The Virgin Active member lifestyle mind shift

5 min. read
The Virgin Active member lifestyle mind shift
BY Virgin Active South Africa
Posted On 4 March, 2024

While life can sometimes become chaotic, it’s important to take a step back and remember what’s important; connecting with family and friends. James Fouché and his family have found a way to do just that at their favourite Virgin Active club; this is their story.

At the end of 2023, my wife and I sat down and discussed the challenges that lay ahead in the coming year. We agreed that fitness and exercise would have to form an integral part of our lives in 2024, but we had no idea how to fit this into our lives.

I’m a Content Manager for an ethical outsourcing company called Boldr. I’m also an author, screenwriter, and columnist in my spare time. My wife and I both work remotely and keep erratic hours. Having met in a Virgin Active gym 17 years ago, we have since gotten married, relocated numerous times, and had three children. Subsequently, we have neglected our joint passion for fitness.

It was time for us to get exercising; not just to improve our health, but also to live exemplary lives for our kids while embracing a more modern way of living. To make things interesting, we also decided to homeschool our three kids in 2024.

James Fouche 1

Exercise Life
In December we joined the local Virgin Active gym as Discovery Vitality members, signed two kiddies up for Club V, and the other as a regular gym member. While we were positive about our decision, we prepared ourselves for the worst and prayed that the adjustment phase would not be a jarring one for the kids.

It became apparent that we were the ones struggling with the mind shift. The kids adjusted to what would be the new norm as though it had been the most natural thing. The Club V team would engage the kids in fitness play while I battled it out in the cardio section. My wife would book classes on the Virgin app that were accommodating for her and our 9-year-old daughter, like the boxing and dancing classes.

Our kids instantly became more active during playtimes and the gym piqued their interest in different sports. They are exposed to new things, ask different questions, and are eager to learn more about fitness and exercise. To top it all off, the more we go to the gym, the more free smoothies we get on the Virgin Active app, and the less our monthly gym premium becomes.

Working Life
With steady wi-fi, no power interruptions, and a meeting room that could be booked online, we quickly realized that the gym was ticking more boxes than we had first planned. Homeschooling and remote working suddenly became manageable, even around our bizarre schedules.

If I’m meeting team members in the Philippines or Mexico, I can connect remotely with them at the gym. If my wife must meet clients, they can meet at the gym over a coffee. When my kids are working through their homework or doing Spanish classes, they can sit with us at the gym.

James Fouche 2

Personal Life
We are no longer just members of the gym. We are part of a gym community. Beyond that, we are also spending more time together as a family. During the week, my wife and I play relay with our parenting duties, but it is generally at the gym where we pass the baton. Over weekends we sit down for a family breakfast at Kauai before going about our business or we grab takeaway coffees while walking our dogs.

The gym did not simply become a part of our lives. It’s more as if we chose to make Virgin Active a neutral space where we can all connect as a family. And we are better for it. Why not try a Virgin Active gym near you?