I have a lot of passion for what I do these days, coaching people through transforming their lives so I thought I would share where that passion comes from, what drives me to get up every morning at 4.30 am to help someone lift some weights or get their sweat on. Why I love what I do.
40 going on 60 and at over 110kg
I was always an active kid. I played school cricket and rugby league growing up on the Gold Coast in the early 70’s. I can still remember standing around in my undies in year 6 waiting to get weighed to see what division I would be in for League. I also had a 12 speed race bike (a big deal in those days) I rode to school every day and used to do long rides all over the Gold Coast on the weekends.
My high school years were spent in the USA, Melbourne and Brisbane where I played soccer, rugby and fell in love with hockey making QLD state schoolboys.
When I joined the RAAF in 1982 my nickname was muscles although I had never picked up a weight. During my RAAF career I continued to play sports, rugby league, badminton which was on every lunchtime when I worked in Amberly and then squash when I was at Williamtown.
After 9 years in the RAAF I then spent 8 years in Saudi Arabia working for British Aerospace where I played cricket on cement wickets and dirt paddocks against some very quick Pakistani bowlers and softball as a shortstop with the Americans also working in Saudi Arabia with Mcdonnell Douglas.
On returning from Saudi Arabia I then established my own IT business selling and servicing computers and installing and maintaining computer networks. At one stage I was the only computer network engineer between Brisbane and Newcastle. My wife Sue and I ran that business for 18 years.
Those 18 years in IT took their toll, I smoked heavily until my father in law who also smoked started having health issues, issues that would see him lose a leg and ultimately his life to lung cancer. I was on medication for reflux, had a stomach ulcer. I had painful knees and had ballooned out to over 110kg. I was always grumpy, difficult to live with (thanks for sticking with me honey) and looking back now wasn’t really enjoying life much at all. In fact I was probably suffering from depression.
Here I was at 40 years of age looking at knee replacements, stomach problems, depression, and more. Talk about a mid life crisis.
Martial arts is a wonderful sport the whole family can do.
The turning point came when my children started Karate. I like most parents would sit and watch the 2 hour class, then be an expert on the way home. They challenged me to do it, put up or shut up dad. I was know as one of the tiny teddies when I began and I recall my first karate camp as a overweight green belt struggling to get through a Les Mills Body Combat fitness session. I thought I was going to die, but I kept going and at the end I was exhausted but loved it.
I went on to achieve my 2nd degree black belt and taught karate for over 10 years. I loved, helping the students go from zero confidence to achieving their black belt. It is an amazing and very rewarding feeling watching someone grow as a person knowing you had some small part in that transformation.
I continue to bring that resolve to be the best you can be, to fight through adversity, that never quit mindset to my coaching.
Trainers train, coaches change lives.
Whilst running the karate club I was approached by a couple of the mums to run a boxing fitness class for them and their friends as the didn’t like the “gym” scene. What started out as a couple women boxing for fitness grew quickly, the largest class I ever taught was 36 people running around boxing and having a great time. This was fun.
I discovered I had a passion for helping people turn their lives around, become more confident, start to get off the medication and have more quality time with their family. By helping one person change always had a ripple effect, it was never about just changing one person but many, whole families were now eating better and having more awesome relationships being healthy.
The 6, 8, 12 week challenges were the challenge. Yes I could strip the weight off someone but I wasn’t helping them long term. I had to learn how to give them the skills for life instead of another useless challenge or program that ultimately saw the client put the weight back on.
I knew that meal replacements, challenges, supplements, even gym memberships are all just band aids to a bigger problem. There are more trainers and gyms than ever, there are thousands of diet books and weight loss programs but as a nation we continue to put on weight. Something was wrong.
I did not become a PT to just count reps or do group fitness, I wanted to change the world, one person at a time if need be. To cut through the crap and BS to give people clarity and real solutions. So I studied and studied, listened and learned.
To educate and be able to give people life changing tools and skills to never diet again, to learn to feel good about themselves, to live a happy and fulfilling life with their family is extremely rewarding. It’s what floats my boat.
Bushwalking in Dorrigo NP
My fitness career has evolved from that boxing class to now operating a centre in Coffs Harbour and with amazing support from Emma who has her own transformation journey a centre in Nambucca Heads, to being able to now deliver these same solutions online anywhere in the world.
I had turned my life around at the age of 40. I now realise that the healthier I was the better husband and father I was. I actually had more time, quality time for everyone around me.
I have been there, tired and lacking energy, overweight, depressed, struggling with health issues and life. Those life skills I now bring to my coaching to help hundreds of people improve their own health and relationships.
I like to think we should all be living our lives to the fullest, sometimes we just need someone to show us the way, cut through the crap, to lead us, walk beside us or to push us. Someone that understands that the journey to health isn’t a straight line, there is progress and setbacks, that’s life, there is a better way.
So let me ask you: What’s important to you?
If you need help reach out