Paul Nicholson

Throughout school I was obsessed with sport, I played as much as I could, my whole life was consumed with playing some game. I was immensely competitive and still am today.

From 11 I played for 2 rugby teams, ice skated 4 to 5 times a week, If not we played roller hockey or football. After leaving school this huge void opened up, I began a career in hairdressing and it was a party lifestyle, I gained weight, drank too much, smoked too much and dabbled in recreational drugs.

I started to realise that I was struggling with drink and I couldn’t just have a few, I had to shut the lights completely out. This took its toll professionally, physically and mentally. I hit rock bottom and was around 112kg, so unhealthy and something snapped and I became suicidal.

One day my best friend decided to take me for a game of squash, I can pinpoint that session in summer 2009, as the beginning of my recovery, it awoke my physical side and my competitive nature. We played more and I found new partners, eventually I started at the gym and since 2009 it’s become an integral part of my life. I wanted to end my life and now I wake up earlier every day to be more proactive, I train to be obsessive and it keeps me on the right path. 

The knock on effects it has, my productivity stoked by endorphins and the positivity, I’m almost coming up 40 but I feel younger and more energetic now than when I was 27. Never underestimate the mental health benefits physical activity can yield, it takes time to get there but you’ll never look back.”

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