I trained my very first client in 1994 working in a gym to pay my way through university. It wasn’t glamorous. I actually spent most of my time picking up weights after others, making protein shakes for the ‘big boys’, and scrubbing the toilets and shower block after closing. But I knew learning about how the human body worked and using that knowledge to help people’s health was what I wanted to do for my career. Eight years, two degrees, and a couple of post-grad diplomas after starting a supposed 4-year degree at the University of Otago, I started that career in earnest.
I’ve been a Personal Trainer, a Group Fitness Instructor, a Rehab Assistant, a Nutritionist, a Manager of Personal Trainers (I don’t recommend that one much), and a Manager of new gyms (I don’t recommend that much either). I’ve been a Strength & Conditioning Coach to elite level athletes. I was researching, writing, and delivering Corporate Wellness programmes long before I knew corporate wellness was ever going to be a serious thing. I’ve worked for one of the largest organisational wellness providers in New Zealand as their researcher, writer, and behaviour change programme developer. I’ve presented to many groups of various health professionals. I’ve run presentations and workshops for organisations of all kinds. I’ve given countless podcast interviews. I’ve spoken at international conferences in New Zealand, Australia, and the United States of America.
That’s a short precis of what I’ve done with my career. But twenty-four years after working with that first client in the gym I’ve come to understand why I do what I do:
I translate the complexity of human biology into the essential ‘big rocks’ of health and wellbeing, so that people can increase their energy and capacity for living a better life.
Whether it be working with individuals, speaking in a workplace, or addressing a conference hall full of people (the medium doesn’t matter) I have felt most fulfilled in my career when I have had the opportunity to help people understand their own biology, helped them prioritise the core elements of their wellbeing, and they have been able to use that information to increase their energy and capacity for what they want to achieve in their lives.
To foster my own energy and capacity, I like to spend time outdoors, in natural environments, with cool people. Preferably on a bike. Almost always preceded by (and often followed up with) good coffee.