January member spotlight: Jan Ramsay


Each month, we feature one of our amazing Weekly Workout Club members here in our wellness and lifestyle area.

If you’re a member, you’ll know that its really important to Jo that we are all in this together and supporting one another on our fitness journeys.  This is the reason why Jo always refers to the club as the ‘Weekly Workout Family’

We thought it was time for members to get to know each other a little more and to share some stories and experiences.

Our January spotlight features the wonderful Jan Ramsay. Over to you Jan …


Jan’s amazing story

My name is Jan Ramsay, I live in Surrey and I am 71 years old. I am a retired primary school teacher. Even after retiring I was still involved with the school where I spent forty years of my career. I loved every second of it and taught all age groups from reception to top juniors but for the last eleven years of my career, I taught Year 6,  and absolutely loved it. I used to cry buckets when I had to say goodbye to them.

Before Covid hit, I did two years tutoring a little girl with dyslexia but have finally left teaching behind.

I have always been fiercely independent and although I had several partners I was never quite prepared to totally commit to any of them until I met Malc in 2006 at the age of fifty five. Six months after meeting him, I had sold my flat and in 2008, we were married. Suddenly, I had found myself.

We totally adored each other. I was so happy, I often felt I would burst but sadly our lives were shattered, when between 2011 and 2014, Malc was diagnosed with three different primary cancers and countless hospital visits became very much part of every week.

He was the most positive person I had ever met and although it was indescribably tough watching him endure the most terrible treatment, he was always so upbeat. We continued to try and have as normal a life as possible. We had had the most amazing support from the local hospice and in August 2017, he spent the last three weeks of his life being cared for, in the hospice by the most inspiring staff. Strangely, it was a very peaceful time.

Malc was such an inspiration that I have been determined, during the last four years, to make him proud of me. I have an adorable step daughter and step grandson but don’t see them very often as they live in Manchester.

I love the countryside and my garden. I am a ‘perennialaholic,’ (perhaps a word I made up) and will travel quite some distance to specialist nurseries and plant fairs.

Because of this passion, three years ago I became a volunteer gardener at the hospice, which I love. It was so important for me to also become involved in the fund raising side as they have to find £9 million a year – most of which has to be raised by the hospice itself. I have given speeches and talked to groups of people but sadly the pandemic has put a stop to this for the time being.

What do you enjoy about the Workout Club?

I had never, ever considered Pilates and was a definite gym bunny but when Covid struck I had to find something new.

It was by sheer chance that I saw Jo’s name mentioned on a television programme and from the moment I joined, was totally hooked and have been a member since March 2020.

“You would have to go a long way to find someone more personable than Jo. She is caring, funny and somehow, makes everyone feel important. I doubt I will ever step inside a gym again!”

Having been virtually on my own for 18 months, although I am generally quite a positive person and always up to something, if I am feeling a bit down, I do a 30 minute workout and always feel so much better.

I always try the two new sessions each week. I enjoy the freedom to be able to choose from so many programmes. It’s funny because with a few that I often return too, I know when Jo is going to say something that makes me laugh and often react before she has even said it. [Jo and Mark: WE LOVE THIS!]

Your three favourite online classes?

Well this is a difficult one as there are so many. I think it has to be:-

I tend to target, abs, glutes, arms and the dreaded balance, which as I get older,

I am more conscious of but I am determined to stay as fit and healthy as I can. I do like the full body workouts. If I am feeling very energetic, I will do both classical twists and like the 10 minute blasts.

[You need to be a member and logged in to view those workout pages!]

Favourite food and drink?!

I don’t really know as I like so much. I do enjoy cooking and am reasonably knowledgeable about food. I am always on the lookout for new recipes but I think one of my favourite meals is healthy sag paneer which actually uses tofu. I am not vegetarian or vegan although I eat far less meat now and rarely red meat but am open to anything.

As for drinks, this is a bit of a tossup between  G&T, perhaps Sipsmith or Tanqueray No 10 and red wine, a nice merlot or my favourite, Fleurie.

And what about books, films or TV?

I have to admit I am not a great reader of fiction although I always used to encourage the children in my class. I am always having to be active and do things which is why I have picked, The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse by Charlie Mackesy. Very short but a beautiful message.

I really like factual books and if there is something I hear that I either know little or nothing about, I am straight on the Internet to research it.

Truly, Madly, Deeply and Goodnight Mister Tom I’d say are my favourite movies.

And as for TV programmes …

  • Escape to the chateau – Angel is so inspirational. I love paintings and modern sculptures. My sister calls my house, The Gallery.
  • Doc Martin because of my holidays with Malc in Port Isaac.
  • Monkey Life. I went to Monkey World in Dorset and will definitely go again [MARK – ME TOO!!].
  • I love any programmes about wild animals especially big cats, apes and elephants. When I went to an elephant sanctuary in South Africa, I got up close and personal with a beautiful elephant which I led by cupping the end of its trunk in my hand. It was wonderful.

Thank you so much to Jan for her wonderful (beautfifully written) spotlight article. We’ll feature another member next month and if you’d like to be featured – drop us a line!