Why I became a Runner

Looking back, I find it hard to believe that I had got as big as I had without realising it, in reality it probably snuck up on me as the only mirror in my flat is a little shaving mirror. As a child and teenager, I was always active and forever playing sport whether it was for local clubs, the school or the county. It didn’t matter whether it was football, rugby, cricket, tennis or athletics I turned my hand to everything.

My problems began when I went to university. In my first year I was still playing a bit of rugby and some 5 a side football but to nowhere near the same level of activity as previously. In the 5 years or so after finishing university I dipped in and out of playing rugby after I moved to Scotland but that quickly fell by the wayside.

I knew I was overweight and needed to do something about it, although whatever it was be it attempts to watch what I ate or a very poor attempt at starting Couch 2 5K nothing worked. Looking back, I realise that I was severely lacking in motivation and not appreciating how serious everything was.

Most photos of me are with my nephew, like the one splashing in the sea above, so when you first glance at them its not massively obvious how bad things have got. In fact, it’s only when I saw the footage that the above screengrab, on the right, came from that I saw myself with other adults and came to understand how serious things had got. Shortly after this I stepped on a pair of scales, for probably the first time in a couple of years, and my weight at the end of September 2017 was 301 lbs (or 21.5 stone). At this point I realised that I drastically needed to do something or I was going to have some pretty serious physical and mental health issues in the not too distant future.

I suddenly found that I had motivation to do something about my problems. My first idea was to do Couch 2 5K because I’d heard such great things about it. I did the first two runs of week 1 and had pain in my shins, knees and feet. I was carrying too much weight to be successful with Couch 2 5K at that point and had I carried on definitely would have given up before completing the program. I started walking after work which had two main benefits, firstly getting me out of the flat away from snacking temptations into fresh air and secondly helped me burn calories to drop some weight. By Christmas I had lost 35 lbs and was determined to start Couch 2 5K in the new year.

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