Life in our COVID-19 bubble is far from normal. 

And whilst most are looking to find their ‘new’ normal; I’m actually a little lucky, because I have a Donna. And believe me when I say, everyone needs a Donna in their life.

She is someone I hardly know and yet she treats me as if we have known each other for a lifetime:

  • She greets me with a smile and a friendly hello

  • She knows my aches and pains

  • She encourages me and

  • She cares

Donna…. is my fitness instructor! 

She, like all of us, quickly had to adapt and create a different ‘normal’ and that is through her NEW ‘Online fitness with Donna’ classes in her lounge – which are my absolute life line.  And I’m not the only one…

“It is the effort that Donna puts into classes to cater for so many different people, abilities and needs. In a month she has not duplicated a single class. She is a genuinely nice person who gets to know each and everyone of her clients and treats them like long lost friends. Personally I don’t know what I would do without Donna during these times, she is honestly a life line xxx” – Kerry S

“No words can really describe how amazing Donna is. The time, effort and passion she brings to her classes are inspiring. It’s not just about improving the body; it’s about maintaining a healthy mind and all round lifestyle xx” – Erica R

“These online classes keep your mind clear and fitness levels up through these tough times. Whoever thought I would be burning 500 Kcals in my kitchen on a Saturday morning doing a live online Tae Bo class?! These classes Donna provides will always make you smile and feel better, especially when you are having a rubbish day”. – Sammy Mac

“Donna’s classes have helped me massively during lockdown and certainly lifted my spirits on down days.  She really cares about people’s overall wellbeing and mental health. She is an absolute star.” – Emma W

“I first met Donna when I worked with her on a mental health rehab ward. She was a breath of fresh air on the ward, supporting patients to follow a healthy lifestyle, and was loved and respected by everyone. She has helped keep me motivated and challenged when things have never been more unknown. She’s a little star x” – Lottie M

“Donna is a rainbow in this corona storm and she is helping hundreds remain positive, improving not only their physical health but their mental health too. I look forward to doing sessions throughout the week after finishing work at the hospital. The beauty of her page is that you can do it when it suits you! Donna is a true Manx gem” – Susie R

“Donna is quite simply one of the most inspiring and motivational people I know. In non-lockdown times I get up 2/3 times a week to do her 6am classes despite everyone else in my house being sound asleep – that’s how much I love her classes. She has touched two generations in our family as my mum thoroughly enjoys her Paracise classes. Donna, you are amazing and I can’t thank you enough” – Hannah Q

“For me Donna is, and always has been, a positive ray of energy and sunshine, she’s so caring, thoughtful and fosters such great team spirit. Her ability to mix classes and abilities makes it more inclusive; she is finding ways to connect with people who felt they were not suited to fitness classes” – Denise B

“I wasn’t sure how I was going to have time for my own well-being and fitness whilst juggling working from home, kids, school work etc. However, Donna’s classes have been a true lifeline! I can’t always make the live classes but that’s the beauty of the set up. I do them when it suits me, and on large it means I have been able to do more than before” – Lindsay L

“Her enthusiasm is infectious; she never complains and is always laughing or smiling.  She can never do enough for clients, existing or new!  Over the years Donna has helped me with significant weight loss, injury and more recently her classes have helped me mentally after a family bereavement” – Rebecca N

“She has kept ALL her TEAM going through this very difficult time. Even if she isn’t feeling up to it, she gets up, puts a big, friendly, encouraging smile on her face & away she goes, boosting our morale all the time. Donna is an absolute star & one in a million!” – Jane W

Her online classes now run exactly the same as they always did, albeit from her lounge. She gets up at 6am to ensure we keep some normality, she runs her paracise classes for those less able and she constantly asks what classes we need. 

I’m not going to lie – it’s tough some days. The other day, I lay in my bed, slightly jaded from the extra glass of wine I definitely shouldn’t have had the night before, gazing at my watch. It’s Saturday. I have nowhere to go… (#stayathome) but Tae Bo starts in 15 minutes. I debate with myself whether I should stay put or logon? 

To be fair, to get to my exercise class I literally have to roll out of bed. So while I’m thinking about that, I subconsciously start getting dressed… ‘I’ll just keep it low impact’ I say to myself.

Except, I don’t keep it low impact and in fact I’m jumping around like a loon in my bedroom with sweat pouring off my head and a huge smile. I’m absolutely shattered, but soooo glad I did this!!  And I’m so grateful for Donna’s assurance that we are doing amazing and things will be ok, especially if we “just do 10 more!”.

Her enthusiasm is infectious – everyone needs a Donna in their life!

9 thoughts on “Everyone needs a Donna!”

  1. Lovely words Marie! As a fellow long time 6am attendee I’m so pleased and proud that Don is getting the shout out she deserves – and let’s not forget H too. She’ll be mortified of course but that’s part of her appeal. Well done Don xxx

  2. Totally agree with everyone’s comments. Donna is an absolute star. She always has that huge smile on her face and makes you feel like you can achieve so much, whatever your limitations.

  3. Fabulous Marie and so true she is an inspiration to so many and has supported all of us through these strange times and will continue to once we come out the other side however that looks.

  4. Totally agree with everyone’s words about Donna,her beautiful smile has never once faulted although these times must be strange and hard for her as well. Thank you for your inspiration Donna your a star ⭐️ 🌟

  5. Donna’s enthusiasm and lovely smile is all the encouragement I need to exercise every day. Her live classes are great and she makes us all feel we are together in the same room. She also posts classes we can watch and join in with any time. Look forward to the time when we can resume our paracise in Port Erin instead of our own homes but, in the meantime, Donna is keeping us going. Can’t praise her enough!!

  6. Well what can I say about our beautiful Donna,,,, she has changed my life completely paracise as my daughters would say is my life now , they say I’m obsessed lol but seriously I have many health problems mainly back , and I’d be screaming every six months for my spinal , I’m now a year and a half without one so paracise must be doing something right for me , it’s Donna’s way with people she just makes everyone feel so at ease no matter what struggles we all have , she makes us laugh, well sorry sometimes that’s my fault , I just want to say she’s one of the kindest and most wonderful lady I know . Love you Donna xxx

  7. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and no cartilage left in my knee so I thought a would never be able to exercise again. Then I found Donna’s Paracise class which has enabled me to feel part of something again. Even now doing it from our homes Donna makes us feel like we are doing it together and as well as keeping us physically fit it is definitely helping us all mentally too. She does so much for so many people and she always genuinely cares for every single one of us and I can’t thank her enough!! She is just amazing 😃! Thank you so much Donna 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏 Helenx

  8. I have not much self discipline but need the movement so Donna’s online class makes me stop reading, puzzling and exercise. It is too easy to say “ yes I will get the videos on but sunshine means gardening and cloud is for housework and a book” 😀 Donna has helped so many people back to exercise and to enjoy it. She is so amazing and all the comments show how much we all appreciate and miss her class. Such fun.Hilary

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