Stuck in a fitness rut, James and Heather were recommended a new fitness class by close friends. What happened next is the impact of group field sprints, burpees and muddy push ups – meeting eyes across the park.

James and Heather

James and Heather

Both started out at the class concentrating on their own personal goals and fitness at Southampton Park, but it wasn't long before they engaged with the true social element. James remembers the moment he was “taken aback”, first seeing fellow-member Heather in the session and worked up the courage to stay behind and chat to her afterwards.

The ever-romantic James volunteered to help Heather out on a research project, separate to their efforts at class. Perfectly fitting Heather's research criteria, James was supposed to do one or two hours of testing to help out – but ended up staying for six!

When he eventually found the bravery to ask her out on a date, James took Heather for a ride on his motorbike – earning 'brownie points' for not trying to show off.

Heather commented: "He was very responsible, and considerate of the fact that I had never been on a motorbike before - that swung it for me!”

James, said: “BMF has really changed our lives in more ways than one - not only did we meet each other and get married, but I have certainly got much fitter too! I am now the unofficial social secretary of Southampton Park, organising the Christmas parties, which is absolutely great. The social side of these classes really comes through, especially through our story - you can really see how great it is.”

Getting fit and falling in love, the pair moved to Tunbridge Wells together (for Heather’s job) for three and a half years, but didn’t need to worry about knowing nobody there. They found a local class and formed lifelong friendships there too, before moving back to Southampton and re-joining their former classmates.

Heather said: “I joined to reduce my stress levels while I was doing my Doctorate, and class really helped with that. I met great new people who encouraged me through each class and, of course, I met James. It's amazing. I'd never stuck to any fitness regime before, and I've now been a loyal member for 8 years!.”

In July 2015, James and Heather got married – and two tables full of friends from class were there to see them tie the knot. They say they know several people from their various groups who have got married, and indeed had children, as a result of meeting at the sessions.

If you fancy finding a fitness friend at British Military Fitness, why not sign up for a free trial here: