Cate Murden set up PUSH Mind and Body in October 2014 after 16 years in the world of media. The inspiration for PUSH came about because Cate couldn’t find the sort of experience she was after anywhere else, so spotting a gap in the market she decided to develop the concept for herself. She has teamed up with a personal trainer, executive coach, nutritionist and mindfulness practitioner to create an integrated experience as the UK’s first re-bootcamp.
“…you have to quickly evolve and adapt – my business is really different now to where it initially started. However, there’s a real pleasure in being so nimble and dynamic when you have worked for huge corporate behemoths before, where you have to fill out a form to borrow a stapler…”
Cate, you’re an evacuee of the corporate world and it looks like you’re on a mission to rescue more of us! What brought this about?
I worked in media for 16 long years and, for the last year, I knew I wasn’t enjoying it anymore and I was ready for a change.
Exercise had always been a big part of my life – I always knew that every part of my life was so much better when I did it. To that end, I visited a bootcamp at the beginning of 2014. I loved everything about it but recognised where it could be improved and what I would do differently. I wanted somewhere that would really nurture people and most importantly be the start of a journey which we would continue to be a huge part of once they left.
I came back eager to set up my own. However, after a couple of months I was sucked back into real-life and it seemed impossible.
Sadly, last spring, Mum was diagnosed with cancer and being with her every time she had chemo was the kick-start I needed. Life was too short and I wasn’t going to waste it in a job I no longer loved. I left media in September 2014 and PUSH launched in December! To say it’s been a whirlwind would be an understatement!
How does the re-bootcamp work?
The residential retreats are for seven days and are in the New Forest. We combine clean eating and exercise with a schedule of mindfulness, exec coaching and nutrition in both group and one-on-one sessions.
This means that all of our clients get brilliant results whilst they’re with us – in that that the immediately feel fitter, lighter and happier than they have in ages but, most importantly, they have all of the tools that they need to live their lives better after they leave us – which is the most important thing. PUSH is very much the start of the journey.
What sort of clients do you help?
Absolutely everyone! We’ve had people in the camp from 21 to 67 at PUSH and we cater for all fitness levels. People also come to us for a number of different reasons – be they about losing weight and toning up, increasing fitness, de-stressing or simply taking time out for themselves.
It’s so rare that we actually get time to focus on ourselves that we often find that actually, once our clients start the week with us, they actually feel empowered to start looking at and working on other areas of their lives, than maybe the ones they originally came for.
I think physical exercise is brilliant for getting you in that positive frame of mind that anything is possible. The beauty of PUSH is that not only do we create that feeling in people, we also then give them the tools to action it and, we create a real sense of community so you feel thoroughly supported.
What are the benefits of an integrated approach that nurtures the mind and body?
Put simply, you can’t have one without the other. All of the trainers and coaches that we work with are of the same frame of mind. We’re all about living life better and, you have to be fit and well to do that. However, if your mind isn’t in the right place then you will just fail straight away and go back to all of the old habits you had before.
We work on making you feel positive and energised about the future and help you set realistic goals to achieve (in all areas of your life) and build resilience to deal with whatever comes your way.
How do you make sure the camp isn’t intimidating for those who aren’t super toned and fit already?
So, I think there are a couple of things: firstly, the training isn’t about being beasted or being screamed at by some sergeant major. It’s about learning to move in a more efficient and effective way. My team will push you to get the most out of you, just as they expect you to push yourself, but they will always help you find variations that work for you, so you are not made to feel uncomfortable.
Secondly, we just have a really lovely family atmosphere at PUSH. Thankfully, having made a full recovery, my mum helps out too. I just wanted to create the kind of place where people would feel really nurtured and brought back to life, so that they leave as the best versions of themselves.
What is the feedback from clients like?
For me, that’s the best bit. When you know that you’ve helped someone, it makes all of the hard work and sleepless nights worthwhile. Our clients have said that they have left feeling like a new woman or that they have found it life-changing or that it’s helped them make a huge life decision. One client wanted to be in the best shape possible for an upcoming operation.
We genuinely care about all of the people that we work with and to know that what started as a seed of an idea during, what actually was, a pretty horrific time in my life, now truly has a real impact in people’s lives, is one of the best things that could have happened.
What have been the most challenging parts of setting up the business?
I think no one quite prepares you for the extremes of the highs and the lows and the fact somehow, you have to remain your own cheerleader all the way throughout. I think, specifically, we’ve also learnt quickly that you have to quickly evolve and adapt – my business is really different now to where it initially started. However, there’s a real pleasure in being so nimble and dynamic when you have worked for huge corporate behemoths before, where you have to fill out a form to borrow a stapler.
Entrepreneurship is quite scary at times. What are the things that keep you going when times are tough?
A host of mentors who have been brilliant at helping me look at things in different way, or pass on their experience or just to motivate me through the darker times. Or, as one so succinctly put it, ‘helps me get my head out of the weeds’.
Then, as importantly, are my friends. PUSH has been the most crazy whirlwind, and to be fair, the last year has been ‘challenging’. They’ve been so unbelievably there for me through all of the different stages of it and I will never be able to thank them enough. It’s funny, when you do something like this, it does help you realise that you really can get through anything thrown at you – if you want it badly enough.
You’ve got an event coming up at The Hoxton in London. How did you come to start working with them and how is their ethos aligned with yours?
We just love The Hoxton. They’re our perfect partners – they’ve ripped up the rulebooks of hotels, just as we’ve ripped up the rulebooks of bootcamps. We met the team at an event and we were talking about initially having a Christmas Party with them, which then turned into a summer party, which then turned into: ‘Why don’t we turn the hotel into a bootcamp??’
It’s the craziest thing we’ve ever done and we just can’t wait. It will be an incredible day, which is the perfect kick-start to shedding weight, toning up and feeling brilliant for summer. We promise, even after such a short amount of time, you will leave lighter, happier and re-energised with a really different view of life.
The event is on Saturday 30th May – find out more here.
What are your plans for the future with PUSH?
London 1-day re-bootcamps and corporate wellness are our focus moving forward. We know we have the perfect formula for helping stressed out workers feel brilliant and we want to bring it into London and on people’s doorsteps, so that it’s so much more accessible to so many more people.
We also want to take the solution into the workplace, where we know that we can help both teams and individuals work so much more effectively and get them out of the ruts that they’re in. Most of all though, we just want to help people feel better and have more fun.