At the start of the COVID lockdown I had 16 weeks "working from home", but as a Physical Trainer I couldn’t work from home. I had 16 weeks being trapped within a poor routine. I hardly trained, I was eating bad food at irregular times and I was drinking way too much. I really struggled being on my own and without a rotuine (I am like a child, I really need routine). Lockdown seriously got the better of me. When I returned to work I told my management that I had really struggled and that I wanted to use this negative as a positive to show how I never want to have this poor routine, or feel this low again, the not caring when I went to bed, watching crap on Netflix, having that extra drink, staying up an hour later than I should and having to get up for in the morning... it physically and mentally broke me. I needed to turn myself around and take as many people in similar situations with me.
After scrolling through IG videos one day I saw Wayne Godwin (@waggataurus) getting up early, doing his morning workouts and always saying “Win the morning, Win the day!” I messaged him asking him about the saying and where it was from. The following week I was in Liverpool and I mentioned to my best mate, John Martin, about the saying and what a great motto it was to live by. he mentioned that he heard it said the same saying on the Leg It Podcast. The podcast is run by Andy Grant, an ex Royal Marine lost a leg in Afghanistan (hence, the Leg it podcast). Andy is also a very well known motivational speaker and that week he had Mark Scanlon (Scanno), who had mentioned the phrase 'Win the morning, Win the day'. Mark also mentioned that if you see something/someone you like or inspiring then go and speak to them, drop your ego and ask... what’s the worst that could happen? The podcast talked about an amazing thing they were doing at Awake, a centre around positive and development through yoga, meditation, working out and being a product of your environment. They ran a 20 min workout at 5:30am followed by meditation and a sea dip on Crosby beach which was attended by about 500 people..... CRAZY!
So driving back down south from Liverpool to Portsmouth I listened to the podcast and I can honesty say it changed my life. I listened to Mark’s advice, I dropped my ego and I messaged him. I said I wanted to start something similar down south as people needed stuff like this now in their lives after such a poor year (COVID 19). He responded by saying he thought this was great idea and its exactly what people needed and he wished me all the best with it. I caught up with one of my closest mates Dan Turner, who runs Bootcamp UK Gosport. I told him my vision of doing a walk, a talk and then a dip in the sea at Stokes Bay. I hoped that this would give people the chance to talk about mental health issues meet new people and get outside their comfort zones. Dan pushed me quite hard to set up an Instagram and Facebook page to start this event, which he also pushed out to his Gosport Bootcamp clients. So I set up the pages stating this was a FREE event, Friday morning 5:30am, Bayside Cafe meet in Stokes Bay for a 2 mile walk, (Golden mile walk there and back) and then a dip in the sea, followed by a flask of tea/coffee and chat with like-minded positive people to talk about everything and anything.
The first week I was expecting it to just be me and Dan, which we weren't fussed about at all. To our surprise 60 people showed up, which was absolutely overwhelming. We had all ages, dog walkers, different physical capabilities... it was brilliant! The following week we had over 110 people as word of mouth and social media spread. Freddie O’toole, an old Rugby League team mate of mine who came to the inaugural outing, but lived in Portsmouth admitted that he was struggling to make it every week. He said he was still going to do his walk and dip on his own, same time on the Friday and we FaceTimed each week during the walk, which gave us accountability to each other to be there. Then I asked him about setting one up in Portsmouth as we had been inundated with so many message saying the same thing “If it was in Portsmouth then I would be there!”. At first Freddie was slightly hesitant as he was more of a reserved character than I am. However, I told him he was already an inspiration and that people would follow him with the Portsmouth movement, so he agreed and Portsmouth (Southsea) WTMWTD was born. We posted that we were now running Stokes Bay and Southsea each week and Freddie has gained legendary status over there with his following and is doing some great things, so many people are buzzing about the city because of him. Once this announcement was made Dan Appleby, another old friend, commented on one of the posts asking “When is this coming to Hayling Island?” ( an island around 20-25 min drive from Portsmouth on a good run). So I sort of dropped him in the deep end and said “Congrats bro, you are now the new leader for the Hayling Island WTMWTD”. Dan immediately private message me a few things I can’t mention on here and asked me to not stitch him up... but it was too late, the seed had been planted.... and the rest I suppose is history! Dan runs WTMWTD on Hayling Island movement and has an awesome following there too.
And if we are honest, that is how it has grown. We now have WTMWTD days set up in Leeds, Manchester, Preston, Carlisle, Devon, Poole, Kent, Surrey and there have been fleeting ones in Bahrain, Gibraltar and ones setting up in Geneva and Holland coming soon. For me, this is exactly what the world needs right now, a space to talk, meet new people who may have also struggled through these times and an opportunity to step outside your comfort zones and challenge yourself... why wouldn’t you want to be a better you? All I say to anyone who is thinking about it is - try it - if you don't like it I give you my word I will carry you the 2 mile walk the following week! As of yet, during all the events we have set up around the UK with so many people attending, I have not had to carry anyone as everyone who has done it has loved it. Listen, I appreciate that its not for everyone and that fine, everyone has their own map of the world and I respect that... but if you have the same prices then you have the same outcome so why not give t a try, its free, you have nothing to lose. I was asked once who am I to offer positive thoughts and tell people about what to do for mental health issues and the answer is... I am nobody!! I have a level 5 qualification in Coaching & mentoring, a diploma in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and I am a Mental Health First Aider but all in all I am just a lad who has seen my poor ways, trying to make them into better ways and I am sharing it and hope that if it can work for one person then we have helped them.
Please read the Starfish story and this is EXACTLY what we are trying to do with Won the Morning, win the Day!