I progressed towards my body goals through sports, always competing to be the best, and learning from the Pro’s.
When I was 13 at secondary school I started playing Rugby. At the time, as I started playing more and more some of the other players there introduced me to the gym. At the beginning of my training, it’s hard to believe now, but I was all fat. All I cared about was wrestling and food. I loved “Stone cold” Steve Austin and I loved the cakes. When I was 13 years old I used to weigh my age, I was 13 stone, and none of that was muscle.
When I went to the gym for the first time one of my friends out-lifted me. This really brought out my competitive side. As I went to the gym more I got better and better at rugby. At 15 years old I got invited to a trial to play for Middlesex. I could see that people were far bigger than me and I could see from these people where sports could take me in terms of my body if I trained hard. I decided to get more serious so I could compete at this new level and asked my coach if he could come to the gym and train with me in the mornings. He agreed and I learnt a lot through this. I liked the whole discipline element of the training in general, and I liked the training regime and what it brought to me.
I got into the Middlesex team and played with Middlesex for two years. At that time I was playing with them and also with my school, and then a few of us got offered to go for an England trial. We were invited to go and see the England team play, and see the facilities. When I saw all that, that was a big insight for me, to see how serious the professionals were. To see how seriously they trained, how seriously they conditioned themselves specifically for their sport. When I seen all of this first-hand; how the training in the gym had so much influence on the performance of the sport on the field, that’s when things got even more serious for me. Seeing this, seeing the reality, and the possibility. I was motivated and inspired by all this and responded through my training.
Really it was through the rugby and other sports I noticed my competitiveness, my desire to win, and to give my best. It doesn’t matter whether I’m playing a friendly game of football, darts, cards, I want to win. It’s nice to win, you know.
Going forward, I am aiming to get fitter, and get more cut. I have friends I train with who encourage me. We set goals towards being able to lift a certain weight, and towards reaching a certain body fat % loss. Going forward I want to remember what I learnt from the rugby training and try and train in a balanced way combining sports, weight training and circuits. When the training is mostly static stuff it can leave me kind of stiff and robotic but my goals going forward is to be dynamic, powerful, strong, and also flexible and agile. Also, getting my diet right has been key, and even certain things like getting enough sleep has been important in my training. The rest part of training is just as important as the active part. At the moment I am shooting for 14% body fat which my trainer tells me is a good target considering my weight and height.
I am still enjoying playing sports. I still want to keep playing at a higher level. Whenever I see higher level sports performance I get motivated to compete at that level so I keep putting myself in these situations where I’m always looking to improve. In terms of training, the beauty of sports for me is the natural enjoyment. If I’m running somewhere, or following a running regime I feel like I need to get distracted by something to be able to enjoy it whereas during sports like my beloved football I can just enjoy the sport.
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James Stevenson is the owner of WiseGoals.com and a qualified and accredited wellbeing and philosophy coach.
He works with clients in an patient, understanding and creative way to help them apply great philosophical ideas and psychological scientific findings so they can flourish in a way that leads to them also contributing to a better world.
The development of a strong sense of mattering and agency, alongside deep understanding of inner and outer obstacles give clients a powerful coaching experience. More about James here.
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