Fitness for Everyone

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Focussing on what’s possible is a mantra that’s not only helped Paul and Joy McClymont survive the prolonged drought at their property Dalkeith, 100 kilometres west of Longreach but also underpins Joy’s online fitness business, Off the Track Training (OTTT), which inspires hundreds of people nation-wide.

“It’s been a stretched few years to say the least,” Joy concedes of the ongoing dry which has seen them destock their 29,000 hectare sheep and cattle property. “But any challenge makes you think outside the square and we had to get past being bogged down in the impossibilities. That way of thinking for our grazing business is exactly what I’ve created with Off the Track Training – improving people’s health and fitness, no matter where they live and looking at what’s possible for them to achieve rather than ‘I can never get to a gym’ type mentality.”

The idea of Off the Track Training started just after Joy had her first child Elka. “I was out running by myself in the stinking heat and thought: ‘If this is hard for me, imagine what it’s like for people who don’t have anything to do with exercise, don’t have anyone to give them ideas or don’t even like it!’” The former swim and triathlon coach decided to pursue the concept and gained her certificate in personal training, then developed programs for people to access remotely.

With no reprieve from the drought in sight, Paul and Joy did the RCS GrazingforProfit™ course in 2009. “Paul had always been quite conservative with the stocking rate but we started putting that into practice earlier and earlier each year,” recalls Joy. The McClymonts began ExecutiveLink™ in 2011. “We had to find another way to manage Dalkeith sustainably and we needed to know where we were at – whether it was good, bad or ugly. The biggest thing that GrazingforProfit™ and ExecutiveLink™ provide is a good network of people to bounce ideas off and learn from. Everyone has a different mindset but a fairly common goal.

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“We knew that Dalkeith was operating on marginal circumstances but was quite healthy considering all of those things. A lot of things we were dealing with were largely out of our control and it was only ever going to come down to how we felt about that and what we could do to keep it alive.”

Joy continued to deliver Off the Track Training alongside helping at Dalkeith and educating their four children through distance education. “During ExecutiveLink™ everyone tried to talk to me about the potential of OTTT and how I could structure it differently whereas I thought I needed to be this type of personal trainer that didn’t get too big and ignored clients. There were lots of conversations within our board about me saying all these ‘cant’s’; my paradigms were in the road of seeing the potential of what it could be.

“So I restructured and programmed OTTT based on time efficiency and doing things in our rural landscape- using what you have around you- whilst having the ability to make a real difference to people’s health and fitness” she adds. “It hit an acceleration point when people realised they could fit this into their daily life and didn’t have to spend an hour on exercises they didn’t know if they were doing right. The gate to thinking positively and eating a balanced diet was opened by exercise. It’s about looking at what is possible for you to do and achieve and always doing something towards your fitness rather than nothing.”

With 800 clients Australia wide, Joy took the next step and launched the Fitness Hub in February. “It creates momentum over a six month period and helps people realise fitness is the norm not the exception. The Hub gets people into one community and delivers a fitness program that is suitable for where everybody lives and their fitness level.”

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Included is a range of fitness and wellbeing activities such as live audio workouts, weekly exercise videos and food tasks from Stacey Curcio, naturopath and dietician from Gladstone Holistic Health. Joy plans to incorporate teleconferences from an exercise physiologist and a podiatrist as well as audio meditation. “The aim is that people come out feeling and looking better than what they did beforehand,” she says.

And that, she hopes, will have an impact on the way rural people view themselves, and their mental wellbeing. “When you feel good about yourself then everything else in your life is a little bit easier. There are lots of things I love about OTTT but what stands out for me is that I can still be involved in agriculture and I’m helping people stay in the industry. People make better decisions about their business when they are fit and healthy.”

“A lot of people say to me, ‘it’s the one thing I can control – how I think and what I do when it comes to fitness.’ They can’t make it rain but they can make themselves really strong, fit and fiery and then they feel they have achieved something, and can achieve anything.”

Find out about Joy’s Fitness Hub here

Article by
Claire Mactaggart