At 16 years old, I left school and studied Health and Social Care at college, having being my 3rd option for a course, I was talked into it by the careers advisor as initially I wanted to do Uniform Services (wanted to go into the fire service) The careers adviser highlighted in a complementary way that I was sociable and could see a pathway down helping others, which little 16 years old me just went along with. A year into my 2 year course and the talk of universities arose. I never in the world would have thought a girl from Consett, County Durham could leave her home town, pack away her belongings and move away from home. However, the prospect of this excited me. There were many options to which course to apply for, Adult Nursing, Child Nursing Midwifery, Mental Health Nursing. I decided on Mental Health Nursing, after all, my sister was a Mental Health Nurse and I had family members who suffered with Mental Health Problems. I studied at the University of Leeds. I envisioned reaching out and connect with those suffering and provided the best support I could give. So I went in head first like a bull, completing my first degree and working on an adult acute ward for working aged adults suffering from mental health problems.
So your probably wondering where the hell personal training comes into all this. I developed in the role of a Staff Nurse and discovered the high levels of stress, I needed a form of release. The shift patters alone screw your system and instead of reaching for the bottle (which was tempting I’d tell you!) I was letting off steam by exercising and eating well. These were two things I could take control over in my life, whilst everything unpredictable on the ward was not.
I developed a deep passion for exercising, and every patient I came into contact with, I could imagine how their mind would be a touch better with a bit of movement and good nutrition. I do see a need for medication, however, not really for sleeping or to escape and not work with coping mechanisms. However, my role left me no choice but to dish out medications as we didn’t have the time to focus on anything really deeply therapeutic. I worked within the hospital for 4 years, majority of the time, leaving shift feeling like all I did was give tablets (sometimes standing in clinic room for 4 hours per day!) alongside managing illicit drugs on the unit and dealing with staff shortages. This is incredibly deflating. Especially having so much drive and passion to help people in need.
I began personal training in the year of 2016 after a friend suggest that I would probably make a good trainer. After spending alot of time in the gym myself and keeping myself in shape, I pondered about it for a while. Then I took the leap, I signed up to a course, and completed it within 6 month. I started to train clients in their own homes, and quickly felt that fire in my belle that I could actually help people, one body at a time. I was still working full time, and juggled clients around my shifts. Sometimes training clients before night shifts, as well as fitting in my own training.
I soon came to realise that this line of work didn’t actually feel, well, like work! I was truly happy to programme for these individuals to support them with their fitness related goals. Little did I know, I could also help with their mental health too, as with good exercise and diet, comes better mental well being. One client even got the all clear from having type 2 diabetes- he doesn’t need to take medication again and I’m super proud.
I decided to drop my hours in the hospital and only work 30 (-7.5hrs). I tried to free more time up whilst building my client base for PT. It was difficult, trying to work around 8 hour and 12 hour shifts, my availability as a PT was not suiting my client’s needs as much as I had hoped. After thinking about it for a while, I signed up to a agency for nursing, and after 4 years of working here, handed in my notice at the hospital.
Leaving a career which has set from 8 years ago trust me was the bravest thing I had done! I just had to have hope that I would find another car (handing back my NHS lease), risk no regular income, hope I can have stability for fresh goodness food to follow my passion and dream.
At the moment, I’m personal training in Leeds in a gym called Sudden Movements. I have trained myself here for 3 years, and it’s a very unique gym. There’s not a cardio machine in sight, and we focus on good movement patterns and view training for longevity and health. I knew that with this love for personal training that I would and could make it work. I said at the beginning I would rather go for it and fail, then to not try at all. Here I am today, building my client base, and i’m not homeless! One of the silly things I worried about *paying the bills, no regular monthly income. I have much more free time to develop myself, read and learn new skills, develop my own training and reach out to many more people. My next stages are reaching out to people worldwide, coaching online.
Im excited about my near future, and look forward to helping many others with their goals.