As is the case right now with many fitness professionals, COVID-19 seemed to put Fleur Maxwell’s career on thin ice.
The professional figure skater, who competed for Luxembourg at the 2006 Winter Olympics, moved to New York only in December to start her brand-new business, Body by Fleur. She cold-called some of the fashion industry’s top influencers —like Instagram’s Eva Chen — and they actually showed up to her classes. Maxwell’s workouts quickly started to gain buzz.
Just three months later, the city shut down.
“Initially, I was scared not knowing how I could make money during this time and grow my business that had just started to take off,” Maxwell, 31, told The Post two months after her photoshoot for the paper. “In skating, you fall but you have to get up no matter what.”
So she revamped her method, streamlining her moves for the small screen, and offering both group classes and private training sessions online.
It’s not the first time she’s had to reinvent herself.
Two years ago, Maxwell, who grew up in Luxembourg, was forced to retire from professional skating due to a hip injury.
After training six days a week for 20 years — most recently in New Jersey with the hopes of making it to the 2018 Olympics — the sudden change to her daily routine was devastating.
“I was going to need a full hip replacement at 29 years old if I kept skating,” Maxwell said. “My entire life fell apart because skating is what I knew. I lost everything. I had a major identity crisis.”
Maxwell, whose parents both worked as translators, began ice-skating when she was 8 years old, after being enthralled by Michelle Kwan’s silver-medal-winning performance at the Nagano Games in 1998. As a teen, she traveled the world, training and competing everywhere from Paris to Los Angeles to Moscow.
When, at age 17, she qualified for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, she was the only competitor representing Luxembourg.
“My favorite memory was walking into the opening ceremony,” Maxwell said. “I got to carry the Luxembourg flag because I was the only athlete from my country. That thing was heavy! I just kept thinking, ‘Don’t trip!’ ”
So it was a major life change when in December 2017, after devoting two decades of her life to her sport, she had to give it up.
Distraught and unsure what to do next, she headed back to Luxembourg. Despite speaking five languages — English, French, German, Luxembourgish and Danish — and having a master’s degree in literature, Maxwell “had no real-world skills or job experience” and fell into a deep depression.
“I felt totally unemployable and unprepared for real life,” she said.
After a few months spent “depressed, watching Netflix” in Luxembourg, she realized that she actually did have plenty of coveted experience in Olympic-level athletic training and rehabilitation.
“With skating, we do so much conditioning — ballet, choreography, stretching,” Maxwell said. “I took all the conditioning training I learned and put it into my method.”
While visiting New York City in 2018, she met her girlfriend on the Bumble dating app and decided to move to the city a year later and start teaching her Body by Fleur method at various studios around town. They live together in Union Square with their Maltese-Yorkie mix.
Maxwell’s signature group class — which combines dance and sculpting moves — is now free on Instagram Live a couple of times a week via her @bodybyfleur account. It only requires a yoga mat, light weights (1-2 pounders are fine, she said) and a squishy ball or “something you can squeeze.”
“I don’t use [heavy] weights because my body type tends to bulk up, and you have to have light muscles to be able to jump up in the air,” said Maxwell, who accepts Venmo donations for the classes if anyone wants to give.
She’s also charging less than half-price for one-on-one workouts ($75 for 45 minutes) and said about 75 percent of her clients have stuck with her digitally.
“It’s just as effective and in some ways forces the clients to express verbally how a movement, stretch or pose actually feels in their bodies,” she said of the virtual classes.
She hopes to soon certify other fitness pros in her method here and abroad. But for now, after a lifetime spent on the road, she doesn’t mind being under lockdown.
“I don’t miss traveling,” Maxwell said. “I love New York.”
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Photos: Annie Wermiel/NY Post; Stylist: Elise Sandvik; Hair/Makeup: T. Cooper/crowdMGMT using ECRU NY; Location: Complete Gym, 25 West 14th Street.