The Paralympic Games in Rio is about to start and there’s a part of me that is angry, sad and frustrated that I’m not there, competing for another medal. I worked so hard to get there, put my life on hold and sacrificed a lot perusing that goal. I was cut from the squad last November at a time when I wasn’t quite ready to retire. I thought I had moved on but with the opening ceremony, lots of publicity and social media posts relating to the games popping up everywhere I look it’s smacking me in the face that in a real big way I’ve failed. Failure does not come easy to me.
The competitive athlete inside me still yearns for elite competition, training hard towards a goal and the camaraderie being in a successful team provides. The spectacle of Rio will be memorable for everyone involved and whoever wins the wheelchair rugby Gold Medal will be one of the best teams there has ever been. The stakes are very high and you wouldn’t believe the standard of skill, agility and professionalism displayed by the 8 competing teams. It’s going to be so good to see. To miss out on all that sucks farts. Smelly, eye watering, loud, manly farts.
Sounds rather bitter doesn’t it?
It doesn’t suit me to be this negative. Nor does it suit me to wallow in self pity trying to relive my past glory. Neither does it feel right to be living with regret. So I won’t……
It felt good to recognise and sit with the feelings above but if you know me you won’t be too fazed by the above statements because you’ll know that I like to make lemonade from the sourest of lemons. I’ve done it time and time again.
Let’s look at things in a different light.
Since being cut from the Rio squad I have been a key note speaker at a prestigious entrepreneurs retreat in Fiji, where I asked Georgia to marry me. We found out she was pregnant 2 days before we flew to Fiji…. We got married in March and Lenny, our son, was born 4 months later. I started my career as a Personal Trainer at Pivotal Health & Fitness and have a thriving little business going on there. I celebrated my first ever Fathers Day with my beautiful family and not long before that I reflected on 24 years since I broke my neck. Looking at all this do you believe that being cut from the Rio squad has ruined my life? I may feel some slight feelings of self pity but the reality of the situation is I have so many things to be grateful for, things that I wouldn’t trade for anything and as you will find out next, things just get better for me and as a consequence for you too.
This announcement deserves it own separate post but as I sit here in the Melbourne International Airport terminal waiting on my flight to LA and then onto Toronto, Canada this news is too good to hold in, plus it ties in nicely with my sour lemons to sweet lemonade theme. As things progress I’ll announce more exciting things to become but for now here’s the back story.
The majority of people come to me because they want to lose weight. They have it in their head that exercise alone will get them to their goal of weight loss. They pay me good money and I put them through what they have specified to me they want from our sessions. They turn up week to week. They spend 30 minutes with me out of 10,080 possible minutes in a week. As much as I’d like them to spend more time with me for many reasons it is not possible. This is also not nearly enough time to reach their goals if they do not also do stuff outside of the gym.
The responsibility on me is massive and I do what I can knowing that right now all I can really do is get my clients feeling good about themselves. To get the results they want, they need to not only be exercising for at least 5 hours per week but they also need to change their relationship with what goes in their mouths and also get educated about the most important aspect of their goal, food. I haven’t set up an environment at the studio I work at to facilitate this and it was starting to bug me.
You see, I don’t see the point in doing something over and over and not getting results. Especially if it costs reasonable money.
As a coach I strive to get results but a big part of the results I wanted was missing so my wonderful friend and mentor Steve Pirie put me onto Precision Nutrition and life changed for me.
PN has been around for years. They have worked with hundreds of thousands of people in that time. They get results in a way no other company does. This isn’t any flash bang 28 day program that steals your money and promises unrealistic unsustainable results to the everyday person.
You can research them yourself but when people ( all people; everyday people, professionals, influential people) talk about PN, key words like integrity, empathy, professional, patience and care come to mind.
I am a certified Level 1 PN Coach and it certainly feels like I’m in the right place.
Recently PN opened up their online coaching platform for coaches like me to utilise. Previously you needed to be an employee of PN to do this. They basically are giving the platform they use to get the results they do to anyone and everyone who wants to use it (they need to be accredited by PN first though). Yup they make money from these coaches but the most important aspect of this is that they now get to reach hundreds of thousands of new people whom the coaches work with. The world is about to get a lot healthier.
For me this was like Christmas. I no longer needed to put hours of time and effort into developing my own nutrition program. It’s all there ready to go. All I need to do is do what I’m best at, coach people.
The program is 12 months long and by the time you have finished the year you’ll be a different person. The beauty of the program is its simplicity. As a client you gradually makes the changes you need to through new habits. It’s very gentle but this makes it sustainable. No more yo yo dieting. The other good thing is that you don’t make any drastic changes. The small changes you make add up over time. The program does not follow and particular philosophy like Paleo, Vegetarianism, Vegan, Ketogenic etc. It educates you on what is good, what you can add to your diet and how to mentally cope with change, stress and exercise.
An example of how this works is that the first habit that is introduced is to eat slowly. You practice that foundation habit for 2 weeks and everyday you will get an email with some education and a reminder to do your habit. You check a box to let me know you’re doing ok and sometimes you will need to fill in some questions. You work on one habit at a time and there is no need to worry about anything other than that habit.
My job is to make sure that you are getting the support you need. I push if you need it. I sit back if that’s what you prefer. Either way you are the centre of the program and I work with what you want.
So how does all this get me to Gate 9 on my way to Canada?
A few weeks ago PN asked coaches to write in and tell them their story, how PN has helped their business and their clients. The winners were invited to Toronto to meet with the PN team at headquarters and shoot a testimonial marketing video. What the heck, it was worth a shot.
I received and email a week ago informing me that out of hundreds of entries they loved my story and were flying me to Toronto, all expenses paid.
It literally made me cry.
I hold PN is such high esteem that the opportunity to meet their team and founder Dr. John Berardi is my holy grail.
The best thing is that this experience will enable me to help and coach many more people.
So right now I do not have a website or am I set up to deal with new clients but this is a work in progress. I am currently testing the program out on myself and family members to iron out any problems that might come about. I’m happy to say that in the past 9 weeks everyone has made progress.
However if you are interested in finding out more about the program you can message me via my Facebook page.
This will be my first time away from Lenny. I just FaceTime’d him and Georgia to say my final goodbye and my heart melted. He gave me smiles. Precious.
I’ve talked about your ‘why’ before. Lenny is ‘why’ I do what I do. He is reason enough. I think you’re pretty special too but I live my life to make sure he is well provided for.
So with all that in mind take care and I’ll write again soon
Good luck to everyone competing in Rio. I wish I was there…..but I’m busy making Lemonade.