Whilst professionally I am relatively new to making a living from the fitness market, I have been passionate about the advantages that an active lifestyle can offer both physically and mentally for my whole life. I appreciate that I am on one end of the spectrum, the one where ‘exercise solves all your problems’ (sadly it doesn’t), but the impact on wellbeing is without doubt something which I wholeheartedly subscribe to.
I was approached by Katie, a young teacher who was wanting to get fit, lose weight and feel better about herself. On the face of it, this seemed like nothing particularly out of the ordinary. When I met Katie, I realised that there was a lot more to it! Her list of ailments, illnesses and daily medication seemed (to me) like I was reading a medical dictionary, and in all honesty I wondered how much I would be able to help her with her goals! My doubts were completely unfounded!
Working with Katie has been one of the most challenging, but rewarding experiences in my life and regularly reminds me of why I chose to get into this profession. Far from being frustrating and limited, I have had the pleasure and exciting challenge of finding new ways to adapt and modify exercises to enable Katie to continue to get stronger (one of the conditions Katie has is excessive hyper-mobility). She is determined to the point of stubbornness (in a good way!) and has proven that with some hard graft and practice she can achieve things many people would never have thought possible.
When we started training, Katie could walk to the end of the road (just), had never tried weight training and had regular relapses ‘Flares’ due to the daily challenges of living with Lupus. 12 months on and she is unrecognisable in her shape, we have seen her strength grow exponentially and most importantly she has had just one ‘flare’ in 6 months. Her stamina has increased to the point where she can walk or Cross Train for 45 – 50 minutes and has completed her first Park Run!
Before I started training with Tim I was very unfit, got out of breath doing food shopping and couldn’t walk to the end of my road without stopping. I have danced at a national level since I was a toddler so always had a good level of fitness. However after being diagnosed with hypermobility and lupus (an autoimmune condition) 6 years ago I had stopped exercising completely so my muscles were very weak.
I knew something had to change so researched personal training however many of the other websites I looked at were intimidating and filled with promises of ambitious achievements based on exercises I knew my body would not cope with. I started training with Tim nearly 10 months ago and have enjoyed every single one of our weekly sessions. When we first met he was very understanding of my conditions and their implications for training and put me at ease straight away. He has created a completely personalised programme of sessions and exercises for me to do at home which cater for my needs but continue to challenge me all the time. Tim is incredibly patient, easy to talk to and very good at encouraging me when I am finding things tricky. He is very passionate about fitness and has great knowledge of how to adapt exercises so I can achieve them without putting pressure on my joints which could cause them to dislocate.
I am constantly amazed at all of the things I am now able to achieve with Tim’s guidance, many of which I never thought would be possible. Not only am I physically stronger, I have lost weight, feel less tired and am motivated to exercise outside of the sessions. I have become more confident in myself and have really benefited mentally from all the endorphins after leaving each session on a high!
10 months later and I have completed my first Park Run- a long way from not being able to get to the end of the road without stopping! I would not hesitate to recommend Tim to anyone who wants to improve their fitness, lose weight and become more confident in the process.