Kind words about Coach Jim

Posted by on Saturday, October 1, 2016

Some recent kinds words from our client Ian W, in regards to to his fitness journey –

“I’ve always played sport, ever since school, whether it be rugby or cricket. I was lucky enough to represent my school and the county in both sports. My sixth form years were at Brecon High School and the rugby team 1st XV were formidable. In my last year there we recorded 17 wins, 2 draws and no loses (a record in the school’s’ recent history) Some of my teammates went on to become professional rugby players, one even representing Wales and the British Lions in 2009.

Whilst at uni, I continued to play team sports making plenty of time for drinking with my mates of course! As life moved on, so the responsibilities increased and before long I find myself married with two kids, mortgage, dog….leaving me less and less time for my past times.

So you can imagine my surprise when last Christmas I received a letter from my old school proposing a reunion match against a current school XV. Although I’d kept up an acceptable level of fitness due to my fairly physical job, I couldn’t honestly remember the last time I ran for a bus, let alone in a pair of boots! After a week or so of thinking about it, I decided if I was going to do this, I was going to do it properly and sought out the help of Jim Brown.

I had met Jim on a couple of occasions as he ran some of fitness sessions here at Audley Travel. I’d never participated, but I’d seen them on my way to my car to go home! When I approached Jim, I explained what ‘The Goal’ was and together we organised a series of sessions designed around getting me in shape to play six months later.

I won’t lie to you, the first session was hard! Jim concentrated on core fitness and raw power in the legs to enable me to sprint. The next day I felt as stiff as a board, muscles I hadn’t even realised I had suddenly creaked and moaned! But I persevered and in between each session, Jim would text me encouragement and give me a gentle reminder about why I was doing this. The weeks went by and my fitness increased, to begin with progress was massive, but as I improved Jim stepped up the pace meaning I was always stretching for the next level.

Along with an increased level of fitness, there were other benefits too. I started to feel better within myself. I had heaps more energy both at work and at home with the kids. Friday (my training day with Jim) became my most productive of the week, people commented at work about how happy I seemed. I was sleeping better and drank less coffee. Generally my mood and tolerance to things that had previously got me down was much improved.

With the big game approaching my nerves started to jangle, there was that voice in my head saying ‘Your too old’ ‘Your too slow’ ‘You don’t belong on that field’ but with all the training I’d done I had the confidence to ignore that and just go for it.

On the day of the game I was up early, my nerves were at fever pitch. I managed to get some food down me, Jim had given me some tips on what to eat for good energy. As soon as I arrived at the game in shirt and tie my ‘game face’ was on and the smell of Deep Heat in the changing rooms took me back to some of the epic battles we’d had on the field together 15 years before. Looking around the faces of my old team mates it was clear to them as it was to me; this meant something! We all wanted to prove that we still had something within us, that we were still winners and we were going to put a show on for our friends and family, some of whom had never seen us cross the white wash before.

Our old coach ‘Taff’ Williams gave a short speech before we went out, the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end. The noise of the opposition stamping their feet in unison in the next changing room gave me a sudden burst of Adrenalin, I was pumped!

The game started with a couple of cagey plays, both teams sizing up the others’ strengths and weaknesses. It became apparent very quickly that we were no match for our younger opponents in the speed department, however we were much heavier and stronger. Our scrum was rock solid and gave us a solid platform for our set plays.

With a few minutes gone on the board, the ball came wide. The scrum half sent a bullet pass out wide to me on the wing which I instinctively caught mid-run. The legs started pumping and as I assessed the play, I was one-on-one with my opposition winger. With a little feint, I made him think I was going to go inside him, but at the last minute I hit the afterburners and went around the outside. All that hard work, all that sweat and pain with Jim went into those five or so seconds.  As I started to open up my stride I knew I was there, this lad wasn’t going to catch me, all he got was a look at the bottom of my boots as I sailed past him and in under the posts. I realised afterwards that I had just out sprinted an 18 year old over 30 metres at the age of 33 years!

To cross the whitewash with a fist pump and see my family including my two little boys watching me will remain with me for the rest of my life. One of my proudest moments.

The game continued and we ran in two more tries, ending the half in complete control. With ageing legs we began to tire and the second half was a battle of wits, the opposition fought back with two tries of their own, meaning the last ten minutes were a slug fest of defence. The whistle blew and we’d done it! I’d done it! I’d achieved the goal I set out for myself.

All the effort and discipline that I’d put in had been rewarded and Jim had given me the tools to make it happen. Sometimes it takes that person to tell you to get off the sofa, to still turn up to that training session even though you’re so sore you can barely move. Yes were tired, yes were frustrated, but we cannot quit until we reach the goal. Jim was able to unlock the potential in me and that’s ultimately what a great teacher can do. The confidence that I’ve gained from achieving this goal hai-wallis
s translated into other aspects of my life, I’m much more ambitious to go for what is possible for me in the future.

My new fitness goal is to learn martial arts, Jim is starting me from the first rung….watch this space!

Any body thinking of starting a fitness plan or needs a rocket to get going -then no brainer!! Speak to Project Active

Sincere thanks once again


Ian W