Self-doubt serves no positive purpose.
Why is it there? Maybe it’s some inbuilt mechanism designed to protect us. Since studying the model of the mind and training in the Control System with Tim Box,
I’ve learnt that we have all these patterns of thought that are very much set from a young age. I guess that self-doubt is a common one across the board and it’s something that I’ve always struggled with.
I’ve also learnt that our subconscious only ever wants whats best for us; the only flaw with that is sometimes what our subconscious thinks is best for us is, in fact, the opposite.
The Control System accesses the subconscious and changes the pattern of thought. Through this amazing experience of learning to become a practitioner and completing multiple case studies, which has allowed me to see the evidence of how this system works, I’ve been using it on myself to make changes in my life and the best most incredible session on myself happened during the Chester marathon last weekend.
I had booked the Chester Marathon back in the summer after employing the phenomenal Liz Weeks as my running coach.
My running and general fitness was not where I wanted it to be. I knew I was doing ok but there was something inside me that knew I was capable of more and that I would be a whole lot happier if I made a few changes.
The changes were personal to me and we all find fulfilment in different ways. For me, self-discipline and feeling super fit really do it for me! So the training regime began, along with a huge calorie slash as after downloading MyFitnessPal I realised I had been consuming way too many calories! And actually there is another blog here waiting to be written on how the less I consumed, the better I felt… Training with Liz was so hard at the start and sometimes I would wait for her to turn up to our session hoping to be struck down by lightning so I didn’t have to do it! But I knew it was all a process and one day the feeling would change. And it did change! 4 months down the line, I’m faster, fitter, still pushing myself to the absolute max and each session is still hugely intense, but the difference is that I feel fitter and completely different. It’s kind of hard to explain but the feeling you’re getting changes.
The day of Chester marathon arrived! I had spent the day before, lunching and perusing the streets of the beautiful Chester with my lovely best friend who lives there; and although it was a lovely day and we were having lots of fun, in the back of my mind the marathon was looming.
I woke up in my Premier Inn on the day of the marathon and kind of went onto autopilot, getting ready for the race and making my way to Chester Racecourse where the event was to start. The thoughts going through my head were mixed. On the one hand, I knew I had been training hard. The only thing I hadn’t done was any long runs in the lead up to it (which isn’t advisable!) but I had been training lots and certainly felt fit. But I also had the self-doubt.
The part of my subconscious that wanted to protect me. My conscious, the logical part that had signed me up to this knowing that it would be an incredible experience, had brought me to the start line but my subconscious was telling me a different story.. ‘You’re not up to this’, ‘You’re too tired, you’ll never make it’, were just some of the internal dialogue.
As I approached the start line, I knew I had to make a change. I began to use the Control System to talk to my subconscious and reassign the part that was keeping me in this negative thought pattern to something more helpful. For the first 10 miles of the race, I felt incredible! I was smiling, I felt happy and my internal dialogue had changed to ‘I can’t believe how easy this is!’ I felt pure positive energy and I knew I could do it! Now this wonderful ‘It’s so easy!’ feeling didn’t last much after about mile 11 when the pain kicked in and it started to get really real.
Oh yes, marathons aren’t easy at all!
I knew now that I’d have to dig in and stay strong for a long time but I also wanted to enjoy the experience. I continued to practice the Control System on myself and it became a kind of spiritual experience.
The more I tapped into the subconscious and re-educated it on what would really help me, the better I felt! I’m not going to lie, I was in pain! But it was an enjoyable pain. I had managed to change the whole experience from negative to positive. It was absolutely, hands down, the best race of my life!
Even at mile 20 when the fatigue hit my legs, I kept upbeat, my subconscious was understanding what I required to get me around the course. I want to say that it’s unbelievable how easily a change can be made when you know how but it really isn’t unbelievable at all because I lived the experience1
This year has been groundbreaking for me in so many ways. Through deciding to make just a few positive changes, my joy in life has expanded in so many unexpected ways. I’m so grateful to have found Liz Weeks and been able to improve my fitness so enormously and I’m so grateful to have been lucky enough to discover Tim Box and the remarkable Control System. Through this method, I’ve been able to completely redirect my pattern of thought to work in my favour. There really are no limits to what we are able to achieve.
About a year and a half ago I was invited to attend a course which would enable me to become a Control Practitioner. My first thought was ‘What the hell does that mean?!’.
