Enduro Athlete

I had never had a personal trainer nor even considered one until my partner introduced me to Bodyguards in June 2007. My background in sport at that time was almost exclusively road running for about 10 years, with some self taught gym sessions thrown in for what I thought was good measure. However, I had gone through a string of injuries, including a broken metatarsal in May 2007 and was becoming frustrated that I would never run consistently again.

My goal in joining Bodyguards was to understand why I kept getting injured and to get back to regular, injury free running. What I liked about my first session with Graham Mytton (the PT Dunc assigned to me) was the immediate feedback I received on my current state of fitness. I was shocked to learn that overall my body was not that strong for a runner and so Graham set about designing me a strength programme to get me to a point where my body could cope with the running miles. The sessions at Bodyguards were never easy with my strength programme changing monthly, but what kept me going was the constant encouragement from Graham. He took a personal interest in me setting a new PB after three years of injury prone running. Visibly my body shape changed quickly but the proof was always going to be when I raced and I was not disappointed. I set a new PB over the half marathon distance in November 2007 and then again in March 2008. I was hooked on PT sessions. I felt strong and the consistency of training returned. All thanks to Bodyguards.

After over a year of consistent training I felt things were really looking good for a competitive 2009 and I even entered my first Ultra-marathon – the 43 mile Devil o the Highlands (DoH). Unfortunately I was knocked off my bicycle in November 2008 and was left with some serious injuries to my ankle, neck and back. I was disappointed on many levels not least because I thought my Ultra dream was over.

I had only started working with my new PT, Jack Walton, about two weeks prior to my accident but rather than wait on me recovering Jack took the view that he wanted to be actively involved in my rehab, staying in touch until I was given the all clear to train again.

Once I could start training again Jack devised what I initially thought were strange core strength sessions but looking back he took me through my rehab one step at a time, not moving me to next level until I was ready. It felt slow but Jack was always patient and listened to me. If I had a niggle he wanted to know so that he could target it to keep me on track. Within a matter of weeks my flexibility and strength had improved dramatically, from a zero fitness base after the accident. I was back thanks to Jack.

Over the early part of 2009 I continued to work with Jack on my core strength and he allowed me to participate in four Bowen therapy sessions which undoubtedly helped speed my recovery from some tough sessions. As I ramped up my running I was now determined to make the start line of the Devil o the Highlands and Jacks training sessions were keeping injuries at bay.

Thankfully I made the start line of my first Ultra in August 2009 and racing over 43 miles of tough terrain I surprised myself by winning the DoH footrace in the third fastest time ever!! I am under no illusion that without the sessions at Bodyguards with Jack I would not have recovered so quickly and safely from my bicycle accident nor made the start line of the DoH. I owe a big thank you to Jack Walton and Bodyguards for helping me realise what was an impossible dream at the start of 2009. The value of PT sessions cannot be underestimated – I am a convert and an addict!!

Craig Stewart, August 2009

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