Michael O'Sullivan is passionate about changing the lives of others. It has been the driving force behind Body Beyond Limits.
Now, as he fights for the survival of his Cameron Park gym amid the coronavirus crisis, the 38-year-old wants to continue inspiring.
Mr O'Sullivan, his fiancee and head trainer Honie Kilian and her eight-year-old daughter Ella are throwing out a challenge to the Newcastle community to stay positive through movement.
"When you come into a crisis like this you get people out there, like the government, that are looking at ways so they can fix the problem and help people, and then you get those people on Facebook that want to be negative about everything," Mr O'Sullivan said.
"We don't want to be those negative people. We want to help. We want to show that even though we're down and out, we still want to be out there helping people. I believe if everyone does something positive and creates positive energy, then it has a flow-on effect, and hopefully this can too."
Ella came up with the idea that neighbourhoods could put exercise signs in their windows, so while families are out walking around the block they can stop and follow the instructions.
"We're going to start with our community and get families to put signs in the window," Mr O'Sullivan said.
"Everyone is going for walks now, so put up 50 star jumps or 20 squats or 20 push-ups in the window and while people are doing their walks in the local community they can do the exercises. This could get people to exercise more, especially with their kids as well.
"Everyone has teddy bears in the windows, which is great, but imagine having five houses on a street with exercises on it. You'd pretty much only have to walk around the block and you'd get a full workout in. We could get all of Newcastle moving and feeling better."
Through his Body Beyond Limits website Mr O'Sullivan is also inviting people to join a free 21-day challenge, coined 'Boost your immunity for the community'. It offers workout ideas, nutrition tips and goal-setting advice as a starting point for those who might be "in a rut".
"I was thinking about what I can do for the community to help them and we came up with this," he said. "A lot of people, like us, have lost their job or have lost their self-esteem ... we want to show them that when you start doing exercise, you start feeling better. It's so important now for people to keep active. It's free for anyone, they just have to put in their email and phone number."
He is also about to launch a challenge for his paying members, who have dropped from around 900, including Fitness Passport holders, to under 150 since the gym closed last month, almost three years after it opened. He has sold some of the gym's gear to cover bills and remains hopeful he can "ride out the storm".
"We're working for nothing at the moment ... We don't want to have to shut down and it breaks my heart to even think about it, but I just won't give up," he said.
"We have had to innovate new ways to continue helping the community and are struggling ourselves. We are working super hard to try to keep providing services online to ensure we reopen after all of this and I'm so thankful for all of my loyal and supportive members."
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