Updated: Jun 2, 2020
Q&A With PT Client Simon Dalley Simon Dalley has been a client of Marcus Morris Personal Training for around a year and I thought it was about time I found out more about his life, how working together has benefited him and how he sees the future of his fitness and us working together. Q. Please can you tell me a bit about your life and work? I’m 39 years old. I grew up in Chorley and live in Bacup in Rossendale. I live with my wife and son, along with a menagerie of various animals including horses, dogs and cats. I’ve worked in marketing for the best part of two decades. Over the years I’ve worked in and headed up, marketing teams in some of the North West’s leading tech brands. I’m also an SEO consultant and just over 10 years ago I set up GrowTraffic in my spare time. GrowTraffic has evolved into a leading SEO and content marketing agency with bases in both Lancashire and South Yorkshire.
Q. During the time we’ve worked together you’ve also told me about your other business interests and your involvement in the redevelopment of Bacup town centre. What’s that all about? We have residential rental property, I’m on the board of a community events centre and we’re in the process of trying to acquire a property to turn into a digital-orientated business centre. I think I’ve been boring you to death talking about some of these things! I’m also the Chair of the Bacup 2040 Board, which is made up of a range of community representatives including businesses, residents, charitable organisations, service providers, councillors and officers. Our role is to help improve, challenge or validate the proposals for the multi-million-pound redevelopment of Bacup town centre. The project follows-up on the successes of the £2m THI project, which has been revolutionary to the economy of the high street in the town. Bacup 2040 is even bigger in scope and is a really exciting project to be involved with, which should have a lot of benefits for the people of Bacup. I can’t wait to see what people think about the plans and to ultimately see them being into a reality. So yeah, it’s been a hectic year with everything I’ve been working on and it’s been great to have been able to talk it through with you from time to time. Q. That’s what I’m here for. We’ve been working together for around a year, what made you want to come to work with me? There was a range of reasons I decided to come along to the gym near Burnley to have a chat with you. I’ve been working on my wellbeing over the past couple of years and I loved your emphasis on using physical exercise for mental health and wellbeing. I also wanted to get running again after too many years of not getting out on the road. Moreover, I recognised I’m getting older, my fitness wasn’t as good as it had been and I had to do something proactive. To begin with, I came to your Mind Strong sessions. This was a fantastic introduction to regularly attending the gym and without the structure of that foundation, I don’t think I’d have stuck out working on my fitness.
Q. What did you like about my Mind Strong training course? I know Mind Strong is specifically designed by you to not only work on helping your clients get stronger but also to help their mental health. Whilst I understood the benefits of being active and healthy on things like endorphins, I’d never been told about the role of using physical training to help a person’s central nervous system and the impact that can have on alleviating stress and anxieties. I also liked that whilst Mind Strong is a group training session, you took the time to tailor the sessions to the participants’ goals and the feedback they gave you about their lives and reactions to certain situations. I don’t see myself as one of the typical gym guys and without the emphasis on the mental health aspect of your training, I don’t think I’d have come along. It’s funny how I could see the personal development side of working on my mental health as being more important than working on my physical health without understanding they two are inextricably linked. Q. How have you been getting on with your running? Running has been great! I was running half marathons for fun when my son was born in 2009, then within a space of weeks of him being born, I fell out of the habit. Within about 6 months of your encouragement, I was up to running 18 miles and I could have probably run further. Getting out around the Rossendale countryside has been fantastic, there’s no better place to go running, the scenery is just magnificent and I always find new paths. Well, running along the coastal roads of Rhodes last year was a pretty special experience but without your help, I wouldn’t have been able to do all the miles I did. Well, I wouldn’t have even tried. Running in that heat was interesting though! Q. How do you enjoy working on a one to one basis? You’ve been so helpful and supportive. I’m fairly sure if there wasn’t someone there to hold me to account with my fitness, I’d struggle to keep up with it. I’ve also got a mild-case of pectus excavatum, which means my chest has a slightly concave shape about it. I was concerned about exercising in case I put the wrong emphasis in the wrong place and caused a problem, however, you’ve helped me overcome that and designed a programme that’s specifically geared towards my physicality.
Q. How would you rate the progress you’ve made? I’ve made huge progress and I can see there have been great improvements in both my health and fitness, my general coping strategies in life and my body shape, which wasn’t a great emphasis when I started working with you. I’m not letting this take over my life, it’s just something else I’ve added into the mix and something that I really enjoy doing. I’m most grateful that I can now get out and run again. It’s something I did throughout my twenties and had just about given up in. Q. What does the future look like for your health and fitness? I’m looking forward to coming out of lockdown and being able to get back to the gym, but the virtual PT sessions have been great and demonstrate a different way of looking after health and fitness. I want to make sure I keep up working on being healthy and fit. I’m never going to go the whole hog and cut out food and drink and use weights or go out running day and night, but I think I can find a happy medium. Within that, I do have some specific goals I’d like to work towards and I’m confident I can achieve many of them. Q. What would your advice be for anyone else thinking about working on their health and fitness? I’d say do it. I’ve had the odd gym memberships in the past but I’ve never really known what to do and it’s never been a big concern of mind. As I’ve got older it’s become something that I recognised I needed to work on, but without your guidance and support, I don’t think I’d have kept it up. If someone out there is thinking about it but feels intimidated by the gym, they should definitely speak to you, I’m sure you’d be able to help them out. It’s been great working with you so far and I look forward to continuing to help you achieve your goals.
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