Addicted To Struggle

The dust has settled and the reality of the last 12 months of struggle has been a topic of discussion for the little people that live in my head.

As I sit here in my new fixed abode, my princess castle as I prefer to call it, I am flooded with feelings of gratitude,

To go from having nothing (my own perception of having nothing back then) to now have everything falling in to place for me just cements the fact that everything happens in our lives for us, and always gives us an amazing opportunity to learn.

I’ve learnt so much over the last 12 months and I just like to share with you 3 of my toughest moments that i’m genuinely so grateful I went through;

  1. I was in a really vicious cycle of getting off my head (alcohol and cocaine fuelled) and driving back to the gym early hours of the morning. Well this one night I was incredibly intoxicated even by my standards and I left the club, obviously have no recollection of this got into my car and drove back to my gym/home. I woke up the next morning about 9am fully clothed in the back of my car. It took me a few seconds to realise where the hell I was and then I began drowning in feelings of guilt, shame and fear! When you’re in such a dark place you don’t give a fuck about anything and this is where the danger lies. The rest of the day I spent beating myself up (rightly so) but desperately wanting help, unfortunately my pride and ego were still controlling me as I was struggling with my own issues of self worth so I refused to ask for help.
  2. This one taught me the biggest yet hardest lesson over the last 12 months and is the one i’m the most grateful for. I used to go to my dads one evening a week for dinner which I really enjoyed, not only was it a chance to have a nice home cooked meal each week but also because I knew I was walking in to my dads home who loves me unconditionally, something I was struggling to do for my self at the time! Around Christmas and new year time the temperature was as low as -8 and my clients will know that the gym was even colder inside than it was outside. One evening I wasn’t feeling particularly great, i’d had a shit nights sleep the night before and my stomach had been playing up all day leaving me feeling drained and frustrated. Dad had cooked a really nice dinner and after we decided to put a film on. About an hour in to the film dad had fell asleep on the sofa and as it was nearing 22:00 I decided to go ‘home’. I got up off the sofa walked to the front door and put my trainers on, just as I walked out the front door I looked back at my dad asleep on the sofa and within seconds I had tears coming down my face, I just wanted dad to say to me don’t go back to the gym it’s freezing cold, put his arm round me and say you can have the spare room for as long as you need it. I shut the door and got in to my car. When I got back to the gym I walked upstairs and laid out my bed (leather sofa with a blanket to sleep on and another blanket to cover myself with. It was so cold I couldn’t get undressed so I laid on ‘my bed’ fully clothed with my hoody, trainers and coat on. On reflection this was my lowest point not just because I could see every breath I exhaled but because I felt so ashamed for getting myself in to this position.
  3. After another cocaine and alcohol fuelled evening I made one of my most shameful mistakes i’ve ever made! This was the one that gave me the kick in the balls to really get my shit together! It’s so shameful that I can’t even go into detail about it but lets just say my words really hurt some people very close to me. I woke up the next morning devastated with myself for the things i’d said but it was then that the real work began and this opportunity to turn things around was not going to be snatched from me again by my pride and ego!

Now I’ve gave you the facts (or as many as I can possibly give you) I want to now explain to you why I am feeling so grateful and what each of these 3 experiences taught me.

  1. Even when we are in a really dark place, our self sabotaging self absorbed narcissistic behaviours can still cause potentially fatal consequences and we still have to take full responsibility and own our fuckups.
  2. No one, not your parents, your friends or your partner/s owe you anything and just because we put certain expectations on others it does not mean they are obligated to fulfil them.
  3. True love is unconditional! It has no conditions!

We are all victims of circumstance but that does NOT take away our responsibility for the actions we choose to take.

I went from being in a really shit place, to finally making the tough decision for myself to close my studio and get a job, and maybe P.t a bit on the side, but since then a whole load of doors have opened for me, and now I can truly believe that life happens for us NOT to us. things that happen in our lives are always there to teach us something so that we can get back on to our true path.

