Four years ago while living in London, 20-year-old casual surfer Dominic Monckton suffered a traumatic brain injury that resulted in paralysis of the left side of his body. Lying in the hospital, his spirits were low, as were his hopes of returning to his former life.
After he left the hospital, some movement returned to the left side of his body, but he had no control over the movement. He returned to his hometown of Sydney, Australia where he spent the next two years pursuing conventional physical therapy and training with weights and machines with the hopes of restoring function and control to his left side. He had little success. “I had to relearn how to do everything after the injury. I couldn't even walk.” Nothing worked, and while Monckton was frustrated, he held onto a slight hope that someday he would be able to move freely again and resume the enjoyment of his life's passion, surfing. When he was 22, his brother joined the Australian Army and started using the TRX.
His brother had a hunch that using the TRX might be able to help Dominic regain control of the left side of his body, something that no other exercise modality had been able to do. It turned out he was right. Six months after beginning TRX training, Monckton could control the left side of his body again. He describes it as “nothing short of a miracle.”
Monckton started out using the TRX FORCE Kit, and it was slow going at first. “I would do 10 reps of a movement on my right side, then only be able to do two or three reps with my left side and only be able to move five or six centimeters.” But after six months of daily TRX use and three days of swimming per week, he had awakened the left side of his body to such a degree that he could run and surf again. ““I don't know how to explain it, but something about having to constantly stabilize the body and balance on the TRX increased my control and range of movement until I could use the left side of my body once again.”
As he continued his TRX training, Monckton also began to train local surfer friends outdoors at a local park using the TRX. They saw tremendous results, and Monckton became certified as a personal trainer to transform what had been a hobby and personal interest into a profession by doing TRX group training. “I started with two or three surfers per week. The next week, it was six or seven. And it just grew and grew. I use the TRX with kettlebells, and that's all I use.” Soon, many surfers in the local community along with women in search of what Monckton describes as “tight bums and abs and sexy backs” began to flock to his TRX group training. Dominic had developed a large clientele of trainees eager to pay him to train them on the TRX.
“The first thing surfers say is that the TRX has improved their balance. They jump up and land in the right place every time. They say they're surfing better than they've ever surfed, they can feel everything engaging in their bodies and have greater control. They see it when they surf, and they see it even when having to pick something up off the ground in their day-to-day lives. Women love the results they're getting too, and now they make up at least half of my clientele. It's been phenomenal.”
Relying on word-of-mouth advertising, Monckton has built a personal training business with more than 50 clients. He primarily works with groups of up to 18, rotating everyone between six TRX, and performing a blend of bodyweight exercises and kettlebell movements. Currently, he's working on plans to open a dedicated TRX group training facility.
Monckton is stronger and more fit than he has ever been in his entire life, and he feels that he owes his health and recovery to the TRX. “When I first saw the TRX, I thought it was just another gimmick. But it's unbelievable how well it works, and it's very addictive. Four years ago, I had no control of my left side. Now I'm running half marathons, and I'm even going to do a 100 kilometer extreme running race.”