On New Years Eve 2018, I celebrated my 48th birthday. As always, I found myself spending some time on my ‘special day’ reflecting not only upon the previous twelve months’ achievements, but also the things I didn’t get done.
It struck me that for over a decade, there has been a recurring theme. ‘This year, I didn’t get fit, eat better and lose weight’. Sound familiar? Well, I’m certainly not the first, and won’t be the last to let those aspirations slip. However, as time goes by, the quiet, suppressible voice in the dark recesses of my mind has become not only louder, but more persistent.
Then, came the warning shot: an extended family member not much older, but far fitter than myself had a routine Doctors appointment. Some concerns were raised, and he was sent immediately to the hospital for further tests. Within the course of a day, he was advised that he had blocked heart valves, and needed surgery. The procedure to insert stents was abandoned in favour of full blown bypass surgery.
Within a fortnight of the diagnosis, he had undergone a quadruple heart bypass, taking longer than your average work day to perform. His overall fitness prior to the scare has resulted in a speedier recovery than most. However, this episode set of a chain reaction throughout the family.
I’m a Type 1 Diabetic, overfed, over watered, overweight and under exercised. In other words, a heart attack waiting to happen. The niggling guilt I’d been feeling but ignoring was suddenly everyone else’s concern. My fiancee, one of her sons and his fiancee decided they would offer me some help. For Christmas, I received a gym membership.
On 15th December 2018, I gave up alcohol (until at least the New Year), and having ordered a couple of ‘dietary change’ books, I embarked upon a ‘Low carb, high fat’ (LCHF) eating regime.
I returned from my gym induction visit excited, inspired, and slightly nervous of what I was about to do to my creaking limbs. That afternoon, I planned specific goals.around weight loss, future clothes sizes, fitness targets, and probably most importantly, I signed up for a half marathon.
Last year, my partner ran the Manchester Half Marathon with no specific training other than going to the gym five times a week. I was so proud of her, and so ashamed I didn’t put the work in to join her. My challenge is to get to the start line alongside her on October 13th 2019 thinner, lighter, fitter and confident of posting a respectable time. And seeing as how I’m doing all of this for myself, I decided I would run the half marathon to raise some much needed funds for other people.
I’ll be talking about my chosen ‘Good Cause’ in due course, and of course you will see lots of prompts to visit (and donate) at my JustGiving page. Hopefully, you’ll keep dipping in to see my progress (and the odd video or two). Feel free to comment with your thoughts, stories or advice. But for now, that’s enough talking. I need to put my shorts on and get to the gym – it’s time for another 45 minute beasting session in the Step Class!