Client Case Study – Sara’s New Way of Being
This week’s client case study blog is all about Sara’s journey. Sara is actually not only a client but also a friend (and you may recognise her as my website image model!) and these days also a fellow club runner too. As a friend, Sara was one of the first people to put her trust in me as her personal trainer and what a journey we have been on together!
This time around 4 years ago Sara, being an extremely busy mum of 3 and Director of her own company, didn’t manage to find time for exercise or indeed much time for herself at all. As a result Sara’s weight had crept up meaning she was a little overweight and her blood pressure was also higher than ideal. She knew that this was not where she wanted to be at her stage in life, desiring to be stronger and fitter heading into the menopause but importantly she also wanted to feel good, have more energy and to do something for herself.
The Goals & Programme
With goals agreed around fat loss, increasing strength, decreasing blood pressure and making exercise a part of life we set to work on a walk to run programme and a strength programme. It soon became clear how much Sara was really enjoying exercising and was developing a real love for running. I remember the first time she went away on a business trip and took her running shoes with her – I knew we were onto something then!
Sara worked hard outside of PT to complete the running programme I had set her (before long I had also written 10k and half marathon training plans for her) aswell as working on her core strength. In PT sessions we worked on full body strengthening, eventually leaning towards strength and conditioning for running as it became clearer that running was going to be a part of Sara’s life from now on.
Sara’s journey from non-exerciser to runner who will also confidently pop along to a body pump or pilates class is just fantastic. I have loved seeing her literally go from strength to strength from her first 5k to completing the marathon distance last year (the fact that the marathon was cancelled due to Covid wasn’t going to stop Sara from running the 26.2 miles!). Needless to say, Sara smashed the goals that we set out together and a whole bunch of other ones – I can’t wait to see what her next challenge will be!
Here is Sara’s story in her own words…..
Sport at school was not something I particularly enjoyed. I am ashamed to say I cheated in cross country and hid over a gate to avoid running. The effort. Getting out of breath. Feeling exhausted. Why do people talk about ‘getting the bug’? I had no idea.
Roll on 30 years and things were about to change. And change in a way that my 15-year-old self would never in a million years have imagined.
My friend Tamsin and I were sitting in the garden having a mug of tea when she announced some exciting news. She was going to move into a new stage in her career and become a personal trainer and was soon able to take on some clients. Knocking on mid-life and keen to do something for myself I was interested though slightly apprehensive, but what had I got to lose?
Soon after this the fun, hard work and adventures started. I’m not exaggerating when I say Tamsin has changed my life. Little did I know that committing to my weekly PT with her would result in me becoming a runner, joining a running club, doing half marathons and last summer running a marathon distance with a wonderful friend, Kate who I met through running.
It’s not been easy. And it has taken effort. We started with 60 seconds running and 90 seconds walking. It took me months to pluck up the courage to dare to be seen out running on the lanes. What would everyone think? I don’t see myself as a runner! That’s what fit people do. But little by little I started to change how I saw myself. Tamsin believed in me and I began to grow my own self-belief.
Having someone alongside me. To nudge. To encourage. To suggest trying new things. Like pilates, joining my local running club, entering races. This on-going support has helped turn something shiny and new into a habit.
And my weekly sessions with Tamsin haven’t just had a positive impact on my physical fitness. We catch up. We chat (amongst panting and sweating lifting weights). And these conversations make a massive positive impact on my mental well-being too.
Tamsin has been there for me during bereavement when I lost my dear mother. She has been there for me to share moments of joy like doing my first park run. And we always have a laugh about the antics our dogs have been up to during the week.
I remember someone else once saying to me. “Sara, you need to understand. These fitness sessions aren’t an excuse for a coffee morning. You need to be focused.” I disagree. Of course, I work hard during my sessions, but having a personal trainer in my experience is about showing empathy for the whole person. Not just the physical person.
Tamsin, I want to say a massive thank you. Through your on-going skill, expertise and friendship you have helped me to make exercise part of a new way of being. You never judge. You have an amazing ability to blend both challenge and support. And you have literally changed my life.
If Sara’s story has inspired you to start your own fitness journey and you would like to find out how personal training could help you please get in touch for a no obligation chat.