If you can see the lesson in everything ‘good’ or ‘bad’ then you will be able to see the blessing!

I’ve recently come to the realisation that a part of me is and has always been addicted to suffering, everything i’ve chose in my life has been the hard way, which is why I struggle with mediocrity. I never truly believed I can have the life of my dreams, so instead of falling in to the trap of an average life, I opted for the other extreme which is suffering, because that is something I knew I could do.

I don’t want to bore you with the psychoanalysis of my mind but what I do want to get you thinking about is a very important question I now regularly ask myself…

What is this teaching me?

If I hadn’t of stepped out my comfort zone and applied for that apprenticeship 10 years ago, I never would of experienced the amazing highs and lows in the forms I have (I still would of ended up on the same path but the route would of been different) and had the opportunity to meet the amazing teachers (all the people) that have come in and out of my life, and as I sit here at my desk in my bedroom that I love, I can hand on heart say I am mentally in the best place i’ve ever been. to have complete self belief, and confidence in who you are, is the most powerful state to be in, and if you’re currently going through something that you feel you can’t get through, just remember…

You’ve made it this far and you have the strength to keep going! Once you make it through the other side, you will feel so grateful that you went through it in the first place!

I may still be addicted to suffering, but that addiction is now what fuels me, because coupled with self belief and a vision I know wherever it takes me is exactly where i’m supposed to be!

Bring on the next 12 months of my life!!!

The Keys To Perceived Failure

The end of January 2017 my dream had just become a reality and I took the plunge into becoming a personal training studio owner. I handed over everything I had to my landlord (£2200) and got to work on transforming the recently raided ‘weed den’. Yep, the previous tenants had been caught growing weed in here and as you can imagine it was in a bit of a state!

It took 6 weeks to get the electric connected again and to get get rid of the stench of weed, strangely enough I wanted to eat everything in sight 😉?!

Mid Feb and the doors were officially open I was going into this with not even enough money to pay my rent and bills, I’d been paid £900 by a handful of clients and was already on the back foot to have enough money to get through the first month.

By March 1st I took £1300 which was just enough to pay my rent on the place I was living my car insurance, food, phone bill etc and most of my rent on my studio, I explained to my landlord that I would increase my rent from £900 to £1000 a month to make this up for a few months which is what I did.

Mid march my tenancy on the property I was living in was up for renewal but I made the huge sacrifice to sell my car that had taken me just over 3 years to pay off (£10k bank loan) buy a cheap van and move into my studio.

I part-ex’ed my car for a small van that was up for £2,200 and got £2000 cash my car was worth atleast £6000 according to autotrader some were even selling for £7000 but I didn’t care as my main goal was to put as much into my studio as possible and reduce my outgoings so I could put everything into creating an amazing experience for my clients.

Things were going so well and I was loving creating and growing this dream of mine!

August 1st I hit my first £5000 month and everything was growing at a nice steady rate that I decided it’s time to start looking for a place to live, somewhere I can enjoy my time away from my business and get a decent nights sleep and cook a decent meal.

After 2 weeks of viewing places I found this lovely 2 bed house, nice little conservatory, cute little garden to have bbq’s and maybe a hot tub 😉.

I told the estate agents I wanted it and started the ball rolling.

Everything went through and I was set to move in the 30th of August 2017.

The 24th of August proved the universe had different plans for me and I will be eternally grateful for this day!

I was running one of my personal training group sessions, due to the heat the shutter was wide open. A little fiesta pulled up right outside the open shutter and out stepped this police woman in full uniform and her sidekick in normal mumsy clothes.

As you can tell I don’t have much respect for these individuals especially the one in uniform.

They told me I was under arrest for an allegation of attempted rape and that I had to go to the police station (about 30 minutes drive away).

I gave my studio keys to one of my clients who very kindly said he would lock up and drop the keys back to me later.

Apparently the police have 1 year, 365 days to tell you the outcome of the investigation.

On that same day my relationship broke down.

