I met Cameron in Sociology class at college. Being one of 3 boys in a group of 30 girls discussing topics like gender inequalities can get pretty brutal. So we gravitated. For safety I guess.
He introduced me to the world of night clubs, mixing vinyl and Saturday mornings at independent record stores (we’d try and bag the latest white labels, but ended up being flogged leftovers the owner pitched as the next big thing).
After college Cam moved to Leeds. While I didn’t fancy Uni he encouraged me to come along for the ride. I was in a rut back home. And after my two guest appearances on pirate radio, broadcast from a shed in the middle of nowhere I figured my DJ career wasn’t going anywhere fast. So a change of scenery and a fresh start seemed just what I needed.
Me, Cam and a couple of mates upped sticks and took the leap, excited by the guaranteed opportunities a new city would bring… or so we thought. Truth is, one city’s much like another. After a year or so in Leeds I realised I wasn’t going to make my mark on the music industry like I’d imagined. So music kinda fell by the wayside.
Not Cam though. He carried on. Plugging away, getting to know people, building his network and staying involved with the local music community.
After Uni Cam moved back down south. He never had an easy ride, but continued to face the struggles of a DJ/Producer trying to break into the music industry.
In 2013 I caught up with Cam having not seen him for years. He’d had some success; a couple of tracks in the charts, some decent gigs, and launching their own record label. But I got the impression he was still battling to get into the music scene proper. That maybe he thought it was time to try something else to make his mark on the world.
But he persisted. And slowly but surely over the next year things started to turn.
He started getting more bookings. Playing bigger clubs. And his tracks were getting more airtime on mainstream radio.
In 2014 Cam and his partner in crime Joe Lenzie had their track ‘Nobody to Love’ hit the number one spot in the uk charts. Followed later in the year by ‘Changing’ Ft. Paloma Faith also making the #1 spot.
Pretty amazing considering when we first started mixing back in the day Drum & Bass in the charts was unheard of.
And now? Cam gets to travel the globe, playing sets in clubs packed full of raving fans. He gets to work with some of the biggest names in the UK music scene. Has a record deal with a major label and finally gets some recognition for the 15 plus years of hard work that no-one ever got to see.
I’m not sure of the exact recipe Cam (pictured below, right) used to make progress over the years. But I’m pretty sure persistence was a key ingredient. He never gave up. He was willing to do what it took to see it through. Even when everyone around him – including me -packed it in.
I’m totally inspired by what Joe and Cam have achieved as the Drum & Bass duo Sigma. And with a more recent collaboration with Labrinth on their track titled ‘Higher’ I’m sure they’re no way near done yet.
So what did I learn from this that could possibly relate to health and fitness?
I felt like a cross country move was the thing to do if I wanted to progress. What I didn’t realise is that if I couldn’t make my DJ aspirations work from my home town, why would I be able to make it elsewhere?
Same goes for getting in shape. Moving gyms, switching workout DVDs and jumping from diet to diet seems like that’s what we need to do to see results. But if you didn’t manage to make one work for you why would the next one work any better?
Here’s the secret I learned along the way; practice making what you already have work for you. Learn how to overcome the diet and lifestyle challenges that come up. That’s what the people who change for life figure out. Not just jumping from one programme to the next at the first sign of a challenge.
Learning how to get results within the context of your current life gives you a huge advantage. The hassles, stresses and strains probably aren’t going away any time soon. So let’s figure out what you can work on now to move a little closer to your ideal body.
Cam honed his DJ skills in his room first, then in front of few mates. Then played sets at parties, then the smaller clubs way before hitting the big time. By the time he was playing at festivals and super clubs he’d hit way more than his 10’000 hours of practice.
Same with your nutrition habits. Start with the smaller things you know you can manage. Until you can nail them 100%. Once you’ve mastered drinking 2ltrs or water per day move to something else you think’s important to reaching your goal like eating a decent breakfast.
Once you’ve mastered the ‘small gigs’ then move on to the bigger challenges – like moderating your carbs, eating out at restaurants and dealing with social situations where food’s involved.
Chances are if you master the small gigs you probably won’t have to worry about taking on the big ones.
Look, I know you know this. But sometimes when we’re on a journey things can get a little foggy. We forget stuff like it took us 30 years to get this out of shape. And maybe it’s going to take a year or two to turn it around.
Cam has been working at his decks and in the studio for years. And to the lay person it might seem like an overnight success. But Cam & Joe have been hustling from day dot.
While you probably don’t want to be a superstar DJ there’s probably something you want to make progress towards. And the only way to make progress is to hustle a little every single day.
So, if you’re working towards better health and fitness what one thing could you do today to move a lil’ step closer?