When I was younger I did every sport you could think of, I used to live for exercise and staying healthy. PE was my favourite subject at school and I played Tennis and Football after hours - I even coached Tennis every Sunday for about 5 years.
When I turned 16 I couldn’t wait to get into the gym to start lifting weights. My friends and I used to go every day to our local sports centre gym in Whitstable and we loved it. I started to learn more and more about fitness, training and diet. Slowly but surely I started gaining muscle and getting slightly less scrawny by the day.
Moving to London
It was all going swimmingly until I moved to London, where I trained on my own most of the time and it started to take a back seat. I only trained when I really felt I had to or if I could bake it into my routine. For a while, I managed to get up at around 6am and get a workout in before I got the train into London for work. My diet during this time went completely out of the window - I was finding the delights that London had to offer in terms of food and started to put on the pounds.
Unfortunately, these were not good pounds, they were Pret Cheese & Ham toasted sandwich pounds. I did join a local football team, training and playing once a week, which I suppose helped me restrict the weight I was putting on. During the summer I also decided to cycle to work, which at the time was around 10 miles each way and 2 hours of exercise a day. Instead of using this as a mechanism to lose weight, I used it as an excuse to eat out more (working in Soho made it very easy).
I started hating the gym
About 2 years ago I moved from Bromley to Hammersmith and my training took even more of a back seat. I continued my cycling into work, but it was only 30 mins each way but I think it did help me stop putting on excess weight. My training at the gym would come and go in waves, some weeks I’d be able to train 5/6 times, other weeks I’d go once or even skip it completely. It was here that I really started to hate going to the gym, I saw it as a chore and only did it because I didn’t want to undo 4 years of progress that I’d made (although some might say the only progress I made was gaining fat).
This all came to a peak during 2020 quarantine where I, like many others, have stopped training completely but continued with the same eating habits. Since March of this year (we’re now August) I’ve gained almost 6kg /(13lbs)/ and that doesn’t make me feel so good. Despite many attempts over the past few months, I’ve not been able to motivate myself to get a good amount of exercise in.
Gyms opened last week and I was actually very happy to go back. I started with my regular training and enjoyed it for the first time in a while. You don’t realise what you’ve got until it’s gone, I guess!
While I was there I bumped into an old friend who is a personal trainer at the gym. Now, I’ve never hired a personal trainer because I never felt I needed it, having trained from when I was 16 I thought I should be able to motivate myself to do the training I needed to reach my goals. I knew how to do it, why do I need someone to help me?
It was arrogance. I thought I knew better about training and I wasn’t willing to accept any help. I needed to take a step back and ask myself:
“If I knew what I was doing, then how have I not made any significant progress in the past 4 years?"
It was time to make a change. My trainer friend said his rates were £199 per month for 1 session a week with a diet & training plan. I thought this was steep but after a bit of a think, I realised this is an investment in myself and was worth giving a shot.
My first training session
After parting with my cash we booked in our first session. I thought I’d show my trainer what I’m made of so chose legs for a first session. Big mistake - I couldn’t walk for 3 days after.
In seriousness the session was exceptional. He mixed up my training and I felt good throughout the whole hour. It was nice having someone else there sorting out your weights so I could just focus on the movement. I didn’t even have to count reps.
I also really liked how motivating my trainer was throughout the session. I didn’t expect it but his positivity before, during and after the workout made me feel really good - It’s the small details like that which helped.
We’re booked in for another hour next week and I can’t wait. I might just be recovered from last week.
In other news
? I hired a van and moved my stuff from London to Canterbury (I’m moving back here in September)
✍️ I’ve started using Roam Research and so far am very much enjoying it
? I’m running a workshop for ContentUK on Starting a Podcast this Tuesday (members only)
? Got a little addicted to Gerald Undone’s nerdy camera videos