It’s impossible to even try to imagine Mbombela’s Taryn Gorlee with an extra 35 kilos added to her tiny body. This bubbly, energetic young woman proudly celebrates the fact that she has lost a huge amount of weight with the help of pole fitness and an eating plan. This Tumbling Tigerz franchisee tells us more.
Due to the change in diet plan, her relationship with food has changed. “Food is no longer my life, I am my life,” Taryn says. “I want to believe I was always confident, but I was
not confident in my body.”
Nowadays she is extremely fit as she is the owner of the Tumbling Tigerz franchise in Mbombela and White River, which involves a lot of roly-polys, push-ups, jumps and stretching – all in a good spirit with the kids who have joined her classes. They lovingly call her Coach Tiger!
Taryn says it all started with an invitation from a friend asking her to be a matron of honour at her wedding. Previously, when Taryn had been a bridesmaid, she didn’t like the photos of herself in her dress. Severely overweight, she decided to work really hard to make sure she looked great for this wedding. She joined a boot camp and was also introduced to pole fitness at Fitness Fusion. Over time the extra kilos disappeared largely due to the effect of the pole fitness classes.
“At the end of 2017, the weight really started falling off, and I then entered for Survivor. I love Survivor, but unfortunately I just missed the handshake to be on the show. My sister then entered me for How Do I Look South Africa season 2 on E! Entertainment. At that time, I was still wearing all my big clothes, not realising that I was no longer 90 kilograms. I was chosen for the show and in my television interview, I told them that I had a dream of developing a programme preventing kids from ending up like I had.
“One of the cameramen then told me about the Tumbling Tigerz franchise his friends had developed, and it sounded exactly like what I had in mind. I contacted them and was
glad to be accepted as the franchisee for Mbombela and White River. I am loving every minute of my job!”
Tumbling Tigerz is a medically endorsed exercise programme for children aged three to nine. Aspects of boxing, Pilates, gymnastics and soccer are incorporated. This involves a lot of jumping, stretching, running and fun. Everything is done to get the little muscles stronger, to improve hand-eye coordination and develop the midline crossing. Activities like roly-polys, hopscotch jumps, tyre-and-sack races, and playing and kicking with a ball makes this a fun way to be active. Resistance bands and medicine balls also come into play.
Taryn goes to various schools where Tumbling Tigerz is part of the their extramural activities. The programme consists of 30-minute sessions that concentrate on gross motor development and is a wonderful workout session for small bodies. Even kids with special needs are good candidates for something like this. In her classes Taryn has a boy with Asperger’s syndrome and a girl with cerebral palsy who love what they are doing. Their enthusiasm to keep up with the rest, is something that she cherishes.
“I have always loved being around children and was a preschool teacher for many years. When I found out about this programme, I knew I wanted to bring this opportunity to Mbombela and the surrounds. We all want our children to be more active and this does exactly that. When I see their faces light up when they get something right that they couldn’t do the week before, it really excites me.
“Although discipline is part of the programme, it is much more important that they enjoy what they are doing. When I shout, it is because I want them to shout back at me. Every now and then I have to ask them to focus by putting on their Tiger glasses, and they will keenly watch me explaining a new move or stretch, totally focused. We end each lesson with an enthusiastic roar!” laughs Taryn.
For her, the biggest joy of her job is to watch the children relishing every minute of being active. Enthusiasm is definitely part of the package and Taryn has grasped that perfectly. Although she has gone through severe trauma when her first born died shortly after his birth at 28 weeks, she has made that experience a special part of her life, and fully loves being a mom to her daughter, Stephanie (4). Taryn suffered from a condition called intrauterine growth restriction and her son, Jarred, only weighed 470 grams at birth. While holding him in her arms, she and her husband watched life slip from his tiny body.
“You have to find a reason for his life and if that was only to make you a mom, or your husband a father, then that is fine. It’s terrible that he is no longer here, but he made me a mom and that is a badge that not a lot of people get to wear. And I wear it with pride.”
Then it’s time for another Tumbling Tigerz session, and we have to say goodbye. Taryn can’t wait to experience the fun and excitement with one of her groups. Tiger! Tiger! Tiger! Roar! Roar! Roar!
Contact Taryn on 079-880-8622 or [email protected]
Text: ALITA STEENKAMP