So… Sean asked us to write a background about ourselves and where our fitness journeys began. Without realising maybe at the time I’d have to say it began when I was younger and my life revolved around football. In a football world the connotations of fitness are running and misery. I hated it, maybe why I became a centre back and ran as little as possible.
Along with Sean, I went to Broughton High School and was part of the first SFA Football performance School. For me it was difficult going through the ages of 12-15 almost living the life of a professional footballer where I trained every day missing certain school subjects as well as football training 3/4 nights of the week and then a game at the weekend. To then finish the football academy, which of course saw the amount of football I had played and trained for significantly reduce. With no sign of any real promising opportunities on the horizon and no interest in school I became a bit lost of what was to come with life after school. I remember my mum and dad attending parents night and my guidance teacher telling them “football will drive him mad one day” (supporting Hearts, he wasn’t bloody wrong!).
I thought if I wasn’t going to play football perhaps I could become a football coach so when I left school I went to college to study sports coaching… survived a few months then packed it in. After that I had a few various jobs including Tesco, Registers of Scotland, Lloyds Bank and then in the council in the Registrars office where I spent 4 years and completed a business & administration apprenticeship and then a HNC in business. It was more so during these years of working life after school where my strong interest in the gym began for a number of reasons. As mentioned previously I had less football training to keep me fit so gym sessions in the evenings became ways to keep me ticking over until my football games at weekends. And of course, like most teenagers in Scotland we enjoy a social life maybe too much. So the gym was also a way of working off the weekend beers at the start of the week and then towards the end of the week it was to make space for the weekend beers.
As I write this, I’m still trying to figure out where this love for fitness began haha!
Anyway fast forward to 2020. I had a long hard look at how I was living life and not being too impressed. Coasting through weeks and months without much ambition and purely just plodding away in an office job didn’t fill me with joy for how I’d maybe spend the rest of my days. Having just about accepted a professional career in football someway or another was not to be and watching football meant a day out drinking with mates, I became detached from the thing I’d always loved. I realised that the other place I loved being was the gym. It was a place where you forget the outside world for an hour or so. At this time I actually had online coaching from Sean.
Throughout the first COVID lockdown I worked through my PT qualification and then in September of that year started studying a degree with the Open University in Sports, Fitness & Coaching (which I have just passed second year). 2020 was a miserable time for some and understandably so but I have to admit it was one of the best for me. I got into habits of wakening up at 5am to stretch and exercise before work. Started studying and reading things of interest to me. Sacrificed a social life and distanced myself from some friends (which was easier done due to COVID).
It shouldn’t be underestimated the part Sean did play in all this, having probably distanced a wee bit since we both left school we became closer again when he became my online coach and the person I went to when Google didn’t know. He inspired me to take fitness and probably myself a bit more seriously. I couldn’t have been happier when he offered me the chance to come and work at Elevate. I hesitated at first as I was already studying with the Open University, had a full time & stable job with the council and also took a kids football team. Once I had spoken to Sean about his plans for Elevate I knew it was an opportunity I could not turn down. I also saw it as a career into something I was all of a sudden interested in (ah there it is, my love for fitness).