Founder and director of Human Fitness, Corey Pitsillidi (aka Pitts), created his studio 90km north of Sydney, Australia as a space dedicated to the human aspects of physical health. During COVID-19, Pitts and the community at Human Fitness rediscovered an essential root of physical wellbeing, mental health. In recognizing the importance of community and finding emotional levity during the pandemic, Pitts learned how holistic fitness penetrates our ability to adapt, thrive and succeed. All in all, physical fitness and health are realized through a healthy mind and emotional presence.
Mental and emotional health became central to Human Fitness during COVID-19. This manifested in social events and laughter. Workouts at Human Fitness have always been fun. Mixing serious physical work with humor has remained a central motivating factor for the Human Fitness community. During the shutdown, this became even more essential. Laughing at one another using sacks of flour, bricks and buckets of water for accessory work, or taking screenshots of ill-placed cameras during at-home workouts helped maintain a lighthearted respite from daily stress. This benefited workouts and helped members bring their best selves to the rest of their lives outside of fitness.
Another key aspect of addressing mental health was continuing Human Fitness’s longstanding tradition of various social gatherings. Before COVID-19, these outings were often spur-of-the-moment BBQs or planned activities like rope courses, paddle boarding and other adventures. During COVID-19, the post-workout hangs slowly became a weekly tradition, where every Thursday or Friday the community would connect through Zoom, have a drink and laugh together. It became immediately clear how important these social interactions were in motivating a healthy lifestyle and maintaining mental clarity through this stressful time.
While Human Fitness had a holistic focus pre-COVID, the pandemic revealed the importance of the groundwork paved through their dedication to the humanity of physical fitness. Pitts intends to maintain social gatherings and focus on mental health as a primary role in building a community of health post-pandemic. Upon re-opening, the benefits of channeling physical fitness through a focus on emotional wellbeing were fully realized. “It was a breath of fresh air, seeing smiling faces in-person.” And continuing fun antics in the studio made for a seamless transition for the Human Fitness community to forge a path forward in the face of COVID-19, all with smiles and laughter.
Author Sean Ellis Hussey of Zen Planner