Never look back unless it’s to see how far you’ve come. This weekend has been momentous for me, having completed the legendary Man vs Mountain for the second year in a row; and it was this very event that had to lead me to purchase a Rat Race season ticket for 2019. Little did I know then that it would ultimately lead to me becoming the happiest version of myself that I’ve ever been, not to mention the fittest!
Now that was truly amazing! Within just a few weeks of setting up, I had clients coming out of my ears! I was thrilled that it had taken off so well and there was this huge momentum being created but in hindsight, I realise that due to my headspace not being 100% right,
I had taken on far too much for one person and it all came to head around June 2018 when I realised I seriously needed to cut back! Training clients from 5 am through to 10 pm is not sustainable! After various attempts to cut back on clients and still juggle Pilates classes and various other fitness classes I knew I had to make a big change.
Personal training had been amazing and had helped me at a time when I needed something new and exciting to focus on but my gut was telling me that it wasn’t my calling. My passion lies with Pilates and working at The Oast Osteopathy was my happy place.
I get such a feeling of satisfaction and fulfilment from changing lives through Pilates and feel so passionate about it ( and isn’t life about finding your passion?). So I made the somewhat radical decision to shut down my Personal training business and focus solely on my Pilates work.
I had just enough classes to keep me floating above the water and knew it was the right thing to do. It’s a decision I have never regretted. In fact- thank the universe that I did take the plunge! Within a month or two, my classes were full and I, once again, had clients coming out of my ears!
Only this time, I was happy. Very happy.
Being in that environment, I learn so much from the Osteopaths and other therapists and I’ve since completed a sports massage therapy course and am training to be a Control Practitioner (a method that remedial hypnotist Tim Box has created); this is all a knock-on effect of me choosing the right path and being true to my inner being.
When I look at how everything has panned out between November 2017 and now, I’m much more inclined to believe that everything happens for a reason, and maybe that reason is forced introspection.
Whatever it is, it’s been a truly incredible ride. I thought I was blissfully happy in my relationship, I now realise that I had no idea just how happy I could be! I never thought I’d be writing these words! Really!
It was early on in 2018 that one of my clients and subsequently good friend, Luke, suggested that I get a group of my clients together and take part in a Tough Mudder.
Again, hindsight is a beautiful thing, it was a pivotal moment in my life and one that would see me become an adventure fitness extraordinaire! Luke would have had no idea how much that one suggestion changed my life. It didn’t do much for the PT business other than provide a fun day for everybody as the business would be shut down soon after, but for me personally- it opened my eyes to a whole new world.
May 5th 2018, the first day I felt actually happy since my breakup 6 months before. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t get over it there and then, but I had a glimmer of hope and could see there was potential for better things to come.
Training outdoors, the physical challenge, facing fears, pushing myself out of my comfort zone all made for a very satisfied me. I was entering new territory. Something was changing. I knew what was happening as I’ve had many rebirths along the path of my lifetime.
This was exciting. My eyes were opened to a whole new world. I have taken part in running and various fitness events in the past but something was different this time.
I was signing up to running events, obstacle course events, half marathons, marathons. Having never done a marathon before in my life, I had completed 6 between October and December 2018. Probably not the best idea to accumulate so many miles so quickly as I developed compartment syndrome as a result, which isn’t exactly an injury but it’s very painful and can literally stop you in your tracks.
Around March 2019, I took a few weeks off and gradually built the miles back up. I’m pleased to say I’m absolutely fine now. No compartment syndrome and no suffering from cramp. I realise that this was all a result of not being in good enough condition to do the amount I was doing. I am now, however, conditioned!
It was suggested to me to take part in Man Vs Mountain 2018. An epic mountain adventure that starts at Caernarfon Castle, goes up to the summit of Snowdon, down the other side, up a vertical kilometre and then after around 22 miles of that lot, a punishing array of water obstacles.
Sounds epic, right?
