Against All Odds: Simon Williams’ Rise To the Top

Simon Williams, an Absolute Performance Ambassador and Hyrox athlete, continues to inspire with his extraordinary journey of resilience and determination. In his last chapter, Simon shared the challenges he faced after falling ill and the long road to recovery. Picking up where he left off in 2013, Simon now takes us further along his path, detailing his remarkable business achievements and the relentless spirit that fuels his Hyrox success.

Rebuilding myself from the ground up

The years between 2014 and 2016 were focused on rebuilding my life and confidence.

In the gym, I worked tirelessly to improve my strength and fitness, looking forward to a brighter future. But it was a painstaking process, particularly in rehabilitating my left leg, which I hadn’t used properly for nearly six years. The muscle wastage and weakness were severe, requiring slow and meticulous rehab. Each setback was a learning experience, with my osteopath, Danielle Pain (The Pain Clinic – Telehealth Consultations), playing a crucial role in realigning me both physically and mentally.

Regaining my ability to walk was a significant milestone, paving the way for gradual improvements in all aspects of my life. I began to regain my independence, slowly starting to lead a more normal life once again.

Being able to walk again in 2014 was an achievement in itself, one that I never thought I’d be able to do. But things were about to change.”

A new purpose

Due to my disability and illness, I hadn’t been able to work from 2008 to 2016. This was an incredibly daunting thought. What was I going to do? I wanted to find something I loved and that motivated me.

I had qualified as a Personal Trainer way back in 1998, and at the end of 2016, I decided to sharpen my skills and restart my business. But after eight years out of the industry, it was a humbling experience to start over. Reflecting on my business growth mirrors my personal growth – filled with ups and downs, moments of confidence, and times of insecurity. I kept telling myself “You’ve got this”, reminding myself that I was worthy and strong enough to pursue my dream.

Between 2016 and the present, my training and fitness evolved as I grew stronger, more confident, and (occasionally) smarter! I felt incredibly lucky to have a second chance to train at an intensity I once thought impossible. Yet, here I was, and now I wanted something more – something to challenge me and restore my identity as an athlete. This is when I discovered Hyrox.

Finding Hyrox

Hyrox first appeared on my radar in 2021. I thought, “this is right up my street.” However, I hadn’t run properly since 2008, which presented a bit of a challenge to say the least! For about six months, I watched others compete, feeling a growing desire to join them. Watching my best friend, who had undergone a hip replacement, compete in a Hyrox race was the final push I needed. I decided to try.

In October 2022, I entered my first race, scheduled for May 2023. The training was tough, with running being the hardest part. Starting from scratch, I slowly built up my strength and running fitness.

My only expectation was to complete the race.”

That first race was filled with immense emotion as I managed to complete it on both a personal and professional level. This boosted my confidence for future races, and by the end of the 2023/24 season, I had gone from being a 1-hour 17-minute athlete to a 1-hour 5-minute athlete.

Spurred on, I qualified for the 2024 World Championships, ranked as the 8th fastest Briton of all time in my age group, and placed 4th in both the Manchester and Berlin races, as well as 6th in the London Excel race.

The next chapter

In 2023, I rebranded my business to SW Fitness and Coaching, transitioning from a Personal Trainer to an Online Coach. This transition has been incredibly successful, Team SW Fitness has secured remarkable results in less than a year, with 21 of my athletes achieving faster than the average time in their Hyrox divisions. These include two 1st place finishes at Hyrox London Olympia, a 2nd place finish at Hyrox London Excel, a 3rd place finish at Hyrox Cologne, and four athletes qualifying for the Hyrox World Championships.

I am incredibly thankful for the clients I’ve worked with and our shared successes. Looking to the future, I am excited to continue my journey with SW Fitness and Coaching, spreading positivity, and motivating my clients to succeed in the world of Hyrox, and beyond.

Simon Williams competing at Hyrox Berlin

You can keep up to date with Simon and his team by following him on Instagram @swfitnessandcoaching 

Follow The Pain Clinic Oxford @thepainclinicoxford

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