Sy Wiggall is a Strength & Conditioning coach, Sports Massage therapist and rugby coach, who has had an incredible journey to get to this stage in his career.
During his early 20’s, he was fortunate enough to travel the world for 5 years, spending the 05/06 season in Banff, Canada snowboarding. Then exploring Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, much of Asia and a truly life changing time in Nepal. Trekking through the Himalayas was un-questionably the most incredible life changing experience he has had.
After travelling, Sy decided to start university at 27. With that, he completed his undergrad in Sports Science in 2014. It was during his time at university in Oxford that he started to fully understand the mind and body, how we move, think and perform. The mind and body is so heavily connected that once we understand this, one can progress exponentially in both training and life.
In this episode, I talk to Sy about the strength it took him to overcome the chronic fatigue and depression caused by contracting a parasite in Nepal, and how his travels and this experience led him to realising the deep connection between mind and body, and drove him towards his dream job as a Strength & Conditioning coach today.
What this episode has in store for you
“I contracted a parasite called giardia in Nepal, a microscopic waterborne parasite, which is prevalent in the water system throughout the Asian continent. It starts with belching sulphur and then feeling fatigued, before giving you permanent diarrhoea. I started the trek at 95kg and finished it two weeks later 15kg lighter. After Nepal and India, I lived in NZ for a year and a bit where I had all these tests done as I was still fatigued. However, they couldn’t find anything – but I knew that something had changed in my mind, I wasn’t as outgoing and positive as I used to be. I became quite down and negative, which I realised had happened overnight after contracting the parasite. I ended up having to come back to England – I was massively depleted.”
“As a result of this parasite and what I learnt about it, I realised that the gut is the second brain and there is a serious connection between the two – now I fully understand that this parasite literally tore apart my gut over the 13 months I had it. When I eventually got rid of it, it took a long time for the brain fog to go. As a previously fit, positive and athletic person, it was so debilitating suffering from chronic fatigue and depression.”
“I eventually realised the importance of help and guidance with my mind’s state, as it is something I have struggled with continuously since that parasite. Life changes a lot when you start looking into the depths of your inner child, your emotions, your spiritual side and you start to realise we are definitely not just a physical being. It seems to be a weak thing to talk about the mind but it shouldn’t be – Our mind and thoughts control the body. The athletes that are the best in the world train their minds to be in a positive state in order to achieve the best race or fight.”