Case History

It’s difficult to pinpoint when circuits became fun … I thought the whole adrenaline rush thing was a myth until I rang my daughter walking home from circuits one morning and she asked if I had been drinking!
When I first met Trev I was in my mid-40s, overweight, out of shape, with no interest in fitness and no history of consistent exercise. It was a Thursday in late May 2010 and a friend persuaded me to come to a circuits class with her. I was hopeless but the other women at the class were friendly and Trev showed us how to do the exercises correctly and how to modify them according to our ability. I ached for three days after that class, which was spent in Brussels with my husband celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary – we walked everywhere – him laughing every time I gingerly tried to climb up steps. I had been slim before having children and never felt the need to modify my diet or take regular exercise: looking back at those photos I can see just how big I had become. Trev tells me when he clocked me at that first class he thought he’d never see me again. He says he’s rarely wrong …
For some reason I went back, made new friends at the class and kept going back until it became a habit. I became a monthly member. It was a safe environment to exercise; everyone could train at their own level, no one judged your ability, the modifications were still there and Trev suggested ways to improve as you got stronger. Alongside the exercise Trev held a session on nutrition and I started to look at how to modify my diet a little – well really in my case how to go easier on the sugar… Then I started to notice that my clothes were a bit looser and walking up Mason’s Lane didn’t leave me so out of breath.
Stuck for what to get my husband for Christmas that year I had heard that Trev also did PT so bought a block of 12 sessions for us both to start on New Year’s Day. He’s Scottish – he had celebrated in the normal way and struggled a bit that morning – but quickly realised that the circuit sessions I had been doing weren’t as easy as he’d thought. We both benefited from the ‘one-to-one’ and got fitter, slimmer and a lot more competitive. Trev was great at motivating us both even at 7.00am on a dark Saturday morning. We enjoyed those sessions and kept going for five years. He was so good about it that it was a couple of years before I really thought that he was getting up at 6.00 on those dark mornings to come to us ….
My family were amazed (and a bit surprised) by the change in me – a non-sporty person who dropped two dress sizes and grew in confidence. I was thrilled last Christmas to get an ATP award – for fitness achievement – me, who was always last to be picked for the team at school … if that PE teacher could see me now!
However, I was still doing those circuit classes strategically figuring out where to start, how to minimise the time on my least favourite exercises, etc. Meanwhile Trev was calling me Geoff – as in Capes – as I was getting stronger but still looked normal. If he had to play a team in a competition then I’d be his secret weapon – deceptively strong – ‘a V8 engine in a Ford Escort’, was one of his more flattering comments. Then in January this year a friend asked me to join a group of women doing Tough Mudder. I told Trev, not expecting him to think it was a good idea, but he was really encouraging, believed I could do it and upped the pace, taught me how to run and trained me for it. On those runs he was fab; judging just how far to push for me not feel stretched but not to want to give up and building up to the point where I started to enjoy running and the chat with a mate.
This is where it gets difficult to put into words just what a great support Trev became … as I got fitter, slimmer and more confident my marriage broke down. There’s always a silver lining and in my case it was the weight loss and the compliments I was getting from all those lovely women at circuits who were telling me how much better I looked. Trev had prepared me well for Tough Mudder and it was great fun with a fantastic group of women who had also come along to circuits and trained too. We loved the challenge and the fact we all felt so well and healthy after the training and are now looking forward to our next challenge.
I’m still not expressing this well … Trev has continued to support me with my training through tougher times, joking with me through it but checking I’m eating properly, checking I’m ok, ready to tell me to get on with it, but recognising when I’m fragile. He’s like a sort of bossy, older brother really! As caring as family, he can see what you are capable of, even when you can’t and helps you to get there. I’m glad I went back to that class six years ago – my life has improved as a result!
Ghika S