I remember taking a careers quiz at the age of 14, I was perky, cheeky, hands-on, helpful, street smart and full of determination. I put all this and more into the computer and eagerly awaited my results.
My top 3 came out as: P.E teacher, motivational speaker or outdoor adventure guide. I looked at all those things, I looked at myself and I thought “funny”.
You see, the part I didn’t put in, the part the computer didn’t know, was that I was also obese.
My weight was something I generally accepted about myself, I was that fat funny friend. Hey, at least I was funny! But the more I grew up, the more I began to hate it – 15 came along and I wanted boys to like me, I wanted to excel in football, I didn’t want to dread shopping sprees with my skinny sister. One day in P.E (my favourite subject FYI), we were playing dodgeball, someone said “aim for the fat kid!”. As balls came flying my way I realised it was me and I thought “fuck this”.
I bought a gym membership with my hard earned, fish and chip shop dishwasher girl cash and that’s where it begun. Over the next few years I yoyo dieted and exercised (at first terribly and sporadically), eventually hitting my weight-loss stride during my high-school/university transition period. Between the age of 18 and 20, I lost 38kg.
Now I could go into detail about my weight-loss, what I did, what I should have done differently, how hard it was, but how it was sooo worth it – all of that. But neigh, what I would like to highlight about my weight-loss is what it taught me about exercise and in turn, what exercise was able to teach me about myself.
Through exercise I changed my whole mental state of well-being. Exercise taught me that even though I can’t do something right now, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Exercise taught me that bad days get better if you keep going. Exercise taught me that our bodies (and minds) are capable if we allow them to be. It taught me that heavy things are only heavy in relation to your capacity to lift up (and get rid of) heavy things, that big mountains are only “too” big in relation to our scope and learnt ability to climb mountains.
Yes, I lost weight. I was no longer crying in shopping malls, I could play football all day, I was 6 sizes smaller, I was just the “funny” friend.
But what was more apparent to me, what was more important to me, was that I was wildly capable.
Funnily enough, I was just as capable as I was at 15 years old; I just knew it now.
So there it is. That’s why I’m a PT. I get to be a teacher, a motivational speaker and most definitely an adventure guide!
I get to improve people’s lives, simply by showing them how wildly capable they are.