Over the years, we've had the pleasure of speaking with various Move members (Movers) about how fitness has changed their lives, and there's one story in particular that really impacted us. And that is Daniel's story.
Mover Stories: Daniel Webster
When I was younger and before I discovered Move, I wasn't taking care of myself. If anything, I was in a downward spiral with my health. I used to go out a lot and party hard with heavy drinking and recreational substance use, which inevitably led me to depression.
I couldn't see through the pain and the sadness. But I knew that something had to change after a special person entered my life.
Looking back, I realise now I was in a pretty low place when my son was born, for reasons I can only put down to insecurities and drink and recreational drug use. When I found out I would be a dad, I distinctly remember thinking that there was no more point in living as I'd played my part in nature. Which I can now see is not only ridiculous but also quite sad that I couldn't zoom out and see the bigger picture beyond my inner turmoil.
"I knew I wanted to be someone he could look up to and respect. But I wasn't that person. Yet."
There were times when I felt good and proud to be a dad, but I started to feel more and more ashamed as time went on. I was helping raise an amazing little boy, but I couldn't even see a future for myself due to my depression.
The turning point...
When my son turned two, I made the hardest decision of my life. I parted ways with Theo's mother - it wasn't easy, but it was the right thing to do in our circumstances.
I know many people probably go out drinking and clubbing to ease the aftermath of a break-up, but this was my turning point. I told myself that I would get fit and become the best dad I could be. Theo was my inspiration, and I managed a whole year without touching a drop. It soon led to setting both mental and physical challenges for myself.
Joining Move: Bristol Boxing Gym & Climbing
I joined Move after a friend introduced me to this concept. As Move gives you access to heaps of different studios, gyms, climbing walls and other fitness venues on one monthly membership, I was able to try out heaps of different workouts and classes across the city to figure out what worked for me.
Eventually, I stumbled upon Bristol Boxing Gym. Their boxing and sparring sessions give me a high level of intense training that goes unmatched compared to other fitness activities! Bristol Boxing Gym also has an incredibly supportive community where I met many positive and like-minded people in those classes - people I now call friends.
"One of the first workouts I discovered I absolutely LOVE is boxing. It gave me much needed discipline and focus, as well as massively improving my levels of fitness."
I also discovered my love for climbing and was able to go to the various climbing and bouldering walls in Bristol. It's a different form of exercise compared to boxing, but it's still just as mentally and physically challenging.
I learned a lot about who I am and who I want to become throughout my journey. Also, my eyes were starting to open up to new ways of thinking, especially surrounding spirituality - things I would have previously laughed at, but now it had taken on a whole new meaning for me.
As I started getting fitter physically, I became mentally happier in myself and my day-to-day life. I'm generally an all or nothing kind of person, so moving helped me stay focused and motivated. It refreshed my headspace, rejuvenated my body and gave me much-needed energy in life. And I soon decided to go vegan - I've never felt better!
I love to help motivate others now that I am fully immersed in the joy that moving can give you. I want to spread the word about getting active! Although I'm not with Theo every day, he is my world and my primary motivation. He reminds me to continue my journey and aspire to be someone my son can look up to and respect. That is all.
I don't know what I could say to help or encourage others who may be in a similar position to where I was before I began my fitness with Move... All I can say is that you have to enjoy it! Much like staying fit, happiness is a journey, NOT a destination.
Find activities you like and climb that mountain!!