James O’Driscoll - Simply FITT

This is a great story we meet James via Instagram and it's an inspiring story again adversity that we wanted to share with you.

I’ve had an interest in fitness for over 26 years and it was an enthusiastic hobby to start with. Through a series of uncontrollable events, my life changed drastically 21 years ago.  At the age of 26 I lost my sight in only 6 weeks. One eye went overnight and the other deteriorated rapidly leaving me totally blind.  My life was never the same again, but believe it or not, it was the thing that made me the man I am today.

 I spent 4 years of adapting to my new lifestyle and getting to grips with being a guide dog owner, the one thing that helped me get back on track was a rowing machine which I bought after saving up my money from quitting smoking.

My body remembered what to do and how it felt to exercise again. I was lucky enough to become a professional actor for 4 and half years, one of the roles I needed to do involved me getting my kit off, so going to the gym and getting trimmed was a must.

 It took time to prove myself to the qualifying bodies that I could work in the fitness industry as a profession. Once I took my qualifications I was able to prove that I could do the job which also changed how the coaching and qualification module was to be assessed for future personal trainers.

I became the UK’s first Blind Qualified Fitness / Personal Trainer which opened the doors for other people with visual impairment and disabilities.

All these things, the trials, the tribulations, the ups, the downs, all helped me to learn about myself and how to set goals.  How to work and change my mindset and create new, strong and empowering beliefs within myself.

I managed to build my confidence back up, I got back on a skateboard at the age of 42.  Whenever I was told I couldn’t do something I learnt to ask a very powerful question….why not?  This got to some people, but only the ones who couldn’t give me an answer, either way I would talk to them and work out a way I could.

After 7 great years in the leisure industry and after several achievement awards including Les Mills RPM Instructor, I have decided to go it alone! (Well….that’s not exactly true as I have my guide dog Disney with me).

I am now the very proud Owner of Simply FITT. I have created a bespoke gym/fitness suite focusing on functional and strength training. You won’t need to run on a treadmill after you spend an hour with me. I teach F.I.T.T (Frequency, Intensity, Time & Type) and resistance training, that gets the blood pumping! I’ve been up and running for the last two years and have seen some real success stories in my clients. It’s a great feeling to know you have impacted someone’s life in a really positive way!

I am also qualified in Reiki Healing and Life Coaching so feel I can really add value to people’s wellbeing too!