My post op recovery took about 12 weeks in total, however after that I knew that I still had a weakness that would need to be carefully built back up again.
It was always going to be my long term goal to return to the stage, I knew that in order to do this I had to be in the best possible environment. Following advice from Dan Hahn I decided to join Trojan Fitness Gym.
What a place, I will say I was pretty nervous to start with. Walking into a new environment, surrounded by some great athletes. From the first moment I walked through the door I was made to feel very welcome.
One thing that always stands out in my mind, on joining Julie asked me what my name was. Every time since on arrival I was always addressed by name. Such a small thing but it was something that made me feel very welcome.
After a few months of training their I finally plucked up the courage to ask one of the trainers and top amateur bodybuilder Dan McNabb to take me for a session.
This was a huge turning point for me in my training as I was able to learn so much from just a couple of sessions. The main thing being that I simply wasn’t pushing myself enough before lacked intensity for sure, Dan was able to help me discover this.
February 2018, I decided that the time had come for me to start prep again and return to the stage after my surgery. With the help of Dan Hahn I was able to do this. I owe a lot to him for helping to prep me. I did 2 shows back to back Saturday 18th May IBFA West Midlands. Sunday 19th May NABBA West. I was well out of my depth at the West Midlands show, however at NABBA West I was so chuffed to pick up a 2nd place trophy.
This was a brilliant weekend for me, Saturday was great as I had the support of friends who came to watch and support me. Sunday I was alone, however I felt far from being alone. This show was in Bristol and so many of the other athletes taking part also trained at Trojan. Back stage was brilliant, really relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
Following on from this I knew in my mind it was something that I wanted to purse, I knew that I had a lot of work to do in order to progress to a point where next time I stood on that stage I could be competitive within my class.
This is what I did, however 2019 it didn’t quite happen. 5 weeks out from NABBA West everything got cancelled. COVID struck, it was lockdown!
For me this was a time when you could go one of two ways, give up. Or find a way! After feeling a bit put out by it all. I decided to I was going to find a way, borrowing kit from different places and spending a small fortune we were able to create a pretty decent training facility. I now had everything (Within reason) I needed to keep the progression going.
Lockdown training = Lockdown progression!