Tribute to Yvonne

Tribute to Yvonne
Yvonne Pratt died this week at 81.
Yvonne was one of my first ever clients with my personal training. She called me up one day with the softest, quietest voice, I had to check if anyone was on the other line.
Little did I know that Yvonne was recovering from Chemotherapy. I debated whether to start her as her problems were lengthy, but my business was young and individuals with great physical challenges seemed to come my way early.
This made me so careful now, the sheer numbers of things that could go wrong if you didn’t research someone’s problems.
Yvonne had a lifetime of ill health. She told me of the times as a child she was sent to the earliest versions of health farms. There was no science in getting fit then when she was a child and young adult, it seems often like bad guesswork that seemed to only make yvonne worse. She had regular injections of all sorts of drugs without much success.
Physical activity was not something her body tolerated too well.
Yvonne was my quickest learning lesson/a great experience. No matter how many studies I did, nothing prepared me for her.
Exercise is a stress on your immune system, a positive one for most. In Yvonne’s extremely low level of immune system, exercise in large amounts could be dangerous.
Our first session was 5 minutes, I am deadly serious, and she almost couldn’t breathe after the lightest of efforts. She was in bed for 3 days after the session and I was ultra-careful.
Next week was 7 minutes, in bed for 2 days.
A month later she was up to 15 minutes and in bed for just one day.
Fast forward two years later, and Yvonne would easily handle 5kg dumbbells on all exercises, do step ups, boxing vigorously and despite the odd relapse, she was proud of her physical achievements.
I soon formed a great friendship with Yvonne, and indeed Milan, her American husband from California. Yvonne met him after catching a 6 week “banana boat” to the Caribbean sent by her father to “gain more experience” living with her relative.
For all her physical frailty, she was a true adventurer and always encouraged me to be the same.
Yvonne would have a hot baked potato with peanut butter ready after every session in their Swiss valley home (they later moved to the Bryn).
Whenever I had a cancellation I would call at their home if I was in the area and had the most incredible of welcomes.
Yvonne was herself a successful business woman, having had a card shop by the old YMCA in llanelli. Her father had run Reginald Watson, the only school wear shop in Llanelli that many of you will remember.
She taught me a lot about business, the need to work hard, keep your standards high and to treat people incredibly well.
Her stories about living in Nassau, the Bahamas were legendary.
I will say this cliche but it is true, I can’t think of a more gentle, more genuine, more caring person, and it was with true sadness I was told of her passing.
Yvonne Pratt RIP, and thanks for all you gave me in all ways.

Wednesday, January 17th

Habits for massive productivity EVERY DAY.
Many of you are in the habit of exercise, a very powerful asset to your life. But hooking yourself into this habit is the hard part.
Making a habit easy is part of your solution.
For instance, my early morning habits go in order. I go to bed fairly early, and at that moment, my clothes are READY for the morning.
I shave, clean my teeth, but before that I have fed the dogs, got my porridge ready, put the kettle on and mostly, these go like clockwork EVERY DAY.
It makes my start to the day without stress, and I’m primed to do well. My DAILY HABITS are so ingrained, that I don’t even think about them anymore.
Are you having trouble making your workouts?
EASY habit would be getting your kit ready right now READY for tomorrow. Some of you do this with great success.
Trouble eating rubbish on the way to work after having missed breakfast?
EASY habit would be making sure right now you have breakfast ready for tomorrow, all you need is to put it in a bowl-EASY.
You WON’T fully take up a habit IF it is hard to do, or it requires much though to do it.
You come to the gym, I teach you the workout. We make it even easier by filming it and sending it to you, and we have vast resources too at, making it easy to do home workouts, do our gym workouts, recipes, or just get fired up, its all there-EASY.
You can make life for yourself MUCH easier if you plan your day, line everything up, tough to start with maybe, and maybe a pain for you but you will find you become so much more efficient with your time, and get much more out of every day without fail.

Tuesday, January 14th

Here’s how time is a great healer. Those of you who started with relatively low ability, and who never thought they would achieve much, are absolutely killing the new workout!!

This is what time does and can do, six months of consistent and committed effort, showing up 3 times a week without fail (or more) will be sensational for your results.

Every workout follows on from each other and all of you must realise how much plugging away gets you.

If you have a full accountability attitude, then you will transform yourself, NO DOUBT as I see it each and every day.

If you don’t show up, and don’t really like me reminding you of that, then who’s fault is it you aren’t improving? Be accountable to the gym but most importantly yourself.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but having the courage day to show up day after day not expecting much, but just getting through the workouts WILL change your life, without you noticing to start with and these great habits will eventually stick so you end up wanting to train because it becomes part of your life.

Once you complete one week, then one month becomes possible. Once you complete three months, then all that success will drag you through to 9 months, then you will feel so amazing at 9 months, then all of your hopes and aspirations will not only be met, but be taken to new levels that seems unrecognisable in week or month one.

The next month, year, 5 years will come anyway, make them incredible by showing up and getting the very best out of yourself each and every day.

Monday, 14th January

I love the feeling of throwing everything at my day, and you should do. Although it’s only Monday, lots of you hit the new programme with vigour and enthusiasm this morning and tonight.
We are half-way through the month, but already I see a steely determination in all your eyes.
You have grasped the fact that you shouldn’t take this year, this month, this week for granted and realised the time is actually your most valuable resource.
I have a personal plea tonight. Lots of you get this but for the remaining ones who doubt yourself continuously, PLEASE believe in yourself, please realise that as long as you show up, you WILL achieve wonderful things.
So you have smashed monday and hit it with everything. As long as you get to bed early tonight, you will come back stronger tomorrow and be ready to hit everything with high intensity again.
Value, appreciate and cherish every workout, because the returns are going to be phenomenal. Monday always gets me wired for the week, both physically and mentally, and allows me to perform at the level necessary to give enormous amounts of encouragement, and make sure all of you are getting through incredible workouts, and coming out the other side in great condition, both mentally and physically.
The week is young but we are already on a roll. Hit the rest of the week with aggression and a willingness to get stuck in.
Love your opportunities.