30th August I moved in to my home feeling completely broken and like I had nowhere to turn.

I done a facebook live video on this just at the top of my ‘word fuckery a place to brain dump’ page.

By December 2017 going in to my 30th birthday (19th December) I earned £900 in 3 months I’d lost over £4000 worth of income purely through my self sabotaging actions/behaviours.

After going to a mindset business seminar just before xmas I set myself a goal get out of debt and get my business back to where it was at the start of August.

I made a lot of silly financial decisions purely our of desperation to grow my income and no longer feel like a failure, this only got me further into debt and by this point I was at the -£8000 mark.

Now things were getting serious!

I have always been so ‘happy go lucky’ (<<< not a fan of this phrase but it fits) and very rarely would I stress especially about money because money comes and goes and it’s easy enough to earn, one of my first coaches told me, there is no risk when it comes to money in the pursuit of a dream because you can always suck cock for money…

In other words you can earn money so easily doing anything so why worry about something that is going to give your life so much purpose!

The majority of 2018 right up until 23rd August 364 days after my arrest was spent just trying to get by and make it to the next week. At about 10:30am just after my morning sessions I received a phone call from the unprofessional police woman that had turned up in uniform at my studio 364 days prior.

Let’s just say the phone call was ‘short and sweet’ and wasn’t full of niceties but basically the case was dropped.

I made a promise to myself as soon as I got off the phone that I was never ever going to allow someone to control my life and nearly lose everything ever again!

2 things I’d never suffered with was anxiety and claustrophobia, but these were 2 feelings that were trapping me everyday.

Fortunately I’ve managed to work through my anxiety and only experience it now around supermarkets but the claustrophobia has not left, in fact it’s firmly holding on and anything that makes me feel even remotely restricted triggers this ‘run away’ stomach churning emotion.

I want to take you back to April 2018.

Financially things were at an all time low, to save my business and on reflection my pride I decided to give up my home and move back in to my studio. This was a really hard decision as I felt like such a failure and more devastatingly, I had to give up my Simba, I got him the week I moved in to my home as a tiny little kitten and as stupid as it sounds to some, he literally kept me going.

Apologies for this paragraph of self pity but this is important to help you understand where and why this blog is heading where it’s heading.

No one knew I had moved back in to my studio and I wanted to keep it that way for obvious reasons.

The layout is similar to a bedsit upstairs, except it lacks basic amenities such as a cooker, a washing machine, a bed, heating, carpet, natural light, you know, the things you need to live not just survive.

After that phone call in August 2018 I spent the next few months trying to get out of the habit of self-medicating with drink and cocaine that I’d used to block everything out for a year.

Winter was fast approaching and I remember August 2017 just before moving into my house just how cold it was starting to get living here so I was really not looking forward to the next 6 months.

I was sleeping on a small 2 seater leather sofa and in the coldest months I was fully clothed with my hood up and trainers still on laying in the fetal postion with my duvet over my head visibly able to see every breath I exhaled.

Safe to say these few months had a huge impact on my sleep and energy levels and made it hard to get up and motivate my clients at 6:30am, unfortunately I let people down cancelling more sessions than I wanted to and would then spend the rest of the day sniffling and feeling guilty,

Yeah I think you call that a catch 22!

Just over 3 months into 2019 and I’ve completely eradicated the need to go out every weekend and have actually only been out 2 or 3 times but my health is probably at an all time low.

Mentally the past 18 months are behind me hence why I can now talk so openly about it but physically my body is crying out for help.

I have suffered with ibs for as long as I can remember and I’m also gluten free due to a wheat intolerance diagnosis, I’ve had cameras shoved in places and fingers from just about every doctor (slight exaggeration about the amount of doctors lol) to try and ‘fix’ the biggest problem I have which is the bleeding 90% of the time when I go to the toilet.

Over the last couple of months I’ve been spending about 4 times a day on the toilet and bleeding 75% of them times which leaves me feeling very lethargic, uncomfortable and frustrated, to say it’s having an impact on my day to day life is an understatement.

