Take a Behind the Scenes look into HIGH Fitness with co-owner/creator Emily Nelson. HIGH has taken the Central Valley by storm with popular tunes, killer moves and the catch phrase “aerobics is back!” This mother of three and business owner is traveling to Fresno for a one-night-only Halloween HIGH event. Get to know Emily and the business of HIGH.
Tell Us a little about yourself, HIGH, how you sweat and what you do when you’re not sweating.
I am the co-owner creator of HIGH Fitness LP and the mom of 3 little munchkins, 2 girls and a brand new baby boy. When I am not getting HIGH and teaching my classes or running the HIGH fitness business, I love hiking/running in the beautiful mountains, fashion, decorating my house and spending time with my family. I also love me some lululemon and chocolate dunford donuts!!
How did you get started? Ho
Amber and I had both been teaching several different fitness classes and had gained big followings and a name as fitness instructors. As we were teaching our classes, we felt there was a niche missing in the fitness industry. We wanted to create a class that was as TOUGH as it was FUN. Many times in group exercise, you would get the fun aspect with the music but still feel like you needed another hour workout, or you would do a kick butt workout but be miserable during. We wanted to bring that together.
Amber began teaching a variation of what we do now in Calgary in 2014 and came up with the name HIGH which has so many meanings and such a fun play on words. I joined in fall of 2014 to make it a full blown business where we would reach for our dreams and go for it. We have evolved the formula over the years to make it better and up-to-date but we have remained true to our vision of bringing aerobics back and creating a hardcore, fun fitness class. In January of 2015 we certified our first 16 instructors in UT. We now have over 2000 instructors across the US and Canada spreading the HIGH love.
HIGH fitness grew initially at a rapid pace because Amber and I were true to ourselves and what we believed in.
What changes have you made personally to excel in this?
I truly believe that we can always be learning and changing so I have tried to continue to educate myself in both the fitness world as well as the business world. I have learned so much over the last 4 years. I also haven’t changed much in the fact that I have always remained true to who I am. HIGH fitness grew initially at a rapid pace because Amber and I were true to ourselves and what we believed in. No matter how much it grows, we will continue to be the same people that we are….but maybe a bit more thick skinned from it all, haha.
How do you balance it with the rest of your life?
Ahh this one is hard. This business has challenged me in ways I never thought possible. I never dreamed of being an entrepreneur but it happened. I like to call it an accidental entrepreneur.
As a mom of three running a business, I have had to really figure out where my priorities lie and how I would accomplish everything I needed to without taking away from my family. In the beginning it was hard, it was just Amber and me doing everything from the business, to travel, to teaching classes, and it was non stop. As time has passed, we have brought on more people to the staff, we have been able to come to a rhythm and a better balance. I have to do a self evaluation every couple of months to make sure things in my life are in balance and how I can improve.
What is your healthy living philosophy?
Find something you love to do and it will be easy to stick with it. Also, moderation in all things. There is no way I am giving up treats, I love my baked goods too much, but moderation and a healthy mindset both physically and mentally is the ultimate goal.
What’s next for you personally? What’s next for HIGH?
Well since I just had a new baby 2 months ago, I am personally just trying to get in a healthy rhythm. I’m regaining my health and strength after having a baby all while trying to soak it all in. I hope to continue to grow as a mother, business partner, wife, fitness instructor, presenter, etc. I will never just settle and will continue to educate myself to be the best in all areas.
As far as HIGH fitness…this is just the beginning for us. We are continuing to expand across the country and be recognized as a legitimate brand in the industry. We want to keep our HIGH standard reputation and grow even bigger while maintaining a good morale with our current instructors.
We want to continue to be more than a fitness class but a fitness culture
What makes your business unique?
We believe changes happen from the inside out. When we started HIGH, we didn’t want it to be just about losing weight and looking good. We wanted it to be about that mental change inside and focusing on that first…because that is what brings people back and is the real results. We want to continue to be more than a fitness class but a fitness culture that cultivates friendships, a sense of belonging and both mental and physical health.
What advice do you have for someone wanting try this for the first time?
Just do it, what have you got to lose!? One thing I always tell my participants is no one is watching you, everyone is too busy looking at themselves to notice what anyone else is doing so give yourself some grace and jump in. Even if you don’t catch every step, if you are sweating, breathing hard and your legs are burning that’s a job well done.