I’m not going to lie, being young, naive and not knowing what to do with my future are issues I still struggle with today.
With the ever growing possibilities of what you can do with your life and who you can be, I was, and you are perfectly normal to feel, overwhelmed.
Throwing it back to being 17 years old, with PE being just about the only thing in my life I was marginally above average at, I followed my peers into applying for university. But instead of applying for “useful” degrees (according to my teachers and other educated adults) i.e. marketing, maths, history or law, I instead opted for the completely ‘useless’ degree of Sports Science, providing me with no real world skills or career potential…
…or that is what I was lead to believe.
Having an interest in the great outdoors, I was at the time completing my gold Duke of Edinburgh training with Adventurous Experiences. Keirron Tastagh, Director of the Company, had spent a lot of time in North Wales and advised me to think about going to university in Bangor to enjoy the best of both worlds.
After a little research, there was an advertisement for a degree in ‘Sports Science with Outdoor Activities’, basically a ‘useless’ Sports Science degree made even worse as one days’ lectures were substituted with a day playing with kayaks or in the mountains playing in the rain!
I was set. I deferred my university offer for a year after scraping through my A-Levels and worked full time for Keirron. The following year, after having some real world experience and some money of my own, I trundled off to my useless degree for some of the best 3 years of my life.
Through this time, I pursued a sport not many people have heard of called canoe polo, which was my test bed for all the information I was learning at University.
How to become faster. How to become stronger. How to become fitter.
These were all questions we asked ourselves as a team. Putting all my undergraduate knowledge to good use, I managed to walk away with 4 bronze and one Gold BUCS medal (University Championships) Full colours and Blues for sporting achievements.
To some, this all seems irrelevant, because who cares how well you do in a sport at university when you’re not going to be a professional athlete?
I care because without sport and without the gym I wouldn’t know how to lose graciously or win honourably.
I wouldn’t know how to grind through difficulty, comeback from setbacks, organise a team, rally a group or visually see how hard work can create real change in my life.
It is because of these attributes, that I continued my undergraduate education to a Masters Degree in Sports Science with Strength & Conditioning at Chester University, despite not having an English GCSE.
It is because of these attributes, that I set up my own business when leaving university instead of following the trend and working for a sports club or academy.
It is because of this, that I have spend the past 5 years of business being dynamic, following what interests I have and integrating them into my lifestyle.
Most importantly, it is because of this, that I enjoy my life and how I earn my living, putting my satisfaction, interest and enjoyment first before income and what other people may suggest.
This is not the lifestyle for everyone, but it is the one that I have chosen.
And that’s the only real question that needs to be asked. What makes you happy?