My Story – I GRASP Wellness

Hi, I’m Russell Whiteford and I am the founder of I GRASP Wellness.
My core purpose and the reason I founded I GRASP Wellness is to empower individuals and teams to make sustainable healthy changes to continually improve their lives.
We’re living in one of the safest times to be alive in human history with more information and resources available at our fingertips than ever before. However, the burden of preventable and lifestyle disease, continues to increase year on year having a profound effect on our wellbeing as a society.

How I Got Here

I’ve always had a passion for performance. I grew up with a love of sport and being active which through many twists and turns led me down the path of physical performance, sports coaching, fitness centre management and then onto project and infrastructure management.
Following a degree in Exercise & Sports Science and an attempt at running my first business (where I actually had to pay employees), I worked full time in management positions for a number of years in local and state government organisations. Through an array of leadership roles in sport, work and while studying, I have been able to help so many people improve their fitness, health and their sport or work performance. However, somewhere along the way it dawned on me that many of the people I witnessed making improvements in their lives struggled to change their deep rooted behaviours, which ultimately hindered them when it came to sustaining progress.
My personal training clients or even my staff often looked to me as the “expert” who was going to tell them what to do to improve their health, skill level or performance. Somewhat of a lightbulb moment occurred when one day I realised, by labelling me as the expert others could project the ownership of their success, whatever that may have been, onto me. After all, I was leading them.
If they did not get to where they said they wanted to go, it was easier to justify slipping back into old habits as it was my program, teaching style or coaching method which had failed them. It was me who failed.
This realisation drove me to learn more about the importance of leading your own holistic wellness journey rather than focusing on specific elements such as cardiovascular fitness or core strength. Behaviours, habits and self determined lifestyle goals are the real measure of success rather than 4 minute kms or ticking off an annual performance review. The sometimes small “process” goals make all the difference in creating enduring change. My change of thinking motivated me to learn more about other areas of health and is why I am now undertaking post graduate study in the field of Human Nutrition.
As a husband and father of two boys it’s more important than ever that I define and live up to my own version of success and be clear on the cost that I am willing to pay to attain it. The mental representation of success that I hold is based on an Earl Nightingale quote that has always stuck in my mind and is extremely relevant to how I work with people now:
    “Success is the progressive realisation of a worthy goal or ideal.”
It’s totally subjective, and that’s the point. Your baseline measurement is relevant only to you and where you are at right now before devising your next goal. It’s not the images you see on Instagram or even the your own pictures from 7 years ago that pop-up in your Facebook memories.
To be a great leader and restore your wellness potential you don’t need to immediately flip your life upside down nor embark on a journey of enlightenment in search of an “aha” moment. That comes later when one day you realise the sum of all the seemingly insignificant lifestyle tweaks amount to the life you’re aspiring to, and the best version of you.

The Foundation of I GRASP Wellness

CORE PURPOSE – Why does I GRASP Wellness exist?
“To empower individuals and organisations to make incremental healthy changes to continually improve their lives.”
Incremental, healthy and improvement are subjective and are relative to each individual.
VISION – Our vision is:
“To have a meaningful impact on the health of 1,000,000 people, helping them improve the quality of their own lives though I GRASP Wellness.”
CORE VALUES – Our foundational pillars and our guiding behaviours.
  1. Guidance – We guide people on a self directed journey of empowerment and assist them to build their vision of a healthier, happier future.
  2. Rapport – We focus on people first, building relationships through careful listening, deliberate curiosity and thoughtful questioning. We genuinely care for each individual, treating each person who connects with I GRASP as a client for life.
  3. Accountability – Through genuine relationship and the absence of judgement mutual accountability propels us forward.
  4. Sustainable – Manageable, self determined lifestyle adjustments multiply and result in enduring change.
  5. Progress – Hope, commitment and action provide the positive feedback loop to perpetually fuel progress.
Thanks for joining me on this journey.