Changing things up has had a knock-on effect
When I left the world of athletics, I found that there was something missing. The feeling of competing and being on the start line of a 100m dash knowing you have your work cut out is a feeling that only those who have competed will understand. Athletics is a strange old sport. I’ve run PB’s but placed last in races. I’ve run races and felt awful only to hear my name being called out with a new ‘PB’. It really is a tough one but I think that is part of the love for it. There is no hiding on track and there are so many external factors to consider when racing.
I loved that feeling – the controlled aggression, the competitive edge and everything that came with it from the weekly preparations, the travel and the people I ran with and competed against.
Leaving track was mainly down to the arrival of my first child. The same year, I bought my first house, set up Fevo Gym and proposed to my now wife. Looking back on it now, it was a pretty hectic and memorable year. Also the year Usain Bolt ran a WR (I randomly remember that!) LOL
When Motivation Travels
All of this made me go on ‘a mad one’ when training in the gym. I had extra energy and missed athletics training which, at its peak, was four times a week for me. Monday and Wednesdays on track, Thursdays – Olympic lifting and Saturdays were either race preparations or something gruelling like hills at Danebury Hillfort. Those who live around Andover will know about Danebury Hill – for those who aren’t local, it’s a 143metre climb with 43 of those metres being at a steep incline – a nice challenge!
As a side note and maybe for another Blog I truly believe athletics-based training is among the best out there in the world and largely responsible for my base of fitness and workout durability. I learned so much in my six years on track. A lot of it now features in my daily PT practice. I will also add: I trained with the toughest people out there, some true ‘animals’; the most dedicated, which was very inspirational.
With the gym up and running, not only was I looking for change but I felt that naturally my training – and more so my approach to training – was changing. I wasn’t interested in hooking big deadlifts any more. I wanted to add as much variety and movement into my training as possible whilst making it fun and alternative. I do not know why but I’m naturally quite strong and, I guess, pretty good at gym based exercises. I bench-pressed 100kg when I was 64kg and deadlifted 240kg when I was 75kg so I knew I had something to work with back then, but now the feeling is that I want more from my training, and to work outside of my comfort zone.
I travelled, I searched and I spent time around people from all different training backgrounds. In a strange way I felt unaccountable and this was accompanied by a feeling of slight depression due to the fact that I was not competitive in a sport. “Was I less of a person?” “What would my clients think?” “Does this make me less of a personal trainer?” Sounds crazy right? I’m sure anyone who has played sport to a high level or been competitive and immersed in something will be able to sympathise and understand where I am coming from. I went from travelling around the country on weekends, running indoors and outdoors, to hanging out with my baby boy (which I wouldn’t change for the world).
So the current goal is to be fit and healthy. To remain strong with a good baseline of fitness. I’m enjoying trying things that I’m not so good at, and things that will generally be a challenge to me and my body type. I’ve always gone by that. Who’s willing to put the graft in when their back is against the wall?
People are always keen to show you what they are good at, but not always so forthcoming when working on their weaknesses. Look around – you will see and hear it all the time, whether it’s in the workplace, sport, gym or life in general.
Now I’m on the best strength and performance programme I’ve ever been on. I’m working with a team of professional and ex-professional athletes. I’m accountable daily and currently I feel like there are no limits. This year alone I’ve hit several PB’s and I’m even back on the track. I have not limited myself. I’m using everything available to me. I’m not branding what I am doing. There are no rules; its structured but it’s a programme of freedom and flexibility. It’s funny how when you are more relaxed, you tend to get more done.
So in turn what has happened? Well my energy feels like it has travelled. We have introduced new equipment and ideas into the gym; my close friends and family members have upped their game, and the dynamic has changed. It almost feels like I’ve been on a journey and they have followed along with me. Times have changed, the industry has changed and I guess with age you become more mature in your training approach as well as evolving your goals and objectives.
For me it has been like sending a message from the top. I’m sharing my learning with clients; we have active gym members trying the workouts that we have created and sent out; our equipment range has opened up to more dynamic variable training methodologies, and people who I work with are picking up from my energy. It also underlines the value in a personal training gym. It’s the same similarities to being on track; there is no hiding. You have to come in and get it done, feed from those around you in a smaller and more personal environment and think outside the box. We have built a gym and community and it’s been exciting to see others also surprising themselves, hitting goals and making gains. The undercurrent right now, in a word, is ‘balanced’.
I’m hitting the honey pot and finding what is right for me. I’m happy and balanced, and the aura and energy I am giving off feels like it is being received well. And motivation is travelling.
Let’s keep the gains coming…