Meet Patrick, Skimble‘s featured Trainer! Growing up in small towns around Buffalo, New York, Patrick was a bit of a misfit. Learn how he transitioned from a career in music to finding his passion for exercise. We recently had the chance to chat with Patrick Morrisey and learn more about what keeps him motivated to stay fit with the little time he has on his hands.
Tell us a bit about your background and where you’re from.
Patrick: I wasn’t really into sports growing up, I enjoyed reading more than most other activities. I stayed relatively active, though. I got involved in various less “typical” kinds of activities, like martial arts and yoga. Activities in which the person you are really competing with is yourself. Much later on, towards the end of university, I got really into dance music. I graduated with an art degree, but never really used it professionally. Instead, I transitioned to music and became a DJ. For years, I would go out dancing multiple times a week. I loved dancing, and still do. It’s so… cathartic. But besides the dancing, there was a whole party culture that I got far too wrapped up in. After one too many years of imbalanced living, I quit partying. Dancing and music would always be special to me, but I had to somehow change the path I found myself on. I started focusing on living a better life. My experiences from that time, facing my most self-destructive tendencies and habits and turning things around into living a healthy lifestyle, have really shaped my approach to life and fitness. Years later I met a wonderful woman and her two daughters, and ended up joining their family! With the recent addition of our baby son, I’ve got quite a family now!
Patrick: Yeah, sure. I moved around a little in the US after university, including Washington D.C., Montana, to work a few different jobs. But my biggest move was to Korea, to teach English. I had been at my job for about 8 years then, working with mentally disabled adults. Although it was rewarding, it was time for a change. So I went to Korea with two of my brothers. The first 9 months or so were rough. I was teaching teenagers English, and I was not prepared for that task. I eventually had a kind of epiphany about how to approach the job and the students. So between that and having years of experience being the center of attention as a performer, I managed to make it work and eventually it became a great experience that I stuck with for years. Teaching kindergarten was my favorite, it changed my perspective on a lot of things. It’s a really healthy thing, psychologically, to be the superhero for a group of cute little kids and see them grow.
Was teaching English what inspired you to become a fitness trainer?
Patrick: Yes, in Korea I had grown more and more involved with pursuing my own fitness. I would read articles, watch videos, and explore what worked for me, both physically and mentally. I had a bit of spare time and living in a foreign country, for me, was rather isolating. I had time to myself, and geeking out on workouts and nutrition and all that gave me something healthy to focus on. I found myself logging into the Skimble forums multiple times a day, helping people with questions they had and researching the questions I didn’t already know the answer to. When it came time to move back to the States, family and friends would ask me if I was going to continue teaching. I wasn’t really into that idea… I thought my personal interest in fitness and my experience and interest in teaching, would blend perfectly in personal training.
What made you decide to certify with NASM?
Patrick: Since I was self-taught up to that point, and hadn’t studied any of this stuff formally yet, I needed a cert that offered well-rounded, informative training; something that required me to study a lot. After just a little bit of research into what was available, the cost, and what was more and less respected in the fitness industry, I went with NASM.
Patrick: My experience has mostly been with weight training and weight loss. I got really into functional training not long ago, so I incorporate a lot of that into my sessions now. l like balance and core training, as I see just how crucial they are as a foundation for everything from general healthy mobility, to superior strength and power. I’ve recently started as a senior group fitness instructor for a class at the fitness center I work at, and that’s a really positive experience in many ways. I think my overall passion lies with getting the average out-of-shape person into exercise and fitness. Because of my experiences facing myself as my own worst enemy, I developed a strong sense of empathy for people who struggle with their own self-sabotaging tendencies. I’m really into exploring my personal motivations and mental tricks I have to develop to stay focused, and I’m fascinated by how people can convince themselves something is possible or impossible. I’m especially excited by the chance to help people explore what mental approach works best for them, personally.
How do you use Workout Trainer as part of your training routine?
Patrick: My use of Workout Trainer has certainly evolved over time. At first, I just found a few short pre-made workouts I liked. The forums were really active and kept me logging in to check on discussions and new posts. Eventually, I got more into developing my own programming, and I still like to create and log my workouts on it. Besides from remembering the sequence of exercises, it’s extremely helpful with the pacing of my workouts. Rest time is really important but it’s so easy to let it start getting too long.
What’s your favorite feature in the app?
Patrick: The forums, definitely. I really like helping people out, and it motivates me to keep learning. It’s a really great feature to include that could have easily been overlooked in the creation of a fitness app.
Patrick: So many different things! Nowadays a lot of it is habitual. I mean, if I had to choose any one thing, it’s the regular dose of endorphins and the great feeling exercise gives me. I get really squirrelly when I don’t exercise. Being a professional is another big part of my motivation. I get to think of it like setting aside this time to work out is part of my job, so I HAVE to do this really great thing for myself. Also, I really like to eat delicious food. Chicken wings, (I live in Buffalo, home of the Buffalo wing!), Italian sausage, pizza, burgers, you know… I have a bit of a sweet tooth too, ice cream, donuts, you name it. I don’t eat this stuff all the time, of course, and some weeks are better than others. But a steady habit of working out makes it way easier to decide that I can afford to indulge every now and then.
Finally, can you share a secret health/fitness tip with the Skimble community…
Patrick: You’re not special, you’re not a mutant, you’re not one of the X-men. Your body exists in reality and must obey the laws of physics. That may sound negative, but it’s quite liberating to realize that there is no special reason you can’t lose or gain weight, or get stronger, faster, and better. Anyone can do it, that means you can too!
Oh, and start small!
Thanks for sharing with us, Patrick, we’re excited to see what the future brings for you and your coaching business!