Forever Now Online studio celebrates its first anniversary on April 1, 2021. What a year it has been! With the Covid-19 pandemic looming around, the world has turned upside down. No one would ever imagine that wearing a mask is compulsory when we go out. No one could have ever foreseen that just about all the international borders can be closed infinitely.
Let me tell you that I certainly didn’t choose April Fool’s Day to be our anniversary day. To be honest, the whole operation started by chance, as unexpected as the pandemic crisis. As Singapore was restricting most of the onsite gatherings in mid-late March, I decided to embark on online classes to keep all my students active. On April 7, all non-essential workplaces closed and SG Circuit Breaker (CB) kicked in. I believed I made a right decision.
The whole setup wasn’t a walk in the park, especially since it kind of happened overnight. Some of the tasks included picking a technology platform to use, setting up a workable schedule, re-organizing my home to convert it to a professional studio, getting all the gadgets (microphone, tripod, lighting, etc), last but not the least, recruiting members to join me. It did take a while for some people to finally accept the fact that online classes were the only way to go during this critical time. During CB phase 1, as an encouragement to our golden agers (age 65 years old and above) to exercise from home and to conquer any digital fear, our online studio was free for them until phase 2.
Forever Now wasn’t an instant success. As a matter of fact, we are still struggling to get by. But I am blessed with my students’ constant support. When I see their commitment to make health their priority, it keeps me going.
We have gone through quite a few changes during the year. Our initial communication with the members was all done via Whatsapp. In order to streamline the zoom meeting links and to have a proper depository for all the videos, Forever Now website was soft-launched on July 25, 2020. Our website has gone through a few rounds of re-vamp before the current version was established. Setting up my own webpage was a deep learning curve for me but also a lot of fun. Luckily all the members have been most patient and tolerant.
Running these online classes made me realize the challenge of running a studio – from identifying class types, scheduling classes, technical support, marketing, recruiting good teachers, managing members to classroom management (i.e. managing Chanel not to bark). I can certainly apply for a business manager role in a yoga or fitness studio should I decide to quit teaching. Extra feathers in my hat!
As a studio owner (I wear many different hats), I was committed to keep our programme as interesting as possible. Here is a quick re-cap of our major milestones in 2020:
· Jul: A health talk presentation on spine by Dr David Tan from VidaJoie Chiropractic Centre
· Aug: Free ring classes by our beloved Jimin Choi
· Sep: Jimin formally joined our big family and became a major pillar of Forever Now Studio
· Oct: Pilates fusion class by Jane Tan
· Nov: 7 Sound bath sessions by Le’er and we donated a total of $1100 to Prebyterian Community Services
· Dec: Jimin’s onsite aroma and chair yoga classes
Quite a full programme indeed! So what do I expect in 2021? To some extent, 2021 will be more challenging for an online studio since most of the fitness clubs are back to onsite. However I firmly believe in the quality of our teachers (Jimin and I 🥰😂) and also the uniqueness of our programme. We have 6 different class types to provide a good variety of cardio, strength and flexibility training and mind and body connection. The best thing is that there is always the recorded video for our members to practise any time they want. We are such a boutique studio that we know all our members by heart and they are like our extended families.
2021 is also a time for us to upgrade our skills. I have been taking ballet classes more regularly since January to bring more ballet fun into our barre classes. Jimin and I are doing some Yin yoga training. While Jimin is teaching more onsite chair and ring yoga classes, I have signed up for the advanced 300hr yoga teacher training with a renowned yoga instructor from the US. The key thing for the two of us is to learn to stretch time so that we can do everything we want.
2021 will definitely be a much better year for all of us. Vaccination is well under way and working from home is no longer the default mode. International borders will be opening up in the foreseeable future. One of the important lessons that I learned in the past year is that no matter what life throws at you, be flexible to adapt to the changes. “Be like water, my friend” – quoting my idol, Bruce Lee. The crisis situation may turn out to be opportunities knocking on your door! On behalf of Forever Now studio, Jimin and I wish you a super fit and healthy year ahead. Keep calm and smile!