My Honest Truth

by Health, Psychology

I said I was going to be a bit more open and a bit more truthful about some of the reasons I do what I do as a health coach, working with entrepreneurs and busy professionals all over the world to really level-up their health. 

So let me start from the beginning.

It’s always the best place to start, right? 

When I was really, really young – maybe five, six years old – my parents split up, seems like a regular occurrence, nowadays, that divorces happen. I’m 35 years old now. 

This was 30-odd years ago. And what happened is my dad moved away. He looked to provide for his family.

So I was there with my sister, my mum in our house. My dad moved out. He moved away and he was still looking to provide for his kids. It was me and my sister and a half brother and sister as well. And to do this, he started working in caravan park sales and holiday parks or vacation parks. Or ‘trailer parks’ for you in the U.S!

So he was working in sales and then became a sales manager and then pushed to start running these holiday parks as a manager and all this time he was providing for his family. 

Now he started there probably at 38, 39 years old, something like that. And the focus was on getting that money through to send to his kids in order to help them move forward.

And in this journey, he became a bit more stressed and then he became head hunted when he was turning parks from being really rubbish to being really great and turning them around. He had to move further and further away. And as a result, he then moved an hour and 45 minutes away from where I am, he moved to a place called, ‘Wheeley Bridge’, near Colchester, and then to Mersey Island also near Colchester.

And I live in Norwich. So it’s about an hour and 45 minutes away. 

At this time he was stressed out and you could tell because he used to get migraines. He used to just always seem to have something on his mind because he was the manager of these parks, he was running these parks but he also had to live on the parks as well.

They always had a house for the guy running the business and he would get called out, left right and centre. He couldn’t seem to switch off and relax and he would get these migraines. And then when he was 47 years old in 2001, he went on a course. 

Now on the Monday of that week, he sent me a text message. And that said, 

“Did you get your money? Dad”. 

As little as that, did you get your money? Dad.

This is back in the days of Nokia phones with ‘Snake’ on them. It was just a text message. He’d sent the money in the post. Now later on that day, he got a migraine while he was on the course – and this was quite a severe migraine – and he ended up going into hospital.

And that was on the Monday night or the Tuesday. 

And it got a bit more severe and he ended up having a stroke. And then it was the Thursday or Friday that we went down to the hospital to see him and there was all tubes, in like, my hero. 

My dad was there, there was all tubes inside him. He was on a life support machine.

His brain had been starved of oxygen for about 13 minutes. 

And they said that he was like half dead, basically in his brain. So if he did survive, he was going to be severely impaired, with his brain function. And this guy is 47 years old and I’m there as a 15 year old kid who on Monday, had a text message from his dad.

He was absolutely fine. And I was supposed to see him the next weekend. It was kind of hard to take in. I had the option of going home with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, because I couldn’t stand to see my dad like that. Stress had basically pushed him to have a stroke and it essentially was killing him.

And I went with them. Thinking should I have stayed, should I not have stayed? I remember walking into the hospital room that my dad was in all on his own just before I left. 

And the last words I said to my dad were okay, I’ll be okay. You’re my hero.  

And it’s seriously hard to even think back to that time. But one of the things that I think about now with my clients is does their 15 year old kid want to be standing beside a hospital bed and saying that thing to their parents?

Or is there something I can actually do in order to help their parents deal with stress and improve their health before it actually gets to that.

Because a lot of times people don’t have the option to come back.

Now on the Saturday night, bearing in mind I’d left my dad on the Friday night, I got back to Norwich. I remember just laying on the sofa, my legs over the edge of the sofa, staring at the ceiling for around four or five hours. I was just literally just sitting there and I thought:

‘How am I going to live my life? I’m 15 years old. How am I going to live my life without my dad. What could I have done better? What could I have helped him with? What could I have done to not stress him out?’. And I was thinking it was down to me, my fault or something like that. What could I have done on the Saturday?

We had to make the decision to turn off his life support machine. 

Now, my dad always had this thing called ‘cowboy time’ which is 10 to 10, 10 to 10, 10 to 10, 10, 10 (think old Western style) and they turned off his life support machine. He actually died at 9.50, 10 to 10, that evening. On the 28th of July, 2001, he was 47 years old. 

And I think deeper into it.

I wasn’t just losing my dad at 15. It was all these memories that could have been made. It was things like when I passed my driving test, actually going down to Colchester to pick up my dad and take him for a drive. When I turned 18, having a drink with him at the pub. All these different things.

Being able to repay him for the things that he did for me when I was young, it’s the same things I love trying to do for my mum now. And as she gets older, I want to be able to look after her more and more, but I couldn’t do this with my dad.

Things such as walking my sister down the aisle. Now I was very lucky to have a stepdad that was able to do this but it still should have been my dad there. And my dad at the top table when I got married, all these different things that my dad wasn’t able to experience because he was putting finances first, trying to provide for his family financially but physically he was getting very, very stressed.

And sick. 

And if we look back, we will see these little signs but he wasn’t overweight. 

He didn’t drink loads and loads. You can imagine he was a social person. He would go to the clubhouse bar occasionally, maybe once or twice a week and see the owners in the off-season. 

