Regenesis Fitness Director
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, an accident or surgery, having myself suffered a dissecting aortic aneurysm in 2007.
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. These interests lead me to enrol to study physical education teaching at university. Suffering a dislocated shoulder, playing Rugby league helped me realise that whilst I loved the rugby codes, they were not games that held much future for me as a player. A lunchtime social 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.
During this time, I completed my studies and 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 with 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 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.
By the middle of 2008, 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 for me: My personal training business was consistent, I held a respected position as manager of Regenesis Health Club, had achieved some lifelong sporting ambitions and had met and married my soulmate(who also loves sport). 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. Lucky to be alive,(thanks to the efforts of Dr Emily Granger and her team at St Vincents Hospital) the following months consisted of many, many hours of rehabilitation and serious soul searching. I am eternally grateful to Erica, for her quick thinking and immense patience, during the initial phases of recovery and for her ongoing faith in me.
Since my surgery, it has taken nearly nine years to overcome the fear of setting future goals.
Erica and I now have a family, with two wonderful boys Daniel and Mitchell. We 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 for my longevity, so that I can get to see my sons grow up. I want to repay the faith that my wife Erica has shown in me and 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 and personal understanding of training with limited intensity"
"I understand the frustration and the demotivating effect that slower results and everyday life (running a business, looking after children and supporting a partner studying full time) can have on individuals attempting to make positive lifestyle choices for their health and longevity.”
Frustration and decreased motivation due to health or injury related training limitations are common in older adults and rehabilitation clients, who make up the majority of our client base. Understanding how to work through such 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.