I had heard about Sandy at the British Club. I sent her a simple brief:
“Hi Sandy. I'm forty, fat and don't want to die. Can you help?”.
Under Sandy’s guidance – and with over 10 kilograms lost – I now have the foundation to be fit and healthy for the long-term. Sandy has been a great source of motivation and inspiration. Knowing that she was monitoring my progress has been fantastic discipline. Most importantly, however, Sandy has taught me how to be active. She’s taught me the skills to exercise properly. And she’s given me the knowledge to sustain a healthier life into the future. Whereas my previous attempts to get fit and lose weight were short-lived, working with Sandy helped me make a sustainable change.
Most of my work with Sandy has been in the gym. Not having much experience lifting weights or using machines I was a little skeptical. But I quickly learned that it was not only great exercise but a lot fun. Sandy’s focus on proper technique ensured that I got the most out of every workout, but also avoided that killer of any early exercise regime – injury. With Sandy having taught me how to effectively use weights and machines, I can now head to any gym and construct myself a good workout. This is great when I’m on the road and only have access to an unfamiliar hotel workout room.
Several months after starting with Sandy I attended a presentation by Doctors from Bumrungrad Hospital. They said that weight (resistance) workouts were by far the most effective form of exercise, particularly for those of us who have seen a few decades and enjoyed the good life. In fact, Sandy had already told me everything the Doctors repeated about healthy living, metabolic processes and physiology.
Making your health and fitness a priority is ultimately a personal commitment. Nobody else can do it for you. Other people can, however, help. Sandy is one of those people, and amongst the best. She measures her success by the success of her clients. Her commitment is as strong – if not stronger – than your own. She takes a holistic approach, recognising that exercise is crucial but only one part of the equation. Sandy has helped me make an important lifestyle change. For that I am not only grateful, but deeply indebted. I’m sure she’s given me a few more years to enjoy with my wife and kids.
-Mark Carroll Executive Director Bangkok Thailand
I was nearly 65 when I was introduced to Sandy. I had been an active sportsman all my life, picking up many injuries along the way. Bits and pieces had started falling off but I was determined to keep going, pounding away in the gym whenever I could find time. But I was resigned to an inevitable downward path with one dodgy knee leading to the next, then the hips, then … a sportsman’s lot! Sandy took one look at me with my bandages and two collapsed biceps, and quietly told me to pull my chin in, hold my shoulders back and gave me my first lecture on the importance of posture and alignment. She pointed out how I had been subconsciously compensating for all my various injuries and if I didn’t do some remedial work my prophesy would indeed come true … the next knee would go, then the hips, and then It all made sense. My gym routine, which hadn’t changed for 15 years, was not only boring, but was reinforcing my downward path! The last two years have been amazing. I quickly came to understand that muscles actually don’t have a brain and will always take the easiest path… but they can be re-trained.
Sandy is a great motivator, she understands the way people feel and has a wonderful gift for knowing just what they are capable of and how far she can push them. Starting from basics, she carefully explains the reason for every movement, makes sure her instructions are followed precisely … and in no time progress is being made. There is no chance of getting bored as her routines constantly become more and more varied and challenging. Once the basics are sorted out, you move on … and on.
Sandy has completely changed my outlook. I no longer believe that further deterioration is inevitable but expect to get stronger and more flexible. I’m now 70 and still get excited about what we are going to do next. I’m still working on that chin, but the shoulders are back and I am using muscles I never even knew I had. It improves my whole quality of life. I’ve recently even started sprinting and jumping … well sort of!
-Jack Dunford Chairman British Club Bangkok
Sandy has been straightening me out for over two years now! Many years ago, I suffered some neurological problems, which turned out to be Multiple Sclerosis and left me weaker on one side of my body. I realized that I had to keep exercising or I would have pretty low mobility. Over the years I had developed ways of coping with my lopsidedness. I thought I was doing OK, throwing out my right leg, holding on to handrails, etc. Then I started training with Sandy!
Sandy pointed out to me how unbalanced I had allowed myself to become and how that was going to result in problems in the future if I didn’t work on regaining a better balance. But most importantly, that it was totally possible to regain improved strength and function.
I can feel and see quite a difference and I know what I have to try to carry on with all the time, not just in the gym. With Multiple Sclerosis consistency is important. She’s done such a great job that walking without a limp seems normal - and now she’s found something else that needs working on, just so it doesn’t get boring!
-Liz Dobson Mother, Business Partner, Secretary, Wine Lover, Oscars Addict Bangkok
What a challenge we were/are for Sandy! Both of us around 60ish, (one a gym novice), with hearts full of hope for trim bodies, nursing injuries, taking medication for a variety of illnesses, but a desire to make improvements in our lifestyle. Sandy expressed no shock at the enormity of the challenge that awaited her, and stressed that we needed to set realistic, achievable goals. She is excellent at encouraging us, giving us information and advice, encouraging us to focus on our posture, diet and life beyond the gym. She believes in the gradualist approach to exercise, and yet she seems to 'know' what we are capable of achieving and she pushes us to strive for an outcome beyond what we perceive we can achieve. She explains the exercises clearly, emphasizing not only their execution but also the reason for the exercise and the expected results.
