Beth Cornforth is in despair.
The business she and her husband have built up is a small "boutique gym" offering personal one-on-one fitness training.
But it is banned from operating under current COVID rules while tennis, rowing and golf are permitted.
"It blows my mind," she said. "I find it strange that you can go rowing or play golf or tennis but you can't meet your personal trainer."
She wondered if there were easier rules for tennis, rowing and golf because they were "prestige which suits one demographic".
"Not everyone plays tennis. Not everyone plays golf. Not everyone rows," her husband, Tim (and the main trainer), adds.
While golf, tennis and rowing are back in action, other sports are blocked. It's prompted a group of martial arts instructors to band together to lobby the ACT government for more recognition.
They feel louder voices have been listened to by policy-makers when decisions about coming out of lockdown are made.
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"As a group of owners and operators in the martial arts and fitness industry, we collectively feel forgotten," the 27 enterprises wrote collectively to the ACT government.
Businesses in this sector are invariably small. In normal times, they thrive on enthusiasm and determination but COVID has knocked them like a karate blow.
Tim Cornforth is a former rugby union player. His and his wife Beth's fitness training and yoga business was expanding until COVID blocked it.
They started in the garage but have now moved into bigger premises and have a staff of six.
But the lockdown rules mean they can't operate, even outdoors.
The ACT's COVID rules state that "Gyms, Health Clubs, Fitness Centres or Wellness Centres" must be closed. Personal training is explicitly "not permitted, regardless of whether the activity is being undertaken indoors or outdoors".
That, too, baffles the couple.
Beth said that if she went down to the park and trained for fun with a friend, it would be legal, but if her husband went to the same park and trained someone as a customer, that would be illegal.
"I could go to meet my girlfriend and do a session because I'm not paid but my husband can't do his work," she said.
Not everyone plays tennis. Not everyone plays golf. Not everyone rows.Tim Cornforth
She doesn't see anything sinister, just that gyms like theirs have been overlooked. "I don't think there's anyone advocating for the fitness industry," she said.
"I do hope that when they look at the situation clearly, we will be allowed to operate."
They have been approached by people asking for sessions on the quiet but they've refused.
"How do we have an alternative for people to exercise and train in public without breaking the rules," Tim Cornforth said.
"I'm not being a moaner. I just want to make sure we are heard in a way which is positive," Beth added.
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