I grew up in a lively family with three older brothers and my parents quickly got me involved in sport and my first real sport was Taekwondo. I trained from the age of 7 for about eight years, achieving my 2nd Dan Black Belt. I learnt a huge amount from taekwondo - respect, work ethic, patience, integrity - and it also gave me a great grounding in fitness. From age 11 my interest in rugby started to take hold, initially training at school and then joining West Park Leeds’ U15 section and playing there until I was 18. After school I moved to study Environmental Science at the University of York and started my university rugby career. I was enthusiastic about fitness on and off the pitch throughout my first year and finally got to run club fitness in my second year.
In 2015 I fell and suffered a fracture that almost shattered the front of my L1 vertebrae. Thanks to some exceptional staff and surgeons, I narrowly avoided a future without sport. Going from highly independent to almost entirely dependent on others was a huge challenge and it was a long journey back to every day function however. Following physical rehabilitation guided by physiotherapists and my own extensive research, I went ahead with surgery to remove the metal in my spine. From this point, my rehabilitation goals switched from ‘return to normal function’ to ‘return to competitive, contact rugby’ and I didn’t look back once. Through these experiences I have learnt what chronic pain is like to live with and it gave me a great, new perspective on life and the importance of strength training.
Not only did these experiences give me a new perspective on life, they had a huge influence on my career choices. I enjoy being able to help others in the same way that my physios and coaches helped me and that is what led me to personal training. Strength training is such an effective way of reducing your chances of injury and obesity, building self confidence and providing an outlet for mental stresses - it should be part of everyone's life style, whatever the goal.