Changing your mindset is something I hadn’t really ever thought about until I was 29. Life was a roller coaster of fun, travelling, partying, eating, working etc. This was about to change though.
What am I drinking? Sometime in the early 1990s.
I think said to Gillian I would give up smoking before I hit 30, I don’t think she believed me. From about the age of 16 I smoked, not a lot, sometimes only 3 or 4 day but on others it would be about 20 or more, especially if there had been a big night out. I was totally addicted though, like most people are. Then at some point in march 2004 (my birthday is in September) I stopped, just like that. I threw my last 3 away and was done. I think it was St Patrick’s day, as I vaguely remember going to an Irish pub with friends, (Christian and Eoin), to celebrate and it being difficult to be out and not smoking. This was a test I passed though and each day it got easier and easier until I forgot I ever smoked really. I did start again and quit again much later but that is another story!
The point of though is this was the first time I made an adult mindset change, a conscious decision that I followed through with. A goal that was set and achieved if you will.
This brings me to my health and fitness journey which started in October 2014 just after I turned 40. I weighed over 14 stone and didn’t do any exercise, (as mentioned in previous blogs), now was the time for the change. I was going to get below 12 stone and learn to run…again. This was my next mindset change.
My first visit to the gym was scary as hell, even though I was with Jack, (the awesome PT), who was very patient with my complete lack of knowledge! Think about those first day of school fears then adultify it, (yes that’s a new word), I felt so out-of-place there. It was a completely alien environment with all manner of torture machines. Basically I thought that everything apart from the cycling machine could cause me harm.
The plan was simple though. Mondays and Wednesdays at 6am I would work with Jack on strength training, Saturday I would do some cardio and core work. Before starting at the gym I had no idea about what the “core” was! Surely it’s just a set of core exercises, like a list of the standard ones lol. Nope, great start Jon! Anyway, we started simple but it was really hard, press ups on the knees, TRX stuff (those are hanging rope type things), V sits, some hamstring machine thing, lunges and lots of stretching. The good thing about these sessions was that I learned so much from Jack without realising it, he varied the work outs so that I never knew what was coming and was always very supportive of my general rubbishness! I was also sticking to the new food regime and enjoying it.
This was massive for me. 3 days a week committed but I needed to change something else too.
Many laptops and TV screens at work.
With my job I have to travel about 6 or 8 times a year and sometimes I am away for two weeks. Most of the time on the trips I am stuck in a dark room watching lots of TV screens for hours on end and when we would finish each shift, the standard thing for us to do, (the crew), would be to hit the bar for a couple of hours to un wind. In January 2015 this changed.
As the celebrations of a lovely family Christmas and then the non existent New Year passed, I made the annual trip to Atlantis in the Bahamas for work. To be honest I am not a fan of this trip for many reasons but I won’t go into them here. One thing about this location though is I heard it had a good gym and using it was included as part of the room package. So I made the choice to try to go to the gym 4-5 times while away.
WHAAAAAT! WHO AM I? WHAT HAPPENED TO JON THE PARTY MAN!
The view from my room in the Bahamas was pretty nice.
Jack set me up with a training plan of exercises I couldn’t screw up. I was still pretty scared about being in a gym on my own though! So I spoke to some of the team and found out there were a few other people who went to the gym at 7am before working a 12-14-hour day. Wow, my first fitness buddy’s! This gym was on the other side of the resort though and someone, (I think it was Rich or Jodie), mentioned that we would run there as like a warm up. This was amazing, I was a little scared though to be honest, would my knee be ok, would I be able to keep up? I messaged Jack and he said give it a go and to my joy I was fine, running along the sea front in the Bahamas is pretty cool, just 1k there and 1k back afterwards. Also I didn’t screw up my sessions, didn’t injury myself, (or anyone else), and it actually felt really good to not just: wake up – breakfast – work – bar – bed – REPEAT. The runs weren’t very far and the sessions still pretty tricky but Progress was being made and it felt awesome. From then on I vowed to do some exercise on my work trips, to break the cycle. I would still have a few drinks with the team but just not every night!
2014 was a game changer.
2015 started with a bang and I wasn’t going to stop this roller coaster anytime soon!