Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sparta Personal Training.

This is my friend Jen. We met close to a year ago on my very first ride out on the Northern Road. I was heading out with Maureen and at our turnaround point I was introduced to both Jen and her hubby Rommel. We connected from the very first moment we met. Jen is just the nicest person, her gentle and calm demeanour are in my eyes why she makes a great personal trainer.

I will let her article tell her story. Sparta Personal Training is the name of her business - remember it - it will go far. Check out her website by clicking on Sparta Personal Training and see all she has to offer.

"I find it amazing how life turns out completely differently from the way you anticipated it would.

At university some 17 years ago (yikes!), I contemplated doing my fitness trainers course so that I could teach ‘aerobics’ (as it was called then) to make some cash. I didn’t end up doing the course at the time. So I find it amazing that now after being a lawyer for 13 years, I seem to have come almost full circle & am now (finally) in the health & fitness industry – where I know I belong J

It was also while I was at uni that I discovered my love of strength training & being in a gym. Despite that, I let the exercise lapse when I finally started working as a lawyer. After a couple of years, I found myself carrying an extra 8kgs. After being relatively lean throughout uni, this didn’t sit too comfortably. So I joined the local gym near the office. Doing weights and using the treadmill & stepper soon led to getting out doors & walking.

Before long, I started running. When I started running, I distinctly remember thinking there was no way I could imagine running for the rest of my life. It seemed too uncomfortable and quite simply, far too hard to persevere with. But somewhere along the way, I discovered a passion for endurance sports like running, triathlons, hiking & mountaineering. And now I can’t imagine not running for the rest of my life.

Having said that, it has been a very rocky road since I started running 6 years ago. It is no exaggeration to say that I have basically been injured, or recovering from an injury, since then. Needless to say, it has been very difficult to watch my friends & family set & achieve their sporting goals in that time. Many many tears have been shed over the years. The experience has been a great lesson in determination, dealing with jealousy & humility. So I understand the disappointment & frustration that comes from being injured and empathise with people who have been unable to achieve things what they want due to injury. This has really become my driving force & main motivating factor behind SPARTA - I do not want anyone else to go through what I have.

So my mission at SPARTA is to help my client’s achieve their dreams & goals by reducing their risk of injury & helping to improve their performance in their chosen sport. I do this by identifying, and then minimising, any issues with their movement which might cause injury and/or reduce their ability to achieve peak performance. I do this in a way that takes into account everything about my client’s - from their goals, lifestyle, personality, posture, strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes and available time so it is a very customised process. Getting this much input from my client’s means that they are as much a part of the training design process as I am.

In the future, I would also expand my practice & work with older adults. I have watched family members suffer from diseases that I know exercise can help to address in some way. And I know of a lot of parents, family & friends of active people who have been inspired to become more active themselves. I think older adults also appreciate the importance of their health more than others.

I love seeing the way people change physically & mentally as they set themselves a goal they don’t always believe they can achieve and then set out to achieve it. It is an extremely gratifying role; what can I say – I honestly love my work.

Jen, I am so glad we are friends. I know your clients will benefit immensely from your knowledge and patience as well as your motivating and gentle personality. You are an asset to the industry and to anyone who has you as their trainer.

Check out her website - articles and interviews galour.


  1. Great post. I met Jenruns, as I know her, through coolrunning in 2004. Jen has the right mix of intelligence, patience, people skills and a genuine interest and care for people. I especially like the idea of having a personal trainer, not that I have one at this stage, who has the research skills, developing experience and instinct to know how far and what strategies to use for each individual under her care. Cheers Plu

  2. Great story, and very similar to mine. It's great to see that some people have swapped their passion into their life.
    I also wanted to do the gym instructors course while studying at uni, but never got to it.
    And then, while recovering from a bad knee injury years later, I was intrigued again, and decided I would start my studies. So while having a successful IT security career, I embarked on my PT studies.
    18 months ago, and quite a few kg heavier and unfit, I decided to follow my passion, start my PT career, and ditch the corporate world.
    I wouldn't look back for a moment.
    And now, 18 months later, with a growing business, 14kg lighter but more importantly no clothes to wear as they are all too big, I love helping people integrate exercise and a healthy lifestyle into their daily life.
    Nice to see others went through the same thing as me.

  3. Great to read about Jen here...and you too Barbara :)

    Totally agree with you re Jen. We only recently met in "real life" but had been connecting on Facebook and Twitter. Jen is smart, warm and genuine - immediately likable. She's also approachable and although she is a triathlete, she is, well, normal.

    Well done Jen on stepping out and following your heart (I won't say passion - you know how I feel about that!). Sparta Personal Training will be a huge success.


  4. Thank you Barb for your lovely comments. I am so glad we met. I can't wait to cheer for you at Port Macquarie next weekend :)

    Plu & Suellen, thank you for your generous comments. You are very kind. Has it really been 7 years Plu? Time flies... :-)

    Anne, thank you for sharing your comments. It's nice to hear that someone has been on a similar journey to mine. Like you, I won't be looking back :)

  5. Fantastic story, most of which I'm very proud to say (like Plu) that I've been familiar with while sharing Jen's development as a runner, mountaineer, triathlete and personal trainer over the last 6-7 years. All the best for your business Jen - and thanks to Barb for the link!



I am so happy you have stopped by. You have made my day.

Your hard work will be rewarded.

"The path to a dream is paved with sacrifices and lined with determination. And though it has many stumbling blocks along the way, and may go in more than one direction, it is travelled by belief and courage and conquered with a willingness to face challenges and take chances" Barbara Cage