Heather Allen has weights, jump ropes and a bluetooth speaker — and she’ll travel to a park near you.
Heather is the founder of Honey Active, recently launched outdoor fitness startup. She leads outdoor group fitness classes in Dayton parks, and offers personal training and corporate fitness event services.
“I like showing people new spots — places they don’t think to workout,” she said. “You really can do it anywhere, and I’m proving that to people.”
Heather is an accountant-turned-fitness guru. She actually got into fitness, specifically running, after her first busy accounting season. A former cheerleader and soccer player, she had always been active, until that that stretch of 60- to 70-hour work weeks behind the desk.
“I started feeling slow and groggy and icky,” she recalled. “So I signed up for a marathon to motivate myself.”
She got addicted to running after that, she added with a laugh.
A few years ago, she helped start an accountability group with a few friends to talk about wellness. The group wound up deciding to do weekly workouts together, and Heather found herself organizing those workouts at Riverscape Metro Park.
Soon, people outside the original accountability group started showing up for the workout classes, so she rented Knack Creative’s Studio 42 and began holding training classes on the side. Requests from personal and corporate clients soon followed.
Heather quit her day job and went full-time with Honey Active in March. She runs the bulk of her outdoor group classes at Oak & Ivy Park in the Wright Dunbar neighborhood she calls home. She hasn’t decided what her winter season will look like yet — if she’ll build out a studio or just find a big, open space.
“What drives me is helping people be more confident and energized,” she said. “I’m helping people find a healthy lifestyle, not chase fad diets. It gives me energy, helping others in this specific way, doing something I love and sharing it with people.”
She’s grateful she experienced those periods of inactivity because it helps her relate to her clients, she said.
“I believe in discipline, but I’m not no-excuses,” Heather said. “Life happens, we deal with it, then we move on and build.”
The desire to convey this sentiment shows in her company name — Honey is for natural, local; Active is for fitness, she said.
“I wanted the brand to reflect who I am,” she said. “A little fun, a little cheeky, and I don’t really like rules.”