at the event, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton explained.