And it was. I had experienced many physical challenges prior to this but nothing could have prepared me for the sheer exuberance of pushing myself for 22 miles and over 5000ft of elevation surrounded the magnificence of North Wales and the Mountains.
At the time, it was the hardest thing I had ever done and I couldn’t walk the next day (again, I now realise how unconditioned I was) but I had never felt so good. I immediately signed up to a whole load more of trail marathons which included the Brecon Beacons marathon the following month. And wasn’t that just glorious?!
It was November in Wales and the weather was outstanding. When I reached the top of Pen Y Fan I burst into tears of joy! It was such a wonderful, spiritual experience and it was that event that made me realise how much I love being alone. From then on, things became better and better.
I became happier and happier.
I had found true happiness again and I realised that all I needed to be happy was myself. I’ve always been a lone ranger and a happy one at that. I guess that I kind of lost a part of myself when I was in a relationship, which is normal, but I had come to realise at this point ( a year after my break up) just how lucky I was and how I was returning back to the true essence of me. I was having the greatest love affair of all time- with myself.
2019 started well and I had bought a Rat Race season ticket off the back of the Man vs Mountain event. I have so far this year taken part in The Mighty Deerstalker (night run in the Scottish Highlands), Dirty Weekender (20-mile obstacle course),
The Wall (69 mile run from Carlisle to Newcastle, where I was 12th female to finish out of 1000 people competing), Man vs Coast (25 mile run from Penzance to Lands End), Man vs Lakes (42k run around the Lake District with huge ascents) and Man vs Mountain again; and these are just the Rat Race events!
The Liverpool marathon this year was a pinnacle moment for me and one that would really shake things up. I was happy with my training and kind of plodding along but something wasn’t quite right. I had got into the mindset of it’s the taking part that counts and had put on weight. After completing the marathon with an average time and then seeing photo’s of myself looking out of shape, I had a huge wake-up call.
I knew that I wasn’t being true to myself. I am a high achiever and self-discipline is what ultimately makes me happy.
So May 29th 2019, I signed up to MyFitnessPal and employed the amazing Liz Weeks (running coach extraordinaire!). Within 6 weeks I had gone from 70 kgs to 58kgs and I started smashing PB’s.
I realised that while had been eating mainly healthy food, I was eating way too much! And although some say that it’s the taking part that counts when it comes to running, for me, it’s about achieving something. I really thought I was fit until I started training with Liz!
That woman has pushed me into a whole new world of pain that I never knew existed and I’ve never felt better. I’m apprehensive before every session as I know what’s coming and I’m often sitting in my car waiting for disaster to strike so I don’t have to do it but guaranteed after every session, I’m as high as a kite! She’s got me running below 7-minute miles for a prolonged period of time and I even won a couple of awards at races I’ve taken part in since she started training me. I’m so grateful to have found her. I’ve never felt so fit, healthy, happy and fast in my entire life!
It’s incredible how quickly and easily things can change. My life has just completely ascended in the last few months. My fitness is at it’s peak. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my entire life and there is literally nothing I can think of that would make me anymore fulfilled. Man vs Mountain this weekend was incredible on so many levels as I could feel how much fitter I have become, how in tune I am with my inner being.
I’m vibrating so high and so in love with my life. While on the ascent to the summit of Snowdon, I had time to reflect on the year gone by. I have been on such a tremendous journey. A journey with myself. An inner pilgrimage. I know who I am now and I know that who I am is perhaps different from most and that’s ok. I no longer feel the need to try and fit in with society’s idea of ‘normal’. I know what I like and I’m enlightened.
So my message tp anyone out there who is going through difficulty in their lives right now- hang on in there. If you choose the path of least resistance and let be what will be, stay true to your inner being and keep the faith that everything will be ok in the end, and if it’s not ok then its not the end- you’ll come through the other side a better and far more enriched being. Trust me- I’m living proof.