Originally published Dec. 14, 2020 by The Drum.

By Joe Wicks

No one could have predicted what 2020 would have in store for us. I’ve been connecting with people online for years, but 2020 was a real eye opener for me. And while in many ways it felt like this year would never slow down, I’ve been amazed to see how fellow Brits have adapted during this challenging time.

Exercise has an amazing way of helping us feel happier, more energised and optimistic. All things we needed more than ever as the pandemic and lockdowns hit.

Bringing these benefits to the world and showing people how amazing exercise can make us feel has always been my mission, so when I heard that schools would be closed and PE classes cancelled, I wanted to help and do something positive.

During a sleepless night, it came to me – three simple words, ‘PE with Joe’. I wanted to bring the nation together while they were apart, bringing families the joy of working-out together when they most needed it.

Over the last 10 years, I’ve worked hard to build The Body Coach TV community and YouTube has always provided an open platform for me to reach anyone who is looking to stay fit and healthy.

This meant that in 2020, I had the perfect place to host my daily workouts and keep the nation moving. I could never imagine how big 'PE with Joe' was going to be – more than 700,000 households tuned in on the first day and I can’t believe it’s number one on YouTube’s UK Trending video list for 2020.

It just shows you the power of technology for connecting people.

I hope that I am not only inspiring people to get fit, but showing others how they can turn their passion into making a difference.

We saw so many examples of creativity this year, but commitment, authenticity and a desire to help people have been the backbone to my journey.

These are such simple steps that anyone has the potential to take and build their own channel online.

This year put the spotlight on health and wellbeing as an essential human need. There is no right or wrong with fitness – it’s whatever you enjoy and whatever you can keep doing. If that means a live stream in your living room, then great.

Interactive fitness is incredible, it makes exercise accessible to all while bringing us all closer together. From one living room to another, can you get more connected than that?It’s amazing what has been achieved this year – and it belongs to all of us. We now need to keep that momentum going into 2021. Let’s do this.

About the article: 2020 has been an education for all of us. So as we approach the end of a year like no other, we're asking media and marketing luminaries to share with us their biggest work lesson of the last 12 months. First in the 'What 2020 taught me' hotseat is the UK's favourite influencer and busiest PE teacher Joe Wicks, who tells us how 2020 opened his eyes to the power of building online communities.

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    What 2020 taught Joe Wicks: 'Online has brought us together, not further apart'
    Article Name
    What 2020 taught Joe Wicks: 'Online has brought us together, not further apart'
    UK PE teacher Joe Wicks reflects on the challenges teaching PE through a camera in 2020 and how to build on new online communities in 2021.
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    The Drum
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