When I first rode into Auckland, I saw a giant window depicting Les Mills programs on the wall of a building. Had I found my mothership?

For the uninitiated, Les Mills is a Kiwi who started a fitness empire. It originated with physical gyms in Auckland, but the group exercise classes have spread all over the world. It includes classes like BODYPUMP™BODYSTEP™BODYCOMBAT™BODYATTACK™BODYJAM™, and BODYFLOW®, among others. That’s a lot of body! I think they ran out of body names, so they started naming classes things like RPM™ and SH’BAM™.

Back home in the US, I am a certified BODYFLOW® instructor. Each quarter, instructors receive a DVD with the latest release of the program, which includes new music and choreography. Those DVDs are actually filmed in Auckland, so perhaps I could stalk meet the BODYFLOW® stars during my 30/40 World Tour!

There was so much to do and plan while in Auckland, that stalking wasn’t at the top of my priority list. But I knew we would be returning to Auckland for our flight, so I would have a second chance later.

Les Mills Britomart

Ms. HalfEmpty gets her BODYFLOW® on with the wall outside the new Les Mills Britomart gym in Auckland, NZ

While back in Auckland at the end of my three weeks in New Zealand, I realized that I had not completed my stalking. I returned to the giant wall of Les Mills characters and went inside only to learn that there are multiple locations in Auckland. This was the newest location, not the original location where they film the DVDs and where my stars teach.

But I was in luck because Dr. Dave from the DVDs was teaching that night (my last night in New Zealand). Unfortunately, the class was at the same time as the play we planned to attend. Bummer!

So there was no way I could take Dr. Dave’s class and use my play tickets. But I could still stalk him after class!

After the play, Mr. HalfFull and I darted over to the gym to observe the tail end of Dr. Dave’s class. Watching people during relaxation and meditation is way more creepy and akin to stalking than meeting! So my plan was working out nicely.

Dr. Dave Bows Down

Dr. Dave bows down to Ms. HalfEmpty

At the conclusion of the BODYFLOW® class, I finally spoke to Dr. Dave. He let me wear his microphone and stand on the very high stage. Dave even bowed down to me! How ridiculous is that??? He was super gracious and even informed me that they don’t use the word “jade,” Kiwis prefer “green stone” (even if it’s more white than green).

Les Mills Auckland Studio

A trainer shows Ms. HalfEmpty the upstairs studio where the DVDs are filmed

Before leaving the gym, I also got to see the studio where they film all the DVDs. It was huge!

What a neat half full experience to conclude my Kiwi adventure.

  • Do you enjoy group fitness classes?
  • Have you tried to meet someone famous to you while traveling?
  • Have you visited a place in person that you had previously only seen on video?

Ms. HalfEmpty is a 30-something introverted realist, perhaps a pessimist. But she’s trying to see the world half full on halfempty4now.com, which she started in February 2011. Her worldview may not be all bad, as it probably helps keep her husband, Mr. HalfFull, grounded and out of trouble!