I was then informed that the system had been designed by the marvellous Tim Box who had trained as ahypnotist and over the course of his career he had developed this system which can help people overcome a myriad of problems such as anxiety, fears or just simply help them to change something about themselves that they are unhappy with. At the time I was unable to commit to the course and politely declined. However, over the course of the next year, I had been thinking about this opportunity that had been presented to me; I had been following Tim Box on social media and had become fascinated with his system and was extremely eager to find out more. Two weeks ago, fate intervened as I bumped into Tim at a networking breakfast and found out that he was starting a new course this weekend! It was full but I pretty much begged my way into him squeezing me in and this weekend my journey to becoming a control practitioner began!
All I knew about the system (from sources who had tried and tested the method) was that it was about accessing the subconscious in order to make a change. My concerns were that I wouldn’t be a very good candidate for hypnosis and also that I would perhaps not be able to become the hypnotist. As it turns out, I was wrong on both accounts! The first exercise Tim did with us was brilliant and I’ll never forget the feeling of ‘OMG! My hand is floating up to the ceiling. How the hell is that happening?!’ Of course I was very vocal and excitable about this and, from that moment on, I realised I was, in the words of Tim himself- ‘skilled at accessing my subconscious’, which of course filled me with confidence. But the bigger question was – could I hypnotise someone? It turns out, I could do that too!
Never look back unless it’s to see how far you’ve come. This weekend has been momentous for me, having completed the legendary Man vs Mountain for the second year in a row; and it was this very event that had to lead me to purchase a Rat Race season ticket for 2019. Little did I know then that it would ultimately lead to me becoming the happiest version of myself that I’ve ever been, not to mention the fittest!
Now that was truly amazing! Within just a few weeks of setting up, I had clients coming out of my ears! I was thrilled that it had taken off so well and there was this huge momentum being created but in hindsight, I realise that due to my headspace not being 100% right,
I had taken on far too much for one person and it all came to head around June 2018 when I realised I seriously needed to cut back! Training clients from 5 am through to 10 pm is not sustainable! After various attempts to cut back on clients and still juggle Pilates classes and various other fitness classes I knew I had to make a big change.
Personal training had been amazing and had helped me at a time when I needed something new and exciting to focus on but my gut was telling me that it wasn’t my calling. My passion lies with Pilates and working at The Oast Osteopathy was my happy place.
I get such a feeling of satisfaction and fulfilment from changing lives through Pilates and feel so passionate about it ( and isn’t life about finding your passion?). So I made the somewhat radical decision to shut down my Personal training business and focus solely on my Pilates work.
I had just enough classes to keep me floating above the water and knew it was the right thing to do. It’s a decision I have never regretted. In fact- thank the universe that I did take the plunge! Within a month or two, my classes were full and I, once again, had clients coming out of my ears!
Only this time, I was happy. Very happy.
Being in that environment, I learn so much from the Osteopaths and other therapists and I’ve since completed a sports massage therapy course and am training to be a Control Practitioner (a method that remedial hypnotist Tim Box has created); this is all a knock-on effect of me choosing the right path and being true to my inner being.
When I look at how everything has panned out between November 2017 and now, I’m much more inclined to believe that everything happens for a reason, and maybe that reason is forced introspection.
Whatever it is, it’s been a truly incredible ride. I thought I was blissfully happy in my relationship, I now realise that I had no idea just how happy I could be! I never thought I’d be writing these words! Really!
It was early on in 2018 that one of my clients and subsequently good friend, Luke, suggested that I get a group of my clients together and take part in a Tough Mudder.
Again, hindsight is a beautiful thing, it was a pivotal moment in my life and one that would see me become an adventure fitness extraordinaire! Luke would have had no idea how much that one suggestion changed my life. It didn’t do much for the PT business other than provide a fun day for everybody as the business would be shut down soon after, but for me personally- it opened my eyes to a whole new world.
May 5th 2018, the first day I felt actually happy since my breakup 6 months before. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t get over it there and then, but I had a glimmer of hope and could see there was potential for better things to come.
Training outdoors, the physical challenge, facing fears, pushing myself out of my comfort zone all made for a very satisfied me. I was entering new territory. Something was changing. I knew what was happening as I’ve had many rebirths along the path of my lifetime.
This was exciting. My eyes were opened to a whole new world. I have taken part in running and various fitness events in the past but something was different this time.
