Making the decision to become a fitness or healthcare professional is not an easy one. Taking the leap requires courage, vision and an unwavering commitment to the challenge of turning your passion into a sustainable business. These people made that transition and are now HPT5 Ambassadors - the ones who tell you how it really is.

Tracey Morgan

My background

Hi, I am Tracey Morgan and I’m 46 years old.

I was born and raised in the borough of Croydon and I lived in Croydon until I was 15.

In 1987, my parents took early retirement and we moved to the Caribbean. I lived there until I was 25, and then returned to the UK.

I then spent the next 11 years studying and working to become a qualified Electrical Engineer.

Hated my job 

Fast forward to 2012 I turned 40 and felt extremely disconnected from my chosen career and more importantly myself. I was stuck in a deep rut and I had no idea what to do. I could not see a way out so I just stayed there for four years.

Fortunately, I have a great support system; my family and friends are amazing and have always been there for me. One of my good friends asked me in 2016 if I had ever thought about training to be a Personal Trainer and I said no I had not.

My friend said I'd make a great Personal Trainer

The funny thing was my friend had planted a seed and a couple of days later I asked her why she had asked me that. She replied that with my previous Martial Arts Training and my interest in running & training she thought I would be a good PT. By the end of 2016, I had found a Part Time Personal Training Course and I started in January 2017.

Fast forward to the present day and I have completed my Gym Instructor and Level 3 Personal Trainer. I have also recently completed the Movement Specialist Series with HPT5 to build upon my skill set and knowledge and to ensure that I am able to differentiate myself as a Specialist in the Industry. I am currently enrolled on the Level 3 Sports Massage Therapy Course with HPT5 with the aim of building my PT Business part-time whilst continuing with my day job as a Project Manager until I can transition over completely.

So glad I decided to explore and develop myself

The last 6 years have not been easy for me to find myself again and to realise changing my career does not mean I am a failure. It is a new beginning. An opportunity to love something else; to meet new people to make new friends and to work on exploring and developing My Why; which is Balance of Being.

I have spent too much of my adult life working and studying that I never stopped to smell the roses and to be in the moment. So; here’s to using this time and experience to love and accept myself as I am now; to learn more, to be more but with Balance of Being and to help others do the same.

If you want to contact me to ask me more about how your journey into the fitness industry could be, just message me on traceym20@hotmail.com 


Rich Francis

My background

My journey to becoming a Personal Trainer started at the age of eight, competing as a sprinter in 100m, 200m, 4 x 100m relay races, long jump and high jump in field events. Approaching mid-teens, I got heavily involved with kick-boxing, learning and perfecting kicks, strikes, combinations and guarding techniques. Practicing in the college yard, parks, the local common and Tooting leisure centre with the ‘Ninja Freestyle’ kick-boxing team.

Following my kick-boxing experience came heavy strength and conditioning resistance training. I was very fortunate to be able train with my cousin who is a body builder, training in a power house gym in Hammersmith. This was the very beginning of learning about the gym where I was able to grasp different training systems and perspectives of training from all types of gym users. At this point of my life, I was studying business management at London South Bank University, believing that I would go on to be a Business developer or Analyst. Just before leaving university, a hobby of mine which is DJ’ing, featured as a part of a project that led to a business opportunity. Being fresh out of university and having loads of ideas meant that moving forward with my music pathway would be a breeze.

University and my early career as a DJ

Being a DJ enabled me to connect with people to make them laugh and feel good. Over time, I felt that I wanted something more rewarding than just that ‘feel good’ moment with a glass of wine and loud music. Most of my ideas would spring to me whilst training in the gym, so I’d use this time to unwind however devising a plan of action. One day, out of the blue, I had my light bulb moment whilst training, ‘I love training, I’m good at teaching others and I like changing lives through training’. Connecting all these together defined personal training for me. As if it was written for me, I absolutely love teaching people, improving movement, adding value to the lives of anyone I can and those who want a helping hand.

