Project Energise: Days 30 to 52 (and beyond) – Five Oaks Fitness and other momentous changes

Yes, I know it’s been a while 🙂 Its ok, sometimes other things happen…

There have been a lot of things going on, and of course I have been keeping up with the movement, not always gym workouts sometimes walking but moving and moving a lot more than I was this time last month which is the entire point 😀

So I have lots of things to tell you about, and it will go someway to explaining the “life gets in the way of things” statements I have been making in some of the past posts. The question is where to start…

Remember back when I decided to start Project Energise and I said I was full of stress and empty of energy and motivation (there was a mop involved…look here)? Remember when one of my daily goals was this:

I met those goals…

Well it was round about then that I decided that I needed to find myself another job, because despite a (mainly) lovely bunch of work colleagues and a job that has been good to me for the majority of the 9 years I had been there, this last year and particularly the last few months have been frustrating, demoralising and had been making me angry and cry far more than any job should. I tried to improve things, I spoke up about why things weren’t working, in my eyes, I spoke up about my desire to progress, both myself and the department I built over the last 9 years. My words were met with open hostility, deliberate misunderstandings and an attempt to make out that my feelings were being coloured by my own feelings about other things that were going on (they weren’t). It was an attempt to discredit me and paint me as someone who has always been fragile and whose work was suffering because of it (I haven’t and it wasn’t). I was told that my misgivings about the way I was being bypassed and ignored were not justified (they were) and that the people doing it were not under any obligation to consult me about my work and the direction they wanted to take my department in (that’s just nonsense). I was blindsided and painted into a corner which left me with no further options for recourse.

In short I raised my head above the parapet and someone shot it off. My manager, it turned out, was not a man who liked to be questioned and my HR manager had a great deal of internalised misogyny on top of a large measure of incompetence. All of which combined into a case of gas-lighting, that, along with a few other things that happened, could have been a case of constructive dismissal.

In case you are thinking I am biased writing this, of course I am. There is no way for me to be objective about what has happened, it hurt me and made me feel worthless (briefly) and that is not what a place of employment should do to a person. I am however, not so biassed that I am twisting what happened.

I am being open and blunt about it here, because that is what I do here, but also because I want people reading this to know that gaslighting is something that can happen in the workplace as well as in personal relationships.

All of this happened to me…most of it in the space of one meeting!

Me being me, I will never stop challenging things, I will never stop trying to change things that I see as wrong, and in this instance, the only thing I could change was my employer, so I applied and I applied and I applied, and during the course of the interviews I had, I remembered that I am good at what I do, and I am capable of more. I had more interviews than I thought was entirely sensible (5 in one week…thanks to WFH and zoom/teams), and I managed to get myself a new job.

I haven’t started yet, but it seems like it is going to be quite exiting, it involves commuting up to London and learning lots of new things, which is going to be challenging, but good challenging 🙂 If there is one thing that this whole thing has taught me, I really don’t want to write the same documents in the same place ad-infinitum, no matter how well I get on with my colleagues!

So new job, new commute, new shoes (all new jobs need new shoes this is important) new routine to get used to, this is going to mean lots of changes. But contrary to popular opinion, change is no bad thing 😀

me, leaping headlong into the magic zone!

So that was momentous change number one, the momentousest change this year 😀 (I am in the middle of momentous change…I can make up words if I want to)

Momentous change number two, is that during all of that stuff I have just spoken about, I decided to revamp and rebrand my Personal Training business. It is just a teeny business at the moment, but I am hoping to grow it a bit too. so, the former Real Fitness Sussex, is now:

Five Oaks Fitness!

New name, new logo, new colour scheme

I am in the middle of re-writing the website, and altering the types of training that I offer. I want to move more towards online training with only a small aspect of face to face… I have also made the decision to move to a HAES style training approach which removes all aspects of weight loss from the equation and focuses on the benefits of movement and exercise for their own sake!

It is a work in progress, but I have one actual real life client again and I am loving training her 😀

So that’s the momentous stuff… I am a bit in limbo at the moment working my notice and waiting to work out my new routine and the like, but hopefully in a week I will be able to start moving forward again.

lastly, no update would be complete without some exercise news, so here are the customary pictures…

I appear to be mostly bottom…but that’s ok 😀

By Sam Catchpole

She/They | Aspiring Strongperson, Photographer, Artist, Writer,


  1. Congratulations on the new job, and many more congratulations on leaving the old one. There’s no point in battling sexist assholes on battlefields where they’ll win. Pick your fights, because you’re in this for the long haul. My money’s on you.

    Liked by 1 person

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