If you’re reading this now it means you’re on my website, potentially looking to learn a little more about me personally…
While I’m not big on talking about myself normally, I’ll put that aside for now and tell you my story…
As a kid I was always pretty active, I played a few sports in my school years ranging from Tennis, to Soccer, to Volleyball and a few others.
During my teenage years I found myself drawn to more ‘extreme’ sports such as Bodyboarding, BMX & Skateboarding which carried into my early adulthood, before then turning my attention to cars & Motorsport – Drifting specifically which I then pursued quite seriously in competition for quite a few years.
During my young adult life I found myself working in various manual labour type jobs, in factories, warehouses and workshops for over 10 years all up as I wasn’t entirely sure what I really wanted for myself in terms of a real career.
The last Warehouse I found myself in back in 2011, I worked for about 10 months before I developed a spinal injury over the course of about a week that turned out to be a pivotal life changing moment…
The symptoms from the initial injury left me in extraordinary pain, almost completely immobilised, scared for my future and in a position I certainly never imagined myself being in.
A brilliant Chiropractor I’d only recently met through my now wife, assessed me very early on and suspected a disc injury… Only a week or so later this was confirmed with MRIs showing bulged discs at L3, L4 and more importantly L5/S1, impinging the nerve which as many of you know is what actually causes most of the pain in symptoms.
Being a Workcover claim meant I was forced to receive fairly generic western medical treatment, seeing GPs who were incorrectly diagnosing the injury, trying to push Cortisone injections (which I refused) and offering very little else in terms of real solutions… I chose to also seek treatment of my own accord through Chiropractors, Remedial Massage therapists, Acupuncturists etc as they seemed to offer far more knowledge & treatment options regarding my injury.
For the first 25 years or so of my life I’d existed as a very lean person, tall & thin or “lanky” was how most would describe me, but in my late 20s I decided I wanted to change that & started to do some strength training with a couple of mates, eating as much as I could. I’d managed to gain over 10kg by the time my injury occurred, but more importantly had acquired a bit of a taste for the strength & fitness world, which now starts to become relevant to my injury story…
I was informed early on in my injury that surgery is a possibility, but decided that was something I wanted to try avoid, or at least reserve for an absolute last resort decision… So over the next couple of years I started to learn as much as I could about more rehabilitative exercise, using movement and specific strength activities as tools to help manage and even heal my injury, to which I had great success for the most part.
I chose to not take pain medication unless it was absolutely unbearable, as I wanted to listen to my body, to use the pain as a guide to what I could & couldn’t do, and try improve my condition by slowly increasing my pain free capacity/capabilities each & every day.
During this time I was signed off of ever being able to return to the manual labour type jobs I’d done before, & would need to be re-trained or educated in an area that I could then pursue as a career, so I decided my current situation & ever growing interest in human movement was a good reason to become a qualified Personal Trainer.
By 2013 I had my Cert3/4 as a PT, but found myself quite disappointed & concerned at the level of real world knowledge & education (or lack there of) that I’d actually received in order to be ‘qualified’ as a Personal Trainer. Suffering an injury like I had, gave me a pretty unique perspective of the industry and the situation I now found myself in… I realised the standards trainers were being brought up to in order to achieve their qualifications were in my opinion nowhere near adequate to then safely & effectively teach others out in the real world without possibly injuring them & potentially causing the very injury I was living with.
I saw my qualification more as just a ‘license’ to now seek mentoring from experienced professionals, to attend workshops & courses, to learn as much as I could before taking on any clients myself, which is exactly what I did…
In early 2014 I was lucky enough to be gifted my first son. When he was just a few months old I experienced a flare up of my back injury (something that had been happening a few times a year) and despite the great success I’d had for the most part over the last few years of managing my injury, it was clear to me that it wasn’t going away, and now having a 3 month old son who I couldn’t even pick up was what pushed me to bite the bullet and opt for surgery.
In November that same year I had a Microdiscectomy of my spine, couple of days in hospital, a couple of weeks of minimal low level movement & lots of rest, then a few months of rehabilitation which I essentially did myself. It was about 6 months post surgery that I found myself in a condition that I was happy with (considering the injury), very little restriction or limitation for what most would consider everyday life duties. I’ve been managing my injury now very successfully ever since, with far better results than most people who go through the same thing but aren’t fortunate enough to have the knowledge or help that I had.
Over the last 6-7 years I’ve attended workshops, completed courses or gained certificates in many areas of health & fitness including Stretch Therapy with Kitt Laughlin, Functional Movement Systems with Grey Cook, Gold Medal Bodies methods under Ryan Hurst, Neuro Kinetic Therapy with Kathy Dooley, Strength & Conditioning programming, Functional Range Conditioning with Hunter Cook and more.
Rather than lock myself into any 1 of those systems or modalities, I’ve taken all of what I found to be the best parts of each, the things that resonated with me the most, the tools I found most effective & added them to my belt, now using all of the above in various ways with any of my Everyday Athletes I work with in True Capacity Fitness.
Through my own journey & experience I’ve learned a lot about living with, managing & treating injuries like mine (as well as some injuries unlike mine)… I have the knowledge to help people in these situations, but also the first-hand experience of having lived it myself, which gives me quite a unique insight & ability to connect on a higher level than most can.
I now spend my days giving everything I have to help my everyday athlete clients to work through their injuries or recover from them, to reduce their pain & improve their quality of life, to improve their performance in their chosen sports or to just get in better shape, learn how to move more effectively & efficiently, and give them the ability to comfortably and happily tackle anything life throws at them.