Friday, 6 September 2013

Interview: Tristan Simmons - Healthy Living Director at Mill Park Leisure

I am a true Northern suburbs boy. I was born in Preston back in 1984 before my parents moved to Wallan. We were only there a short time before we moved to Bundoora where my parents still live now. I’m the eldest of 4 boys…poor mum, with the youngest being 10 years old.
Growing up I wasn’t one to sit down and study, I loved playing sports right throughout primary and high school. Instead of studying I was playing footy or cricket with my mates. Throughout my schooling I played a number of schools sports which included football, cricket, golf, table tennis, volleyball and hockey.

Outside of school I started playing junior football when I was 8 years old and finally hung up the boots when I was 26 , winning 3 premierships along the way with Bundoora. I had some tough times during my career after sustaining certain injuries -  the worst was being diagnosed with a bulging disc at 21 years of age. I endured months of rehab before I was able to return playing. I think overcoming these injuries have made me a stronger person. I’m still involved with the club to date, finals are about to start so hopefully we can bring home the big one.

In 2011 I was lucky enough to marry the girl of my dreams, Sharon, in Hurstbridge. I first met Sharon back in 2004 at my cousins wedding. We bought our first house together in 2009 and recently bought ¼ acre where we’ll build our new home. Earlier this year our beautiful daughter Emerson was born and words can’t describe what she means to both of us.  I also have 2 dogs which make up the rest of the family. Maddie is maltese terrier cross which we adopted because she wasn’t being treated well and Sam is a Kelpie we got from the Whittlesea show.

Both Sharon and I love to get away whenever we can. We have been lucky enough to travel overseas a few times. We’ve been to Thailand and Malaysia twice plus we went to Mauritius for our Honeymoon. If we don’t travel overseas we love to head down the coast for weekends away. We have a family beach house down Phillip Island which her grandfather built himself 50 years ago. Both Sharon and I holidayed down the island when we were kids and now Emerson will get to experience it as well.

I’ve been in the industry for over 8 years now and met so many wonderful people. Getting up in the morning knowing I’m helping individuals change their lives forever is a great feeling and that’s why I love what I do.
 1. What do you do?
I’m the Healthy Living Director for Whittlesea YMCA at Mill Park Leisure

2. What is your definition of success?
To me achieving goals you set is success. It doesn’t matter if the goal is small or large, a goal is a goal. 

3. What are your thoughts on the parallels between business and sport?
When I was playing sport, I had a hunger to improve myself to succeed on the field. The same goes for business – there are different measures for success but the principles are the same. In sport the drive was to win a premiership, in business its to lead a successful team in changing the lives of other people.

4. I think we can sometimes learn more from the mistakes we make. What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made along the way? And what did you learn from this?  I’ve made numerous mistakes over my life but the biggest one for me was not trusting my own judgement in a certain situation. I learnt a lesson that day and now I back my instincts (also one of my tips below).

5. What are the 5 top tips you’d give the average person wanting to improve business performance?
- Trust your instincts
- Set goals
- Continue to develop yourself
- Be a sponge and learn off others along the journey
- Take a risk

6. How do you consistently sustain performance in your business/career?
I always look to develop myself – whether it’s as a trainer or a leader – you never stop developing and if you choose not to develop yourself unfortunately you’ll miss out.

7. And your thoughts on how to turn a mix of different people and personalities into a world class team?
A great team has a diverse group of instructors, everyone is on the bus but to turn them into a world class team – my job is to make sure everyone is in the right seats.

8. Who has had the greatest influence on your career and what lessons did they teach you?
Two people have influenced my career:
First is my wife Sharon – she has been so supportive in everything I’ve wanted to do and helped me out where possible – she gives me the confidence to go after my dreams.
Secondly my dad – When I was young, he and my mother had just built there first house and he was working 3 jobs to support us. I know he was up 5am and didn’t get home till 10pm Monday – Friday plus he worked both Saturday and Sunday. It taught me to work hard and support my family but also find a balance between family and work life.

9. After a great result, how do you celebrate? 
A nice relaxing day out with the family.

10. What’s the most satisfying thing you’ve ever done and why?
Helping clients achieve their goals because I walk away knowing I’ve changed their lives forever.

11. What do you do outside of work to relax and wind down?
There are a couple of things I like to do – either spending time with my beautiful wife and 5 month old daughter or I love my footy so sitting down and watching a good game of AFL footy.

12. Where do you see opportunity in the health and fitness industry in the next 5 years?
I see more opportunity in local sporting clubs, especially local football – AFL and VFL football is becoming more and more professional which is slowing filtering down to local clubs employing fitness coaches. There will be more opportunities to work with local clubs but also the possibilities of more sports training facilities opening up.

13. Now’s the time for what we call the Turbo 10. Ten quick questions…

  • What is your favourite song? Mr Brightside – The killers   
  • Favourite athlete? Simon Black                          
  • Movie? Forgetting Sarah Marshall                                          
  • Food? Thai/Mauritian Food                                                   
  • Holiday destination? Grand Baie - Mauritius                             
  • Most recently read book? A decade of Pride – History of the Brisbane Lions           
  • What really annoys you? Election advertisements                    
  • If you could do anything you wanted; what would it be? Play AFL football 
  • The one thing you’d like to change in the world right now? Childhood obesity
  • Where would you like to be in 5 years time? Definitely still in the fitness industry – maybe managing my own club and continuing to help young PT’s achieve their business goals.    


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