Michaele & Grace

Posted by Jannine Newman on
Michaele & Grace

I've been wanting to write a post about my friend Michaele for a long time. Michaele is one of those special friends who has travelled with me since my early twenties and we've seen each other in the good times and the bad. Michaele introduced me to Stoke Newington (she's my near neighbour) and she was the first person to hold my twin boys who are now 18 years old. And Michaele introduced me to Grace, her lovely personal trainer who is the best fitness instructor around.

So I asked Michaele and Grace some quick fire questions and took a load of photos and here's what they had to say...

What's your age? (you don't have to disclose it but could we approximate?)
M: I never tell anyone my age - so I would have to shoot you. Sorry it's just my thing. 
G: 27 years

How did you two meet?
M: We met at the gym after I had just attempted some cardio and was looking particularly flushed. We got chatting and just clicked - that was four years ago and Grace is now a good friend as well as my personal trainer.

What is your day job? 
M: I am Head of Responsible Business at Lloyd's. 
UTC: And here is where Michaele is incredibly modest. She heads up a huge department and makes deals with all sorts of important people and masterminds projects of social responsibility. I'm not sure if this is the best way to describe her work but you can see it for yourself here and here.
G: Personal trainer. Owner of 'Enhance', my business which includes private personal training, a running club and bootcamps.  
UTC: So Grace is also incredibly modest, she is highly sought after as a trainer and is now opening her own gym - she's only 27!!

What do you normally wear to work?
M: usually dresses, smart/casual depending on my meetings and if I'm presenting. usually heels. I like to dress with a twist so not your usual corporate wear. 
UTC: I would like to interject here that Michaele has a fantastic sense of style and we have whiled away many a happy hour in our local Stoke Newington boutique HUB discussing the finer details of a dress.  
G: Luckily, comfort clothing. Sports wear. 

What is your passion outside of work? 
M: I love music and my garden and discovering new places, especially in the sun. 
G: My work is my passion! Exercise and dance. I'm also a classically trained musician and play the violin and the piano. 
UTC: I had no idea that Grace was so multi- talented! 

What does self care mean to you, and do you have any self care tips?
I'm very good at giving other people self care tips but not great at putting them into practice myself, but recommend lots of sleep, exercise and eating well without being worthy about it. Also taking time to see friends and drinking red wine. 

G: I've learnt that it's easy to prioritise and panic about getting lots done, but if you don't take time out for yourself then you burn out. I make sure I do one thing for myself a day that makes me really happy. Most of the time, that's sitting alone with a cup of tea and my thoughts. Other times it can be a massage or a walk around the reservoir.

What matters to you most right now at this point in your life?
M: My parents are getting old and aren't in great health so they matter a lot. This also means treating myself to things to remember that I need to be nice to myself too. 

G: Making my new business work and then figuring out a work life balance. Something I struggle with as I'm very ambitious!

What's the most valuable thing you own?
M: My cat - Ms Hermione. She's 17 years old. 
G: My violin. It's the most expensive thing I own and it also has great sentimental value. 

Michaele has great taste and although I had a tiny hand in helping her design this corner, it's mostly down to her beautiful aesthetic. 

What makes you laugh? 
My best friend Rob
G: silly, stupid humour.

Michaele, what's the heaviest weight Grace has ever made you lift? 
Grace has had me squatting with 90kg and dead lifting with 60kg....

What is the most valuable thing you have learnt in life? 
Do as you would be done by.
G: If you don't accept yourself, flaws and all, then you'll be constantly searching for happiness that never comes. One of the thoughts behind the name of my new business name 'Enhance' is that on no one needs to change, but it's good to enhance oneself to be the best you can be. 

Find out more about Grace's fitness training here