Becoming an instructor – part 4: Claudia

Published on October 26, 2018

As you may know, Friskis is run entirely by volunteers. But what you may not know is the drive and dedication that motivates our volunteers!

That is never more true than with our instructors. before they get to wear their white instructor t-shirts they must undergo a long and selective training process that lasts several months and includes training at our headquarters in Sweden.

Four of our newest instructors, Magda, Claudia, Johanna and Daniela just recently graduated and they kindly agreed to share their experiences.

See also:


Chapter 4: Claudia’s New Family

Let me tell you a secret: I think I have the best role in all of Friskis! As a Family instructor, every week I have a lot of fun, I smile and get smiled at in return, put my adult face to the side and get a so much energy from my session with children and adults playing together.

Friskis classes are usually a lot of fun and smiles but when you play with kids, it takes a whole new dimension! It doesn’t take them long before they know my session better than I do, so there is always some space to change things up a bit. 🙂

Now let’s start at the beginning, my experience. My short and intense experience at Friskis so far. Even though I have lived in Brussels for years already, it was not until the summer of 2017 that I got to discover Friskis via the park sessions. And so in Autumn last year, I joined this very unique club, one where I have so much fun that my friends don’t quite get my new obsession with sports.

Having had some previous experiences in volunteering organisations where the energy of individuals drives it forward and gets contagious, so naturally I felt drawn to Friskis. I also realised this was the first sports club that really fit me: easy going, smiling, not taking yourself too seriously and made up by real human beings with beautiful different bodies. I was amazed!

So I thought that maybe I’d volunteer for this club. But initially it was most natural to start as a host perhaps. And suddenly I saw an open call for new instructors – more Jympa, yoga and dance instructors. I read the post a few times. I was really undecided since I had just joined. I didn’t really know the organisation nor the people greeting each other at the beginning of the sessions. The deadline gently passed and I didn’t apply. Maybe this wasn’t the right opportunity.

And then, some weeks after, another open call comes up, this time for a whole new type of sessions: the children ones, Family and FamilyFys. I clearly thought that was a sign that I should have gone for it. Or that I did well in waiting for an even better opportunity. I quickly read through it, ticked the boxes in my head (yes, yes, yes) and straight away I started drafting my motivation letter, which was the most unique one I have ever written. My new love for sports and my all-time love for children coming nicely together. And, after a few minutes of wondering, I pushed the button to send my application.

I got an email back pretty soon and an invitation to do a test. But, unlucky turn of events, I couldn’t make it on the day that most applicants could. As I mumbled that maybe it was too soon for me, that I could perhaps be a host instead and getting a little bit intimidated by the Friskis’ experience of some of the other applicants (quite a few were already instructors of other intensities), the voice from the other side offered me one last date for the test: a lunchtime in a working day. And so on the day I ran from my office to do the test in a gym close to Place Lux with 2 adorable Friskis ladies. They tested my rhythm, my ability to correctly follow someone else’s movement (in Swedish, to start getting used to it), and some improvisation, before we had a chat about my motivation and availability.

A few days later, I got the positive reply and some feedback, I was thrilled and really looking forward for the sports training. In a separate email, I discover that there is already a small group of Jympa people and a yoga girl also going to the first training (Ettan) with me in March. At the suggestion of lovely Daniela, we meet for a lunch to get to know each other and ask a lot of questions about everything, from the training and the organisation to packing advice and number exchange. We start to be part of a group already.

We also had quite a lot of info in the e-learning contents made available, even though it was difficult to be on top of everything before departure, it really gave me an idea of how seriously they take our education and it’s great to keep the materials to refresh yourself later.

And off we went to Sweden! It was 4 lovely days full of very different activities from the ones I do in my regular weekends: we had 2 great and so complementary trainers telling us about the organisation, anatomy and the energy cycle, and in between we went for a teambuilding activity with the bigger group of the Swedes in the snow, we had lots of fika, we ran, we lifted weights, we stared in each other’s eyes and we danced till late night too. All in the most idyllic setting one could ask, just in the outskirts of gorgeous Stockholm.

Those were 4 wonderful days, but one moment that will always strike me and really makes me proud of Friskis was when Emma, our older trainer in a fantastic shape balances her entire body (feet off the floor) by gently pressing her two arms against the training table. Talking about how sports keeps you strong and healthy from early to old age. This is definitely the kind of way I want to grow older!

So back at home, we didn’t know exactly how the next stage would go but I got welcomed in another family: the one of my colleagues who would be giving the Family class with me. So together with Alice and having Annika as our super interpreter, we went off for the 2-day last part of the Friskis education. And Eva, the daughter of Alice, who soon became our mascot and youngest participant with just 8 months.

This training happened in Stockholm city and was now more focused, theory and practice of different types of Family sessions with a smaller group of Swede girls, one guy and us two. So as we were clearly the minority, the course was being given in Swedish, and lots of the nice music played was also in Swedish. One great thing about this training is that we were in one of the Friskis’ clubs in central Stockholm, so we could see another side of the Friskis world, a really hygge and neat gym, also with sports rooms for group activities and spinning and a big hall with bouncy floor, where we worked that weekend.

Ideas started taking shape for the movements and session sequence, the hardest part for me was finding the right music. As even though I love having kids around, the fact is that I don’t listen to the same music as they do!

But with the help of Alice and our very experienced Annika who had already taught these classes, we came up with an energetic set of songs and we take the families to the zoo, to the beach, on a boat and in the search of something during our classes since September. Now as kids start to know the games by heart, we will introduce new elements to the activities and we are planning to have an extra special Xmas session.

Come join us!



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