Five minutes with: Héloïse Nangle

The COO of London fitness studios Core Collective talks lockdown pivots, getting outdoors and tequila

Travel and Wellbeing 11 Dec 2020

Héloïse Nangle of Core Collective

How has Core Collective adapted its offering to the restrictions of lockdown?
Throughout the year we have had to continually adapt to the ever-changing environment that is being presented to us. From ensuring social distancing measures, reprogramming our classes so that no equipment is shared, while the most effective standard of workout is provided, to the creation and launch of CCTV – our on-demand platform – a product of lockdown 1.0. Since then, we have further developed this and now also run a comprehensive timetable of live classes each day. We continue to be extremely flexible in our approach, with the aim of continuing to maintain and build a strong C/C community. This is done not just through our classes and online support but through the addition of specific mailers such as the C/C List – what we are watching, where we are shopping and how we are working out – as well as IG Lives on practices such as meditation and breathwork, as we know how stressful 2020 really is to so many.

How have the unexpected events of 2020 changed the way you approach life or work?
I have definitely had to increase my ability to pivot at the smallest notice, therefore improving my flexibility in my approach to what gets presented to me. In work, I have had to learn the true meaning of ‘essential’ – something that has been rather hard at times. Life is for living and so it has been about getting creative with new ways to socialise and have fun and not just be about relying on a gig or heading to the pub with a big group of friends – although I cannot wait for that to be a normal addition to my life again!

What is one positive thing that you have learnt this year that you will carry through into 2021?
Apart from the fact that 2021 cannot be more challenging than 2020, my main takeaway is that I have felt overwhelmed at times by the support and loyalty of our clients with regards to Core Collective and on a personal level, too. I was rather surprised at how hard I have found 2020 at times, particularly the isolation that lockdown 1 brought with it, and it was incredible to be reminded of who I am lucky enough to have in my life. This is something I will never take for granted.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given in your career and why? 
That everyone is replaceable – it might sound intense but it is true and I feel it is important, that no matter what, you need to strive to always bring your best to the table each day.

Who is your role model and how have they influenced you in your work?
I like to surround myself with people that inspire me every day – something I can say is whole-heartedly true of my team at Core Collective and my close group of friends. Other than that it would be my dad – due to his exceptional work ethic and incredible generosity. Two traits I would love and really try to emulate.

What one thing do you like to do to look after your wellbeing (mental/physical)? 
Other than training/working out, it would be reading or listening to an audio book, something I do every day before I go to sleep. It has to be fiction as I spend most of my time ‘switched on’ and so books of the self-help kind don’t work for me if I am wanting some down time. I rarely have my phone out of my hand, due to the nature of running a business, and now a long running habit, so these are two of the only things that mean I cannot use it. Since a very young age I have been a bookworm.

Can you share any tips for achieving a work/life balance?
If I’m honest, this is not my forte, but I am lucky in that my work and friendships have blurred lines when it comes to Core Collective, and I adore what I do each day. What I normally like to do is work for 3 months and then go away for a couple of days, preferably abroad, to get some time off/a different headspace. This has been harder to put into practice this year, of course, but this is how I tend to operate. It may not work for many, but it does for me.

Where is your favourite place in the city to relax?
Other than my bed, I like to walk around a park, as I find it very hard to sit still, or I go swimming. My go-tos are the north side of Regent’s Park where there is a large amount of space and far less people than towards Baker Street or Brockwell Park where you can see the City and the café in the middle sells the best ice cream. To swim it is Hampton Pool, which is heated all year round, or Shepperton Lake. Swimming is my version of breathwork.

What item, apart from your passport, can you not travel without?
My laptop and wireless head phones – basic but true.

Where is your favourite place to eat in London?
I’m more of a music lover than a connoisseur of the best restaurants, so I am literally counting down the days until I am able to go to an event at Printworks – an incredible space in Surrey Quays for cultural events and live acts to DJ. Otherwise, a good tequila bar never goes amiss – a couple of my favourites are Del74 in Dalston, Corazon or La Bodega Negra in Soho. Call me Mr Lucky under The Breakfast Club in London Bridge is also cheap and fun.

What are your biggest passions?
Core Collective, horses (this used to be my profession, as an Eventer), spinning, techno, South Africa (my dad is Zimbabwean and a lot of my family live here), organising activities and events for my friends – one day I would like to also have a party-planning business, Tenzing (my version of coffee) and, of course, tequila.

What do you like to do on a day off?
Normally my days off are planned around events I want to go to or have organised with my friends, otherwise it is spending time with my family and our animals and I return home to the farm in Hampshire.

If you could choose anyone from today or history, who would be your ideal dinner party guest and why?
Ray Dalio (so that I can learn his set of principles to assist on my quest to become a billionaire).

If you could have one piece of fitness kit/tech to open on Christmas morning, what would it be and why?
A set of Victory Grips as I have just started to teach myself and be taught some of the gymnastic movements from CrossFit. These would greatly help with the daily abuse that my hands get!