IT’S NEVER TOO LATE
GROWING UP I PLAYED a lot of rugby right up to grade level. But one season when I was playing in the colts, our coach Topo Rodriguez (the former Wallabies international) announced he was moving me from No.8 to prop. “But I’ve never played in the front-row before!” I said. “Don’t worry, I’ll teach you,” Topo said. “Just eat, Scotty! Eat!”
And I kept eating. When I stopped playing rugby and my training dropped off, my appetite remained intact. I didn’t become almost 140kg overnight. The weight gain was gradual – I just put on 5kg each year until I got to my starting point here.
Before we got underway, I went to see my doctor. My blood pressure was dangerously high and I had all sorts of injuries that wouldn’t improve because my weight was putting so much stress on my body. The doctor said, “You’re playing with the odds. And you’ve got four kids…”
To begin with, I find the high-intensity work a real challenge. It is so hard to recover when my heart rate starts going that high. I have a bad moment early on when I think, “How am I ever going to do this?” But that’s where the motivation of working with a trainer kicks in. Training as part of a group also helps to keep me on track and using Chief’s Transformation Coach app is invaluable when exercising solo - you get the day’s workout delivered straight to your phone.
After three weeks my body starts to adapt. Maybe it was the muscle memory starting to return but I start to enjoy lifting weights. I am still nervous about the cardio. I’ve got a ceramic hip, screws in my left ankle and bad discs in my lower back - I don’t know if my body will hold up. But I stick with it and start recovering a little bit better each session. Slowly, my confidence begins to return.
One day I am doing a “forced march” on the treadmill when Em says she is going to up the pace. I don’t think I can do it. I’d resigned myself to the fact that I would never run again. But Em gradually increases the speed to 10km/h and I find that, not only can I keep up, I can run!
It is mind-blowing. I’ve got a two-year-old and a eight-monthold and until that moment I never thought I’d be able to run around with them or kick a ball in the park. I honestly thought that was out of the question. Running on that treadmill was amazing. It was actually very emotional.
At the end of the challenge I’ve lost 23.5kg of body fat, taken 12 cm off my waist while my blood pressure and cholesterol have also dropped.
I feel better, I have more confidence and I can look people squarely in the eye again – I no longer feel like I’m constantly being judged.
I know that I’ve still got a long way to go. But I have achieved some things that I believed that mentally and physically I would never do again.
I have gone from a “gunna”, “one day” and “I can’t do this” person to “I can keep improving”.
SCOTT WAS DETERMINED TO GET BACK IN SHAPE FOR THE SAKE OF HIS KIDS.