Scott is the most incredibly guy I know. The first time we met, he was helping me out in a time of need. I was the strength coach for a semi-professional rugby team and being the back end of the season, we’d lost a handful of ‘placement physios’ that were responsible for strapping the players. Scott was at a loose end, keen to learn and be involved, so he threw his hand up for free.
I hate to admit this, but I was intimidated by Scott. I could tell he had a passion for coaching that even I didn’t have. He was simply better – his opinions were more refined, more concise, and more strategic. I remember listening to him give advice to one of the injured players – it was everything I could have said but better, and the player left feeling empowered and informed.
I kept my distance that first session because I felt threatened. I feel like i’ve come a long way since then, and learning to be honest with how I have felt in the past has helped me see things for what they were. I had ego back then. Instead of seeing a passionate coach who lived and breathed his vision, I saw someone who might take my job.
Despite my resistance, he came to my aid again, 8 months later. I was trying to run the gym at an operations level and also coach 15 clients a week. I was doing both pretty poorly; I was stressed, anxious and lacked direction. I was never going to build the vision selling my time for money – and Scott put his hand up once again to take some of the load. He didn’t need the job, he was already working full time at Fitness First. He did it only because he wanted to be a part of something greater than a commercial gym with profit as it’s bottom line.
Scott was the turning point for the gym. I was able to direct my energy into where it needed to go, but also feel safe knowing my clients were more than well looked after.
8 weeks later, I got a call saying Scott had an accident. Just two days before, we had finished a heavy training session together and we were joking about how great life was. He’d afforded me the ultimate opportunity to build the gym of my dreams.
It didn’t really hit me until I got to the hospital. Scott broke his neck when he dived to break a wave at Coogee Beach. He was paralysed from the neck down. For someone who loved movement so much, he made the ultimate sacrifice. He lost his love so he could help us appreciate how lucky we are to have ours.
The months since, I’ve been a part of the most incredible transformation. For what he has lost in physical capacity, he has gained in emotional intelligence. For what he can’t express through his physical practice, he is imparting through mental exploration. He is the strongest man I know. He’s redefined what it means to be strong.
Scott is the heart of AA. I am so thankful to have him continue to lead our athlete development program.
Train with Scott Hoare