26/08/2014 12:28 BST | Updated 25/10/2014 06:59 BST

Being at the Bottom of the Ladder is Fine as Long as You Are On the Right Ladder!

The last time I felt really afraid was when I was in a training camp in Ireland a few years ago with the then WBC World Super-Middleweight Boxing Champion Richie Woodhall and I was invited to spar. The sensible thing to do was of course graciously decline but my sad, macho-side got the better of me and I foolishly sat down and got my hands wrapped up by the man himself (see picture) and proceeded to receive a embarrassing, proverbial good hiding. (I should have known better because it hurt training with Richie even when I took him on the pads!!) Anyway, we later went into business together for a while so there were no hard feelings and I was always proud that I had been in with a real World Champ and stayed on my feet.

Sometimes life is just the same as this analogy; sometimes you can't get things going your way, sometimes business is so tough, such an uphill battle that just staying in business is your main aim. Getting in good physical shape can be difficult too. You begin by eating healthy on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Start to slip in the odd treat on Thursday and then blow it completely at the weekend-only to promise to start the diet again on Monday! The definition of insanity is doing the same thing constantly but expecting a different result!

Taking a new approach starts with getting tough. Stop associating with people whose lives revolve around food and drink, they'll take you with them off the edge of the abyss. Seek out new challenges with exercise. Train with fit, strong people if you can, even if they are daunting and you feel inferior and you know you will be at the bottom of the pile, it doesn't matter! Being around healthy eating, fit people will stretch you! Keep your goal in mind; maybe you want to get into a size 8 pair of jeans, maybe you want to be a role model for your children, it's not important why - just keep moving forward with your goals and don't give up your dream! All I could do in sparring with the Champ was to keep moving forward, even when I got hit. I knew I couldn't get the better of the situation and I didn't but I still went back the next day and tried again and all the time I was learning. Learning about tough training, about absorbing punishment and learning about my own capabilities. I was getting a scholarship on how to stay motivated and driven even in a losing battle. This approach is an attitude and it applies to everything from kid's preparing to take exams, to woman having her first baby to getting yourself mentally prepared for an interview!

Every day seems to bring us new challenges to us all but you can feel more confident in dealing with them if you are used to digging your heels in and driving yourself forward against the wind. I can't think of a single challenge in life that you can't handle better if you are in good, strong physical shape. Be prepared when your challenges come. Just make sure the prize is worth the pain and you can do it.

Sometimes, just going 'one more round' when you think you can't, makes all the difference in your life!

Picture courtesy of BodyZone International.