Hornchurch bomb disposal soldier starts new career in home fitness
PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 February 2015
A former bomb disposal searcher is using his military training to set up a fitness business.
Seán Laidlaw, 26, of Boscombe Avenue, Hornchurch, is starting At Home Fitness Essex to help him readapt to civilian life.
Seán served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and five others across the world.
He said: “My first tour in Afghanistan was particularly intense. They say you always remember finding your first bomb, and I certainly will.”
Seán explained: “After weeks of digging and finding nothing, all of a sudden a familiar looking device appeared in the ground.
“It was at that point the insurgents opened fire, while I was lying on the floor with a bomb inches from my face. I will always remember it.”
After finishing his second tour in August 2014, Seán decided it was time to come home.
He said: “I had been away for too long and it now felt like the right time to come back.”
Seán added: “Some guys keep going in the military until they are 40 or 45 but that was not for me.”
He credits the business with helping him make the difficult transition to civilian life: “A couple of my friends have really struggled.
“You are no longer with your guys 24/7 and if you do not find a job it can be hard.”
He said: “The best thing about the business is just being able to talk to normal everyday people, people who are interested in fitness.”
Seán’s start-up is the first At Home Fitness franchise to be based in the south of England.
It is designed to help people who are nervous about going to a gym, to get fit in their own homes.
Seán says his techniques are a mixture of army training, and methods he has learned since returning from duty.
He adds: “The main difference between the two is there is not nearly as much shouting!”