Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Courtney Gleason

Cheryl Tay
·5-min read
Courtney Gleason is a fitness instructor.
Courtney Gleason is a fitness instructor. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

Life goes beyond the digits on the scale and your body is capable of so much more! Yahoo’s #Fitspo of the Week series is dedicated to inspirational men and women in Singapore leading healthy and active lifestyles. Have someone to recommend? Hit Cheryl up on Instagram or Facebook!

Name: Courtney Gleason (@courtneyclarkk)

Age: 27

Height: 1.72m

Weight: 59kg

Occupation: Fitness instructor

Status: Married

Diet: I’m conscious of what I eat – if I train harder that day, I allow myself more flexibility in what I eat. If I have a rest day or a lighter training day, I make sure not to over-consume.

Training: I do four to five high-intensity workouts a week and a ton of walking. I have a dog that loves to take long walks along the river.

Courtney dealt with anxiety by going to the gym, and proving to herself that she can overcome life's adversities.
Courtney dealt with anxiety by going to the gym, and proving to herself that she can overcome life's adversities. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

Q: What was your background in sports?

A: As a kid, I tried everything just for fun. I was very active and loved to do anything that allowed me to be sporty. In high school and college I was a nationally ranked baton twirler and competed for years on the national level.

When I was in Physical Therapy (PT) school, I played a few intramural sports with friends. We played kickball, softball, and volleyball, but more for the social aspect than the competition. Around the same time, I started to get into going to the gym and lifting weights.

When you were younger, did you go through any adversities that made you change your views on life?

When I was in PT school, I was diagnosed with anxiety. I had to figure out how to manage my mental health while living and working in a stressful environment. Having this diagnosis made me feel like I wasn’t strong enough or good enough to handle everything that was happening in my life. 

From that point on, I knew something in my life had to change, otherwise I wouldn’t survive. This is actually the point when I started going to the gym as a break from my studies. The gym helped me prove to myself that I am strong and that I can handle life’s adversities.

Courtney founded Momentum Bootcamps and trains group fitness outdoors in the Botanic Gardens.
Courtney founded Momentum Bootcamps and trains group fitness outdoors in the Botanic Gardens. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

Was that also a time when you felt the least confident about yourself?

Yes, I felt the least confident about myself when I was in PT school. It was extremely challenging and difficult academically and I was going through a bit of imposter syndrome, thinking I wasn’t good enough to be there. On top of my mental health, I was also feeling bad physically from the amount of sitting and studying required day in and day out. 

Realising that the gym significantly helped my mental health allowed me to also benefit from the physical benefit of exercise. Through exercise, I was able to have a more positive outlook on life and feel more confident in my studies and in my body image.

When/why did you come to Singapore and how did you become a fitness trainer?

I came to Singapore three years ago for my husband’s career. In the United States, I was a physiotherapist, however, the licensing requirements are different between countries. I knew that I was passionate about fitness, so I started to reach out to local gyms about becoming a trainer. I thought my unique background in physio could set me apart as a trainer. 

I founded Momentum Bootcamps and started to train group fitness outdoors in the Botanic Gardens. After about a year working with Momentum, I then applied to be an instructor at Barry’s Singapore. I have been with both companies ever since.

Courtney lost a lot of weight in preparation for her wedding in Singapore
Courtney lost a lot of weight in preparation for her wedding in Singapore. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

You went through a physical transformation when you came to Singapore.

I lost a lot of weight when I moved to Singapore in preparation for my wedding. Before the wedding, I was doing a lot of lifting with minimal cardio (I used to hate cardio). When I started to add in cardio into my fitness routine, along with decreased portion sizes (not cutting out any food groups, just eating less calories), I was able to lose weight pretty easily. I feel great after losing weight – healthier, fitter, stronger, and more confident in myself and my body.

Are you satisfied with your body now?

Yes I am content with my body! Knowing that this body allows me to train in all different environments and studios is pretty awesome.

Have you ever received any comments about your body?

Working in the fitness community lends itself to comments about my body all the time. I have learned to take the positive comments with grace and leave the negative comments alone. Instead of focusing on negative comments, I remember how cool it is that this body allows me to run, spin, box, and strength train while still going out for food and drinks at my favorite places.

If you could change anything about yourself, would you?

No. It has taken me awhile to feel comfortable with myself, but I think I am finally in a place of contentment.

Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Courtney Gleason (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)
Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Courtney Gleason. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)