Why I do what I do: Stefan Lloyd’s Story
I started from a young age in sports, I was always into badminton, football and athletics, I’ve played semi-pro in terms of football and trained in athletics. At some point badminton, which I used to play casually but really enjoyed.
In the past when things didn’t go my way, I always use to give up and just say, “no, ok, this is not working for me, I’ll just do something else,”
I was always just back and forth, from athletics to football, football to Athletics e.t.c … and if I went to trials for a football team and I didn’t get in, I would say, “aah, forget this, I’ll go back to athletics,” or if I had a bad race, I was like say, “aah, forget it, let me go back to football,” and that’s how it was throughout most of my teenage years.
During a trip to Brazil where I went to work with kids over in Favelas, I think that was a pivotal turning point in my life. People were living on rubbish dumps, in little shacks and straw houses with about 20 people in about a 30-metre square piece of land. If anything, and I thought to myself they’re still coming out smiling away, they’re just happy with life. I thought to myself, when I go back to England, that’s exactly what I need to do……be happy with life, get back into a sport and stick with it!.
I came back to England knowing that London 2012 Olympics was around the corner, and my goal was to get back into athletics. So, my mind was focused and it was 2007.I had five years to focus and get back into training properly.
I was training in London and over at Wolverhampton University in the Midlands. One day I left one of my training sessions whilst I was in London when on my way home I saw a couple of my friends that I hadn’t seen in a while playing football. Now I was previously told to go straight home to re-cooperate for the next training session, but I went to the park, played football with my friends and had an unfortunate accident where I literally snapped my leg in two! My whole foot was just about hanging and had turned all the way around, the bone came out of the skin….it was really, really bad.
Because I’d broken a lot of bones before, I didn’t think it was serious. I thought ok, it’s going to be three months for re-cooperation, another month or so just to get back into the swing of things and everything would be fine. But little did I know that it was much more serious…potentially career ending. I had metal plates, pins and screws placed into my leg. I couldn’t dorsiflex or plantar flex. I couldn’t rotate the foot, I was really really upset.
My coach couldn’t bring himself to talk to me for a while and I was left thinking, “I’m not going to be able to make trials for 2012.” “It’s not going to happen.” In the back of my mind, I kept telling myself “I am going to give up”. I went up to Uni, the doctor told me to take a year off, I struggled to deal with this. I tried to go about my day to day life, but I was on crutches trying my best to stay positive and happy. I knew that I couldn’t compete, well not to the levels that everyone was at, and that really, really, really bugged me. I was getting angry, putting on weight because I wasn’t training…everything was just coming to a head.
I was studying Sports and Exercise Science at the time because of the injury, I wanted to be a Sports Physiotherapist. When I left Uni and graduated….jobs were had to find, no one wanted to take me on due to not having the relevant experience. Anyhow, then I thought “ok, what can I do?” I knew I enjoyed sport, I don’t want to be in an office 9 to 5 job but I need to be active. So personal training came to mind and I thought that’s sounds like something I can do.
I’ve worked with kids over in Brazil, not forgetting that I worked in America, so I thought I’ll go for personal training. I did a 6 weeks course, qualified and I thought this will be great to help people! After I started working with my clients, they were getting really, really, REALLY good results. But strangely enough, I didn’t see it from the point of view that I’m changing their lives or have any emotional feeling towards what I was doing. I just felt it’s my job and it’s what I’m supposed to do.
After two years, I was going to make a decision to leave personal training and go into teaching. But if it wasn’t for two of my regular clients who I was training at the time told me exactly how they have felt since they’ve dropped the weight. They expressed to me the importance of keeping going on with personal training. They made me realise how training changed their lives as they had been bullied in the past, never been able to drop the weight and had family members talk down on them because of how they looked. They literally broke down in front of me.
I decided that this is what I need to do! I just thought to myself “Stefan you’re doing something that is worth more than just weight loss, you’re actually helping someone change their freaking life”. I’m going to take this to a place where I can’t go any higher because I have a passion for fitness and for helping people.
I decided to start up my own company, which is SLR Fitness, and try and bring it towards a wider audience so I can help a lot more people. And I think for me, my purpose is basically to make people feel better about themselves, to make people feel more confident, give them the motivation to succeed in life. Now whether that is direct to do with weight loss or fat loss, it’s really to do with their mindset more than anything else, and for them to just feel better about themselves, be a better version of themselves, and that’s what my purpose is and that is why I do what I do.