Rashid, 51, had been working in a barbers’ for seven years, but was forced to leave due to poor health.
"If you’ve ever worked in a barbers’, you’ll know that it’s a tiring job, and lunchtime is a big deal. At 1 o’clock, my manager would go out on the lunch run and inevitably I’d ask for cod and chips. Unfortunately, over the years, this led to me piling the weight on, and by the time I was 50, I was diagnosed with type two diabetes. Within a few months, I just couldn’t stand up for hours on end anymore, and I had to quit. I saw my doctor again and he told me if things didn’t change, I could have a heart attack at any minute. My daughter was with me and she was in tears; I knew I had to do something.
"My doctor recommended a personal trainer, and I discovered that I actually loved exercise – before I knew it I was running 10k in under an hour! I lost five stone that year, and although I was much healthier, I was starting to feel the financial pressure from not working. Then I had a flash of inspiration: why not help others do what I did? I had a look online and found some courses in personal training and fitness instruction which would allow me to become registered and qualified to work with clients, and I really enjoyed the challenge. These days, I see around seven clients a week, business is great, and I’ve genuinely never been happier."
“I lost five stone in one year, and now I help others to do the same!”
Rashid’s story is an important reminder that unfortunate circumstances can offer surprising silver linings. No matter why you’ve lost your job, it’s certain that there’s a hidden opportunity out there that you’ve yet to discover. Although it’s tough not to focus on the negative, try to examine your circumstances objectively – you might be able to forge success from a crisis. Not only that, some people at Rashid’s age might assume that it’s too late for them to retrain in a new career, especially if they haven’t done any studying since they were at school. However, at Oxbridge we know that simply isn’t true – our oldest student is 92, and she completed her chosen course quicker than some students half her age! Rashid’s story also reminds us of the power of good nutrition and exercise, which has been proven to contribute to improved physical and mental wellbeing.