He was what we would normally say is a ‘healthy’ person. I remember when he said he went to the gym and he was really proud that he’d started the gym. And they said that he was a really healthy person. Not high blood pressure, not high cholesterol or any of these different things, but providing for his family financially was the thing that pushed him over the edge and essentially killed him. 

Now, I didn’t know this was going to be part of my journey at that time. I didn’t know that it was going to be this thing that I would focus on. In fact, I got really, really overweight because I lost control when my dad died and that was something that I could not control. 

So I pushed and found I could control all this overeating and then found bodybuilding where I became obsessive and dropped a hundred pounds. Then competed on the bodybuilding stage and gave myself an eating disorder because it was about control. It was great at that time to be able to work with people as a coach on the physique side rather than their health.

Then I went into the endurance world and that was great as well. Working with professional athletes, world champion athletes, Tour de France athletes. Even consulting with people in the Rio Olympics. 

It was awesome, but it was an ego thing. And I was getting them from A to B as quickly as possible, but there wasn’t this deep focus on health.

And that is when I started working with this guy Ron Reich. He is an entrepreneur. He’s actually still a client now – he’s been working with me for six years – but I was working with another guy, Rick Barker. And if you look on the testimonials page on my website, you can see that Rick Barker launched Taylor Swift’s career.

He was Taylor Swift’s manager and is massively successful within the music industry. And he signed up with myself and said “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired”.

I want to give my wife back what she signed up for, what she married for our 10 year anniversary which is coming up soon. 

And three months later, I was actually at Rick’s house. I’ve been over there. We were filming a musician’s health course. We put it out to his audience, it was awesome. I was there to make sure he was implementing everything that we talked about.

And I remember standing there and this is the first time that it absolutely clicked, what I do. 

I was standing there. I’d helped him with his health. And this is before deeper functional medicine things came on board or anything like that. I was helping him with his health and his son was there. I think he was about 13 and his daughter was there, she was 15 years old. His wife, Jill was also there and I was there just chopping Turkey up on this big counter. 

And he just said, ‘You know what, Ollie, look at this…I’m lucky to have these people. And you’ve given her back who she married 10 years ago. And you’ve given these kids back their dad”.

And that was when I realized like, I couldn’t help my dad. 

I couldn’t do anything about my dad. 

I had that basic biology and chemistry knowledge or whatever GCSE in science. I didn’t know anything about health, but over the years of diving in deeper and working on myself, then I was there in Nashville with Rick and I was able to give them their Dad back. 

I thought that this was just so powerful. And then later on working with Steven Kuhn. If you’ve followed me, you’ve seen the pictures of Steven Kuhn an amazing military vet business owner and expert, but he’s just like an ideal client. I’m not going to lie about it.

This guy is 54 years old. Now in 2019, I was over in Budapest with him and we were doing an intensive, I was pushing him through these sessions. We were making sure all these meals were on point ready for his transformation. I remember sitting there and he’s got two young kids.

I believe they were about four or five and six, something like that. But two young kids, a daughter and a son. And we’re playing with these little cars and stuff, and then they go over and cuddle him. And he just looks at me and he asks me to take a photo. I have probably still got the photo on my phone somewhere, but that was another ‘Aha’ moment.

If we were going to say that this guy – 52 at the time – he’s got these two young kids and you can see how much it means to him to finally have a grip on his health. 

And that was beyond powerful, those two moments. 

I talk about Ron all the time, because he’s been awesome and things like that, but he’s not a dad. Rick Barker and Steven Kuhn, coaching those two people really allow me to see what impact I can have as a coach on parents to stop their children from not being able to give back as they grow old. 

And not being able to say thank you in a truly, truly powerful way. 

Because I know what it’s like to lose a dad because he was letting stress take over, whether he was aware of it or not. 

But you can grieve him or you can actually take those lessons and make them impactful in a powerful way to help other people. 

So when people ask, why do I do what I do? What is your story? What is your journey? Why are you so passionate about helping over thirty-five year-olds from being sick, making sure their health goes from really low and sluggish to making sure their energy allows them to push them through.

To make sure they’re not out of shape, to make sure they’re not getting out of breath when they’re running around with their kids, going up the stairs or to make sure they have more confidence, more sex drive and just more overall vitality. 

Then I will think back about what happened with my dad.

And I just know that it is massively, massively powerful, the path that I’m on right now. And if you are struggling with your health, if you have questions with your health, please, please just reach out and ask me because if I can help you in any way, please let me do that.

Because there are so many stressful things in this world, we should be able to have a grip on our health so we can give back and we can raise our kids and be role models to our kids in a powerful way.

Now, if you haven’t heard my story, or if you have heard my story and you’ve got to the end of this. I massively massively thank you for watching this video or reading this, but don’t just watch this video, even if it’s not reaching out to me for coaching or anything like that stuff, as I say, this is not a pitch, actually it is a pitch.

It’s a pitch for you to take some action on your health. Whether that’s just improving your hydration or moving at some point, not smashing it in the gym, but actually getting some basic sessions in or whether it’s just simply eating a salad every day. Whatever it is, whether it’s getting to sleep at a decent time, please do it, do the minimum amounts and move yourself forward.

And if I can help you, simply drop me a message.