I am a fitness professional with a unique perspective on training and exercise. I understand the obstacles people face when they start the long road back from severe de-conditioning, a major illness, accident or surgery, having myself suffered a dissecting aortic aneurysm in 2007.
Here is My Story
Growing up in the Northern Suburbs of Sydney, like so many other kids I had dreams of playing sport for my country. Initially cricket and then Rugby league and Rugby Union. Physical fitness and athletics were also things that I enjoyed and showed some ability in. This eventually lead to studying physical education teaching at university. A dislocated shoulder whilst playing Rugby league helped me realise that whilst I loved playing the rugby codes, they were not games that held much future for me. A lunchtime game of touch football at university started a ten year journey, which eventually saw me representing Australia in the 30+ age division at the 2003 Touch World Cup in Japan
After completing my studies I began full time work in the fitness industry, quickly progressing to managing the Regenesis Health Club in Double Bay. Health, fitness and sport, now played a very large role in my life and I was being rewarded by progressing through the ranks of representative teams in my chosen sport and building a loyal base of personal training clients. The second serious injury of my life occurred in 2005, in the form of a a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in my left knee. Initially misdiagnosed, this required a hamstring tendon graft, reconstruction and nine months of rehabilitation.
Despite this setback I was determined to return to playing the game I loved and aimed for selection for an interstate competition for my age division, now 35 and over. With the selection trials only seven months after my surgery it was pushing the boundaries but I was hopeful and worked hard at my rehab every day. Unfortunately I was unsuccessful in gaining a position on the team, but undeterred I refocused on gaining selection for the following year’s Touch World Cup in South Africa.
Fast forward to 2008 and I had competed in another successful Australian team at the Touch World Cup and married my wonderful South African born wife, Erica on a game farm not far from Johannesburg.
Things were going really well me: My personal training business was consistent, I held a respected position as manager of Regenesis Health Club, had achieved some life long sporting ambitions and had met and married my soulmate. Having convinced Erica to relocate to Sydney, we had plans for starting a family, and of course I was fit and healthy. Or so I thought.
Sitting down at my desk one day that year I had a sudden choking sensation, that just wouldn’t go away. Thank fully Erica, who is also a fitness professional and co-owner of Regenesis Fitness today, was with me and promptly called our GP and then the Ambulance.
Later that night I underwent fourteen hours of open heart surgery to replace the ascending arch of my aorta and my aortic valve. Over the following months many, many hours of rehabilitation and serious soul searching ensued. I am eternally grateful to Erica, for her quick thinking and immense patience with me during the initial phases of recovery and for her ongoing faith in me.
Since then it has taken nearly nine years to overcome the fear of setting future goals. Erica and I now have a family, two wonderful boys Daniel and Mitchell, own a business, and are paying off our home and an investment property. Erica is now studying full time to become a sonographer.
My fitness is an ongoing struggle, but my motivation is for my health and longevity. Its also for my sons, so that I can get to see them grow up, for my wife, so that I can repay the faith that she has shown in me to overcome this setback, so that we can both grow stronger together and enjoy a happy life, like we promised each other we would.
My exercise and health philosophy has been forged by my experiences before and after my surgeries.
“what makes me unique as a fitness professional is my extensive understanding of training with limited intensity and the frustration that slower results and everyday life (running a business, looking after children and supporting a partner studying full time) can place on individuals attempting to make positive lifestyle choices around exercise and health for longevity.”
Frustration and decreased motivation due to health or injury related training limitations are common in older adults and rehabilitation clients. Understanding how to work through these issues and achieve results is crucial. Even more important is understanding their motives for recovery and ongoing well-being.
At Regenesis we work within your limitations but we refuse to let you be defined by them.
More about Russell Cox
Photography – portrait, landscape and wildlife.
Science Fiction movies
Drama, Political and Crime TV
Gardening, camping and visiting National Parks both here and in South Africa.
Personal Sporting Achievements:
Member of the World Champion Australian Touch Football Team in the 30 year age division in 2003.
Member of the World Champion Australian Touch Football Team in the 35 year age division in 2007
Recipient of University Sporting Blue for Touch Football
1st 15 Asquith Boys High School – NSW Knockout competition (Waratah shield) Semi finalists 1988
Junior Representative Cricket – District and Regional level