Why should you come and train at our Training For Warriors Brisbane Bayside Capalaba Dojo?
Well I have been a bit nervous about blog posts and putting my thoughts down on paper for the world to see.
Who am I to tell people how to train, eat and behave?
Why am I different to every other trainer and coach out there?
What have I done with my life to make me an expert?
Why is it different to take part in group fitness training sessions at Training For Warriors Brisbane Bayside in Capalaba?
Well this could be quite a lengthy blog post to cover all of these questions.
I am a 43-year-old divorcee with four (4) children, yes that is right 4 children. I know the joys and challenges of being a parent, working and trying to fit in time for myself, especially time to get to the gym and train. I know how you can put everyone else first and leave yourself to last and what that can do to you personally. Oh and if you think that my kids have all left home, wrong! They are aged from 13yrs down to 6yrs old now. So I still have my babies at home and have the joys and challenges of family life as I train my students in our group fitness classes at TFW Brisbane Bayside and develop a community that is supportive of each other.
I have been involved in sports, fitness, teams, training and services all my life. From a kid I played competitive Squash, Rugby League and every athletic and swimming event that was thrown at me. As an adult I continued with Squash, trained at the gym, competed in Powerlifting and played a bit of Rugby League. Some I was good at others pretty ordinary but I had fun doing it. I have also Coached a great mate of mine and a fantastic athlete to qualify for the 2001 World Junior Powerlifting Titles.
Once I became an adult, some may say I still haven’t, I joined the Army Reserves and started my service to my country in the Infantry Corps. I quickly took to the lifestyle, the discipline and community within the Army and loved every moment of it, well mostly, it is always a lot more fun looking back on it.
During my time with the Army I worked up to the rank of Sergeant and was responsible for the welfare, training and discipline of my platoon of 30. A major function that I filled throughout my time with the Army was in training of soldiers of all different backgrounds, skill sets, beliefs and experiences. I trained soldiers in areas ranging from basic recruit training, drill, weapons handling, field craft, navigation, driver training, infantry skills and tactics, how to survive the army, through to leadership, physical training and instructional skills. I have trained Australian, Italian, Malaysian, New Zealand and several other nationalities during my time in the Army.
For 14 years as I was a member of the Army reserves I also served as a Queensland Police Officer. This period of service was as a first response officer in General Duties, managing Community Police Beats, small stations and as shift supervisor for my Division. From 2002 until I was retired I was a Police Operational Skills and Tactics Instructor and a Field Training Officer among a number of other responsibilities. Again I found myself in a position of leadership and training. An area that I thoroughly enjoy. All the while still maintaining my first response role. My roles meant that I was responsible for the training and education of Constables in my station and all ranks within the District in Officer Safety and physical skills and tactics. I was also responsible for the education and training of First Year Constables fresh from the Academy.
These positions and of course the first response roles teach you many things about communication, encouragement and generally dealing with people from all walks of life and how to get the best out of them. How you explain and deal with one person will be very much different to another. There is generally always a way to explain and help a person to understand if you just come at things from different angle. Not to mention you learn to have a lot of patience.
The greatest thing it teaches you however is HUMANITY. I have seen many horrific things, witnessed people at their worst, in their darkest moments and saddest times. I have had to give the worst news to loved ones, run into situations to help others, that most sane people would run away from.
On the other side of that I have had the privilege to help people in their greatest times of need, I have been there for joyous times and been able to bring some happiness, support and sometimes just a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen to help people through tough times. I have been able to make a positive impact on people’s lives.
Now some people might still say that I would not understand what they are going through. That may be true. No-one truly understands another person and exactly what they are going through. I can say this though, in 2010 I hit some very bad times. All my service and the things I had seen and been subjected to, like the unenviably title of the most assaulted Police officer in my district which had the highest rate of police assaults in the state at the time, added up and I hit the end of my tether. I was a broken man. In 2011 I was medically retired from the Police Service suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Severe Depression.
I soon ballooned out to weighing 107.5kg at a height of 169cm up from my normal weight of 80kg. I struggled through the PTSD and Depression for a number of years. I have very little recollection of late 2010 through to mid 2012.
When things got a bit overwhelming, like going to a shopping centre or picking kids up at school my brain would go into a dissociative state where it would just shut down and I would have no control. I hated life, could not stand going out in public and shut myself off from the world. My wife and I drifted apart and even a last ditch effort to move to another country to get away from the situation and stimulus’ that triggered my PTSD didn’t save my marriage or help with my condition. I could not bear what I felt and thought and the responses to different triggers was not improving.
The only escape I found was in exercise. The exercise helped me to get my weight back down and increase my fitness but, for me it only helped mentally while I was doing it. So I did it a lot, way too much which ended up being detrimental to my physical health. Yes that is right. To much exercise or training is detrimental to your health. During these times I made several trips to Phuket Thailand to go to fitness camps so that I could just train and not have to worry about anything else. Yeah sure that worked for a while but on return I would slide right back into where I was before. Things were bleak and I could not see any future.
