My epiphany took place in the seaside town of Padang Bai, on the island of Bali, Indonesia, sometime in July 2011. I’d completed my Master of Science degree the year before, and this mid-winter getaway from the Dunedin cold was my reward to myself for my academic achievements thus far. I had three part-time jobs waiting for me at home, none of which spun my dials all that much.
Kate, my friend and travel companion, and I had spent the evening at a bar drinking tequila sunrises. Upon arrival back at our room Kate immediately passed out. I, on the other hand, was wide awake and full of energy. It was probably around midnight and the temperature and humidity had both dropped in comparison with the oppressive days. The guest house where we were staying had a rooftop balcony so I proceeded up there with my iPod and yoga mat and had an awesome workout consisting of shadow boxing interspersed with press-ups and sit-ups, with plenty of stretching at the end.
I usually can’t go without exercising for more than a few days at a time – I start to feel agitated and irritable and lethargic, so this holiday was proving to be a bit of a challenge for me in this regard, as I had no access to a gym and wasn’t exercising much. I was also coming to realise that days spent lounging beside a pool eating and drinking is not my idea of a dream holiday. The late night rooftop tequila fuelled workout was exactly what I needed and I felt more alive in my body and clear in my mind than I had for a while.
This was also a fairly pivotal time in my life; I’d finished my studies and felt like the reality I wanted to create for myself was right at my fingertips. So I asked myself this question: what is the most important thing to you right now? And this was my answer: having a good body. Now I know this sounds incredibly shallow and vain so please let me explain. To me, having a good body means eating for nutrition not gratification, exercising regularly, and feeling completely happy and at peace with the size and shape of my body. I wonder how many people are not in this state right now. My next thought went something like this: if this is the most important thing to you, maybe you should find a way to turn it into a career. Becoming a personal trainer seemed like the logical next step.
So I enrolled to do the best personal training course available in New Zealand, tied up all my loose ends in Dunedin and moved to Auckland. A bit of an about turn after studying geography at Otago for five years, to say the least. At this point in time I should probably mention that I’m totally ruled by my emotions, and make most of my decisions based on how I feel, rather than what’s logical or practical. It’s not that I don’t know what I want to do or be, but more that the goalposts keep moving. Every time I think I’m sure, something new comes along to distract me. That said, health and fitness has always been a massive part of my life and always will be. Turning it into a vocation however, is another matter. Wish me luck!