Part 1: Back to before I even lifted. Why do I even lift (and coach lifting)? My weightlifting journey so far.

 

I feel privileged to be able to earn a living from doing something that I’m extremely passionate about. I coach people to do what I choose to do in my own time, and I wouldn’t change my job for any other. Weightlifting coaching and empowering people to become stronger, fitter and healthier is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done and I plan to continue to do what I’m doing for as long as possible. But, how did I get to this point? It seems like not too long ago that I didn’t even lift, and had no idea what I wanted to do as a career!

 

From a young age my parents were a massive influence, as they always encouraged me to try different sports, to be hardworking, and to strive towards performing to my best. Swimming, athletics, and football were the main three sports I competed in whilst growing up. I tinkered with the gym, and a little bit of weightlifting at 16-18, but nothing serious and I didn’t really know what I was doing!

 

At 18, I then decided to study sport science for three years at Loughborough University, one of the most competitive environments you’ll come across in Britain, where sport is concerned! Again, I played a bit of sport, and did a bit of weightlifting in multiple gyms, but nothing too consistent or serious. However, being in this environment opened my eyes to how hard people work to become good at their discipline.

 

After graduating from University, I knew that I wanted to work within a sport/fitness environment, but didn’t know the specific area I wanted to focus on. I therefore set out on experiencing as many roles as possible over the next four years, including: sports event coordinator, PE teaching assistant, sports coach in schools, and even coached football (soccer) in the USA. I enjoyed aspects of each of these roles, but I didn’t feel like I could do these jobs for the rest of my life. I also had multiple periods of unemployment, which were some of the most demoralising times of my life, with self-esteem hitting some real low points.

 

Coaching soccer at summer camps across the US in 2009.

Coaching soccer at summer camps across the US in 2009.

 

However, I used my coaching experience to get a foot in the door at my local David Lloyd club, starting as a DL Kids Coach. It was an unpaid role for only a couple of hours a week, but I was given full membership to the club, in return for my services. I had a fair bit of time on my hands and unlimited access to a really good gym, where I decided to focus on something positive and teach myself how to lift weights. I set out on my weightlifting journey by reading books, observing others, and practicing a lot! The first book I read was “The complete guide to training with free weights” by Graeme Marsh, and I set about mastering every exercise in the book.

And so it all began…

To be continued..