December 9th

I was 18 years old and I wanted, thought I deserved 2 weeks off training because so many people I knew were dong it.

This had never happened before, but everyone said I should do it. After all, they were too.

Gyms in those days were closed for 2 weeks for Christmas (apart from ours when we were open most of the time), one in particular was closed for 3 weeks, when members were encouraged to go out drinking every day, and to eat rubbish in copious amounts and you would be a true “hero” if you did. Treat “Cheat day” as EVERY DAY.

The less exercise the better, black jumpers and leather jackets could do “wonders”.

So the first exercise run after Christmas came.

My breath started off hard to catch, then impossible.

I had to walk up the hills I normally ran up, and my face was purple coming back. I felt terrible all night after it, I couldn’t move the next day and my wheeling was terrible in every session for a few days. A soul destroying experience.

That Christmas brought my asthma back in a big way. It was deeply unpleasant and I had to find an emergency pump.

This I promised myself would be my LAST Christmas when I did nothing. I would at least do a run, and I would least make an effort to not be an absolute pig every day.

This Christmas, although you may think you are a hero posting on social media all the chocolate you continuously eat, all the alcohol you throw down, it may be a better strategy to have some of what you fancy, but still put in the hard yards at the gym right up to Christmas, so you have none of the associated breathing problems, none of the colds and flu’s the headache companies hope you have so they can make more money out of you.

Keep your immune system strong, keep fit and you will be a LOT MORE BENEFIT to your family and all those closest to you.

Let’s aim for TWO more Huge weeks at the gym and still feel amazing.

Monday, December 2nd

My Sunday running with the family up the mountain DOES NOT stop because it’s dark and wet. 

It’s our routines that make us what we are.

Giving up this time of year means you give up on your health. You say to yourself that wheezing is just fine with you, because stopping training and eating rubbish will surely invite more difficult breathing in this weather. That can’t be fun.

Giving up right now means you give up on other things in life, because you haven’t got the energy to get up early and go after your ambitions. Simple as that. Those plans “will just have to wait” AGAIN.

We have large numbers at the gym still hitting it hard right now, and we deeply praise them and sincerely appreciate their efforts.

You GET IT. 

You get what the connection is between great health, personal achievement and happiness. 

Many people who struggle with their health want to turn back the clock when they were 18, and how good they felt. They rue the day they started on blood pressure tablets for example because their didn’t look after themselves enough over a number of years. 

Yet they are still not willing to change their lifestyle, so eating rubbish and drinking a few times a week is the “connection” they make with youth, even if it’s half killing them now.

Your habits MAKE YOU or BREAK YOU. We try to stay a very strong team, picking each other up along the way.

As you get older, great health matters far more than spending too much on cosmetic material things that don’t matter, especially this time of year. 

Your daily habits will make you rich in health if you practice a few simple things daily, we all have the same choices, some take them, some ignore them but they all have a cost now and in the future.

Look after yourself.

Wednesday, 21st November

We pride ourselves on being positive, and exercise playing as much a positive part on our mental health as it does our physical health.

We discussed today the power of hanging out with positive people, and the long term effect this has, which is incredible over time and literally life-changing.

We discussed negative people today who used to play a role in the community, but are no longer here to exert any negative influence.

But here’s what I was reminded of yet again. Even a FIVE minute conversation about negative people and the negative impact they can have makes us feel bad.

I don’t really want to talk about dark times when negative people threaten to have some sort of influence on any of us. Giving destructive influences ANY TIME is your biggest waste of time and will threaten your happiness and mental wellbeing.

WHO you hang out with, WHO you associate with, WHO you choose to spend your time with is so highly important.

Lots of you have finalised realised this and it may even come after YEARS OF PUTTING UP with people who constantly run you down and make your own self-worth disappear each and every day.

Put VALUE on yourself, put value on YOUR TIME, you are better than all those negative influences that threaten to disrupt and destroy your mental health.

Don’t hang out with anyone because “it’s company”. Have time to yourself, give deep thoughts to good things going on in your life and realise you have heck of a lot going for you, and life is WAY TOO SHORT to worry about ANYONE who doesn’t want the very best for you.

Monday, 6th February

The mornings and evenings are vital periods when we need to get going, sometimes when we don’t even feel like it, but we will definitely feel much better afterwards.

I was fortunate as a young child to be around the gym environment between 4pm and 6pm, soon learning that this time most days was meant for exercising or at least doing something.

I haven’t spent too much time in the house tea time in my life, so it’s difficult to imagine what not doing much (physically) at that time is.

This is called a pattern in life really getting engrained in me. I did it so much, i did not know or do not know any different and it feels strange if i don’t do it.

Forget 21 days to form a habit, NINE months of continuous exercise is what studies show to be the stage where individuals are likely to make exercising a long term lifestyle choice they are likely to stick at.

Many of you have passed that stage and continue to make exercise a huge part of your life as you know the great associated benefits. Some of you have yet to get to this stage so you can see how vital it is, to make sure you develop exercise as a way of life, and a pattern of living that gets engrained in you too.

Many spend certain times of day watch TV, sitting around talking with their friends drinking coffee, some go for walks, some spend that time with reading, whatever you want to do is great but making a set time for exercise and sticking with it is absolutely vital to you becoming a long termer or just someone who comes and goes, never discovering the true value of being fit and active has on your life.

Wednesday, 18th January

Thank you Sharon!

You need to be consistent at what you do if you want success, that applies to anything in life.

The temptation to give up when things get a little harder can be overwhelming for some, but we gain faith in our efforts when we are able to see first hand, individuals in our community, and in our gym who go through transformations in every area of their lives when they stick at it no matter what.

Let’s take the story of Sharon Griffiths from Kidwelly, who hasn’t missed a week’s training in a year and a half. Bets were made that she wouldn’t last a week.

She gathered confidence through every small milestone along the way.

Walking through the door was the hardest she said first time.

Making 3 sessions a week was her first milestone. Not being so stiff the morning after was another. Then feeling good from exercise was a major milestone that kept her wanting to carry on, if you feel good doing something, then you are very likely to want to do it.

Once she felt she could stick to coming 3 times a week, her performances got better and she developed some confidence to push herself to achieve more.

Her photos compared to when she first started started changing radically, and she was happy knowing she was doing it the right way. Her skin tone was healthier and had a glow, and she started feeling guilty if she missed her exercise.

The next stage was attempting our outside runs. From a slow start when she walked much of the session, she soon was running the whole way and raised her performance levels to exceptional. A friend of her’s told me this morning that she was in tears the first time she ran it all the way, the culmination of not only a physical effort but a deeply emotional effort and experience too, the girl nobody thought would last was in the process of becoming a champion.

All of this was due to her sticking at it, never allowing excuses into her life even though she has a very busy family life and career that always brought it’s daily pressures and stress.

She is also a major part of Coach Dan Smith’s successful classes at the gym and outside, and to be honest, is one of the first people i introduce new members to so she can relay her inspirational story, so that an absolute beginner can relate to someone who has battled through from being inactive, to someone who is a major part of the gym, who ALWAYS performs at the highest level now and what that takes both physically and mentally.

We salute you Sharon, Diloch yn Fawr! Thanks for everything.