When I started at Virgin Active a few months ago I remember seeing a young guy pushing himself really hard; sweating so much in a gym session that he'd have to change shirts half way through. This young chap is called Ben and his story is one that you'll definitely like to read about.
We train together in ZUU sessions each week and his work-rate inspires me, heck the fact that he is even training as hard as he is inspires me.
Ben was lucky as he came out of school and went into a good apprenticeship at 16 years old; he was also lucky as the company loaned him money to get a motorbike. This gave him the chance to travel to work earlier in the mornings and get to the gym in the evenings. In 2012 Ben left the gym on his bike, after a few minutes riding down the road a car pulled out in front of him; it caused the accident that changed his life forever.
Surviving the accident with a broken back (see below), Ben was given 6 weeks of bed rest before having to learn to walk again. Thus began his fall into anxiety and depression, something he has an ongoing battle with. "For over two years I struggled to leave the house or do the simplest tasks and often needed help with things. This was down to my lack of movement but mostly my mindset." From his late teens into his early twenties Ben went to some dark places, he finally came to the realisation that if change was going to happen it would happen from within. Learning to walk again was the simple challenge compared to the mental challenges he had to face, and still faces today.
"I took a long time but I realised the only way to snap out of things was using my gym rehab time to build confidence and stamina. It was hard getting a routine going with limited movement, low energy levels and an even lower mindset. All I knew and focused on was becoming better and stronger; plus I had the doctors saying that the possibility of training and being active again was slim, which made me want to prove them wrong!"
Ben has worked extremely hard with dedication and determination to get himself active again, to create a positive energy in his life and to make himself strong. He trains 6 days a week, lifts weights, swims and takes part in epic ZUU training sessions that make him mentally and physically strong; all the while with a broken back! He has an operation scheduled in the next month to straighten his spine and finally fix his back; which he has been preparing for, mentally and physically since his first day at the gym. "I want to be as strong as I can be going into the surgery so that I can start my 'second rehab' from a good position."
His fears no longer hold him back, they are the fuel in his fire. "I'm still moving forward, there are days where I stumble, that is to be expected, I use them to learn more about myself, to find peace; as with change, finding peace comes from within."
This is simply a snippet of Ben's life; it is a part of his journey that I thought could help motivate and inspire you. It might help you realise that the worries of today can be changed by focus and positive action tomorrow! Everyone has a struggle, the trick is to use what you find hard in life to fuel your fire to move forward.
Have an awesome week ahead, Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
Brendan is the owner and head trainer at Raw Motion Fitness.