This interview series shares rural business owners’ observations on rural business! Read on to find out what makes us extra special.
Based in Elgin, Louise Cartmell is a personal trainer and has been self-employed on a full-time basis over the past four years. She provides a full range of health and fitness services, ranging from general fitness and nutrition to injury rehab and kick-boxing on a one-to-one as well as group basis.
We met at the Gordon Castle Walled Gardens in Fochabers.
Hi Louise, thank you so much for meeting me in this beautiful setting. You were born and brought up in this area, so it might be difficult for you to answer this… How do you think being in a rural environment has influenced your work?
I’m guessing that it’s a positive influence, especially when training people outdoors, as even starting in parks in town you can quickly get away from busy roads and run for miles along quiet, scenic paths in the great outdoors which is lovely. There are lots of tree stumps, logs and free benches to practice on too!
And no pollution either!
Yes, I have returned from city events with a black face, awful!
What are the challenges of running a rural business?
It’s my impression, but I think it’s taken longer to persuade the rural public that Personal Trainers are not just for celebrities and superstars; that everyone can benefit from this! It has taken longer for the movement to catch on up here; people still sometimes think – why would they spend their hard-earned money on personal training? But it is changing.
Also travel-wise, it can be challenging. I have to drive longer distances to reach clients and while this is reflected in my pricing, it limits the number of people I can see on one day. I think urban environments have a much larger pool of nearby clients to choose from.
What four objects do you think symbolise your daily work?
Well, these are the four things I use most often… I love using my wee bag of stuff, I feel like Mary Poppins – people think it looks like it’s going to be fun (which it is!). You don’t need much to get a really good workout. My last object is a park bench; you would be amazed at how fit and strong you can become by doing a variety of exercises on it! Let me show you!
And, any future plans?
I am thinking about going into coaching professional athletes… it is still a pipe dream at the moment but something I’m thinking more seriously about studying and getting involved in. What I would also really love, is to have my own indoor gym at some point in the future and to expand my online business, helping to train people further afield.
Wishing you every success, Louise!
Details on Louise Cartmell and her many services can be found on her website.