As a physiotherapist most people expect me to be fit and healthy and ready to take on the world....... but back in the land of reality I am just another 39 year old bloke that has spent the last two years working crazy hours whilst sending postcards to my wife and child so that they don't think I have run off, but am in fact just in the office upstairs trying to set up Team Rehab uk.
It is fair to say that personal fitness and exercise have come a long way down the list of priorities for me, as it does for many, in recent times. I did my first triathlon at Blenheim 2 years ago with a friend, who was equally engrossed in work at the time, as a way to force fitness upon both of us. It failed - miserably, which is probably what happens in a vast amount of 'great ideas' when they are formulated with a beer in hand, over a snooker table. What actually happened in my training was this:
1) Swim Phase -Planned, 3x per week swim over 6 months. Reality, around 10 sessions of swimming at the Chris Moody Centre
2) Cycling Phase - Purchase of a carbon race bike with high ambitions of miles and miles of country riding. Reality, 4 rides pre-event
3) Run training - brand new pair of Adidas boost that were 'worn in' with a walk around Low Wray Castle, literally 2 days before the event, whilst camping with my son.
It comes as no surprise then that the event was hard, very hard in fact with any best laid plans beforehand going completely out of the window. Think of a 6ft 2 pair of bellows that was blowing so hard it could have powered all of the UK's wind farms for that 2 hours period - that was my race - it was not exactly the planned Brownlee-esque picture that my mind had previously conjured up (turns out even my brain lies to me!). We nonetheless completed it and celebrated in true 'my body is a temple' style - beer and food.
Since then, with work being so very hectic, my weight ballooned and I went up to 118.5 Kg (I am a big chap anyway but not this big), blood pressure soared and general health plummeted - (Stress and worry are not good outside of short bursts). After an illness in December 2017 I decided the time was right to re-evaluate my priorities and changed my diet. I was also able to take my foot off the throttle at work slightly which was a great help thanks to Anna and Minal.
Then along came the challenge that was to finally motivate me to exercise again - The Fan Dance. I initially read the event blurb and what I saw was a 15km run/fast hike, over Pen-Y-Fan, as per the infamous SAS selection. How bad can it be I thought, I walk in the lakes 2-3 times per year which is way higher. Then, when reading again a few weeks later, after entering, what had initially been 15km had somehow changed into 15 miles, or 24km - time for a rethink and potentially a new pair glasses. The penny finally dropped - I would have take training more seriously.
With my business hat on again I saw an opportunity. There are lots of 'fuller figure' 40 ish blokes out there that use to be fairly fit and active, but that once Adonis like physical specimen is now but a shrinking image in life's rear view mirror. Well if I had to go through it, perhaps I could encourage others to do so as well, even if only to participate fin one of the hundreds of local 5km park runs. If just one person get inspired or motivated, then this blog has been a success. With this in mind now came the next hurdle, how do I reach out to others?
It's no secret amongst my friends and colleagues that although I am pretty computer savvy I have always hated social media with a passion. This has now led however to a chronic lack of knowledge in how to utilise this to help with the business. Maybe now was time to join the 21st century and learn before I have to start asking my 9 year old to help me. This topic would be my first and as such would help me to break my so called 'social cherry'.
With all motivational guns a blazing, along with some invaluable help from Sam Birch about the basics of social media, I sat down to start after all, what could go wrong - you take the name of something, whack a hashtag in front of it, add some @ addresses and there you go - or not! After realising that the tweet I had written and contained the # FanDance, to announce the start of my training, had in fact linked to a site of dancing ladies (with not much on) rather than testosterone filled outdoor pursuitists, I felt I had overstepped my skills grade. Back to the drawing board. A bit more googling and help from Sam Birch again had hopefully put me on the straight and narrow.
I am now going to follow my 3 month journey as I prepare and train for the Fan Dance, something that without doubt will help my fitness, strength and state of mind - providing I don't die first. So the journey begins and here are the starting stats to give some history until now:
Height: 6ft 2 (approx 186 cm)
Weight: 118.5kg (approx 18 st 6)
March 18 - Diet only - no exercise - wanted to reduce stress on body before running a bit
Weight: 106kg (approx 16 st 7)
April 18 - Start of running
April 10th - 6km - Trail run (pace 7:41 min/km)
April 13th - 7km - Trail run (pace 7:34 min/km)
April 17th - 13km - Trail run (pace 7:07 min/km)
These initial 3 runs all really hurt and are a combination of running and speed walking with my poles which will continue until I can just run all of it. I wanted to find my baseline over the first few month to avoid the boom and bust pitfall.
So join me on my SAS training mission, as well as other topics which we be added by me and my team in Northampton and Corby. Why not join me on Strava if you are training for an event yourself so we can all encourage one another.
Have you got any hints or tips for me or our readers? Feel free to comment.