When it comes to taking on a challenge, personal trainer Colin Parkinson likes to set the bar high. In just a few weeks time he’s setting off on a 3000km solo cycle tour following the River Danube from Stuttgart in Germany through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and finishing at the Black Sea in Romania. The journey will take him two months and he’s doing it all for a good cause, to raise money for his chosen charity, Autism Together.
Colin, 39 lives in Wallasey, and has always been a keen sportsman, his particular passions being football and cycling. This isn’t his first epic cycling adventure; he’s previously notched up 2500 km pedalling across Vietnam, just him, his tent and his bicycle. In preparation for his Romanian tour he’s training at the gym on most days, doing HIT training, cycle fit classes and running.
Since qualifying as a Personal Trainer with Focus Training in 2016 Colin has been developing his own portfolio of clients whilst also continuing to work as a community support worker, assisting people with Autism. Colin’s career path has been diverse, having previously spent 15 years in banking as an Investment Manager. He explains:
“I decided to give up the desk job 6 years ago to become a community support worker which I really enjoy. However, I wanted to do more, and thought that by becoming a personal trainer I could use some of my new skills to help the people with autism that I provide care for.”
His passion for caring drove him to take further courses including our Exercise Referral course and most recently the Level 4 Obesity and Diabetes qualification. He now says he feels totally confident about the level of knowledge he has gained.
“To be honest I went from having zero knowledge in this field to having full confidence that I can clearly explain technique and physiology to my clients, and that’s down to the support I received from Focus, I can’t fault them. Truthfully, the tutors are fantastic, very knowledgeable, and they give you all the support you need, I always felt I could ring or text a tutor when I had a question.”
Colin took advantage of the 19+ Advanced Learning Loan scheme, a government scheme, to fund his learning. When he returns from his tour, Colin intends to further develop his PT business but for now, he’s focused on his preparations and successfully completing the trip.
Our thanks to Colin for sharing his plans with us and we wish him the very best of luck for his upcoming adventure. You can find out more about Colin’s’ River Danube Bike Ride for Autism Together and show your support at his Just Giving page here.
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