Sally Farrell, Shaker of the Month, November ’15

The Shake UP is an outdoor group training program that operates on school grounds, before and after school hours. We are very fortunate to have some of the Gold Coast’s hardest working teaching staff training in our communities.

There is no doubt about it…Teachers are placed under more stress and pressure than most other professions. Some use this pressure as an excuse and neglect their own wellbeing, while others bring a different outlook and see training as very effective method to vent some frustration and develop some serious grit!

Sally Farrell is one of these type of teachers who handles an extraordinary work load and always makes time to take care of her health and fitness. For the past 12 months Sally has committed herself to what she calls, “The year of no excuses”, setting herself a target of 3 training sessions/week. With the same dedication that Sal brings to her teaching career she has certainly stayed true to herself and blazed the way for a host of the other PBC staff to follow her lead.

We recently caught up with Sal to chat about life, teaching and staying true to yourself.

So Sally, tell us a bit about yourself?

Ok.. I am a teacher here at Palm Beach Currumbin State School. I love being a teacher and I guess I would describe myself as hard working and someone who always gives 100%. I have been a teacher here at PBC for 8 years and teaching for 33 years in total. Teaching can be very challenging and I really enjoy working through obstacles and the problem solving aspect of this environment. I understand that life requires balance and when I find the time outside of school I love being active, riding, walking, training and travelling.

What do you love most about teaching?

What I love most about teaching is the kids! I draw my energy from interacting with the kids. When things get tough, you can walk into a room filled with kids and it instantly lifts you back to your best.

Tell us about your ‘no excuses’ approach that you are running with this year.

Well I know how easy it is to allow the excuses to hold me back. This year I have made a no excuses promise to myself that I won’t allow myself to be a victim of the excuses that constantly creep into my life. “I am too old” or “I am too tired” or “I have too much work to do”. We can always find excuses not to exercise. I committed myself to 3 sessions/ week and I have stayed true to myself. Even when I know that it’s going to be hill sprints on the beach!

How long have you been training at The Shake UP?

It must be close to 12 months I guess?

What was it that initially got you to the Shake UP?

I knew that the Shake UP was taking place here at PBC and had heard the group training. I had reached that point where I wasn’t using my gym membership and needed a team environment to motivate me. I could see that the group always worked hard and it appeared to be a very supportive environment.

Do you take the mental resilience you develop at training into the teaching environment?

Absolutely. Teaching is very much all-consuming so training for me is a necessary stress relief. I believe that I am a better teacher when I am more active. Knowing that you are capable of pushing yourself certainly brings positive benefits to problems solving skills and confidence in your own abilities.

What keeps you coming back to the Shake UP Sal?

I love the team dynamics. I have always enjoyed team sports and I know that I do better in these types of environments. I consider the Shake UP to be like personal training in a group setting. Every member is engaged, connected and pushed to be their best at every single session.

Worst exercise? Running! Particularly running up hills on the sand!

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Sally Farrell, Shaker of the Month, November ’15

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