“I was always hyperactive as a kid and when I was at Langton Green Primary School, they recommended I should look at pursuing sports/running. One of my early memories was a charity run around the playing field and completing as many laps as possible. There was this other lad at school who was boasting he was going to do more than anyone else, so even at that young age my competitive streak came out and I ended up doing more laps than anyone else and passing him. So that’s how it all started, my passion for sport, running and fitness.
At Secondary School I recall this one PE teacher who saw my passion and talent for running and it wasn’t long before he selected me for the school cross country running team. Looking back, I realise what a positive step that was I really appreciate what he did for me. From there I joined Tonbridge Athletics Club and started competing at various events. One of those inspirational coaches was a teacher and part time athletics coach, Mike Rowbottom. It is a little known fact that he actually recorded, unofficially, the four minute mile before Roger Bannister official record was set. Those twice weekly sessions, often in cold, damp, wet conditions during winter training, as part of Mike’s athletics team really gave me early insight into the coaching experience and how he motivated his athletes. Its an experience even now I really value and it gave me that hunger to pursue a career in sports. I decided then, that I would take a year out after my A-Levels. Whilst on my gap year, I had the opportunity to obtain qualifications in the fitness industry on an apprenticeship with LA fitness, in Tunbridge Wells. That learning experience made me decide to invest in myself and so I went on to get a Diploma in Personal Training at David Lloyd with Premier Training International.
I’ve always wanted to be the best that I could be at both my running and fitness career and I was keen to be able to pursue my own passion for competing alongside my career development. My time at LA fitness gave me that flexibility which was so valuable. Often fate does play a part in where we end up and so when i was offered a freelance Personal Training role at LA Fitness, I decided to take the plunge and set up Scott Richardson Personal Training. That was in 2005 and I have never looked back.
I actually realise now how lucky I was when I first set my business up to have such supportive parents. I was living at home at the time and they supported me in putting my efforts into my business and building my client base. I often tell my PT clients that stress is all about what we perceive. Looking back I was extremely stressed, not having a guaranteed income and building my business. Now I really appreciate what Mum and Dad did for me in giving me that support system. At the time my mindset was to just knuckle down and crack on with it. I was still juggling this with my own running ambitions but in the end I had to prioritise the business set up and establishing a client base over my running goals.
Over the years I have trained some really interesting clients and some extremely driven people. One of those was a very driven chap who worked in the medical profession and he wanted me to use my PT skills and running background to train him for his first marathon. Until then I had never thought I could combine both to better my business offering. I hadn’t completed a marathon at that time, but he trusted my expertise and assured me that I had the tools to train him. A few months later he announced that he had decided he wanted to do the New York Marathon and I was to go and compete with him! I wasn’t going to say no to that, so we spent time together doing long runs on Sundays and other sessions to get in shape for the race. I was all prepared on the day to run with him but he just looked at me and said, run your own race. I was a young man running one of the best marathons on the circuit, what an experience.
I was so thankful to the guy and that inspired me further to try and help others achieve similar feats. We ended up doing other events together including Amsterdam marathon where he managed to strip off over 15 minutes off his marathon PB and I was the sixth Brit over the finish line that day in 2 hours 41mins. That was really the start of how I expanded my business to help people achieve their running goals and I have helped many clients train for marathons and other events including 5kms, 10kms and half marathons.
Goals are a really important part of maintaining motivation when it comes to keeping fit, whatever your ability and however large or small they are. In 2014 I myself was looking for a new goal and by pure accident found myself competing in a half ironman event in Marlow. That is a 1.2mile swim, 56mile cycle and 13.1mile run. That first 70.3 qualified me for the European Championships and have since competed globally in Ironman events and I am regularly part of the Team GB triathlon age group team.
Its not just about the big stuff though, I train clients through injury rehab, becoming more mobile and overcoming other health and fitness barriers. Extra knowledge is never wasted if its applied effectively and in my downtime i am regularly up-skilling myself, keeping my qualifications and industry knowledge up to date.
One of my key business lessons since I started out has to be adaptability. Three times in my career I have faced having to relocate. LA fitness worked well for me as a freelance PT but when they unexpectedly closed I had to make a decision quickly to move my business. I was fortunate at the time to be able to rent a studio in the heart of Tunbridge Wells where I stayed for 3 years. I then decided to move back to a gym environment and went to Tunbridge Wells Sports Centre. Of-course no-one really could predict the impact of COVID and in March 2020 I then was forced to work from home due to the restrictions we all have faced. It’s been an interesting past 18 months and I had to adapt massively, as well all have, to do something positive to get my business through Covid. I felt that I owed it to my customers. I now offer a variety of training environments and online in particular really took off and is now a core part of my business. I also converted my garage at home to be a full gym set up so I can offer face to face sessions with my clients in a private environment if they prefer.
As far as the future goes, there’s a word that gets thrown around a lot now and that’s resilience. When I was younger, despite studying sports psychology at A-Level, I never thought so much back then about that side of things. Now looking at my journey, maybe the study and running created my tenacity and the resilience. I am fortunate that my business provides me with a good standard of living but really I have always looked at my business as something that is there to help people, for me helping people achieve their fitness goals comes first.”
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I am passionate about health and fitness and have worked as a Personal Trainer for over 15 years. I have a wealth of experience and helping my clients achieve their health and fitness goals is my number one aim. I continue to keep my qualifications and knowledge up to date in order to stay ahead with the latest cutting edge information and technology. My experience and knowledge is paramount in enabling me to enhance my clients training experiences and maximising their results.