Ultra-running enthusiast Caoimhe Bamber was on maternity leave from a successful career in law when inspiration stuck and she dreamt up the idea to launch a cool spinning studio in the UK. The result was Digme Fitness.
Fast-forward a few years and Digme Fitness has four branches in Richmond, Oxford, Moorgate and Blackfriars. Here, mum of two Caoimhe, who is an endurance sport nut (she’s an Ironman finisher and has completed the epic Comrades Ultramarathon!) runs through a typical day in her life.
I used to be a lawyer with a big City firm and travelled a lot. I spent quite a bit of time in New York and was always blown away by how good the studios were there. There wasn’t really anything like that in London at the time, which I found frustrating. Then in 2014 when I was on maternity leave with my first son, Alex, I had a bit of a light bulb moment and decided I wouldn’t go back to law, but instead would set up a spin studio.
I wrote the business plan with my husband, Geoff, while sat in a bar in Morzine one rainy day on holiday. The name Digme was probably the easiest bit. It comes from Digme Beach in Hawaii, the start of the annual Ironman World Championship, where I’d supported Geoff a few years previously.
There were so many incredible people there of all ages, shapes and sizes, and it was truly inspiring. Everyone had great story to tell and had shown amazing dedication and commitment to reach that beach.
We opened our first studio, in Richmond, in June 2016 and have since opened three more. Six months before Richmond opened, Geoff decided to leave his career in hedge funds to come on board as CEO, which was really exciting.
Morning – Early morning run or spin class
These days with a young family and running a business, I have to squeeze in training early in the morning or later in the evening. We live in Richmond where there are endless awesome routes to run, and it also helps having a treadmill at home.
Having the Richmond studio a few minutes away is so handy and I do several classes a week. The most rewarding thing has been the incredible community we’ve created at each studio. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know so many amazing characters all brought together by a love of fitness.
Usually I do the 6.30am class on a Tuesday with Dan, our Head of Fitness, who’s brilliant, maybe one evening in the week and often a Sunday morning session with Kevin, another great instructor.
A typical morning for me is an early start – about 6am. I’ll either pop down to the studio for a spin, head to the park for a run or sit down and enjoy a quiet coffee while I catch up on work. The boys, Alex, who’s now four, and two-year-old Ben, tend to wake up around 8am, so I love feeling like I’ve got a head start on my day before then.
After years spent commuting to the City, I’m so grateful that my commute is now a short walk into Richmond. We drop the boys off at nursery, then first thing’s first – breakfast. I’ll usually grab porridge from Leon or Pret.
Lunch – ‘Sweatworking’
No two days are the same at Digme and I love the variety my job brings. I’ll often be meeting designers, catching up with instructors or talking to people about potential partnerships. There are always loads of emails to reply to as well – it’s hectic but I wouldn’t swap it for anything.
Lunch is usually a salad, soup or sushi on the go. I don’t often workout during the day in the week, unless it’s a class combined with a meeting. ‘Sweatworking’ is definitely becoming more of a thing!
At the moment I work three days a week, so I have Alex and Ben on Mondays and Fridays. I try to switch off from work on these days and spend quality time with the little guys. We’ll often go to Kew Gardens or Richmond Park – south-west London is great for kids.
Sometimes I’ll get them in the double running buggy and head out for a run. They’re growing quickly though so it’s getting tougher and tougher! I enjoy running. I’ve done so many marathons, ultras, half-marathons – you name it. I’ve also done several triathlons and a full Ironman race. It all adds up to 78 marathons!
I ran the Boston Marathon this year – it was awful in the rain, cold and wind, but I was happy to tick that one off my bucket list. I’m not sure yet what my next goal is.
Social media and Digme Fitness expansion
Social media plays a huge part in what I do and what we do as a company, so I try to post regularly on Twitter and Instagram and keep up with news from the fitness industry.
We get a lot of lovely comments so I try to personally respond to as many as I can – it all helps foster that community vibe we’re trying hard to create at Digme.
It’s an exciting time for the company because in the next few months we’ll be opening our fifth studio, in Rathbone Square, just off Oxford Street in London’s West End, and we’re also expanding in Richmond. By the end of the summer we’ll have another studio there for our HIIT concept, MATRIX, with a juice bar and work space for the head office team.
Evening – Home time, family catch-up and dinner
On the days I do work, we pick up the boys around 6pm and head home for the evening. Geoff and I will typically take it turns to work out or go for a run, so by the time we sit down for dinner it’s usually around 9pm.
Working together means we naturally talk about Digme at home, although sometimes we try to consciously switch off from it and chat about something else.
We both love cooking but we don’t have the time we used to, so we make lots of quick but healthy recipes. The boys love baking which is always great fun on days off.
I’m usually in bed by 11.30pm, exhausted and in need of a good sleep before it all starts again the next day!
You can follow Caoimhe and Digme Fitness via social media on www.instagram.com/digmecaoimhe, www.instagram.com/digmefitness and www.twitter.com/digmefitness. For more information about Digme Fitness visit www.digmefitness.com.