A healthy body leads to a healthy mind
PETER WALCOTT knows he has a passion for fitness and helping others achieve their fitness goals.
And his humble beginnings continue to be an inspiration.
“I used to help out in the gym and one day I decided to take the fitness regime outdoors to the beach. I started at Welches Beach in Oistins, and did that for about a year. I worked with a guy named Kenny Griffith. He and I got together and came up with an idea for a Boardwalk Boot Camp, which we started in 2012,” he explained to EASY magazine.
“He treated me like a cat. He threw me in the air and I had to land on my feet and learn on the go. I worked for him until October 2013. Unfortunately that bootcamp came to an end.”
But that closed door meant he had to look for a different option.
He decided to branch out on his own and began working out on the Richard Haynes Boardwalk in Hastings, Christ Church. “I had some clients from Digicel who loved my training regime. Then Digicel moved their office from Hastings to Warrens and they said they wanted me to continue to do their training. So I went down there, checked it out and have been training with them in the car park from late 2013 up until now,” he said.
The former Christ Church Foundation School student explained that he had a boyhood dream of playing a sport and representing the island. “When you really look at it, this is my way of doing something for the island. I have a passion for it, I have always liked helping people,” he said.
Laughing, he further explained that although fitness is his passion, it is not his “8 to 5”. “I am in fact a civil servant working as a clerical officer in the Barbados Postal Services. My dream is to branch off to make it [fitness] my full time job one day. I believe in life we should be doing things we love. Don’t get me wrong, I like my job – I just don’t love my job. My passion is fitness and training and helping my clients achieve their fitness goals,” he said, smiling.
As an exercise group session personal trainer, he explained how he works with his clients. “The number one thing in terms of personal training is the client . . . always cater to the client. I know all my clients’ ages and their limitations. And that is very important. Know the client, understand their needs and wants and work towards their dreams is what I am all about.
“My groups are small, no more than six to ten people. I like to create a family-oriented atmosphere where everybody looks out for each other and knows each other. Not having someone say, “What’s the girl with the red braids name again who had on the pink tights?” Everyone knows each other so if someone doesn’t turn up for a session, a group member may say, “I haven’t seen Keisha. Is she allright? I should give her a call.”
Asked if the average person who trains with him achieves their goals, Walcott said, “Yes”.
But he noted there were circumstances which could get in the way. “Most of my clients usually achieve their goals. Unfortunately, life can be up and down and sometimes it can get the better of them. I recall having a client getting into the best shape she had ever been in and one series of unfortunate incidents followed the other; an accident, a robbery, sickness. That’s the tough side of it, but I just try to encourage them as best I can and usually that gets them going.
“So in a nutshell, yes, some of them get results, but at the same time realistically daily life gets in the way occasionally and that can mess up consistency and stuff, but outside of that, my clients have the utmost faith in me and look to me for inspiration,” he said, giving himself the proverbial pat on the back.
The father of one pleaded with all Barbadians to get fit, even if it meant starting small. “I plead with all Bajans to put exercise on their top five priority list. It is just as important as any other thing we do daily. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind and a better way of life,” he said.
Before he parted ways with EASY, he offered this advice to anyone considering getting back into a fitness regime: “I live by a couple words; live, love, laugh, get fit, get healthy. Those words should be your benchmark for life on a whole. You must live, enjoy life, you must laugh, you gotta have some love in your heart and at the same time you have to get active and strive to get healthy. You can’t just look at it from one aspect. Don’t wait until the doctor tells you it’s time to do it. So stay active and get yourself fit. Life is precious, so stay as active as you can.
“At the end of the day if exercise is not in your top five priorities, then you are in serious trouble. If you can’t get it in your top five, then you need to take a look at your life. And it can be simple – dancing, washing your car or even walking on the beach . . . and we in Barbados are fortunate enough to have beautiful beaches at our disposal, so you don’t always have to go to the gym,” he concluded.