MEMORABLE MILESTONES IN MY FITNESS JOURNEY
Wow, where do I start, my fitness journey is long and varied.
I really started my fitness journey before I left school, an after school weightlifting class and a gym club near my house, but it really didn’t account to much, though with Bruce Lee films and Arnold Schwarzenegger making it big in Magazines, I used to read a lot of magazines, I started my fitness journey.
Once I left school and started work I had the idea I wanted to get bigger and stronger and developed a broad interest in Martial arts, so with extra money I joined a “Mens Health club” one of those early 1980s places with wannabe body builders mixing with over weight yuppies, I did learn a bit, but it didn’t last, I then started training with weights at Harrow leisure centre, somewhere I have often returned to through the years, I also started my Martial Arts journey studying Wing Chun Kungfu under Simon Lau one of the highest regarded Masters out side of china. I think getting involved in that art was one of my significant milestones that has led me to train in many martial arts (I did do fencing judo and karate at school…. but not very seriously)
Though I continued to train in a gym on and off for the next couple of years it wasn’t that serious, However through My martial arts study I met a guy who was involved in “special forces” as a reservist in 21 SAS (artist rifles). This ignited a new training passion and along with martial arts and hitting the gym harder I also started running more, canoeing and climbing, again another milestone on my fitness journey.
Again after that I continued with some weights and general fitness, though I decided to concentrate more on work and play, then as a result of CB radio of all things I met a guy who got me interested in cycling, for me it started with gentle rides to stay fit, but soon became Time Trialling and then as Triathlons started to become more popular I started focusing on those, I was also an “ok” swimmer having swum at school for my borough and the scouts and had done some running….It made sense soon after this and as winter started I looked at Mountain Biking as a way to maintain my cycling through the winter and got more and more involved in that Racing and competing through UK so again I guess this was another of those fitness Milestones.
After this, I again went back to concentrating on business and took up a little golf (I became a golf bore) I didn’t really do very much training for a year or two, though I did start my Aikido Journey I studied this for over 10 years seriously and continued on with that art through to current times and beyond, during this time I slowly got back to training with weights again, starting slowly and building sensibly….. weight training from the onwards has been pretty much continuous. At this time my business collapsed, and I started working nights, this gave me the opportunity to train harder and consistently. Once I had worked to pay most of my debts off and hating the job I was doing, I sat down with Julie (my wife) and said I wanted to train to become a PT, it didn’t happen immediately but around 6 months later we decided we could basically just about cover me giving up work and starting to train to become a personal Trainer, Another really big fitness milestone.
So I started to do my courses with what was the Premier Training and development (Now Premier Global) on a 16 week, 40 hour per week course…..It was amazing and I learned so much, I continued on my study, as I still do and have done many courses since then. Once I qualified as a trainer, I quickly found some work opening and closing some clubs for a large chain (I forget the name of) I soon also started working as a PT for Fitness first and a hotel gym too. This was great and I enjoyed it immensely but there was something missing, I wanted to work 1 to 1 for clients in their homes, I put an advert into the “Hendon and Finchley Times “ and from one add had about 5 or 6 enquiries of those I signed up 3 and from those three had a few referrals and a few referrals more, I don’t think I had to advertise again, after doing this for a couple of years and building a decent client base (some of which are still friends now) I wanted to work somewhere warm….. I spoke to Julie and we decided to move to Spain (which ended up as Portugal, but that’s another story). Again that “Big Move” was another milestone in my fitness journey.
So we arrived in Portugal, I again put a couple of Ads in local ex pat papers and local shops, and picked up a few clients, Julie also started working at an international school there and with her help acquired more clients, after a few years doing this we received an inheritance and I decided to open a gym In Portugal another Milestone.
New Spartan Gym Portugal was born, a very different (innovative) idea of Gyms in Portugal, with a huge rig, a climbing wall, lots of functional kit, Olympic lifting platforms, kettlebells etc, which we ran for a few years. Due to the economic recession, our ages and our mothers getting older, we decided it was probably time to return to the UK after 8 happy years in Portugal, another Milestone.
Back in London and looking for a space for a gym, I found the ideal warehouse space and quickly Build “New Spartan Gym uk”, This was when I really got into strongman, (Whilst living in Portugal I had come over to Scotland where I met Big AL a Scottish strongman and trained with his kit), we quickly bough or had made a load of strongman kit , I continued to train a group of strongmen who competed around the home counties and I eventually was persuaded to try a comp….after many comps (see my strongman journey thread). I needed to expand the gym, but it was too expensive to re fit, re wire, and build showers etc, so we moved the gym about 100m away and started as “The Centre for functional performance” which we carried on running until the contract on the building ran out and they wanted us to shut whilst they re build the roof and the gym floor, I decided then to shut the gym and take a little Break (was 6 months in the end), Another Milestone was to Happen.
My move to Pure gym Park royal where I am now (well not at this moment as we are currently shut due to the corona virus – but I hope to be back there soon Training clients again and building my PT business.
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