It All Started When She Said...."He Does Abs Every Day"

Who says that?!?! I thought. That’s a bull shit sandwich if ever I have heard one! But then I looked deep into the eyes of the person who just said it. Lora Gizzarelli my personal trainer; wife of Paul Gizzarelli, the black belt JiJitzu maniac. There was no way she was lying. Her comment played on my psyche long after our session ended; particularly as I cooled down and stretched out in the pool trying to placate the pain of what felt like a new appendix Lora had drilled into my lower abdomen. How does someone, (like Paul), find the euphoria in feeling this sensation? This sure got me thinking…..

Goal setting is a personal journey

Different things drive different people. If you want to succeed at something, you need to surround yourself with like-minded people who share similar aspirations. People who understand what it takes to travel the journey. The dedication, the effort, the challenges and the exhilaration you will feel as you reach for and exceed every milestone. Without such camaraderie, who’s going to join in the celebrations or hold you accountable should you come off the rails? The formula for succeeding at personal goals must surly the same as for business? Those goals I can conquer. The skill set must be transferable? I decided to put this question to the test.

Let me digress for a moment

December 2015, I was 32 kilos heavier, unfit and unhealthy. I knew that if I was to realign my personal vision and get healthy, I was going to have to realign my personal goals and make drastic changes. A year ago those thoughts were confronting, but they stirred in me determination and GRIT.

I swiftly set new personal goals and I actioned them. I went on a no carb, high protein diet and started exercising. I gave up champagne in two month intervals [Sundays temporarily lost their Fundays] and once the first 20 kilos were off and I could exercise without mimicking a dying ant; I hired Lora Gizzarelli as my personal trainer. For those of us unfit and unhealthy, the mere thought of exercise and the discomfort that it brings with it, is enough to send us waddling for cover.

Building a flawless relationship

Working with Lora brought with it fear. Trust levels in this relationship had to be high. I was placing my body in the hands of a fitness fanatic who found pleasure in endorphins that I had infrequently experienced, and she had to train an independent thinker who was well versed in leadership capabilities (and holding up certain fingers)! But we had two major values in common: neither of us liked to fail and we both knew the importance and the place of ‘Tits & Teeth’.

I vividly remember my first day, (I had cold sweats the night before; dreading the thought of the ‘carrot walk’). I collapsed carving out 6 push ups, and 20 crunches saw me assume the foetal position. Planking became a laughing game and boxing was Lora’s workout not mine. She ‘buoyed’ me on like Sheldon in the Big Bang Theory, as she moved her catch pads forward to connect with each punch.

Fast forward two months and I can smash out 1000 crunches in a single session (albeit with what I now call my new appendage), survive Lora’s planking challenges and box the odd session ‘floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee’. So just what exactly was my problem with Lora’s comment?

Do abs every day….Are you serious?!

Do I really want to find euphoria in this pain? The old me took charge of the conversation:

‘How ridiculous; these people need a life! Who on earth wants to feel pain and fear when they sneeze!?’

I quickly doubted myself and my commitment. Sure workouts were becoming a habit….but a total lifestyle change? Was this a commitment I could really live up to?

It’s just like business….you got this!

My wonder quickly turned to amusement as my brain tried to remind me of every reason why this ‘new normal’ was nothing short of ridiculous.

“You love champagne”, “You’ll become boring!”, ‘You think those types are crazy people”, “You’ll never sustain it! So don’t start it! Don’t set yourself up to fail!”

Thankfully I laughed. Those thoughts were so true…. for the old me….. but the new me knew differently.


New dream; new reality

For the first time in a long time I now prioritise and action plan ‘me’. I work hard to avoid negative mindsets and challenge old patterns. I spend time with those who inspire me, and I am blessed to be surrounded by some incredible people.

Will I do abs every day? Only tomorrow will tell. But one thing is certain… Finding My Grit determines your pathway and if current actions predict future actions; my dreams should come true. Stay tuned!

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Maria-Jane Satterthwaite

After being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at 29, MJ knew her journey was going to be unique! 

No way was she going to waste any of her years working 9-5 under poor leadership! She seized the opportunity to become an independent worker; starting her own Registered Training Organisation, Scope Vision.

MJ’s curiosity into what drives people, and businesses, to achieve success has been the passion recognised in her award-winning business. The drive to continue to train and embrace lifelong learning has been her key to success, and she wants to see this happen for others.

20 years on, the passion and curiosity she’s used to shape the businesses she works with, and her longevity in these relationships have inspired her to think about the future of work; what this will mean for workers in general and indeed her own business. Find out more about MJ