Shirley in class of her own

Bayswater Waves fitness instructor Shirley Barnes has been teaching aerobics for more than 25 years.
Bayswater Waves fitness instructor Shirley Barnes has been teaching aerobics for more than 25 years.

The Morley resident became a qualified instructor 25 years ago after first stepping into a gym at age 48.

Mrs Barnes said after going to the gym, she was hooked, and within three weeks had booked to get her aerobics certificate.

‘I did a three month course and haven’t stopped teaching since,’ she said.

‘I started teaching at Fitness Factory in Morley and then they shifted to Fitness Express, and I worked there for 15 years as the co-ordinator, then I left there 12 years ago and I’ve been at Bayswater Waves ever since.’

The grandmother of five teaches nine weekly classes, which she choreographs herself.

‘I never do the same class twice,’ she said. ‘Every one of my classes is different so I never have time to get sick of it because I keep it interesting for myself and for my participants.

‘I make up all my own moves ” I spend hours working on them.’

Mrs Barnes said she taught people from 19 to 76 years old and enjoyed seeing them have fun.

‘I love seeing people actually exercising ” they’re not at home sitting on the couch watching television,’ she said.

‘Fitness is everything, it’s what keeps you young.’

Although she is in her 70s, Mrs Barnes said she felt about 30 and put it down to her love of exercise.

‘I don’t think of myself as an old lady; I know I am but my participants don’t think of me as an old lady either,’ she said. ‘Exercise and my grandchildren are what have kept me young.

‘Having young people around me, and being able to keep fit and healthy and mixing with young people, definitely keeps me young.

‘I’ve got the most beautiful life ” I’m having the time of my life.’