Growing up sport was my life and, like most young boys it was my dream to become a professional football player.
To me, dreams are worth pursuing so that’s exactly what I did.
From the age of 4 years old, I was scouted by the blue side of Merseyside, Everton, to where I remained there until the age of 16.
Throughout that time I dedicated myself completely to football. Family birthdays, my own birthdays, in fact, enjoying weekends with friends. These were just some of the things I had to sacrifice during the time.
To me, this was no issue as I was pursuing my dream.
I would have to get picked up from school every day at lunch to travel to Everton to train twice a day to only arrive home past 11:00 pm.
Then do the same the next day, and the next and the next.
I was lucky enough to travel the world through my love of football. I got to see so many amazing places at such a young age. Looking back now I learned a lot about myself from these experiences.
After 12 great years at Everton, I signed a three-year contract at Leeds United. I packed my bags and immersed myself in the city by moving away from home at 16.
During the three years, I was given the honour of captaining the development squad and my dream started to become a reality as I began training and being involved in the first-team squad.
Being involved in high-level sport doesn’t come without knockbacks and these were something I got in abundance. Two knee operations before the age of 14, fractured ankle, wrist, and even a broken neck.
You name it and I’ve probably had it but I believe all setbacks or stumbling blocks are put there to test your character & strength. When a setback appears I believe it’s a chance to come back stronger.
Although I lived and breathed football I was always guided by amazing people around me that helped me keep my perspective by reminding me of other important things outside of the game. I still worked hard in school, I learned the piano to a grade 4 before I hit 10.
Having people around you who can support you, encourage you and motivate you it’s a great thing which is why I know enjoy being at Thrive. The environment is such a special one. Everyone wants the people around them to do well. It’s a team.
During my time in sport I always had a deep interest in the physical aspect of my game; always wanting to improve my speed, my power, my strength, and my fitness levels. When this football didn’t work out it wasn’t a case of trying to find what do I do next. It was a case of, finding out how to become a top-level coach to help other people realise their dreams, ambitions, and goals.
My aim is to show people fitness and health is a lifestyle choice, not something to jump on and off.
I believe fitness should be part of life just like eating breakfast or brushing your teeth is a vital part of your day to day habits.
For me, fitness should be a lifestyle and not a chore. Fitness is something that improves you not only physically but mentally too.
What do I want to change in the fitness world?
Everyone moves in a different way, everyone has their own capabilities, everyone has their own current fitness levels.
This is why I think it’s imperative that the workout is all about the individual and tailored to them and what they are capable of.
I think if you can find a place to pursue your health and fitness where you are treated as an individual and included as a member of a team then you have found a special place.
Mike is currently undertaking his 6-month internship program at Thrive: Optimal Human Performance. Preston’s Premier Personal Training Gym. South Rings Business Park, Bamber Bridge, Preston PR5 6EW.
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