Friend and Client from year Zero of Tiger Therapy, Jon is an absolute aspiration and inspiration to me. He takes a logical and methodical approach to all aspects of life (including his dating plan which was based on numbers and probabilities) and doesn't believe in the adage that talent "must come naturally". Jon believes that anyone is capable of doing anything they want to in life, they need only apply themselves and most of all believe in themselves.
"My Motto in training and in life in any form of education is very simple: Work Hard, Have Fun, Make Mistakes"
I started treating Jon as part of a wellbeing lifestyle following the breakdown of his 19 years or so marriage, his original goal when he first came to me was an hour out of a busy and very stressed existence to manage and reduce that stress 'in order to be able to continue to function day to day' as he put it. Interesting choice of therapist considering that I market myself as sports and deep tissue massage therapist, something I am always harping on about; Just because it is called Sports Massage it doesn't mean that it's restricted to people who do sports, professionally or otherwise.
"I felt that massage would work both as a way of directly affecting the symptoms of stress (tense muscle) but also give me a safe space where I could feel pampered"
I adapted my treatments to suit Jon, so at this stage there was no real need for range of movement tests for example, Jon simply wanted me to work out the tension caused by stress and I think the science based background of sports massage suited Jon more so than a holistic approach, where essential oils would be the main healing element of the treatment for example. That's not to discount valuable treatments such as aromatherapy, all treatments can be adapted to suit and tailoring the ones I know has become rather a specialty for me. The point is that in this case where, luckily for me, a treatment with a more scientific approach was more appealing to someone like Jon. It was only later that I got to know Jon and began to treat him as part of his active lifestyle choice, his passion for running.
How did you get into running?
"I wanted to start exercising regularly, I needed to add some exercise into my life I was basically very sedentary for a long time and I wasn't very interested in other sports, running seemed like the obvious choice. You don't have to pay for expensive gym membership, you get a lot of fat burn for your time, I could do it on my own until I was comfortable doing it with other people"
During the time I have been treating Jon as a runner, I've assisted him with an ankle injury, using cold stones as well as very specific techniques round the ankle to reduce swelling, I have turned up to location with him to give him a pre – event warm up/invigorating treatment, I've taped him up to assist with continued activity after his ankle injury, and now as I watch him prepare for the marathon I am humbled and very honoured to be part of this journey with him. Jon, as always has applied a very methodical approach to his training, which for this event began in fact last year. Over a period of months he trained himself to run longer and longer distances, booking half marathons at selective and consistent intervals and backing up his training other pursuits such as outdoor cycling, and skiing, and not forgetting planking whilst the kettle is boiling. Whatever Jon cannot do, he finds a way to apply himself, a way that works for him but above and beyond all else a way and a pursuit that makes him HAPPY.
"To make sure I always enjoy it I never measure my performance in terms of my speed, so I either know how far I've gone or I'll know how long I have been out for, but never both. Otherwise if I do a run and I know I can do it faster I will feel bad about that run, but I should feel good about the run because I got off my arse and went for a run, so I try and only measure the effort. To keep it fun I like to run in nice places, run in company, so I am always looking for new running buddies, and I like to go on organised runs, I enjoy the buzz on a race day. "
In many a conversation with Jon he taught me that there was no such thing as "I can't do this" because sometimes I simply felt as though I couldn't do this. I couldn't run a business and I couldn't build a website, I couldn't create social media content, but Jon very carefully guided me and introduced me to something called a growth mindset. I really did come from a fixed mindset that told me I wasn't capable of doing any of things I do today and this was a very fearful existence indeed.
When Jon told me he got a place running for DSWF, the animal charity responsible for the Tiger Time Campaign – for whom I donate money on a monthly basis and volunteer every year to provide Sports Massage for their Marathon runners I couldn't be more chuffed. Knowing what I do know about Jon I have every faith that he will do the charity total justice in selecting him to be on their team. I have no doubt that he will raise a really awesome amount of money to donate, I know that he will give the big day the very best of his efforts and I also know that he will absolutely 100% give everything his very methodical and mathematical approach. Even to the point of running an extra mile on a half marathon because that was the week Jons schedule was set to 15 miles, apparently a very grueling mile when all the supporters are gone and there's nothing but an angry swan left to boost your finale!
Jon is a winner, he is a winner because he tries and he doesn't worry about the outcome, he learns from everything he undertakes and so there is never anything to loose, nothing is ever a wasted experience. In the facebook group for DSWF runners Jon really shows himself to be the backbone of the group, regularly posting on his progress and going out of his way to connect with all members of the group as a way of keeping the spirits high and maintaining a positive vibe among them. So whilst Jon is busy drumming up support for his donations he still manages to find the time to reach out to the others keeping the team spirits high throughout this process.
To Support Jon and the DSWF Tiger Time campaign click here