Written By: Simon
Reading Time: 5-7 Minutes
I haven’t written a blog in a while, I’ve been leaving that duty to Joe, but A LOT has changed in the past year or so.
So I fancy a bit of reflection, and reveal some stuff that not many people know about.
This weekend marks my 26th birthday.
Believe it or not, last year was the toughest year of my life, I was tired, burnt out and depressed.
This time last year I was making coffees, working on a deli counter and even cleaning toilets.
Those were the jobs I went through to get to where I am now….
Training 15-20 people a week and helping hundreds more through our social media platforms, working on something I LOVE doing that I created with my brother.
What a difference a year makes if you work your bollocks off eh...?
2015, the worst year ever
That’s right, I was suffering from anxiety and depression last year.
During last summer, I ended up leaving a decently paid job as a personal trainer at a private school.
Let’s just say they weren’t too happy with what I was doing with SJ Fitness and pretty much said “It’s that or us”.
Now at that point and to this day, SJ Fitness is my passion and what me and Joe have built so far, we’re damn proud of.
Anyway, I bit the bullet and decided to walk out of my job, I chose my passion over my job, it wasn’t fulfilling me anymore and I wasn’t happy there.
I felt I had so much more to give and felt “trapped” at that place, I wanted to do my own thing and continue to develop SJ Fitness with Joe.
But we knew starting off your own business is bloody hard.
I wasn’t making enough money through SJ Fitness at the point so had to find another job.
I had a 1-year-old son to feed, bills and rent to pay, this decision was a huge risk.
I ended up working in a coffee shop, supermarket and even cleaning toilets at one stage!
There was no gyms recruiting, so we were just doing our online coaching with our small base of clients, I needed another source of income.
I was miserable, depressed and frustrated.
Breaking down on a weekly basis.
I went to the doctors about how I felt and he prescribed me to anti-depressants (which I never took).
I was cleaning toilets and mopping floors when I knew I could be out there training people and helping them.
I had to help myself and just hope things would get better.
Light at the end of the tunnel
Eventually, towards the end of last year, a new gym in High Brooms, called Fit4Less was opening up, so went for a job there, initially as a fitness instructor.
I got the job, and it was like starting back at square one again.
A few months down the line I started personal training there, and now I’m training around 15-20 people a week, finally back to what I love doing, as my own boss, as SJ Fitness, 2 years since first starting out through a Facebook page.
I’ve had to work tirelessly to get where I am from back then.
I’ve had to fight through living on less that a £1000 a month (which was just enough to cover rent and food), I pretty much had no money to myself for 6 months.
I was depressed, my relationship with my girlfriend was shit at the time, I couldn’t enjoy the times I was spending with my son, because of the pressure of walking away from my job and not earning enough.
BUT THAT WAS MY DECISION AND I HAD TO WORK MY BOLLOCKS OFF TO MAKE IT BETTER.
I dealt with the consequences and have turned it around.
But sometimes adversity presents us with opportunity.
You have to go through the hard times to get the good times.
I am by no means where I want to be yet, we still have work to do with SJ Fitness, but it’s a hell of a lot better than it was 12 months ago!
I can honestly say I’m happier, healthier and stronger.
26 ways to get happier, healthier and stronger
I learnt a lot about myself last year, I went through a lot, but I’m better off for it and have grown as a person. Here are 26 things that will help lead you to a happier, healthier and stronger life.
1. Train/Workout- The gym helped me massively during my depression and helped relieve it, it always will be a place where I can de-stress and let off some steam.
2. Eat healthy and stop eating so much crap.
3. Have a why and a purpose in life don’t just exist and conform, challenge the status quo. “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”- Mark Twain
4. Take pride in your body and health. People say you only live once, so you should enjoy yourself, and I agree, but what’s the point if you look and feel like shit?
5. Money doesn’t buy happiness but it does create freedom.
6. Eating healthy isn’t expensive- Me and my family still managed to eat well and I stayed in decent shape, even when I had barely any money too my name, saying it’s expensive is just an excuse and laziness.
7. Always have a goal to work on.
8. Help other people and give a shit. Since the start of this year, SJ Fitness has done 2 giveaways worth nearly £100, given away free t-shirts to all our clients, created free e-books, created a free Facebook group, re-done our website, did an online group coaching group (Operation Shredz) done countless free sessions, given away tons of advice, done a nutrition talk/seminar, why, because we care and like helping people!
9. Cut yourself off from negative people.
10. Do stuff that makes you happy and stop trying to impress people you don’t even like. “Too many people spend money they haven’t earnt, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t even like” Will Smith
11. Not everyone will like you, but that’s ok. - “Other people's opinion of you does not have to become your reality” Les Brown.
12. Don’t give a shit what people think. Ok maybe the people that are close to you, like good friends, family, coaches, mentors etc.… but if they aren’t supporting you in your life and your decisions, fuck them.
13. Have more fun- Something I still need to work on!
14. Watch less TV, read more and keep learning.
15. Walk more. - Try do 10k steps every day. (My Fitbit was my birthday present last year, one of the few positives during that time!)
16. Stop comparing yourself to others and just focus on bettering yourself.
17. Drink more water and less alcohol.
18. Work hard on something you love or have a passion for.
19. Take more risks. Have no regrets. “We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret” Jim Rohn
20. Lift weights- You’ll become stronger, more confident and look good naked, and I think everyone deep down wants that.
21. Drink good coffee.
22. Overnight success doesn’t exist- Accept that getting to where you want to be in life, business or the gym takes hard work, patience and time. For example, if you’re a little overweight, have a busy work life, family life and not much experience in the gym, you’re not going to be a cover model in the space of 6 weeks.
23. Tell your partner, son, mum, dad whoever, you love them more.
24. Eat more fruit, veg and protein.
25. Always be you.
26. And finally, the reason why this blog happened. Quit your job if you hate every second of it. Dream bigger and don’t settle for mediocrity, everyone can accomplish something!
A final note
I’ll finish on this quote from Les Brown which was the turning point for me when it came to what I wanted to do and the decision I made when I left my job last year. But remember, you have to be willing to put the work in, nothing happens overnight, I have a lot more to learn and a long way to go to be where I want to be…
“The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry their dream.”