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Testimonial by James;


What do you give to a guy who appears to have everything?


To many people I am a fairly difficult chap to buy a present for; I have all the kitchen gadgetry you could imagine, I own enough shoes for most days of the week and there’s rarely a cultural experience I haven’t booked to attend.


So it came as much as a surprise to me, as it did my friends, when the best present I could have received was from a personal trainer named Marios.


In May I decided it was time to push aside many years of personal sayings. My bulging belly was no longer to be ‘a return on investment’ nor would I hide my physique as lesser than my character, the ‘I’m no Romeo’ saying of mine was to die.


Instead I decided to take a leap and find out if I could do more than four press ups without passing out.


I arranged to meet up with a personal trainer for a consultation.


We met in a north London coffee shop, where I attempted to hide the two spoonfuls of sugar I dropped into my full-fat-latte. I was terrified, the thought of some testosterone filled, alpha male, talking me through my fitness failures of 30+ years was not going to be fun.


Instead, Marios was a gentle soul. He seemed to offer no judgement, no criticism, he just listened to me.


I am very familiar with the skills of successful coaching. On a daily basis I make my living by advising creative professionals to be more successful in business. I know how to encourage them to identify their own weaknesses and guide them to solutions they confidently own. I didn’t, however, think for one minute that a personal trainer would apply such subtlety. No shouting, no Hitler-esq motivation.


Very soon I realised this was going to be a partnership, a carefully constructed relationship that built in challenge overtime. The first month wasn’t filled with hours on the treadmill, which is what I firmly imagined, and I didn’t leave every session feeling like I was about to be sick. Instead, it was six weeks later that I realised the initial progress I’d made; suddenly I was lifting double the weight, I could lunge without a wobble and my body was already undergoing a transformation.


Six months later and I truly feel like a new person.


Yes, physically I look like a new person – the weight has fallen from my face, I’ve lost 7 inches off my belly, 3 stone in weight and I can run for nearly half an hour without drowning in sweat. But, the change has actually gone much deeper than aesthetics. I’ve told very few people, but most close friends have seen the change.


I walk with a new zeal, I smile with a brighter zest, I’ve loved buying fitted shirts, spotting myself in the mirror and friends wrapping their arms around me when we hug. This year Marios has helped me gain the best present yet, the chance to enter a New Year with a totally fresh start.


If you’ve been pondering a visit to the gym – do yourself a favour and get a personal trainer. If you’re in London, you’ll not be surprised if I push one person in particular!


James West
Company Director, West Creative Ltd (and now available for modelling!)

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