I was signing up to running events, obstacle course events, half marathons, marathons. Having never done a marathon before in my life, I had completed 6 between October and December 2018. Probably not the best idea to accumulate so many miles so quickly as I developed compartment syndrome as a result, which isn’t exactly an injury but it’s very painful and can literally stop you in your tracks.
Around March 2019, I took a few weeks off and gradually built the miles back up. I’m pleased to say I’m absolutely fine now. No compartment syndrome and no suffering from cramp. I realise that this was all a result of not being in good enough condition to do the amount I was doing. I am now, however, conditioned!
It was suggested to me to take part in Man Vs Mountain 2018. An epic mountain adventure that starts at Caernarfon Castle, goes up to the summit of Snowdon, down the other side, up a vertical kilometre and then after around 22 miles of that lot, a punishing array of water obstacles.
Sounds epic, right?
And it was. I had experienced many physical challenges prior to this but nothing could have prepared me for the sheer exuberance of pushing myself for 22 miles and over 5000ft of elevation surrounded the magnificence of North Wales and the Mountains.
At the time, it was the hardest thing I had ever done and I couldn’t walk the next day (again, I now realise how unconditioned I was) but I had never felt so good. I immediately signed up to a whole load more of trail marathons which included the Brecon Beacons marathon the following month. And wasn’t that just glorious?!
It was November in Wales and the weather was outstanding. When I reached the top of Pen Y Fan I burst into tears of joy! It was such a wonderful, spiritual experience and it was that event that made me realise how much I love being alone. From then on, things became better and better.
I became happier and happier.
I had found true happiness again and I realised that all I needed to be happy was myself. I’ve always been a lone ranger and a happy one at that. I guess that I kind of lost a part of myself when I was in a relationship, which is normal, but I had come to realise at this point ( a year after my break up) just how lucky I was and how I was returning back to the true essence of me. I was having the greatest love affair of all time- with myself.
2019 started well and I had bought a Rat Race season ticket off the back of the Man vs Mountain event. I have so far this year taken part in The Mighty Deerstalker (night run in the Scottish Highlands), Dirty Weekender (20-mile obstacle course),
The Wall (69 mile run from Carlisle to Newcastle, where I was 12th female to finish out of 1000 people competing), Man vs Coast (25 mile run from Penzance to Lands End), Man vs Lakes (42k run around the Lake District with huge ascents) and Man vs Mountain again; and these are just the Rat Race events!
The Liverpool marathon this year was a pinnacle moment for me and one that would really shake things up. I was happy with my training and kind of plodding along but something wasn’t quite right. I had got into the mindset of it’s the taking part that counts and had put on weight. After completing the marathon with an average time and then seeing photo’s of myself looking out of shape, I had a huge wake-up call.
I knew that I wasn’t being true to myself. I am a high achiever and self-discipline is what ultimately makes me happy.
So May 29th 2019, I signed up to MyFitnessPal and employed the amazing Liz Weeks (running coach extraordinaire!). Within 6 weeks I had gone from 70 kgs to 58kgs and I started smashing PB’s.
I realised that while had been eating mainly healthy food, I was eating way too much! And although some say that it’s the taking part that counts when it comes to running, for me, it’s about achieving something. I really thought I was fit until I started training with Liz!
That woman has pushed me into a whole new world of pain that I never knew existed and I’ve never felt better. I’m apprehensive before every session as I know what’s coming and I’m often sitting in my car waiting for disaster to strike so I don’t have to do it but guaranteed after every session, I’m as high as a kite! She’s got me running below 7-minute miles for a prolonged period of time and I even won a couple of awards at races I’ve taken part in since she started training me. I’m so grateful to have found her. I’ve never felt so fit, healthy, happy and fast in my entire life!
It’s incredible how quickly and easily things can change. My life has just completely ascended in the last few months. My fitness is at it’s peak. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my entire life and there is literally nothing I can think of that would make me anymore fulfilled. Man vs Mountain this weekend was incredible on so many levels as I could feel how much fitter I have become, how in tune I am with my inner being.
I’m vibrating so high and so in love with my life. While on the ascent to the summit of Snowdon, I had time to reflect on the year gone by. I have been on such a tremendous journey. A journey with myself. An inner pilgrimage. I know who I am now and I know that who I am is perhaps different from most and that’s ok. I no longer feel the need to try and fit in with society’s idea of ‘normal’. I know what I like and I’m enlightened.
