I was born and raised in Sheffield, England. Some of you may know it as the Steel City. Home to Joe Cocker, Arctic Monkeys, Pulp, Def Leppard and countless other artists and musicians. As a young lad growing up, my dad; who used to be the premier DJ at the famous Limit club during the seventies and eighties, I was always close by to records. I was raised on punk, blues, (now classic) rock, reggae and pop. I always remember my dad first playing me the Sgt Pepper album and it absolutely blew my mind.
Needless to say: music has been and will continue to be, a fundamental part of my life. When I turned eighteen, I began working at The Leadmill; a nightclub that is still standing in Sheffield. However, I fell in with some toxic crowds and, in a desperate plea to leave, I joined the British Army.
I first joined up as a Royal Engineer. A combat engineer at heart and a bricklayer by trade; I served around four years with them before deciding that I needed to test my body some more. As a civilian, I had heard from a friend (and former infantryman) about this specialist unit that operated in 'high-risk' environments. They were elite. And, masters of covert surveillance and target acquisition. Even as a civilian I thought that this job sounded awesome. Flash forward some years, and I remembered what my friend had said. So, I looked them up.
4/73 Special OP Battery were (are) a group of highly-trained, highly-motivated and highly-respected group of misfits. I remember turning up to day-one of the Patrols Course, or as we used to call it: selection, thinking that I was fit.
These guys were on another level. And, I wanted to be one of them.
After fourteen weeks of pushing my body to its limits and beyond, I was proud to say that I became a badged member of this small brotherhood. There has been less than three-hundred Special Observers since the unit was created in 1982, and now I was glad to say that my name would be on their nominal roll.
But, I wanted more.
Once I became settled within the Battery, here is where I fell in love with pushing my body to its limits and, most of the time, beyond them.
I became intoxicated with how your body adapts to pressures exerted on it. I ventured into various forms of training, from Powerlifting, Bodybuilding and Olympic Lifting. I loved the feeling of my body being tired and the rush of endorphins that follows a hard workout. It was a much-needed reprieve from the toxicity that I had been witness to in my teens.
I competed at high-levels within the army. The most prestigious of these competitions was that of British Army Warrior Fitness; a CrossFit style set of events that culminated with the finals which were held at the Army School of Physical Training down in Aldershot.
After having my daughter, I decided to leave the army. The army will always be there, but my daughter will only grow up once. But, I couldn't leave training behind. And, the knowledge that I'd gained over the years of being trained and training myself, pushed me towards a career in personal training.
Which, I am happy to say; I now do full time.
There's nothing better than receiving a text or phone call from a client, saying how they've 'successfully managed that all-elusive third date' with someone that before, they would have never had the confidence to even approach. That actually happened the other month with a client! He drunk messaged me and I still never let him forget it to this day. I still train him now and he is still with said lady!
It makes the job worthwhile when you can actually witness positive changes in a person's life, just from doing something that you love to begin with.