New beginnings. New challenges.

So, here I am, about to come to the end of an era, with the best part of a decade serving as a musician in the British Army.

On April 1st this year, I pushed the button and made the decision to sign off.
I am proud of everything I have achieved in my Army career, from best recruit in basic training, Household Division Musician of the year in 2007, every Cenotaph and Queens Birthday Parade, countless other great parades, to the PTI Course, and most of all just everyday I’ve put that bearskin on my head and marched out onto parade with some great friends and fine musicians.

I’m going to walk away with some great memories, from both my time in the Band of the Welsh Guards, and formerly the Band of the Scots Guards, that will stay with me for a lifetime.

All that said, the time is right for me to prepare to move onto pastures new, and throw myself into another passion of mine, fitness, which is the basis for this blog post, revealing where I will be going next.

It has been a whirlwind year so far, with so much to think about and prepare for.
Its been a fun year of education for a start as I prepare for the change and the new challenges ahead, from PICP level 1 and 2 in February, to Gym Jones Level 1 in March, then onto CrossFit Level 1 in July, and coming up the next couple of months I have CrossFit Strongman, CrossFit Weightlifting, and then Gym Jones Level 2.

So many different sources of knowledge to pull from, with some excellent coaches and people met along the way that will help mold me into the coach that I want to be.
I still have a lot to learn, and I am sure I will make many mistakes, but I am confident I have laid the foundations this year upon which to build and become a successful coach.

So, where I am going next?

Well, one man that has been a good influence on me the past couple of years, has been Pieter Vodden, the first fully certified Gym Jones instructor in the UK.
From the first time he stopped and asked me what I was training for a few years back in Gymbox, he has always been happy to stop and chat, offer up helpful advice, and has become a good friend. For a start, he was the man that introduced Gym Jones to me, and a philosophy and way of doing things that really rang true with me. I have learnt a lot, not least about myself following what Mark Twight, Rob, Pieter and the rest of the guys at Gym Jones do on a daily basis. Marks Sunday sermons are always a real treat of the week!

Anyone who knows Piete will have seen his announcement a few weeks ago about his new venture he will be taking up in Kuwait. Well, I can now announce myself that I will also be joining him over there as a Strength & Conditioning Coach at Circuit+ in early 2015.

I am incredibly excited for this opportunity and the challenges that will come with it. It is going to be a fun year working in a great facility, experiencing a different country and culture, and working closely with Piete and a top team of coaches that I am sure I will learn a lot from.

We will be looking to build something truly special over there. I look forward to helping people get better at whatever they need to get better at, helping to guide and push them in the right direction to achieving their goals and targets that they set for themselves.

It would also be remiss of me not to mention what an awesome other half I have, for her support of me going off for a year to have this experience. It will all be worth it going forward, thank you for your support, love you Em x

I will enjoy my last couple of months in the Army, and I am more than ready to tackle the big changes coming my way head on.

Not for the first time, I’ll leave you with a Rocky quote, going where I want to be and doing what I want to do:

“Cause if you’re willing to go through all the battling you got to go through to get where you want to get, who’s got the right to stop you? I mean maybe some of you guys got something you never finished, something you really want to do, something you never said to someone, something…and you’re told no, even after you paid your dues? Who’s got the right to tell you that, who? Nobody! It’s your right to listen to your gut, it ain’t nobody’s right to say no after you earned the right to be where you want to be and do what you want to do!”

Never stand still. Never stop learning and evolving. Never give up on your dreams.

Virtus – (Latin) Excellence; Character; Worth; Courage; Bravery



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