Rarely sleeping well, spending a couple of hours a day in the toilet and trying to ‘clean myself up’ while not having a washing machine means that I can’t just change 3-4 times a day leaving me feeling even more uncomfortable.

The financial stress these past 18 months+ and the toll it’s taken on my health has made me become a hypocrite…

My message to clients and potential clients is ‘nothing is more important than your health,’ yet I’m choosing to substitute my health through fear of upsetting current clients but also hurting my ego.

When I say ego I mean that thing we all have that doesn’t want to be hurt and always wants to come across as amazing. Our ego will have us make excuses, tell lies, keep us in shitty relationships through fear, we have to learn how to master our ego so it works with us.’

These last couple of years have been such an eye opener for me and I know why it all happened for me…

We all have a true purpose in life and I now know what mine is!

I’ve always felt uncomfortable praising myself but now it’s something I try to do regularly because we HAVE to celebrate our wins.

I’m amazing at inspiring people to live the lives they want and deserve and knowing their true worth, I’ve helped people leave shitty relationships through empowering them, I’ve helped someone that had very little confidence and had lost her identity take action and sign up to college and then uni, I’ve helped someone who was so far in her shell I didn’t even know what her voice sounded like, lose a load of weight gain a shit ton of confidence, get a boyfriend and now is looking forward to giving birth to their baby, I’ve helped 2 people with heart conditions be told by the doctors that their hearts are the strongest they have ever been and one of them now no longer needs heart surgery, these are just some of the success stories I have off the top of my head.

I love training people that are 110% committed,

I love writing,

I love helping people,

But my health has to come first so I can be the best version of me and ultimately help more people.

Ok so what does this mean…

I have thought long and hard and Monday (8th April 2019) I made the decision to close MindBody Performance personal training studio.

I’d thought about it a few times over the course of the last 2 years but the reason I didn’t was because I felt like a failure and I was scared that I’d upset my clients, yeah that people pleaser thing I have.

Sunday night I had so much going round my head but I thought my bootcamp was starting at 9:15 in the morning and 9 people were due to be in so I knew if it went really well it would be the sign I needed to continue and if it didn’t then it would be my final sign I’d need to close the studio.

3 people turned up…

Don’t take this the wrong way but in all honesty the relief that went through me was so overpowering that I just knew that I needed to get out of here and get back to full fitness!

My training is so important to me it’s been a part of my life for over 12+ years and has shaped me mentally into the person I am today, if it wasn’t for my training I would never of applied for that apprenticeship almost 10 years ago and I would of never grown into the Dan I am proud to call myself as I sit here writing this blog now.

I’ll still continue to personal train a select few people because I genuinely enjoy it but I will no longer be training anyone out of my studio.

I will be handing the keys back to my landlord who has been amazing to me on the 1st June and hopefully have somewhere else to live but if I don’t then hey summer will be here and there is nothing like being out in nature 😉!

Me and a friend/local business owner are starting a new venture which is based around mental health and raising money for charity with the goal to remove the stigma around opening up and teaching people techniques and things that improve wellbeing so they are far more mainstream 😊!

All I’ll ask is please don’t feel sorry for me or sad for me because everything happens for a reason and this is exactly the path I’m meant to and excited to take!

Accountability paragraph…

One day in the near future I will be delivering talks, sharing my book/s and be a part of something that is changing 100’s of peoples lives!

I want to say a huge thankyou to everyone that I’ve come in to contact with and connected with throughout the last few years that has supported me in anyway big or small and for those of you that I let down at all when I wasn’t in a very good place I’m deeply sorry!

p.s I chose to write this instead of do a Facebook live because I didn’t want to miss anything out.

FAILURE DEFINITION; Lack of success.

It’s taken me up until this point to see just how much success was achieved with MindBody Performance Personal Training Studio and now it’s time to impact many more lives through other means 😊.

THE JOURNEY IS ONLY BEGINNING…