GMHBA Member Profile: Louise Dobbins

Have you ever assumed that flying from aerial silks is only for circus performers? GMHBA member Louise recently took part in our My Activity Passport Challenge and took to the skies with aerial silk classes.

Great Health caught up with Louise to chat about how she keeps active and inspired.

How long have you been a GMHBA member?

Twenty-two years. I’ve remained with GMHBA as I appreciate that they are a local Geelong organisation, supporting our community. I have also benefited greatly from their range of free health initiatives, which have added significant value to my membership.

How has GMHBA influenced your health?

By offering a range of free activities and seminars that make being active fun and interesting. These various opportunities promoted my interest in healthier lifestyle choices and the benefits of taking an active role in preventative health.

What GMHBA activities have you participated in?

I commenced with the fitness group sessions GMHBA ran on the Geelong waterfront years ago. My daughter and I were regular attendees, enjoying the company of other members. The group instructor also introduced us to the walking trails in the You Yangs Regional Park, which I continue to walk to this day. 

I’ve also attended a few of the free health seminars and found guest speakers to be most knowledgeable, informative and engaging.  

More recently, I participated in GMHBA’s My Activity Passport Challenge, a generous opportunity to try new physical activities that I would never have sought out previously. I was able to try Crossfit, Pilates, dance and Aerial Silk.  As regular gym is not for me, these new activities inspired me to participate.

Which My Activity Passport activity did you enjoy the most?

I absolutely loved the Aerial Silk experience at CircArts. CircArts teach people of all ages a range of circus skills including aerial silks and trapeze, hula-hoop, juggling and acrobatics. Such a fun experience I would never have considered. The group comprised people of all ages and abilities and what was really fantastic was the encouragement and support of those many years younger.

I enjoyed it so much I’ve continued to attend a weekly aerial silks class.  I love the connection with younger people. I’m learning new challenging skills, from talented instructors I wouldn’t normally interact with – it keeps you feeling youthful!

What other activity do you do regularly?   

I visit the You Yangs, during all seasons on Sunday mornings. I park at the Turntable car-park, from here there are many walks, with my favourite the Flinders Peak walk. It is so humbling to walk amongst 365 million-year old granite peaks, which offer multiple challenges, variation and vast scenery. No matter what the week has delivered, I feel totally re-energised.

What would you say to anyone who is apprehensive about trying something new?

Don’t let age limit you, relish the opportunity to meet new people and extend yourself.

Be assured that the benefits are not just improved fitness but also increased self-esteem, social connection and most importantly, having fun.

Inspired by Louise’s story? 

It doesn’t matter where you live, there will be local businesses that would be happy to offer you a free trial so you can find something that challenges and interests you. Or why not just head out to your local park and enjoy nature?

GMHBA would like to acknowledge and thank CircArts and Kurt Bellamy Photography, and Louise for her time.

Do you have a story you’d love to share with Great Health? Contact greathealth@gmhba.com.au