From almost as early as I can remember I fell in love with exercise. Repeatedly watching ‘The power rangers tv series’ gave me the nudge I needed and 4 years after starting what became a bit of an obsession, I became the youngest black belt in my club in Bury, aged 10
Ice Hockey era…
Later, when I was around 11 years old was when I first got into actually working out. Back then I was playing Ice Hockey at Blackburn and I wanted to be the fittest and strongest on the team.
Pretty much everyday after high school I would go for a run, do push ups and play hockey with a golf ball in my mums living room (It’s safe to say she wasn’t all too pleased with a rock solid golf ball pinging around expensive ornaments!).
At a similar age I also remember watching the Rocky Movies. I was totally in awe of Sylvester Stallone’s physique, which inspired me to start lifting weights in my dads garage. I’d spend many evenings in there trying to sculpt my body whilst blasting out the Rocky Soundtrack! In my head I was Rocky (just without the daft headband!).
High School Insecurity…
As time went on my motivation to workout changed. I think a lot of teenagers can relate to feeling insecure during High School, it can be a challenging time: spots appear on your nose, making you look like Rudolph, the body grows abnormally, and the kids in the playground can be pretty harsh. I remember feeling deeply insecure, and I believed getting bigger and stronger would give me more respect and make me have more confidence.
This same motivation drove me for years throughout College & University. I spent hrs upon hrs in the gym. I’d watch bodybuilding videos on Youtube. I spent hundreds (more like thousands!) of my student loan on protein shakes and supplements!
I even remember following hundreds of fitness models on Instagram who had 6 packs that sharp… you could grate cheese on them! Back then I thought following the best would inspire me, but it only depend my insecurity.
I remember my relationship with food changed and I would yo yo diet: living off nothing but chicken on broccoli for months, to then epically binging on cake, biscuits and chocolate for weeks on end. Both left me feeling utterly miserable.
Although my body improved and my outside appearance exuded confidence I didn’t really feel confident on the inside. I was never satisfied and no matter how good I looked I never felt truly content.
A Perception Shift That Changed My Life…
It’s only been the last couple of years that i’ve realised I was training completely for the wrong reasons. Back then I was searching for answers which lied outside of myself: I was looking for recognition, compliments, and basing my identity on the wrong things.
I realised that fundamentally my mindset was making me unhappy.
This isn’t about looking a certain way to gain approval. Nor is it about walking on the beach with a tanned body and sculpted 6 pack. Instead I realised training was a means to an end, a key discipline that could enrich my life in many ways.
I decided that I wanted to create a better version of me, not only on the outside but also on this inside – in mind and spirit. If i used the same discipline and focus which I applied to training to other areas of my life – I could be much happier and more fulfilled.
- Success isn’t about having a 6 pack or driving a Ferrari
- Success isn’t having millions of followers on Instagram
- Success isn’t necessarily being a celebrity
- Success isn’t having millions of pounds in the bank
- Success isn’t wearing designer clothes
- Success is being able to look in the mirror and be proud of who you are – being your authentic self
- Success is striving to be the best version of you
- Success is being a role model to your family
- Success is staying to true to yourself, your values and following your dreams
- Success is about creating the life that YOU want