Tertius recently joined the Active By Coastal team and was a driving force behind the new direction in the program. We caught up with him to find out how he got so passionate about this field…
Tertius, tell us a bit about you and your experience?
I’m not really the type of person to talk about myself; I believe that my experience will explain more.
I started out about 11 years ago working as a camp facilitator. Like most people, I was not sure what I wanted to do with myself, but that all changed when we had a camp that was exclusively for kids with cancer. Unsure what to do, I treated them like very fragile china that you would only take out for special guests. One boy in particular was suffering from a severe form of the disease and was confined to a wheelchair. His condition meant he had severe muscle atrophy and could bare lift his arms, but he really wanted to rock climb. As I was unsure about this, I told him that is was impossible. Without a fuss, he rolled off and accepted the fact that this was the case. At this stage one of the older boys, whom I think had leukemia, came to me and said I had to stop. Stop treating these campers like they were dying and start treating them like they were kids. “We know we are dying, people tell us every day that we are. But for these three days could you do me a favor and stop. And treat us like we need to be treated.” I broke down and was at a complete loss as to what to do next. These kids needed protection, to be safe, but at the same time needed to develop as individuals.
After this realization, I went back to the boy in the wheel chair and told him ‘lets do it, let’s climb the wall!’ I won’t explain the process but lets just say that it changed his life, as well as mine. And the rest as they say is history.
This made me realize I wanted to grow in this field, so I kept developing myself. I wanted to show people of all ages that no matter where you are, what circumstances you find yourself in, there is always that extra step you can take to become a better you. So over the past decade I have worked for more similar summer camp base businesses, and have eventually found myself working for Outward Bound. Through this, I have learnt volumes about pushing limits, breaking boundaries, changing mindsets and developing as a person, both as an individual and inside the community. It has now become my passion – To help others achieve just that.
What make you decide to get involved with Active By Coastal (ABC)?
The Active by Coastal program is an ideal platform to help kids of all ages develop as individuals. With my personal experience coupled with the physical development knowledge of the Coastal Fitness coaches, I believe it is the perfect combination to help create positive members of society. To change the world one needs to take a step forward, therefore ABC is a great leap!!!
What makes Active By Coastal a unique opportunity for kids?
More and more kids are being pushed to perform academically and it seems the mind/body are coming second. At ABC we believe that a holistic approach is more important. Yes it’s a gym, but it’s also more than that. It’s a place where we focus on the individual, to help him or her become a well-balanced member of the community. We believe in developing emotional balance – To overcome any challenge you need to be in the right mindset, to set yourself up for success. At ABC we don’t teach, we guide. We give kids a chance to find themselves and grow at his or her own pace. To ultimately become who they are set to be. We enable them to recognize their potential and take on the challenges that come with it. That being said, we have introduced E-Q in to the curriculum.
So E-Q, what does this involve and how is this beneficial?
Everyone knows what IQ is, your intelligence quotient. A lesser-known aspect and also often overlooked, is a person’s EQ, which is their emotional quotient or emotional intelligence. This is something that every person develops through experiences in life, life lessons shared by peers, parents and more often our role models. When we are faced with a challenge or crisis it’s these experiences that guide our thoughts, our reactions and actions. And depending on those prior experiences it can either be a positive or a negative reaction. With proper guidance a person that reacts negatively can be coached to move more to a positive reaction while at the same time not undermine his previous experience.
We enable our members to identify their emotions and learn how to navigate them positively.
It is my belief that to be academically strong you, you need to be strong within yourself and that is the platform we are working from.