Elizabeth Glenday celebrates 30 years as a fitness instructor

January 31, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

Thirty years of bringing fitness into people’s lives have been thirty years of Elizabeth Glenday doing what she loves best. Today, she owns and runs her online and in-person business, Mono-based BusyLizzy Enterprise. 

“This is my life work out of my passion. I am one of the rare people who do that. My BusyLizzy Boutique is my crafting and creative enterprise,” she outlined one of the aspects of her business and life. 

“I am designer and maker of my own crochet designs. 

Primarily, what I focus on are items for busy people on the go, bottle carriers,  yoga mat bags. You can sling them on your shoulder.  There are all sorts of different  ideas: yoga socks that expose the toes and heels because you need your toes and heels exposed so that you can grip the mat . The socks keep your feet warm.” 

Ms. Glenday’s goal for her Boutique and her personal life is “really focussing on recycling. I make a straw cosy for your reusable straw. The problem is that a straw gets dirty in your purse or, if you’ve used it, it drips. I make these from cotton and the cotton stops the straw from dripping. Cotton is so absorbent. Those are the kind of thing I’m making.”

She looks around at what she has at home and realizes another design. So, she makes little caddies for spoons, forks and knives, from cotton yarn, perhaps, with a cloth napkin, useful to avoid plastic cutlery.

“I’m always thinking of new designs, based on people’s needs,” is her simple source of ideas. “A fruit cosy, round cases for apples. My kids would bring their apples home instead of eating them at school and I would ask them why. They said they got bruised. With this cosy, they stay less bruised or dirty in their lunch bag. Then they eat their apple.”

She keeps on the outlook for whatever the need is for inspiration and comes up with the design that people like.

BusyIzzy Boutique was opened online in 2010 but Ms. Glenday has  been making crochet things for people as they asked since she was in her late 20’s. 

“Both my grandmothers taught me since I was eight,” she recalled. “I really started teaching crochet the way my grandmother taught me.”

She continued, “The other half of my business is based on fitness training. I am a certified fitness instructor since 1989. Interestingly, I was among one of the first people in Ontario who wrote the first Ontario Fitness Council exam. There were 150 or so of us that wrote them.

“At the time you had do a several day training course, both theory and practice.The exam is in front of a live cast: teaching a class in front of adjudicator. The course is a written exam,  then the practical.”

Ms. Glenday took Theatre and English at the University of Windsor, finishing at University of Toronto, Drama and English.

 She had a fitness studio in Orangeville, which she closed in 2005. She worked for a while for Access Fitness and went on to freelance. She does fitness for older adults, children, various equipment. With her 30 years of teaching has also come training enhancement, up grading and “bookshelves full of manuals.”

In all this, her “favourite is teach fusion, the blending of many different movements. I was a gymnast with the dancing and the acting, all of it is about movement.

“I am a marshal artist,” she told us. “I have my first degree black belt in karate. I continue to train,” explaining, “my kids were in it and my husband.  The whole family have their black belts. My son started when he was four.”

“I don’t teach karate in my fusion classes but I teach a blend of tai chi and yoga, pilates – dance and athletics – I do various sections of the class.”

Of her two children – son, 15  and daughter, 20 – she related, “My son was Marius in Les Mis [with Theatre Orangeville’s Young Company]. Singing is a big thing for him. He’s in grade 10 and  gravitating towards fitness, shop and working with his hands. My daughter is at university, doing forensic psychology. She works part time as security at Carleton University in Ottawa. She loves Ottawa.”

She continued to talk about the other course she teaches, “I do a course with ALAS Dufferin, for a couple of years now, a fitness class. I’m thrilled to be working with this group. It’s a professional program. The organizer, Kim, is fantastic.

“I was curious and found an online course with an Australian university. It’s a six-week course about autism and how to navigate with individuals with autism. I need to be observant and help them and me to  adapt. If there’s something I need to do, I work on it.”

“When you do what you love, you never work a day in your life, the saying goes.  I don’t see my future being a whole lot different from the way it is now. Not that I don’t strive for more but I don’t have any complaints: life is good for the most part. I really like being about  making the world greener, more enhanced.

She is quite involved with social media, “I do enjoy Facebook interaction with my newsletter, recipes – I enjoy teaching.”

Her regular classes are doing well: “Some come to every class and some come one day a week. I’m flexible about that. It’s important to do what you love; the reason I do fitness is to keep people able to go on that hike, all the things they want to do because they’ve trained. 

“My youngest [attendee] is in her 20’s and  my oldest is in her 70’s but I have not yet had any men coming.  I would love couples coming together. 

“I change my schedule every three months; every fitness program requires change so that people can benefit from it. Monday is a certain format but within that class, I’ll change focus so that the benefits of fitness can be maintained. There are no levels as such, just to make sure that you’re comfortable within a group class. If people are wondering what makes a good fit with a class, I am really happy to have a conversation first.” 

“Nothing bothers me more than someone saying, ‘I have to get in shape before I come to class.’ Like cleaning the house before the cleaner comes,” she joked.”It’s not about being skinny – it’s about keeping people on the go.”

Elizabeth Glenday’s  brand of fusion gives cardio-muscle training, “a little bit of everything. I use unusual props like scarves. I just started in October, going completely on my own again. I was working with other clubs and as a freelance. 

“Now, I am in business on my own, doing fitness sessions Monday to Friday mornings.  There is something for everyone in them,” she said.

For more information and to contact Elizabeth Glenday, go to her website

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