Geoff Adams Spink has been training with Roel Jansen and Fit For Anything for 8 years. Despite physical challenges, Geoff tells FFA how he has overcome these to fulfill his love of physical training. Not one to let obstacles stand in his way, Geoff has gone above and beyond what he thought possible. We find out how in a candid interview.
Tell us a little about you and your background.
I am 55 and a journalist by profession as well as a motivational speaker.
I was born with disabilities associated with thalidomide – the drug given to women in the late 50’s/early 60’s to help with morning sickness. As a result, I have an upper limb disability and poor vision.
How have you adapted to overcome obstacles that this presented?
I have to make some adjustments in daily life, to make things in life a little easier and more practical. This can include technology, or help when I need it but I don’t see impairments as an obstacle – I just do things differently when I need to.
How did you get into training with Roel?
I have always enjoyed physical fitness, and always find a way to keep training as part of my routine. It’s easy to lose fitness when you take a break and I really enjoy the endorphin rush you get from working out. I have always been a member of gyms and met Roel whilst at Riverside in Northwood. He helped me with one of the machines. Just from our first conversation, I knew he was different. He goes above and beyond and we have a great relationship and shared ethos.
When he left, I knew there was no option but to continue training with him and have been training with him for 8 years now.
How do you tailor your training to meet your needs?
Yes it’s true that I need to make some adaptations to my training. However, what made Roel different to other trainers I had worked with, was that this didn’t mean adapting to a low expectation or a soft approach. There wasn’t a compromise – just a different way. I may not be able to do some exercises but I could do more of others.
We have found a way to work my whole body using very limited equipment – with just a mat, stability ball and bosu ball I can challenge myself and improve fitness, strength and balance.
Roel and I share a very similar attitude to challenges – we simply find a way.
Roel is intelligent and imaginative as well as adaptable and flexible. You don’t need to be super fit to be a client – just have a can-do attitude.
What advice would you give to those who feel like obstacles such as time, fitness or physical ability stop them from achieving their full potential?
The only obstacles that exist are in your head. To demolish them you just need to change your thinking. Whatever life throws at you, the solution might not be conventional but there is always a way to overcome challenges – even if it is a variation.
What is your greatest achievement?
In terms of training definitely, getting to grips with the bosu ball. I am doing things now I never thought possible. When I first started training I didn’t believe I could ever balance on it. I would say to Roel “you need to support me, I can’t do it”. But what I needed to learn to do was to trust Roel. I needed to change my thinking that I wasn’t good enough. Now I’m not only balancing on the bosu ball – I’m doing squats on it!
Trainer Roel Jansen says:
“We train as if there are no obstacles. Geoff is super bright with a positive, can do attitude. He is simply a great example to so many people out there! We all have our own share of obstacles which we have to overcome. Some obstacles which seem impossible are definitely surmountable once you set your mind to it. Geoff and I have definitively achieved plenty over the past 8 years by improving physical and mental ability which leads to greater performance and total body health. Always open to new methods, exercises and ideas he is just a very innovative person with a great sense of humour.”