I wanted to be a professional footballer. Shock. I had a great childhood that was filled to the brim with activity, a different sport every night of the week. I just didn’t know I was bang average at all of them, rather than the baller I dreamed of becoming.
My early teens were hard. I was bullied daily at school and family troubles saw friction between everyone, including my siblings, so we found it hard to be around each other.
Sport was my outlet. At 15, the realisation hit that I wasn’t going to be a Footballer and I felt lost. I attended an amazing after school club and by this age, I was too old to take part so I decided to volunteer with them. One of the leaders changed my life forever. Tony, who I’ve never been able to find to thank, said ‘‘we are here to engage the disengaged. Disengaged from life or school and we are here to give them a purpose, through sport’’. This blew my mind and I had found my calling. I wanted to engage those that needed it most in physical activity to give them a sense of community, fun and better health.
I started straight away by running my brother’s little league team as his manager quit and I told the kids, only two years younger than me, if they show commitment they are in my team – ability was not important. The buzz was insane! I studied hard, at points, and somehow graduated with a degree! For 6 years I’ve been working in HE delivering sport participation programmes and even though the job can get repetitive, I still get the buzz when introducing someone new into activity.
COVID-19 hit. Mine and my partner’s fitness regime stopped and we needed something new, motivation was wilting away. I posted a message out to friends about doing a workout on zoom. The response was great and the first 5 workouts saw 35 people – I’m not a PT, we are just working out together and it was awesome. #HumansofHIIT was born. My family, friends, colleagues and their friends, family and colleagues were getting involved. Real people, working out together. Now you’ll see amazing people sharing their stories to motivate others to be active. Life. Made.