I’ve been stuck in a rut for some time with my fitness.
It happens to the best of us.
That fire in my belly that used to have me up at 6 am to work out, striving for personal bests week after week, had somehow been extinguished.
Not just that, but the moment I hit 30, my body started falling apart. I couldn’t train with the same intensity, commitment and regularity without breaking myself, it seemed. At 30, was I over the hill?
This milestone age was a big deal for me. Just the year before I used to joke how it didn’t bother me because I felt ‘fit, healthy and in the prime of my life’.
Fast forward two years: a couple of children, a flooded home, a long-term hip injury and two prolapsed discs later, and I was on my arse. Knackered. Past my best.
How did I let myself slide this far? When did life take over? Is it really ‘all downhill from here’ in your thirties?
Training in some way, shape or form has always been part of my identity. Whether it was Muay Thai back in the day, Olympic lifting or strongman, training was part of who I was and who I am.
So I wasn’t ready to lose this large part of my identity as I hurtled headlong into my thirties. I didn’t want to wake up one day being that middle-aged bloke, tired, spent, and old before his time. I had to stop the rot.
They say you should surround yourself with inspirational people – so when I came to Ultimate Performance as Content Editor, I struck the motherload.
Every single day I’m working in an atmosphere that couldn’t fail to inspire even the most miserable of misanthropes.
Watching people overcome their greatest fears, perceived limitations, and seemingly insurmountable hurdles to achieve their fitness goals is powerful stuff. It lit that fire in my belly once again.
And it certainly put all the excuses I’d made for myself in recent times into sharp perspective.
The one thing I’ve learned is, if you truly want to get in shape, you will stop at nothing, and nothing will stop you.
I’ve seen it first hand at UP countless times already. The transformative effect of fitness never fails to amaze me when I get to meet inspiring clients like Keith Dawson, who at 61 trained and dieted his type 2 diabetes into remission in 10 weeks.
As you get older you become more acutely aware of time, of opportunities, and of your own agency in determining how your life pans out.
When you see that, with enough determination and hard work, anybody can achieve incredible results at UP, you can’t help but want a slice of this pie.
So that’s why it hurt all the more when I prolapsed two discs bear-hugging a wardrobe up the stairs to fit out our new nursery back in January.
I was five days into a New Year transformation journey at UP and brimming with optimism, energy and motivation to finally achieve what I’d been trying to do for years.
It was a crushing blow. I never thought I’d be able to train properly again. I’d probably never be able to squat and deadlift again and I could look forward to a life of yoga and swimming forever more.
I’d been told by legions of middle-aged friends with chronic back problems that ‘once your back goes, you’re screwed.’
I thought that was it; game over. But if working at UP has taught me anything, it’s not to quit.
Once I was out of hospital, I was dead set on getting back on the horse somehow – that meant months of physio, stretching, walking and yoga to get myself in a position to start again.
I have had to lay to rest the idea that I could still train seven days a week doing insane workouts. Now I have to train hard, but train smart; not killing myself in the gym, but being intelligent, staying mobile and injury-free, and listening to my body.
Luckily the personal trainers at Ultimate Performance are the best in the world; even with two prolapsed discs, there’s always a way to get in amazing shape.
Adapted exercises, expert nutritional planning and optimising the things I am capable of. It was GAME ON again!
It’s a chance for me to well and truly dig myself out of this rut and put injuries behind me. It’s a chance to see how far I can push myself and what I can achieve. But mostly, it’s to prove to myself and others that you can be a parent, have a career and still be in the best shape of your life…at whatever age…injuries or not.
Heck, if I can do it, anyone can. I know it’s not going to be easy – nothing worth doing in life ever is.
I’ve just become a father for the second time just a few weeks ago.
So juggling a hectic job, a crazy commute and being a double dad, while taking on one of UP’s world-famous body transformations, is going to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
So I’m going to document every step, every meal, and every up and down along the way. I’m about to see what I’m really made of.
Why not read about Sam’s incredible 12-week transformation journey that got her in the shape of her life. If you want to find out how UP can revolutionise your training, diet and whole physique, just enquire below…