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  • Writer's pictureCODA UK & IRELAND

CODA Reflections: Fitness in Lockdown

Updated: Dec 20, 2020

Firstly, let me introduce myself. My name is Grace Buckle, I am a CODA, sign language interpreter and personal trainer. As Christmas is approaching I am looking forward to being able to switch off and take some time to touch base with friends and family. 2020 has been a difficult year for many, myself included. Coming into the new year I had so many hopes and dreams and didn’t think so many losses, challenges and strange times would hit me in the way it did! I even made a list of the new year resolutions I was planning to achieve this year and even during the pandemic, I was able to meet some goals and even set new ones! One thing I was not expecting to do was to launch the rebirth my fitness company Pack A Punch which offer inclusive and accessible fitness classes for deaf people. Currently, all classes are led in BSL, by me. This year was the first time I ever taught a class via zoom! You learn something new every-day - MS teams, collaborate, Skype and the rest! I always knew there was a need for accessibility in the sporting industry but didn’t see many services or companies that were able to meet the needs of deaf people in a satisfactory way. This is why I trained as a personal trainer in 2018. When Covid-19 hit, this need became even more apparent than ever before. Gyms are closed, the pub is closed, restaurants too, so not much to do as you can imagine. I started filming cooking videos as I was home a lot and love to eat! I even started creating fitness videos in sign language as this was fitting for my YouTube channel. After much deliberation, I started releasing these videos one by one and had so much content to offer as eating and training was all I was doing - literally. The response was great so I kept up with the creative process, tweaking and learning as I went. There was hardly any work coming in and I had the whole summer to myself so it made sense to document, entertain and create content that was accessible to the deaf community. In a way, I needed it too as I felt a strong disconnect from everyone because of lockdown. Filming and editing videos was just as beneficial to me as it was for the consumer. Win-win really. I also relaunched my Instagram page - pack.a.punchltd - offering a number of accessible fitness videos for deaf people. It’s a good resource to use if you want to get fit, get in touch or find out more about what I do. Aside from this, I am a big boxing fan, like to train hard in the gym and share what I know with others. I currently teach 3 online classes - hopefully, 1 out of three will be face to face by next summer. We have people in attendance every week and hope to keep increasing in numbers and popularity. As a company, it is important that we represent our community, communication, care and courage. Those are the only C-words I want to hear next year. Stay safe everyone, wishing you a great end to the year whether you celebrate Christmas or not and I pray we enter the new year stronger than ever!

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