I was alright at both Rugby and Swimming, some may believe I was a bit better than this but I have come across lots of guys that told us how good they are to leave with their tail between their legs because they really weren’t that good at all. I listened to a podcast where Andrew Flintoff said he was “alright at cricket” and he was awesome and has records, I think I will stick with that, I was alright.
I represented the district in both swimming and rugby at age group level and met some awesome people and lifelong friends. I even managed the dream of playing at Murrayfield with Livingston and some of those friends and although the game was one to forget, the day will be remembered forever.
Competitive sport has been a huge part of my life from about the age of 6, I managed to stay injury free, mostly, up to the age of 10 then things went downhill! Joking aside I have had a sporting career littered with injury (chocolate as the boys would say, eggshell my Dad would say) but wouldn’t change it for anything.
I’ve experienced many different methods to keep me playing, after getting some unsuccessful treatment for a shoulder injury Jo sent me to get some Kinetic Chain Release. I played rugby 2 days later and felt great. I was sold!
I originally took the KCR course in 2013 to help Jo get over a hip injury. It grew from there to helping out some family with aches and pains, then friends and a month or 2 later I got myself insurance to work with clients. I didn’t have much intention in doing it but it could bring in some extra pennies working from home in the evening. I now have over 350 hours of training under Hugh Gilbert (the founder of KCR) and Jane Wardlaw and our trainings have taken us as far as Hawaii. KCR began my journey and as I progress through more courses, I believe you should start your journey with us through KCR too.
I love helping people from all walks of life, whether its a young child struggling at school or with an injury or an older person having difficulty with day to day life, it always makes me feel better when I can help other people. I particularly enjoy working with athletes getting them back to doing what they love or former athletes that still suffer from the after effects of competitive sport, I also love a full on day, helping as many people as possible and the corporate side satisfies this with seeing up to 14 people in 7.5 hours.
Sport has been an important part of my journey, not only in the playing. Following my degree course in education, specialising in physical activity, I started coaching children in 2005, my aim was to let the kids try different sports and give them a fun, positive first experience in sport and activity.
I continue to enjoy sport, helping athletes recover from injury or to perform at the best level they can, helping people like me to progress and move on from sport and their aching body. I love that I can do all of this through my new passion and I am lucky to have Strength and Soul and run it with my wonderful wife Joann.
I have recently figured out that I have been blocking out my time playing due to all the injuries I think. Doing this blocked out the good times and I had a kind of love hate relationship with the sport. I look at the photos now, remember the successes, the championships, the experiences and the friends and it helps me remember not only who I was but also who I am moving forward. It has formed my relationships, my passion and many of my skills to help myself and my clients. I am a retired Rugby Player and I am now ok with that.
Yoga has always drawn me in, in various points throughout my life when I needed it most. From a young age I was health conscious but also clumsy and injury prone. I fell playing football when I was around 11 and fractured my coccyx. I remember receiving a book from my grandmother and trying shoulder stand in my bedroom. I would practice in my bedroom whilst listening to music and to help with pain I was feeling in my lower back. This is an area I’ve always had weakness in. I then tried various styles of yoga and developed a regular practice. I love keeping fit and tried many different types of fitness and sports but nothing leaves me feeling the way I do after a yoga practice.
It wasn’t until I had my hip surgery in September 2013 that made me realise how much I missed my physical practice. However it got me deeper into the other amazing aspects that yoga has to offer, pranayama (breath) meditations, philosophy. That time taught me a lot about how I can use my practice to help heal my body, reduce my stress and frustrations and integrate this into my life. Yoga gives me a strength that I’ve never experienced before.
I became a yoga teacher for my love of yoga and to learn more about my body, to help with my heal and to deal with some past issues. Yoga is my therapy. I want to help others experience that feeling . . . the feeling of stepping on your mat and feeling that nothing else matters. The feeling of your body transforming, getting stronger and letting go.
As I’ve grown my practice has evolved, I’ve wanted to learn more about my body, how it works and to learn more about the world both inner and outer. Yoga is part of my everyday life, when I sit or stand on my mat I feel focussed, calm and strong.
Unfortunately an injury set me back from my goals and progressing with my practice. I believe there is always a right time and things happen for a reason. After surgery I was determined to become stronger both mentally and physically. KCR and yoga has been the perfect combination to allow me to achieve this.
I teach Vinyasa flow, a flowing yoga sequence, where one posture links to another and is synchronised with the breath. However I work in a way that it therapeutic for the body.
Physically yoga creates a toned, flexible and strong body. Yoga improves respiration, digestion, increases energy and relieves pain. Yoga helps you to look younger than your age, improves your athletic performance.
Mentally yoga helps to relax and focus the mind, helps you to handle stressful situations, encourages positive thoughts and self love.
Find out more about Jo’s recovery from surgery here