He hated fitness. And although, as a soldier in the British army he was required to be fit, an unexpected foot injury turned him from a fit soldier into a fat one. Punished with exercise on a daily basis, feeling embarrassed and ashamed for his dismal performance, the devilish voice decided to take over, whispering: “Davie, you hate fitness. Just give up. It’s too much effort. You can’t do it anyway.”
Against all logic, Davie listened. And after a while, unable to complete any physical tests, he had no choice but to leave the army. Leave his job. Leave his friends. And replace them all with a new bestie: food.
In 2003, living back home with his parents, fate decided to make a slow shift. One tiny advert in the newspaper invited Davie to follow up on a lifelong interest in martial arts. Unfit, unhealthy and uninspired by fitness, he signed up for a single trial session. It only took that one session to jumpstart a new life. One session turned into another. And another. And slowly, Davie realised he was actually enjoying movement again. Fat turned back into fit, but more importantly, hate turned into love.
“In 8 months, I lost 5.5 stones and gained something I never thought possible: I fell in love with fitness.”
Overjoyed by his new-found passion, he realised that if he could change his life, others could too. Davie: “I know first-hand that transforming your lifestyle isn’t easy at all. It’s the result of persistence and conscious decisions. Knowing this, I can relate to people who struggle with this.” He walked the walk and talked the talk. This way, he was able to help his first clients kick off their fitness journey, weight loss specifically, in 2006.
“It was magical, those first years,” he continues. “I am proud to say that only three years later, in 2009, I opened my first studio, became one of the first kettlebell teachers in Glasgow, built a strong client base and hired my first employee by 2010. Only a year later, 2011, I had a full-size gym with four employees.”
Things seemed to prosper. But as any road to success, Davie’s road wasn’t without struggles either. So far, our founding father had focused the business on weight loss and physical fitness only. Now, looking back, we realise this is only one piece of the puzzle. Back then, we didn’t know we weren’t really giving our clients all they needed to really create a lasting change. And it took a deep, personal loss to help us see that.
“2015 was a year that crushed me. I lost both my parents in six weeks. I needed to deal with that. Unfortunately, I didn’t deal with that the right way. I turned back to old patterns. I comforted myself with food and alcohol. I gained lots of weight again. Everything I had fought for, I lost. Everything I taught myself, I let go of. I was pretty much back to where I started in 2003.”
It wasn’t just weight that he gained. “The guilt, the shame, the sadness… it literally weighed on me. Tore me apart. How could I help clients if I wasn’t helping myself? I felt like a fraud. Me, a gym owner, in the worst shape of my life.”
Having hit rock bottom, Davie decided to try a different road ahead. The Landmark Forum in 2016 was a wake-up call. “I realised I had been blaming everyone but myself. I wasn’t taking any responsibility for where I was. It took a huge breakdown and lots of tears to understand this and reclaim my power. It was quite a journey, but I grew beyond my own dreams.”
It was not the only epiphany. “Real change doesn’t start physically, but emotionally and mentally. I didn’t just experience this myself, but also understood at a very profound level that I needed to incorporate this into my business. And so, in 2016 I started coaching clients to become mentally and emotionally fit on top of their physical fitness. Not just any clients, but the clients I genuinely wanted to work with long-term. It’s why DMC Fitness started focusing solely on high-performing professionals. We share a winning mindset and a mindset of persistence. We’ve grown to become the number one choice for top execs in Glasgow.”
Davie: “I can honestly say, that I am proud of where we are as a business. Just as I’m proud again of myself and how I look. My personal journey has always been synched with our business journey. I have used my own experience to inspire clients and that’s what resonates with many of them. It allows me and the entire crew to help people gain more confidence – not just by looking awesome, but by feeling awesome too.”