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Graham Pound's Personal Training Blog

Talking all things health and fitness

As part of my continued personal development I am studying a degree in Sports, Fitness and Coaching. This means I spend a lot of time at my laptop reading all about health, fitness and sport. This blog is a place for me to share snippets of material I have studied with you and talk about how I think it can be applied to the everyday athlete.

Post: Welcome

No More 3rd Person and Reference List! Well....Maybe Some Referances

I spend lots of time sat at this table. Sometimes quite happily while ideas fly out of my head faster than I can get them onto paper (a bit like right now actually). Other times quite frustrated trying to figure out exactly what I'm meant to be writing. Why I'm there has a bit of a deeper meaning though. It starts with a ball that you don't tend to use for sport that didn't quite feel right.

Start of December 2020, I was sat on my sofa after work. At the time I was a tree surgeon and retained firefighter. I decided that my left ball felt different to how it did the day before. No lump that I felt, no discomfort, no lower back pain or any other nightmare sympotoms; just felt different. Fast forward to the week before Christmas and I'm sat in Pilgrim Hospital at 30 years old, a place I would start spending quite a bit of time, with a doctor telling me I had cancer.

Before I go on, that does sound awfully dramatic. Yes I had cancer but, the type I had was highly curable. As far as cancers go, what I had was the one you'd pick if you had to have it. However, the word cancer is enough to get you thinking, what have I done with my life and would I be happy with my achievements if it all ended now. For me, the answer was no.

I've achieved a lot. I have a beautiful family. I couldn't ask for a better wife and I'm immensely proud of my daughters. I renovated a house, that looks pretty good (not like when people on Grand Designs say they renovated a house, I didn't just pay trades to do it for me, I did the lot minus the electrics) and I've have has some pretty good sporting results in Martial Arts. But it's the other stuff. All the ventures I'd given up on. Those tasks that will forever niggle at me that I couldn't wholeheartedly say I'd be satisfied to leave unfinished. The things that scared me too much to even start. They are the things that a cancer diagnosis made me think, I'm not yet the man I feel like I could be, the man I should have been.

So, whip a ball out, bout of chemo and here I am. On my extension roof. That was the day after the chemo, felt awful but, I needed to start doing something to stop my head racing. All I could think about was how I needed to start finishing off a to do list that I'd been adding to since I was 16. There were three things I decided I needed to do first. Tae Kwon Do, The Marines and get a degree.

I'll start with The Marines. I tried when I was younger to get in. But, they are fit. Very fit. I was nieve and more imporatntly unfit. Failing to get in was something I was never big enough to admit was down to me not being good enough. I lied to anyone who asked me what happened, telling them it just wasn't for me. It could have been but I just wasn't good enough for them. So, the application for The Marine reserves went in. Not surprisingly I was refused on medical grounds because of my operation, by the time I would have been deemed fit I was going to be too old. There was an alternative though, The Parachute Regiment reserves, 4 Para. They'll accept me until I'm 39 and are equally as elite (sure that will upset someone). So now I have enough time to be deemed fit and apply. This one unfortunately is on the back burner until March 26, the soonest date I'll be deemed medically fit. I see that now as 3 years to be 100% sure I'm fit enough.

Number 2, Tae kwon Do. I'm pretty good at Tae kwon Do. Stared when I was 9, got my black belt at 11, started competing properly at around 13/14. By the time I was 17 I was on the Junior Boys team at the world championships as well as competing as an individual. The big but though, I only did what I was good at. Patterns and Breaking. I simply wasn't good enough at sparring, even on the team I was the reserve. I carried on with Tae Kwon Do after the worlds for a while, got my 3rd degree black belt; I never competed again though. I wasn't good enough to spa as a junior, let alone as an adult. I was scared. So scared I never even tried. So as I write this today I'm back training, running my own club and booked in to grade in September. I've started the ball rolling again and I'm going to compete in October. I might fail miserably but, who cares. I'm not going to regret never succeeding in sparring forever, the day after that competition there isn't going to be a 'what if?' even if there is a black eye.

Final point then, the degree. I was always academic. Academic and lazy. Gave up on school to chase The Marine dream only to give that up too. Now we are approaching the point where all this becomes relevant to my personal training page. I am back learning, 2 years into a Bachelors Degree in Sports Fitness and Coaching, averaging a First. I completed my level 2 fitness instructor qualification then my level 3 PT qualification. I sit at that table in the picture all the time, learning about all things health and fitness.

All of that intro and my main point is, I am not the flawless pt you see on instagram. I don't even like Kale. I'm normal, just like the people I want to help. I chose the easy path wherever possible, I hid my flaws and I was scared all the time. Scared I'd fail, but the difference now is, I'm too stubborn to let it get the better of me.

Hopefully my sob story makes you realise that there's no shame in failure and there's nothing wrong with being scared. It took me a major life event to realise that. You might have tried to lose weight every January for the last 10 years, it doesn't mean your should stop trying. Just go for a different approach. I'm doing ok now because I'm older, wiser and have a completely different mindset.

My blog then . . . What's it all about, normally?

My plan is to use this blog to give you my take on anything I think will be useful to you, back it up with some evidence and give you my opinion. I'm not a PHD student, nor am I a 30 year performance coach. I am however educated enough to know good information from bad, I don't have any vested interest in any particular products and I like to think I've led a normal enough life to know what the average PT client will find useful.

I welcome any feedback or discussion points from anyone who is a PHD student or 30 year performance coach. Anyone actually. We make ourselves better by learning from others and having coversations. The catch though, if you're trying to make me look like an idiot to feed your own ego, I'll have little to no interest in listening to you. I'll probably just delete anything you write until you learn how to not be a dick. I think that's fair.

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