Sandy understands our age group, our abilities and one of her strengths is her willingness to adjust and adapt exercises for more effective ones. She possesses a wealth of knowledge, is supportive and flexible. Sandy is very approachable, non judgmental and a realist. She creates a relationship with her clients. She takes an interest in our interests, creating specific exercises and she provides links on the internet.
We call her BABS, the Baby Boomers Saviour. She has given us the confidence to set our goals, believe that they are attainable and give us the help to accomplish more than we ever believed we were capable of achieving.
-Prof Paul and Tricia Reithmuller Bangkok Thailand
I have been very active all my life and during my 20 years with the Royal Australian Navy I represented the Navy in Hockey, Tennis, Squash, Badminton Cross-country running, 1,500 m and 5,000 track events. After leaving the navy I continued to be very active and thought I would be one of those people who would still be playing sport well into my 80s. I am 67 years old and still working running an IT company.
However, prior to last year I had some health scares due to severe AF (Atrial Fibrillation - an electrical problem in the heart that has nothing to do with fitness levels, it's the luck of the draw). I couldn't exercise without getting a rapid loss in blood pressure (BP). Even playing golf using a cart to get around I sometime had problems to the extent that I would have to return to the air conditioned club house and lay down until my BP was back to normal. I have had severe AF for about 8 years but was still playing squash 3 times a week until I had a hip replacement 5 years ago, after the hip replacement and being unable to exercise for a few months seemed to make my heart problem worse. 3 years ago I had a 7 hour ablation operation (they burn the surface of your heart to reduce the electrical impulses which cause AF). The ablation brought my heart back to normal as long as my pulse didn't go over 110 bpm. When It went over 110 then it would jump to a fluttery 150 followed by a rapid drop in BP, I actually blacked out on a few occasions. I suspect this was caused by the heart valves getting out of synch with each other. I lost all confidence in exercising and felt I was going down hill very quickly. The AF gradually came back even with a low heart beat and I am once again in permanent AF. At times I had difficulty even walking upstairs. I was moving like an old man.
My head wasn't in a good space and, fortunately, a good friend, Jack, recognised this and recommended that I see Sandy to do a fitness assessment. Early last year I took the plunge and started training with Sandy. Initially I would have to rest between sets of exercises to wait for the heart to settle down. After about 3 months there was a significant improvement, I could do a full exercise regime without a BP drop. This year I started playing squash again after not playing for 5 years, and recently won the trophy for my division in the tournament at the British Club.
I find that I can push myself to a much higher level than most people my age and really believe that Sandy's training, guidance and ability to keep me motivated has given me a new lease on life. I personally feel that I will live well into the 80s whereas prior to working with Sandy I seriously thought I would be lucky to last another year or two.
I keep myself up to date on fitness and training methods and I know Sandy has a superior knowledge and understanding of personal training and I have complete faith in her ability to tailor programs to the individual.
It doesn't matter what physical problems and set backs you have, you can make your life better if you want to put the work in. I still have severe AF but the training I am doing with Sandy has somehow helped my heart compensate. I am stronger, fitter and enjoying each day. I no longer walk like an old man and now I don't have any fear when I exercise. I am looking forward to a long and active life. I have a spring in my step again and some of my younger friends even complain about me walking too fast. Thank you Sandy for giving me my sanity and life back.
-Peter Corney Director ACA Thailand
Sandy's sessions are HARD make no mistake. She has the ability to work you to your own personal limits and then eases you beyond those to new grounds. Sandy has a focused, no nonsense approach which provides the motivation required to reach your training goals. She is well versed in the technique of boxing and you will find not only benefits through physical conditioning, but you achieve and improve new skills during the sessions. She is punctual, efficient and plans her sessions so they run smoothly in a methodical manner. Her correction of technique is meticulous and are welcomed as these are the only breaks you get for a breather (- so my advice - BOX BADLY!)
Sandy is a professional. You have her utmost attention. She enjoys the training, the faces you pull and the various skin colours you achieve during the workout. She has my highest respect as a trainer.
-Bryce Hastings Physiotherapist / Adv.Dip.Phys.M.N.Z.S P.
When I trained with Sandy I put on a needed 10kg and developed muscles I had never seen before. I got faster and stronger and even started enjoying the sprint training. Through a great combination of weight training, kickboxing and a big change in my nutrition I increased my fitness and my strength and my self image! My self confidence has improved with my better posture and bigger biceps and finally I am happy with the way I look and feel about myself.
-Nick Richmond 25yrs
In loving memory of Nick Richmond who died in a car accident 25/07/13.
You are missed. Life is too short.
Till we meet again.
Talk about unlucky, you should see the PT to whom I was sent
Some little female featherweight with a funny accent
From day one I was complimented on my form
Which was big praise from little Storm
But I had a go
Although very slow
I made good progress
Without too much stress
I found out she was famous in the kickboxing world
And when given a chance I gave it a whirl
Pounding the pads and the heavy bag
When I had to go to FF I was sad
She has turned out to be a harder trainer than I thought
And a better PT could not have been sought
When you do well its gorgeous work
It brings on a little smirk
If you are having a real go
Its making good faces you know
Thank you for helping me Sandy
And as a PT you are quite handy
- Peter Milburn 2008 Former Australian Surf Sports Champion