Life throws up amazing moments, awful moments, sad moments and happy ones. And occasionally all of them together.
One that really sticks with me was when I had the fortune to work with one of the most inspiring people I have ever come across.
I am incessantly early for everything, my girlfriend Jenni creases herself laughing at my time OCD, but, I like to be in the gym before my client and take a bit of time to think and focus before getting into the grind.
Regularly on a Saturday morning I’d sit beside a gentleman named Jim on one of the recumbent bikes and have a chat about his work, my work and generally right the worlds wrongs.
A month or so after meeting Jim, he asked me a question to which the following dialogue have stuck long in my memory.
Jim “Do you think you could train me? I have a pretty major problem though.”
Me “Whats the problem?”
Jim “I have one leg.”
Me “That’s not a problem, it’s a challenge which we’ll deal with when necessary.”
And so began a life changing chapter for me.
We worked together for about a year, Jim managing everything I threw at him, his favourite being benching close to 1.5 times bodyweight. While you may think this is easy going, for someone with one leg to stabilise themselves while benching that weight is hard going.
From barbell military press, single leg pressing to bent over row, Jim excelled at the lot.
I remember a conversation in a session where he thanked me over and over for changing his life. I had to tell him, “You changed your life, I just gave you the tools and know how to do so.”
Jim was a guy who was a superb businessman and really knew how to use networking to his advantage. Some of the knowledge he shared with me has made me what I am today.
One day Jim called me and said he needed to have a chat during our next session. I got a text on the Friday night to say he wouldn’t make the session and didn’t think he’d manage the following week.
I got a call the following week from Jim and what he told me just didn’t make sense. He’d been diagnosed with lung, liver and pancreatic cancer, being given just months to live.
It was like getting a kick in the stomach. How could a guy who was such an inspiring character, who had overcome so much, now have to deal with this?
What he said to me has lived with me ever since. “I have no regrets, I’ve had fun. I’ve achieved things I never ever dreamt I could do. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me with everything.”
Those were our last words together, but, his spirit, persistence, stubbornness to succeed and passion are a foundation of my drive in life.
Very rarely in life does someone make such an impression on you as Jim had on me.
Life is something that many people take for granted. Some people expect to be handed everything. Others think they can get away with doing nothing. Excuses aren’t exclusive to the gym and training, they apply to life.
Life has to be lived, enjoyed and you have to be happy.
You only get one shot at it so make it a great one and always remember this…..
“What’s your excuse?”