I’ve been with FOF for about three years. I started training to try to maintain some fitness given my inability to run but I never really set myself any goals. I trained because I felt I had to but it wasn’t something that I really dedicated myself to or that I approached with a decent attitude. If I’d taken that attitude to work I would have been sacked and I would have deserved it.

In the last 6 months 2 things have changed but in many ways they are related because fundamentally they are all in the mind.

Firstly the introduction of the semi private training. I was deeply sceptical, another sign of a dreadful attitude because how can you write off something you haven’t even tried? I can honestly say that I love it. Perhaps I’m lucky but I train with some lovely people. People that I am happy to spend time with and who undoubtedly make me train better. The presence of other people adds a little competition but in a good way – perhaps inspiration is a better word and seeing people getting better is hugely encouraging when you aren’t perhaps seeing the small changes that are going on in your own body. The other thing is the camaraderie. There is nothing better than one of your training partners encouraging you, because there really is always one more rep in there, you just need that push to get it out. I don’t know if they realize it, but the other people there make a huge difference to my training and I would like to thank them for it.

The other big change is more personal. I am by nature a miserable sod which isnt particularly healthy and can be a real pain in the ass to be around. On entering the gym and being asked how I was I would usually find something to complain about, aches and pains, lack of sleep etc all of which was true but the unintended consequence was that it set my mind into a negative mode and significantly raised the chances of me having a bad session. I was setting myself up to fail as soon as I came through the door. (it must also have been a real joy for the trainer’s to have to deal with that).

A couple of months back I sat down and thought about this – what was I trying to achieve and how was I going to do it. I had to accept the fact that at 48 I’m not going to be the fastest, strongest, best guy in the gym but I can be the best me in the gym. I can push myself and achieve goals that mean nothing to anyone else but which make me feel good but I can’t do it with a rotten attitude. I decided to walk in the door and rather than focus on the niggles, focus on all the things that were working, on all the things that I can do and make them better. When someone asks how I am – “I’m good”, because actually I am. Lots of people have proper ailments, I was just moaning.

For me the difference is immeasurable. I walk in the door smiling, I push myself really hard, I have fun with the other people there and I walk out the door smiling. For the first time I remember I am actually enjoying training.

It’s simple stuff but the biggest change is in what is going on between my ears – it’s amazing what your mind can get your body to do.

I must end by saying a special thank you to Graham who has just been fantastic. I train with Graham more than anyone – perhaps he is the only one who can put up with me, and he has been absolutely key to my change. The technique work is great and he is so encouraging.

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