A few years ago I had a major health collapse. What began as a fall in the street turned into first one knee surgery, then multiple pulmonary embolisms as a result of that surgery, followed by a cancer scare, eye surgery, hospitalisation for stress and finally a total knee replacement. The compounding effect of all these issues over a two year period included weight gain and depression. My thirty one year long running career ended as a result of my knee. As running was the glue that held my life together it was as if in a single swoop I had lost both my ability to manage stress and my identity.
I have always believed that when bad things happen consistently it’s time for a life appraisal. Perhaps the universe was trying to tell me something.
I moved across the country and started a new life on Australia’s Gold Coast. The first two years were grim. First a failed business and then the search for work. The bad luck seemed to continue. One day, as I was sitting scrunched up on the train, commuting to Brisbane for a really miserable job, I hit rock bottom. I knew I couldn’t continue following the path I was on. I had to make changes.
Sitting there on the train that day I decided I was going to reinvent myself. I would become a fitness trainer. My running background had equipped me with knowledge and the ability to push not only myself but also to motivate others. I loved seeing others achieve goals they never thought they would.
Once I made the decision, doors opened for me. I also believe that just as the universe will throw up road blocks if you’re heading in the wrong direction, it will also open doors if you are on the right path. I went back to school to complete my fitness qualifications and within 6 months I was offered my first aqua class. There is nothing I enjoy more than helping people reach their goals.
Today I work full-time as a fitness leader teaching out of the Palm Beach Aquatic Centre.
My message is simple.
Each day is a gift.
Each day proves to me that if you set an intention and follow the steps, you will achieve what you set out to do provided it was meant for you.
You are never too old to change your path.
You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” – C.S. Lewis