I am happy to introduce Libby Babet (owner of BUF and AGOGA ) as this weeks Weekly Friend. I have had the honor of knowing Libby now for over a year. During this time she has inspired me, kicked my butt on the treadmill and sand, made me laugh, and has made me realize that anything is possible when you set you heart and mind to it. I feel honored to call Libby a friend, mentor, trainer and someone who truly inspires me to be a better person.
Name? Libby Babet – middle name ‘Joy’ (don’t laugh!) and once upon a time, I was Libby Hunt. It took me awhile to be able to say “Libby Babet” when I first married, so many B’s all in a row!
Home? I live at Rose Bay in Sydney, but spend 90% of my time between my two businesses, which are both Bondi based… so I’m a Rose Bay-Bondi Beach hybrid! I grew up in Queensland and moved to Sydney about 7 years ago.
What do you do? I own and run a couple of fitness businesses – Bottoms Up!, which is an all-girls outdoor group training business that we lovingly refer to as BUF (we train right on the beach at Bondi, it’s bliss!) and AGOGA, an athletic performance studio offering premium small group training for guys ‘n’ gals – it’s pretty different to anything else out there, very functional and a lot of fun! I’m also a qualified journalist and spend plenty of time writing for brands like Women’s Fitness, Yahoo!7, Lifestyle You and our own blog site,bondibuf.com.
How long ago did you start BUF and why did you decide to start a women’s only outdoor fitness group? BUF kicked off just over 2 years ago… it feels like yesterday and a lifetime ago all at once!
If there’s one thing I love, it’s an inspired community of women who are changing the world around them, one healthy recipe or encouraging word at a time!
Also, when I moved to Sydney I struggled to find a group that really understood a woman’s body and emotional drivers. Us gals are different to the boys and we have different body goals. We want length and leanness to our limbs, flat tummies and teeny arms, not chunky muscles and protein shakes every hour! And sometimes we need to be reminded that balance is important and tough interval sessions every single day are really not that helpful when other areas of our lives are stressful too. I wanted to create a wonderful community of women who shared their joys and sorrows, struggles and successes – and to encourage them to create balance in their busy lives, be aware of their needs as a woman and learn new things about nutrition and health that they could pass on to their own communities.
Most of all, I wanted to make fitness FUN for the women of Sydney and bring an element of play into their lives – at the end of the day, Madonna got it right, girls really do just want to have fun! Oh gee, I could go on forever here couldn’t I…?
How do you manage the balance of owning 2 business, blogging, life admin and training? I’m still learning! There was a time (and it wasn’t too long ago either!) when I really struggled with the balance, mostly because I was doing what a lot of women do, which is trying to perfect at EVERYTHING and putting everyone else’s wellbeing before my own. Once I realised it was actually A-OK not to respond to all my emails within 24 hours of receiving them, or solve everyone else’s issues for them, or keep the house immaculately clean… well, that’s when things kinda relaxed a little! Now I don’t worry too much if I’m not 100% on top of everything, I listen to my body and try to be aware of my emotional state and the way I react to things. And my other secret to managing it all is having what I reckon is THE most amazing team of people around me, all of whom have different strengths that compliment mine – I feel truly blessed to have such a clever team of motivated trainers around me, and a husband who is almost superhumanly clever and incredibly supportive.
What is currently getting your juices flowing? I’m pretty passionate about everything that’s going on in my businesses at the moment – it’s the perfect time of year for outdoor training and BUF has its famous annual bikini challenge kicking off in November. AGOGA has an amazing energy going on and recently won a Best New Business Award… and I’ve taken on a role as fitness expert for Women’s Fitness Magazine, so I’ve been loving getting back to my journalistic roots! But I do have something else pretty exciting in the pipeline, an amazing online project that I’m hoping will change the face of online fitness! Stay tuned…
What makes you happy? Spending real, honest, playful time with my hubby has to be number one. He’s seriously the most awesome person I know and we’re such big kids together! Next comes giggling with my two talented, amazing sisters and watching their businesses take flight (neverlandstudio.com.au andbecomingjuliet.com), hanging out at my parents beach shack in northern NSW, listening to dad play guitar and gossiping with my outrageously artistic mum (you have to check out her work! frances-hunt.com). Then comes surfing, reading (I LOVE dorky fantasy and magic novels, it’s weird!), sweating, long walks just for the heck of it… and writing. Oh and chocolate, but that goes without saying for a girl, right!?
Who are you mentor’s? Justin, my hubby, has been an amazing business mentor to me. Other than that, really I’d say almost everyone I’ve worked with over the past few years has been my mentor in some ways – every staff member has taught me something (make that many things!), my clients have inspired me to push the boundaries and I’ve tried to spend time with respected local nutritionists, naturopaths, chinese herbalists, doctors and fitness gurus to keep my knowledge fresh. My celebrity mentor-crush is Richard Branson – his approach to business and life is a huge inspiration to me, I love everything that guy does/says, even the way he handles his ‘failures’ inspire me, I think he’s thebomb.com!
What inspires you to get up each day? I’m one of those weird people that loves getting out of bed early in the mornings. I guess that’s another reason I started a bootcamp business, it suits me perfectly! I really do believe that life is an awfully big adventure and although there are some days I wake up tired (my alarm goes off at 4.30am every day, so I guess that’s unavoidable), I very rarely feel like I want to stay under the covers. There’s just too much cool sh*t to do! hehe…
Fav super food? Can I go with my fave ‘super supplement’ instead? Probiotics seriously change lives – they sort out bad skin, dodgy digestion, counteract bloating and increase energy. If you don’t take one and you have issues with ANY of these things, try popping a probiotic as soon as you wake up and just before bed for a few weeks and notice the difference!
Fav cafe/restaurant and best place to get a smoothie? Fave cafe is a no-brainer… Trio on Campbell Parade at Bondi – I’m there at least a couple of times per week for brunch – you’ve gotta try the vego brekky and the brunch bruschetta (ask for gluten free toast, these guys do the best in town!).
Fave place to get a smoothie is Health Emporium on Bondi Road – their super smoothies are both the most expensive you’ll ever order and the most wonderful. Fave indulgence ever!
Can I add ‘fave recipe’? Just coz? Healthy banana pancakes! 2 x sugar bananas, 6 x eggs, pinch of cinnamon/nutmeg, blend it all up and then cook in a pan as you would a regular pancake… ahhh-mazing!
What are you must haves? I’m guessing you mean ‘things’ here? hehe… in that case, my Lululemon tights, shorts & knickers, Nike Frees, a good sunscreen, Jane Iredale mineral makeup, my surfboard and giant selection of bikinis and wetsuits! When you boil it all down, these are pretty much the only ‘things’ I really need in my life, aside from maybe a couple of cute summer dresses and a good book. I literally can not sleep at night unless I read a few pages of a nove