Entering into my last semester of University, to say I was excited would be an understatement. I had one last subject to complete, and 140 hours of practical, face to face, work experience. Funnily enough, the practical work experience was to take place in a professional setting very similar to that of which I found myself in for the last 5 years. At first, the concept of this annoyed me a little. ‘Why do I have to do it if it’s exactly what I do for work?’ – was a question I probably muttered more than I should have, because 140+ hours later I am eating my words. Swallowing them hard and fast, as I have successfully completed Prac. And why, might you ask am I eating my words? Well people, I was way too quick to judge. I was so quick that I nearly lost an opportunity to grow, to learn, to evolve and to connect. 140+ hours later and my views, opinions and knowledge have blown up. Not in a bad way; but in probably the best way possible. And that my friends is thanks to Matt Winkley, and the WinkFit family I have had the pleasure of being a part of over the last 10+ weeks.
Sometimes the most detrimental thing one can do is stay stagnant; stay still. Settle and believe that where they are is all they are destined for. But what I’ve learnt over the last 10 weeks, is that evolution is inevitable. That change, and growth is not always painful and uncomfortable, but enlightening and empowering. I’ll be honest, early on I was sceptical and probably a little too cocky – I didn’t think there was much more I could learn. Boy, was I wrong. Boy, did my world shake. And boy, am I so grateful to have been placed at WinkFit because if there was ever going to be someone to make me question all things health and fitness and wellness, it would be Matt. Immediately, I found myself intrigued; questioning every last statement or piece of knowledge that Matt would state. It isn’t that I didn’t understand it, but more so that I just wanted to know more. I wanted to know why. I wanted to know how. As a personal trainer, and having been one for years now, I’d fallen into a routine. It’d become second nature. I’d become complacent. I settled. Settled with the ease at which exercise came to me. How easy programming and training someone was. But what I forgot was the science behind it, the mechanics that are at play when our bodies move, and the importance of understanding our bodies and what they are made for. Matt has helped me rediscover that.
Maybe it’s that when you walk into Winkfit you’re met right away, with “standards” – a culture they call it – on a wall, as tall as the building itself. Maybe it’s the atmosphere fostered by not only Matt but his clients and members. Whatever it is – atmosphere, people or ethos – Winkfit has it. “Always leave the gym better than when you entered” – the last standard on the list. And probably the one that resonated with me the most. Especially now, coming to the end of my placement. I am leaving Winkfit better than when I entered; I am leaving more knowledgeable, more committed and more confident in my ability as a trainer and soon to be exercise and movement scientist. Not only that, I am leaving equipped with new information, new ideas and an open, ready-to-be challenged mind. The weight of learning, the importance of it, should never be underestimated because everyone you meet, has something to teach you. Everyone you meet has an opinion, an experience, and an idea. Another part of Matt’s personality that has rubbed off on me. I walked into Winkfit complacent; shadowing a professional in the industry anything but complacent. One of the biggest things I learnt about Matt and from Matt, is to never stop learning. To never become caught up in thinking “I know it all” because we don’t. No one ever will. His hunger to learn and to be as informed as anyone in the industry, is a trait I hope to foster in myself. A trait I believe sets him apart from other individuals. I leave Winkfit no longer complacent but hungry for more. Determined to make sure I never again, stop learning.
Thank you Matt for your teaching, your knowledge, your guidance. For your opinions and views. For the discussions and your honesty. Thank you for answering all my questions, and not being afraid to offer advice, wisdom and some hard truths when it comes to this business. Your passion for what you do and how you live, bounces off everyone and everything you come in contact with, and I feel lucky to have been placed with you. To the greater Winkfit family, and Matt’s clients, thank you for allowing me to be a small part of your fitness endeavours. Thank you for being comfortable enough to have me train and get to know you. The experience has been world-shaking and challenging, one that has reignited my passion and one I won’t soon forget.
All my gratitude,