Shorncliffe resident Margaret Hadfield laughs when she says that a mid-life crisis was the best thing that ever happened to her.
For one thing it has led to the 45-year-old being named a finalist in this year's Australian Fitness Awards for the student category.
“I was shocked but honoured when I found out that TAFE Queensland had nominated me for the awards,” said Margaret.
“It was a completely unexpected surprise, but such a lovely way to be recognised for both the effort that I have put into my studies and my passion for the fitness industry.”
A married mother of two Margaret said she was happy raising her girls and working part time in two different administrative roles, but often felt like something was missing.
A fit and healthy person throughout her life, it dawned on Margaret in 2017 that the busy family and work juggle had meant exercise had disappeared from her daily life. It was likely that is was the void she felt she needed to fill. With a renewed focus on fitness, came a surprising new career direction.
“In 2017 I decided that I would get myself fit again and I did. I got hooked on the gym and I decided I would do my first certificate,” Margaret recalled.
“Once I started that course, I knew I wanted a full-time career in fitness, so I dedicated the whole of 2018 to my diploma and I haven’t looked back. It was simply the best decision I ever made," she continued.
“It was tough at times balancing family, work, work experience and my classes, but as the year went on I did feel as though things were falling nicely into place."
“I loved my time at TAFE Queensland. It was my time. My time to pursue what I was passionate about and being on campus at South Bank was so special, inspiring and exciting.”
Margaret’s passionate approach to her studies is what encouraged her teachers to nominate her for the awards.
TAFE Queensland Sport and Recreation Teacher, Vicki Pinches, said Margaret was a student who was passionate, driven, innovative and creative.
“Margaret’s approach to her studies, her attendance, attitude and the supportive way in which she worked alongside her peers made her a model student,” said Ms Pinches.
“We were particularly impressed with her disco spin class project, which she was responsible for creating, marketing and delivering."
“It was enormously successful and that is really down to Margaret’s professionalism. She’s a great addition to the fitness industry.”
Since completing her studies Margaret has been working on her own fitness business, 5 foot training, which she launched in early 2019.