So my message tp anyone out there who is going through difficulty in their lives right now- hang on in there. If you choose the path of least resistance and let be what will be, stay true to your inner being and keep the faith that everything will be ok in the end, and if it’s not ok then its not the end- you’ll come through the other side a better and far more enriched being. Trust me- I’m living proof.
Last weekend I took a trip up to Cumbria to take part in an event called Man vs Lakes, which in hindsight should have been called Man vs Hills as it was around 9000ft of elevation… I know!
Prior to the event, I had a romantic image in my head of July sun, beautiful scenery, rolling hills and July sun… Did I mention July sun? I left my house at 5 am on Friday morning, ready for the 7-hour journey ahead of me, wearing Birkenstocks, shorts and full of hopefulness.
A few hours into the journey I started to wonder where the sun had gone and by the time I got to Knutsford services to fuel up, it was grey, cold and the heavens had well and truly opened.
On went the jogging bottoms, trainers and raincoat and my hopefulness wasn’t quite there. I made my journey to Kendal where the race would start and picked up my registered at the local leisure centre. It was still raining and very cold. I felt as though I had stepped into winter, (although having said that, the locals seemed absolutely fine in their t-shirts and according to one lovely local man, it wasn’t ‘that cold to be fair’.)
With my race pack secured and bag checked for mandatory list (the only thing not included in that is the kitchen sink), I set off for Coniston where the race would finish and I was to camp.
As I drove towards the campsite, my usual happy demeanour had disappeared and had been replaced with a certain sense of dread, anxiety and despondency. I was looked around the town and it was very beautiful.
Somewhere I’d be happy to visit in the cold and rain if I were staying in a cosy Bed and Breakfast and wrapped up warm for romantic walks, but the thought of pitching a one-man pop up tent in the rain, sleeping in it and getting up at 5 am to run 30 miles with lots of water obstacles where I would be fully submerged at times was enough to send me into a pit of despair! I was seriously contemplating abandoning the campsite and trying to find alternate accommodation but something pushed me on to the campsite.
I arrived. I pitched my tent in the rain. Everything got wet. I was wet. My jogging bottoms were soaked. My hair was drenched. Everything in my tent was wet. I was as far from a happy bunny as you can imagine. More like a sad mongoose. As soon as the camp was set up, I had it in my head that this wasn’t happening. I was going to wait for the rain to ease off, pack it all up and go home. I cannot express how close I was to doing this. And then a stranger popped out of nowhere; a happy chappy, the complete opposite of me at this point. I explained my concerns and he talked me into going for a cup of tea in the event tent. This man was my saviour. In the event tent, I drank my tea and was joined by a few other singletons (mad people like myself who prefer to travel alone) and they all did an amazing job of talking me into staying. After several hours of counselling and lots of tea, I decided it would be ridiculous to go home now. Although, I was still contemplating leaving in the morning.
I was woken at 3 am on Saturday morning with torrential rain and a very unstable tent. At that point, I was definitely going home when the sun came up. I drifted back off and was then woken again at 4:45 am by my alarm. The rain had stopped, I opened up the tent and felt I had kind of acclimatised. I went on autopilot, got dressed, ate breakfast and boarded the bus ready for the hour drive to the start line. I fell asleep on the bus, standard and engaged in that lovely public transport head bobbling which ultimately leads to neck pain upon waking. I got off the bus and I don’t think I can remember a time where I was so miserable! Mrs Stroppy had taken over.
I was checking the exits and finding any excuse to not go. I was hoping that the queue for the toilet would take longer so I’d miss the start. I hoped that my contact lense would fall out so I couldn’t see and therefore would have to pull out. I even asked a member of the general public if they would give me a lift back to the campsite. None of that was successful and I resigned myself to the fate that awaited me.
3,2,1 GO! Off we went. The race started by running across Morecambe bay. What a surreal experience that was! Running across the sand and water, with such a low mist. All I could see were the runners in front of me and behind me, if they weren’t there, I would not have know which way was North or South. I felt as though I was in some futuristic end of the world movie. And then the rain came. Hard, heavy rain. At this point I realised it couldn’t actually get much worse and then I heard someone say “This is awesome!” That person will never know what they did for me. I had been running for about 2 miles at this point and the endorphins were starting to kick in. That was the start of a bit of a game-changer for me. It started to set the seed in my head that I should be embracing this very surreal and unique experience. I changed my mindset, I started to run faster. I still wanted it to be over but I was in a much better headspace.
