So I Thought He Was Dying…
When I think of the many different Reactive Training “things” I’ve taken part in over the last 11 months, there’s one question that I’ve been asked over and over again.
It’s not the usual “so how much weight have you lost?” and it’s not the polite “so how long have you been coming here?” the question on re-dial was “What made you decide to join?”
Well isn’t that a story and a half…….
It starts back in May 2013 when I looked at myself in a photograph after my cousin’s wedding.
Yes it was a bad angle, yes it was a crappy disposable camera, yes my cousin is a size zero but yes I was the heaviest I’ve been in my whole life.
I’d gone up a couple of sizes in my jeans, my shirts wouldn’t fasten and my arms were bursting out of my jackets.
I was also seeing a Physiotherapist because I had this constant sharp pain in my hip joint that just wouldn’t go away.
Now I’ll cut the next bit short (it isn’t anything you’ve not heard before) I looked at that photo and thought that action was required.
So the following Tuesday I took myself off to my local hotel and signed up for a well-known slimming club.
Within my first 10 weeks I’d dropped over a stone and I was feeling pretty chuffed with myself.
Then shock horror, I weighed-in one night and I’d gained 1lb!!!
My bubble burst.
I was RAGING!!
But I persevered with it, and over the course of the next year, I went on to lose another stone (yey me!!)
Then I hit the wall.
I stopped getting results and I was just playing the balancing act of maintaining my weight with a wee pound of wiggle room here and there.
I wasn’t doing anything different from what I’d been doing up til now but for some reason it all just ground to a halt.
I wasn’t done, I wasn’t where I wanted to be and I still had wobbly bits and extra meat here and there.
I wanted it gone.
My hip also wasn’t any better but I didn’t care, I just wanted to lose weight.
So I moaned. And I bitched and I winged.
I chewed the ears off everyone about how frustrated I was.
But did anything change?
I continued to do the same thing week after week for another 4 months and still nothing changed.
Then one day, in October 2014, I was on the phone to a friend and in the middle of an unrelated conversation he said to me “I’ve got something I really need to talk to you about, are you busy later or can we have a catch up?”
I remember that sentence word for word cos I immediately wondered what the hell was coming.
Was there some drama from the weekend that he needed my advice on?
Did he have some crazy new idea that he wanted to run past me?
Was he moving (again) and wanted to book my packing skills?
It could have been anything, I wasn’t worried.
At 6pm I packed up my things and left work, heading for my friends house, not giving much of a thought to what he needed to speak to me about so urgently.
I arrived and set about my usual routine of putting my fruit in the fridge and making myself a coffee, shouting through to the other room, exchanging the usual pleasantries of “do you want tea?”
Then, caffeine in hand, I made my way to the living room, sat down and looked at him.
And he was just sitting staring back at me.
So I put my phone on charge, took my shoes off and looked at him again.
He was still just looking at me.
Now rather than ask him if I had something on my face (he wouldn’t notice that anyway) I asked him if everything was ok.
His response was what changed the course of my life, even although I didn’t know that at the time.
He took a breath and then he started talking “I need to say something to you, I don’t know how you’re going to take it so I’m just going to say it and deal with your reaction afterwards” And that’s when my stomach turned over and my heart rate flew up to 250.
All that was going through my head was “He’s going to tell me he’s seriously ill. He’s dying.”
Now it’s not that I’m a drama queen or Mrs The-Glass-is-Half-Empty but my friend really wasn’t one for saying stuff like that.
So I took a breath and prepared myself for the worst.
Then he said……..
“What do you do weekday nights? And I mean what you really do, not a rundown of your TV schedule for the week.”
I think I stared back, I think I might have gave him my crinkly eyed ‘what-the-hell’ look; I know I definitely said “eh?”
Then he launched into how he thought that it was time I started taking better care of myself.
He told me that although I’d done really well with my weight-loss so far, it was clear that I still wasn’t happy.
He also told me that it wasn’t about losing more weight either.
He was thinking about my health.
He was thinking about my mobility, my movement and my general fitness.
He was thinking about all the things that weight-loss alone wouldn’t fix.
He was giving me an opportunity.
At that point I released the breath I was holding, I realised that he didn’t have a horrible illness and I sat there deciding if I wanted to punch him or hug him (for the record I did neither, despite what he might say!)
But what I did do was ask him for more information.
For the first time, I was open to hearing these things and I wanted to know more.
That same week I joined Reactive Training.
I hated it and I loved it in equal measure.
I dreaded it but looked forward to it at the same time.
I went once and I kept going back.
I still go back 3 times a week and I’m stronger, fitter and healthier than I’ve been in my life.
Those are the things that I didn’t know I wanted until I started getting them and now they mean as much to me as the weight-loss does.
I genuinely don’t want one without the other.
So now, 11 months later, when my session partner or a new member asks me what made me first join Reactive Training, I point over to the only guy in the room, the Coach, the Boss, the Founder of RT, my Friend and I answer – “He did.”