Then I made what I thought would be one last trip to Thailand when my wife broke news to me that our relationship was definitely over and she wanted to move back to Australia from Sweden for her own reasons. We were in Sweden because she is Swedish and wanted to be close to her family for support. In Phuket a friend raved about Training For Warriors Thailand, so I went along to try it out. I did one training session and to help others the training, so I went back for another session the next day.
When I walked in I was greeted by the Coaches Mark Mariani and Coach Andrew (Woody) Wood by name and with a smile and a joke as if I had been coming for weeks. This piqued my interest a bit more and brought me a little out of my fog of I am just here to smash myself and forget what is in my head for an hour. I listened to the nutrition tip, then the big one the message of the day, honestly I didn’t notice it on the first day. It was just a little message that triggered something in my head and I paid more attention to the rest of the session because this was something different.
Every time Coach Mariani spoke to me it was like I was the most important person in the gym. Then I noticed the community that Mark had built in the group fitness training. Everyone was cheering each other on, celebrated each other’s successes and helped each other out. Then I was invited along to breakfast and from there I quickly became a part of the TFW Thailand Familia.
I had found the ingredients that were missing for me. I continued to go back for training and more and more I listened to the motivational messages, more and more my mindset changed through the stories, the support and the sense of belonging to something bigger than myself. Really it wasn’t just the training I went back for, the support and community was the biggest thing for me. I felt human again and felt for the first time in a long time that I mattered to someone other than my children. I had 4 weeks with TFW Thailand then went back to Sweden to spend a month with my children and celebrate Christmas.
I returned to Phuket and to train at TFW Thailand and continued a great and lasting friendship with Mark. He is more of a brother than a friend. I started assisting Coach Mariani (Mark) during TFW group fitness training classes and rekindled my love of helping and assisting others to bring out their best. Helping others to rediscover their love of life and realising their own goals.
I trained with TFW Thailand for 6 weeks then returned to Sweden and subsequently went back to Australia where I did my Level 1 Training For Warriors Coaches Certification with the Founder of Training For Warriors, Martin Rooney. When I walked in Coach Rooney knew who I was immediately and showed me the same interest and care that Coach Mariani had done. His beliefs, philosophies and mission resonated with me greatly. Coach Rooney spent a lot of time talking with me about my desires and my past and many other things. He knew many things about me that some of my closest friends did not know by the end of the weekend. Why? Because he cared and was able to reach out to me.
Finally I had found something that I could believe in and I had my purpose back again. The purpose is to help others to become a fitter, healthier, happier version of themselves, to help people to live a longer, happier and stronger life. To fight against Depression, PTSD, Obesity, Anxiety, Stress, Heart Disease, Cancer and poor self-esteem. To fight against the big companies and society that make healthy living so damn hard for us. To help people to lose fat, build muscle and feel good.
How do I plan to do this? By helping one person at a time, making little changes to their lives, by bringing them in to our TFW Brisbane Bayside group fitness training sessions, by building a community that supports each other, by building a community based on co-operation not competition. Message by message, training session by training session increasing people’s physical fitness, mental fitness, emotional strength, mental fortitude, sense of belonging to a community and sense of self-worth. Then gradually those people help another then another and another until we are building a happier, healthier, friendlier more connected community. All this starts with them being a part of our group fitness training at our Capalaba Dojo.
I know that this can be achieved, if I only save one life then I have achieved a great thing in my life. I know that my life has been saved by Training For Warriors and the great people that are a part of it. I know of the ripples that we can create that can save the life of someone that we may not ever have contact with. I know that Coach Martin Rooney made an impact on the life of Coach Mark Mariani which changed the direction of his life which led him to opening Training For Warriors Thailand and by me taking part in his group fitness training it had a profound effect on me and saved my life and gave me back purpose in life.
This is why I believe that I am different to many other personal trainers and gyms out there in the Brisbane Bayside and Capalaba area. I have been to the very depths of darkness and despair, I have been through the trials and tribulations I have seen the best and worst of people, I have served people and the community my entire adult life, I know what it is like to raise children and deal with day to day life. I have been there, I have been to the very edge of ending it all and I have come back. I know how hard it is to deal with depression, being overweight, raising a family, working shift work, hearing that voice in your head telling you how worthless you are. I have dealt with it all and still at times old habits come back but I deal with them much better and it becomes easier. The key is finding someone that cares about you. Finding a passion inside yourself and feeding that passion.
We all have a Warrior Within that is waiting to be unleashed. My goal is to help you to Bring Out Your Warrior Within. I will do that by providing you with a supportive community, training you both mentally and physically in our group fitness training sessions as part of our community / Familia. Helping you to realise that you are capable of great things and then helping you to achieve those goals in a safe and supportive way.
AND we will have some fun along the way!
“Bring Out Your Warrior Within.”
Have a Great Day!
TFW Brisbane Bayside