I’m a fitness professional based in London with nearly a decade of experience as both a trainer and soft tissue therapist.
I started training seriously when I was 14 years old. My school PE teacher (Julia Bennett) was a Commonwealth Games level athlete and saw potential in me. My dream was to make the Olympics. We would train after school every day with a mixture of track work and weights. I was a good all-rounder, so we trained for the pentathlon (5 events) which is the junior version of the Decathlon (10 events). At the same time, I was playing football competitively and was trialing for Brighton Boys football team.
By 16, I had problems with my left knee and severe shin splints. This sparked a 3 year period of on-off training and utter depression as I went through 3 unsuccessful knee operations (by 3 different consultants) and endless physiotherapy. I will never forget the words of the final consultant:
“You will just have to stop playing sport, there’s nothing more we can do”.
At age 18, I went to Brunel University to do my Degree in Physical Education. I was so inspired by my PE teachers influence on my life and love of fitness (despite the injuries), I wanted to be like her.
I eventually came to terms with the fact that I would no longer compete and my Olympic dreams were over. However, I could weight train without pain. I loved weight training as much as competing, so this realisation gave me a new spark of motivation.
I started to train more for ‘vanity’ than performance, which meant a shift away from athletic training and more toward a bodybuilding style of training.
I remember reading hundreds of articles from different trainers and strength coaches that I admired. Sometimes I would spend 3-5 hours a day, glued to my laptop. I would learn and apply different techniques in the gym and observe how it changed my body and my strength. I was ALWAYS seeking a better way to get bigger and stronger.
After university, I decided that I wanted to be a personal trainer, rather than a PE teacher. I would watch the strength & conditioning coaches at Brunel work with athletes like Linford Christie and Usain Bolt and I thought, THAT’S what I want to do.
I studied personal training and separately did a 1 year diploma in sport & remedial massage therapy. This decision to be a ‘dual practitioner’ was the best decision I ever made. I understood the human body on a much higher level due to all the detailed anatomy and hands on work. Both skills combined made me excel at my job.