I knew loved training - next stop, enrolling on a course

My new quest was to become a fitness professional, I went searching for courses and was delighted to find Pete Banbury and the team at HPT5. I enrolled onto the level 2 Fitness Instructor course, followed by the level 3 Personal Training due the level of professionalism which was delivered by Pete and the team. Since the completion of the courses, I’ve had the opportunity to work for YMCA, Fitness First, Anytime Fitness and now Nuffield Health. I can honestly say that I’ve found my calling and I want to continue to learn further. The next step will be exploring Sports Message Therapy, the Movement Specialist Series and Injury Management and more to become a better personal trainer.

My Specialities are; HIIT, Circuits, Strength Conditioning, Boot Camp, Spin, Boxing, Callisthenics and Sprint

Find what excites you, train hard and have fun!

I believe that we should find the angle of training that really excites us, train hard, have fun while training and be consistent with our attainable goals. Putting all of the above to together, keep challenging yourself, keep learning and have fun trying new things. And if you want to chat with me about making the leap, just email rich100ptn@gmail.com  


Vikash Rami

My first love – Sport

From a young age and also whilst going through school years, there have been many things which have stimulated my mind, but none other than my love for Sport. From watching people such as Cristiano Ronaldo play for my beloved Man Utd, to Jonny Wilkinson booting England to World domination and constantly watching Federer’s elegance and grace on every court, sport has always been at the forefront of my mind.

Throughout my teenage years, I continued to excel at a variety of sports such as Football, Rugby, Cricket, Basketball and Volleyball. I realised that I was competent at playing them, however there was still something missing. At the age of 16, my friend took my down to our local gym, where I had my first real workout with weights and doing proper exercise. It was from then on I knew I had to combine gym workouts with individual sports to achieve peak performance. 

Working World

I had my mind firmly set on doing Sports Science at University by the time I was 18, however due to unforeseen circumstances I wasn’t able to go and study what I wanted to and before you know it, I found myself infront of a screen, behind a desk. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with an office desk job, but I knew there was a bigger calling for me out there somewhere else. I lived a very active lifestyle and despite learning loads within my field, the corporate world chipped away at me, year by year. It got to the point where I suffered numerous health problems and during this time I had gained a lot of weight. I was disconnected from most things and especially from sports and exercise, the things I had loved so much once upon a time. 

Calisthenics

About 3 years ago I was scrolling on Instagram and came across a profile of someone who was displaying crazy bodyweight strength. Doing all the basics such as pull ups and dips as well as more complex movements such as muscle ups effortlessly. I was fascinated and became obsessed and quit making excuses for myself. A few years later at the age of 22, I was in the best shape of my life, energetic, enthusiastic and first hand experienced how much exercise had changed me as a person. With all the knowledge I had acquired around training, recovery and diet, I made it my lifelong mission to one day work in elite sport which is something I always wanted to do as well as educating others about the benefits of regular exercise. 

Current Day

 All of my friends and family have repeatedly said to me to do a course related to physical training as I love all elements of training, diet and recovery. This led me to signing up to a Lvl 2 Fitness Instructor course at Richmond College, where for the first time I met Pete back in May 2017. Immediately I grew very fond of Pete, due to his calm nature and allowing everyone at their own pace to absorb his vast knowledge of exercise, health and nutrition. Because of this, I immediately signed upto Level 3 PT & Sports Massage courses as well, as I truly believe in Pete & HPT5’s vision of using exercise to change the industry and make it fun again.

Despite my love for being healthy and fit, I am currently on the mend from a few serious operations on my right shoulder. It’s been hard staying idle for many months and not progressing towards my goals and helping others. However, this experience has only made me more determined than ever to fulfil my aspirations within the fitness industry. I know that when the time comes, I will be ready as I believe I have the right people around me who can help me progress towards my goals and I cannot wait to do them proud!

If you want to find out more about my journey and where yours could lead, just email me on vikash.rami@hotmail.co.uk 


Felicia Boardman

My Background

Hello, my name is Felicia Boardman, I am 23 years old and a HPT5 Graduate based in London.