Once on land, I picked up the pace and bolted it to the first pit stop. I sorted out my blister with a compeed from the lovely Dave and hit the ground running! Running hard. I felt like I was flying, overtaking people and feeling strong….. And then came the hills! The first verticle KM was an absolute pussycat in comparison to what lie ahead.
From that first ascent it was just hill after hill after a bigger hill after an even bigger hill. You get the jist. Where I had such a great start, I was now neat the front runners. A lot of it was single file and that seriously tested me in every way. My options were to stop and let all the guys go past (which would have resulted in me standing there for a long time) or keep up with them. So, I opted for the latter. World of pain doesn’t even come into it. It was pain and endurance on another level. Talk about leg day! Around 12 miles in, a marshall informed me that I was the 5th female she had seen. Holy smokes! I was actually doing really well! That was the catalyst for me. In that moment, something changed and I went from zero to hero! I continued to run with all my might. Swan through lakes, waded through water, took on some seriously technical trail running and let my inner warrior unleash herself!
Around 2pm, the sun came out! And how glorious that was! The scenery was outstanding and I was feeling on top of the world; literally. I had now been on the go for nearly 7 hours. As I made my way down into Coniston (yes, the last few miles were all downhill. Praise be), I felt elation on another level. I had the biggest smile on my face and was actually over the moon to do a bit of kayaking! I got off the row boat and it was a mile to the finish. I ran as fast as I could and was feeling like super woman. As I crossed the finish line, pure joy showered over me. I can honestly say that I’ve never felt to happy to have completed a challenge in my entire life! I was on a super high for the rest of the day, especially when I discovered I had placed 5th lady! I was happy to camp that night and when I woke up the next morning I felt such a huge sense of accomplishment and was so proud of myself. How very different it could have been!
So I guess that the moral of the story is, however bad you’re feeling about something, however weak and feeble you may feel, however hopeless you feel- anything can change! So don’t listen to that doubt. Believe in yourself and your capabilities. Take on the challenge. Be strong. Be brave. Be your own hero. There are times when we all feel unsure and want to take the easy way out, but the easy way never leaves you feeling like a hero.
There are 3 words that one should keep with them always: You got this!
I recently had one of the most amazing experiences of my entire life. I attended a Pilates retreat! I had absolutely no expectations other than I’d be in Spain doing Pilates every day. What actually happened blew my mind.
I arrived quite late around 11pm due to flight cancellations, which in itself was actually quite a fun adventure where I ended up gaining a sight seeing tour around London and £400, but that’s another blog!… Upon arriving, the spirit of the place hit me. A sense of warmth and happiness flooded the area and the smell of the air as I approached the mountains from the airport (Location was about an hour’s drive away from Malaga) was magnificent. I typically book adventures on a whim and never pay too much to what it’s all about until I get there and I guess that made this all the more enthralling as I woke up the next morning to an astonishing view of mountains, olive tree’s and bright sun. What a stunning location El Chorro is!
From there the holiday just took off! It was a week of amazing Pilates classes, taught by two of the very best teachers out there, workshops on how to improve teaching (everybody but one was a pilates teacher) and also exploring and revisiting the essence of Pilates. There was also HIIT training for those who wanted to get the heart rate up and also running for those who wanted it. One of my highlights was leaving just before dawn to run up to the top of a mountain and admire the sunrise while feeling the euphoric high of having just ran up a mountain! Double whammy baby! I was also lucky enough to be able to walk part of the Camino. If you don’t know what the Camino is, please google it! I realise now that it’s one of life’s musts! There was also downtime around the pool or to just simply walk around the area and take in the pure energy of surroundings.
It was wonderful to be in an environment where I was able to connect with lots of likeminded people and everyone was amazing. The owners of The Olive Branch where the retreat was actually held were pretty epic and there were a team of people there who were so friendly and supportive. There was only good vibes going on, creative talk and lots of fun! The whole package of being in this idyllic location where everybody feels free and no one cares what car you drive, being surrounded by positivity, education and creative energy, really rocked my world. I came back from that holiday an upgraded version of myself! I learnt so much. Not just about Pilates but about myself, too. I was already on a good vibe roll before the holiday and now I am 100% vibrating higher. I’m back now, full of inspiration and ideas for the future. I’m so ecstatically happy and thrilled with how my life is going.
In life, the Universe delivers exactly what you need.
If this sounds like something you would like to experience too, register your interest here