A fitness-mad mum transformed her dusty garage into a luxury home gym thanks to a £13,000 holiday refund.
Catherine Pearson, 46, was determined to keep up her strict daily workout regime through lockdown despite gyms being forced to close across the country.
The mum of three started using kettlebells in the dusty double garage of her home in Hartford, Cheshire, but soon became tired of how limited the space was.
But after receiving £13,000 worth of refunds in cancelled holidays after Covid put pay to her Tenerife and Greece getaway plans, the sales and marketing director decided to splash the money on a fully kitted out luxury gym.
She said: “The gym was really borne out of lockdown.
“I felt like if I couldn’t getaway physically, I knew I would need something to help me escape mentally.
“It’s been amazing having it done, I’m a mum of three boys and I’m the director of a company so my life is pretty hectic but now I can just go to the garage and do a full workout on my lunch break.
“I break off at 11 and I’m showered and back at my desk by 1pm.
“I don’t have to wait to use the equipment and I don’t have to worry about making sure someone is around to look after my son because I don’t have to leave the house.
“I’ll never go back to a normal gym again, even when we’re out of lockdown!”
After her plans to take her youngest son, Gus, 11, to Tenerife at Easter, and all three of her boys including her older sons, Max, 21, and Felix, 20 to Greece were refunded, Catherine decided to start renovating the garage into a home gym in July.
The gym-lover has kitted herself out with an £1,800 Wattbike Atom and £450 wall-mounted Apple TV so she can stream interactive cycling app Zwift, an £800 Concept 2 rowing machine, a £1,200 squat rack and £1,100 on weight plates, olympic bars, dumbbells, a bench press and plyo box.
The new gear has even inspired Catherine to start filming her workouts to inspire her female friends, family and followers to keep fit healthy and active in lockdown.
She said: “Before lockdown I would be in the gym nearly everyday so when they closed I started doing my workouts in the garage.
“But it was dusty and I was really limited with what I could do with just a few kettlebells and the space.
“I always knew at some point I would turn it into a proper functioning gym but when the holiday money was refunded I thought what better time than now.
“Exercise is my form of therapy and building the gym has been a great motivator to really go for it, I’ve even been filming and posting my workouts to help other working mum’s in lockdown who want to try and keep fit and active at home.
“I’ve had so many women get in touch with me saying that it’s inspired them and helping them cope, so it’s been worth every penny and more.”