Sharing the story of how I became involved in the fitness industry does not come easy. I am a recovering ED—which means I have struggled with an eating disorder in the past.

Fitness and well-being has been a huge part of my life for the last few years. I completed my Level 2 & Level 3 qualifications at age 18, fresh out of school, not knowing exactly what I wanted to do in life—jumping into the fitness industry was partly due to following my passions and partly due to my own health issues.

When I was 16, I overtrained and became seriously underweight

Throughout my childhood and into early teens, I had gradually become more and more overweight until, at age 16, it was a major problem. I propelled myself into sports and as a result, I went completely the opposite way to being underweight.

At this point, I had little to no knowledge of exercise or proper nutrition, and how either of these affected the body—all I wanted was the fat girl in the mirror to disappear. I over-trained and under-ate. I trained hard; jogging up to 2miles per day and 4x weekly High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), each session lasting at least 40 minutes and easily burning up to 1000kcal. I would have very little to refuel myself with after any exercise. I became obsessed with numbers, weighing foods & calorie counting, under-eating to the point where I wasn’t even consuming 1000kcal per day.

At age 17, I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa and body dysmorphia—both of which I would continue to battle for the next few years. I was admitted to an eating disorder clinic that I had to visit once a week, to see a doctor and a dietician, it felt almost like Eating Disorders Anonymous.My health continued to decline, rapidly. I was perpetually fatigued, caught colds and flu easily, you could see my ribs whenever I breathed in. My body had begun to catabolise itself just to be able to maintain what little mass I did have. At my lowest weight I was 47kg—and no matter what anyone told me, tried to convince me, I couldn’t see it.

I could not see the damage I had done.

At 18, I collapsed at a family function. I was slowly but surely killing myself

The tipping point came when I was 18 years old, when my body decided it just couldn’t take any more and I collapsed at a family function. Later that same night a family member told me that I was “slowly but surely killing myself,”and the words hit home more than anything else had before.

Clawing my way back was nowhere near easy. I resisted at first, scared of eating; when I did start eating again and gradually increasing portion sizes, my weight ballooned at first, because I’d finally begun to nourish my body again. Then it fluctuated for a while, but luckily I have been able to maintain it for the last year whilst setting myself some very realistic, achievable goals in terms of dropping body fat % and slightly increasing muscle mass.

The first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one. It has taken more than four years since the recovery process really started, since I first started trying to retrain my mind not to kill me. I won’t lie, some days it’s still terrifyingly difficult. And some days I still feel as though I’m not fully recovered even after being discharged from the ED clinic two years ago—because as much as the impact is physically noticeable, it is a mental struggle and mentally/ emotionally draining more than anything else.

Studying helped me rediscover my love and passion for the fitness industry

I remember on the first day studying Level 2 Fitness Instruction, and our tutor asked us to write down our ‘Why’. Mine was summarised into a single word: redemption. It was the guilt of what I had done to myself that initially pushed me towards becoming a fitness professional, but during the L2 course (and subsequent ones), I rediscovered my love and passion for the fitness industry; and my guilt and hatred transformed into a thirst for knowledge so that I could help others not fall into the same trap as I did. That is my Why. That is why I love what I do because I am continuously challenging myself, learning to love myself at all stages in the process, and striving for progress, not perfection—all of which I encourage with any clients I have.

I want to be a full-time trainer, teacher and partner to charities such as Mind and Beat

Nowadays I replace that redemption with rectification, because I don’t wish anyone to struggle as I did. Currently I have achieved my L2 & L3 Personal Training, L3 & L4 Sports Massage, and have recently completed the Movement Specialist Series with HPT5. I am however only working in the industry part-time. In the future I am aiming to transition to full-time, in both the training and teaching capacity. I would also love to partner with charities such as Mind, or Beat; which focus on managing various mental illnesses, and recovery from eating disorders respectively. I’d like to be able to work with them to strive for better understanding, knowledge, and the nurturing of health and mental wellbeing in young teens and adults.

If you’d like to ask more about my fitness & mental health journey, simply message me at felicia.lee@outlook.com

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Thank you for reading.