Polly Hudson: Joe Wicks was the legend of lockdown who made us all a little fitter


After 18 weeks and almost 80 workouts, Joe Wicks finally hung up his lockdown Lycra shorts today – having raised £580,000 for the NHS and kept a nation of parents sane and kids fit.

It was the last week of March, when schools closed, that Joe made a pledge. He would do daily YouTube workouts for families “for as long as you need me”.

My family were self-isolating after my son displayed symptoms – back then I didn’t know Barnard Castle eye-tests were an option, instead foolishly believing we couldn’t leave the house.

Worried we’d become moulded to the sofa, I suggested we try PE With
Joe. Against every single odd possibly imaginable, 18 weeks later we haven’t missed a session.

Joe brought some shape to those first woolly weeks of lockdown, a firm foundation for the day.

Whatever else happened over the following 12 hours, at least we’d done one thing we could feel good about.

There were spot the differences in the background, world trivia quizzes, a spinning wheel that always landed on the same exercise, Play Your Cards Right, coin tosses, Fancy Dress Fridays and regular video-bombs by his adorable two-year-old daughter, Indie.

Even a broken hand didn’t stop him. Every morning, come what may, Joe was there – cheerful and lively, a reliable constant during a time of frightening uncertainty.

Now he has signed off for the summer, having raised a small fortune and racked up 80 million views worldwide.

He wrote on Instagram: “Never did I imagine families all over the world would come together to take part.

“80 million views is hard to comprehend…this is my proudest achievement.”

The whole family joined him for the final workout – hot wife Rosie, toddler Indie and baby son Marley.

Most excitingly, we finally got a look at mysterious brother Nikki, who has been supplying “shout outs” via his earpiece throughout.

Joe signed off, clearly emotional, with a heartfelt plea.

“Keep training together as a family, you are each other’s role models.

“It’s all about mental health and you’re going to be living a healthier, happier life if you exercise together.

“So please keep it up.”

This speech would have made me vomit 19 weeks ago. Now it’s my new life motto. Thank you, Joe.


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