Growing up, you could say I was living on the ‘social fringe’. It wasn’t that I didn’t have friends, but I could go to school one day and no one would talk to me – because someone told them not to. I still remember the first time it happened. I was in primary school and another girl came up to me and told me she’d ‘stole my best friend’.
This happened in primary school, high school, and even in uni! Mostly, it was because I didn’t accept what people said, or followed what they told me to do. Of course it affected me, but I never changed myself in order to be liked, or begged for them to talk to me.
I always felt different… but at the same time just like everyone else.
I still remember the moment when that all changed. I was working a midnight shift at a petrol station, and we’d just ran out of coins. I was saving up on change until the next day when Armaguard was due to come in, but a customer was furious when I didn’t have any spare change. She started throwing coins and Mentos off the shelves at me.
That’s when I’d had enough – I had to stand up for myself, and believe in myself. Wolfpack has reinforced this more than anything else.
I’ve known Mark for a long time. The first time I saw him was in 2006. He was working as a personal trainer in Ringwood, Genesis, and I still remember his Mini Cooper with its checkered design and registered plate ‘DESIRE’.
Back then, I’d gained a lot of weight after high school and I wanted to get fit. I’d always been athletic in class – athletics, triple jumps, gymnastics, cross country… But the freshman 15 wasn’t something I’d anticipated. At my highest, I was 90 kilos and a size 14 – probably bigger. To top it all off, I’d just been through a break up, and I was ready to hit the gym – hard! (Ladies, we all know what a post-breakup revenge body is ? if you don’t, Google it.)
I started looking for a personal trainer in Genesis, and I wanted to train with Mark. But I was too scared to go up to him back then, so I decided to leave it up to fate and asked reception for a personal trainer.
They gave me someone else as a personal trainer ?
I still remember training so hard, fuelled by hurt and anger, until you couldn’t differentiate between my tears and sweat.
It’s not that I hated myself, I just didn’t love myself.
Slowly, I started feeling better and more confident. I lost 30 kilos in 6 months – without any drastic dieting or cardio. I went to the gym 3-4 times a week, ate 6 small meals throughout the day, and saved any treats for the weekend.
I started attending personal developmental courses with my cousin, where I bumped into Mark many times. At the same time, I was completing my Master Personal Training Certification with the Australian Institute of Fitness where Mark was teaching the business component of the course. I even signed up for the Alpha Body back in 2010 when he started it.
After all these years, since meeting Mark in Genesis, I knew that I’d work with him one day. One way or another, I knew he’d help me in my life. I just wasn’t sure when or how.
But finally, I feel like I’m in the right place, at the right time, and made the right decision.
I still remember the call with Mark when I first signed up for Wolfpack. I already knew I’d say yes, but I just wasn’t sure if he’d take me in. It was a big commitment, but once I made the decision, things just happened very fast and worked in my favour. Ideas didn’t always work, but they started working better.
At the start, I was comparing myself to others in the course, feeling like I haven’t done much or improved as much as them, but it took me a while to realise that the improvement that has taken place within myself is phenomenal. Even my friends say that I walk and talk differently – the way that I hold myself has changed.
I find that knowledge is easy to get, but in order to apply it you need to be confident in yourself – and Wolfpack has helped change the way that I look at myself. Even though the business side of things is improving slowly, and it’s not where I want it to be right now, I know that with self-improvement, the business growth will inevitably follow.