"A mentor of mine once said that trainers are more moral boosters than trainers, this can be the difference between success and failure...I love the experience of discovering new ideas and ways of life, I believe travelling allows you to truly see the world for what it is."-Guy Mothersole
From New Zealand to Mexico, we find out more the career of a fitness trainer and his recent trip to Mexico, this Kiwi lives life to the fullest!
Where are you currently based at the moment? I am currently in Wellington, New Zealand.
Your career as a fitness trainer, is one that is more about a balance between science and the physical. Tell us more about why you pursued this field and what was the route you took to get there? Initially I wanted to be an athlete. I was always fairly good at most sports however once I started university I became fascinated with how the body worked and it's ability to adapt to training. During my third year of university I had an assignment where you had to work with an organisation, it was sort of like a work experience. I was lucky enough to work with Auckland Rugby and become an integral part of the training support team. This was a key time in my career where I was learning new concepts, methods and ideas from university and then witnessing how they were applicable to the real work of training a sports team. My next step was to take a team of my own, as I had many ideas which I wanted to experiment with. The next three years I volunteered for as many trainer positions that I could handle to build up my experience. Once I finished my degree I decided to continue my study and venture into a master’s study program. The process of my master’s study opened many career options for me, so it was a good move to pursue it as a further study option.
How relevant is your career in today’s world of professional sport? What people don’t often know is that an athlete, depending on the sport, will spend approx 2/3 with the trainers and support staff and 1/3 with the coaches. It’s obvious that they will train more than they play so with this in mind the position of a fitness trainer can be very influential towards an athlete’s career. A mentor of mine once said that trainers are more moral boosters than trainers, this can be the difference between success and failure. (FirstStep.me says awesome stuff!)
Any crazy moments in your career? I was doing fitness testing with an older group of people who were actually a group of referees. We were doing 40m sprints and the last referee who ran tore his hamstring. The thing that made this moment crazy was that the guy went into shock from the pain and started having a mild heart attack. As a trainer the worst thing that could happen was happening before my eyes. However with the aid of paramedics and a bucket load of ice the situation was under control.
Best part of your job? Watching someone grow physically and mentally is always a pleasure. Also the feedback that is often given by an athlete is that they have increased confidence during their performance from training. The ability to positively alter someone’s confidence is a pretty nice part of the job.
Besides your ambitious career, you do tend to travel quite a bit and you recently trekked to Mexico, tell us more? Besides Mexico, I plan to travel for as far and as long as I can. I love the experience of discovering new ideas and ways of life, I believe travelling allows you to truly see the world for what it is. My travel adventures so far have been “shoestring”. My girlfriend and I have a travel blog which we updated every few days which has the guts of our travel details. In a nutshell we ate a lot of cheap street food, stayed in budget hostels, often in dorm rooms. 99% of long travel was done on a bus (with no air conditioning!) and a load of walking. (FirstStep.me takes notes of a shoestring travel budget!)
What are some of the cultural diversities that you found in Mexico? It was a huge cultural slap in the face. So different to New Zealand (NZ), there was a lot of obvious poverty, which I am sure is like many places throughout the world but in NZ we are somewhat protected from it. Also the hard working mentality is at another level. I saw small children, younger than 5yrs old carrying huge amounts of firewood on their back and old ladies were selling goods at markets for 18hrs straight. It was a massive eye opener.
Did you manage to do any fitness training whilst there? I tried. Between bus trips and long days on my feet I managed to get a few workouts in. A lot of it was just running through small villages with the odd stop for push ups, crunches and pull ups. There was one day when we were visiting the Monte Alba ruins where I decided to do a few pyramid push ups and tree pull ups!!
Best parts of Mexico? The people, the food and the history. My country of NZ barely has 200 years of history, where Mexico can be dated back to 8000 years. The people are so welcoming and they are very kind. Lastly the food, so simple (and cheap) yet delicious. My favourite is chicken tacos with onion, cactus, avocado, chili and lime juice.
Craziest moments in Mexico? Getting off the plane at night, getting into a taxi and travelling to our hostel, CRAZY! Mexican roads have no laws, or it would seem that way. The taxi took us on a "NASCAR" journey through the city narrowly missing parked and oncoming cars. At one stage he cut off a police car, then hooted and continued to hurl verbal abuse out the window.
What is the next travel destination on your list? The bottom end of Central America (Costa Rica and Panama) then all of South America.
If you could have your own planet, what would you name it? Cool question. My planet would be egg shaped. With the northern hemisphere having less gravity than the southern. The equivalent to the Moon verses Earth. There would also be 7 moons in the sky which created huge waves in the ocean allowing surfers to travel from country to country in only 2 or so hours. I would name it Haemoglobin. (FirstStep.me is a bit concerned!!)
Words of advice for the youth of the world? The easiest way to open your mind is to open your eyes!