I know HOW scary the gym is, I know what it feels like to be a beginner and so does EVERYONE in that gym…

Find out where it all began

Ok, I can go all the way back to the beginning and explain where this anxious, self-hating ball of adult depression came from, and maybe at some point, I will. But seeing as it’s taken me a lot of therapy and money to get there, I think I will start from the moment of change!

So I’m 28, I’m working as a retail manager for a Jewellery retailer – let’s call them S.Hamuels, shall we? I was in charge of a team that worked for me, but didn’t respect me fully; as I was about as confident with my ability as a blind traffic warden (and they could see it!) I had a practiced mask that I wore with a smile, a polite demeanour and I was such a hard worker. This however was an act; one in which the senior ladies in my team utilised, in order to do as little as they possibly could. And in a lot of cases, they knew my ability for conflict was not strong! I mean, I did it, I had to, but it would take several trips to be sick first. I survived as I was a caring boss and the people in my team (that were on my side) helped. But if I’m honest with myself, I was far from a finished product. This would have been something I could have coped with if when I went home, I would have had support from my partner. Instead, the reality was, I had a partner who said my depression was dragging her down and then actively made it worse. She did care. Unfortunately, it was only for herself! Finally, I looked in the mirror and in front of me was a 10st wet-through male. I just looked at myself with my top off and cried.

But right there I looked at myself and made a pact with myself: I was going to change. I knew I was not strong enough to change my job and my home -life at this point, but one thing I still had control of was my body. I was going to make myself into someone who I could look at in the mirror and not be repulsed by.

So the next day I went and signed up to my local gym and felt like I had achieved something. I went home, packed a gym bag and went to sleep, ready to go in the morning. Then it was D-Day… I got up, ran to the bathroom and…threw up! I was absolutely scared to death. I was a skeleton walking into a room full of shaved gorillas. One thing that my mental health problems had taught me …. Fucking resilience So, I wiped the sick away, grabbed my bag and drove to the gym. I was there in 10 mins. I grabbed my bag, I walked up to the door and.. froze! My heart started to beat

faster (it might not have done, but it felt like it did) I turned around, got in my car and drove home. Not how I had planned it! But after an hour of crying and panic attacks, Mr Resilience kicked Mr Anxiety in the balls and I was back in the car again! This happened in total six times that day until eventually, I got inside. YES – I’m in the gym and I can do this! Right?! Errr… what the fuck do I do? In front of me was a load of machines that looked like a combination of Alton Towers rides and torture devices! At that moment, I get on one that I think I know how to use (that I now know is a leg extension machine!), put it on 25kg and try and move it – Nothing… 20kg…nothing…15kg and I start to move it! Looking at pretty much nearly the lowest weight on the machine, I do 10 reps; get off the damn thing and feel lower than I had ever thought possible … “I can’t do this, I’m the weakest person here. I don’t belong. What’s the point?” Then I heard a voice: “Are you ok do you need some help?” I turn around and in front of me is the tallest bloody woman I had ever seen! (But wearing the biggest smile) “Plenty”, I say. “Just ask my wife”, I say. (Humour has always been my weapon) She laughs and then says – “Well can I help you with these machines then? Haha.” My pride gets the better of me, so I say no, but she directs me to her PT board anyway. I take down the number and I leave. When I got home, I rang her and that’s when Sian Ripley becomes my PT.

She knows I can only afford to pay for a training plan and a diet but never pushes for more as she knows It would stress me. She shows me equipment how to use it never belittles me explains why we do things and makes me feel comfortable.

Sian Ripley is how I knew if I became a PT what type of PT I would be and here I am 6 years into the industry and now I want to be your Sian Ripley.

Because I know HOW scary the gym is, I know what it feels like to be a beginner and so does EVERYONE in that gym. With this in mind, hopefully, with this programme, you will feel better equipped than I was; entering the arena of grunts and sweat.

I will show you how to train, explain why you are doing what you are doing and eating what you are eating. I will explain those weird machines and how to use them. But most importantly, I will show you how to use your mental health as your secret weapon (considering 3/4 of exercise is mental resilience!) Unlike those normos (lol), you have been fighting with your brain for years, therefore, you already have a leg up on them! You are not on your own: you have your community now, and if you fall, which you might do, you will have many hands lifting you back on your feet…

For now, peace out my brothers and sisters.

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