“Tom has the most unique and powerful ability to understand people. He is perceptive, inquisitive and kind. A combination that allows him to get the best out of his athletes, by knowing exactly what they need and how to go about it”.
Human Performance is based on the belief that the processes, theories and strategies used within elite sport are transferrable to training people of all abilities and towards all athletic goals. When applied with the appropriate understanding of an individual’s specific needs and environment, ones athletic potential is maximised. Through the exploration of a number of key training methodologies and concepts, athletes and clients will become equipped with the tools to consistently perform at their optimum level.
At 6am on a frosty winter morning, I walked with my head down towards a group of smiling faces who stood at the base of a long hill. I had regularly passed the group in my car on my way to the gym. Stretching and chatting away, you could always sense their eagerness for the session ahead. I used to think it looked like fun. Now, I wasn’t so sure.
It was my first session with the Human Performance running group, and it had taken a lot of convincing to get me there.
I had always been riddled with self-doubt. Even throughout my time playing sport at a national level, I never thought I was quite good enough. So after quitting sport, I found my comfort zone in training with a friend in the gym. However, from the first day I met Tom after I had finished one of my cardio sessions, I knew he could sense I was capable of more than what I was doing.
Every time I saw Tom, he would ask when I would be joining him on the hill.
“I can’t run”, “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not an athlete like the rest of them”. I had every excuse. Yet, after months of promises that Tom would ‘look after me’, I finally succumbed.
To this day, I am not really sure why I ended up saying yes. Running had never been my thing, and I didn’t like being bad at something.
But what I do know, is that I am beyond thankful that I did say yes, because that morning changed my life in ways I would never have expected. As I stood at the bottom of the hill for the first time, with every part of me telling myself I couldn’t do it, I had no idea that it would be the start of my healing from a secret illness.
From the very first session, Tom did ‘look after me’. His guidance, support and encouragement gave me the confidence to come back again and again. I was getting faster and stronger, but my struggles that I hid from the entire world made it hard for me to be at my best consistently. Although I thought I did a great job of keeping it all a secret for nearly 3 years, one person saw straight through me – Tom.
Tom has the most unique and powerful ability to understand people. He is perceptive, inquisitive and kind. A combination that allows him to get the best out of his athletes, by knowing exactly what they need and how to go about it.
In my case, after a couple of months of training in the group, Tom pulled me aside to talk about how my training was going. Following a few niceties about my running and weights program, Tom asked about my eating. I responded with a general answer about what I would eat in a typical day, but he didn’t seem satisfied. Quite plainly, he continued by asking if I had ever struggled with my eating.
In hindsight, it seems like a confronting question to ask, but Tom’s sincerity and unwavering belief in me throughout my time training with him, made me trust him. So instead of denying it, I cried with a sense of relief that maybe I would no longer need to hide the sickness that had overtaken my life.
Restricted eating and bulimia had controlled me nearly every waking minute of the day for so long, but with Tom, it was the first time I had truly thought I might be able to overcome it.
As a trainer, Tom introduced me to Yoga to help with my mind, helped me establish a purpose in my training greater than just controlling my weight, and taught me how to fuel my body properly to be able to perform. He also assisted me in finding appropriate professional help. Yet above all, I believe that it was Tom’s ability to teach me what I am truly capable of that helped me most.
Continuing to train with the group, my running got better and better, and instead of standing at the bottom of the hill thinking that I couldn’t, I felt my mind switch. I started to believe that I could, and this mindset was more powerful than anything I could imagine.
There were many ups and downs over the next few months, but 4 years on, I no longer struggle with disordered eating, and without Tom I don’t think it would have been possible. Of course there are days that I still doubt myself and thoughts come creeping back, but training with Human Performance has made me believe in myself more than I ever have before – and I now arrive at training with my head held high (well… most of the time!).