At the beginning of 2012 I was 16.5st (231lb/105kg), I'd stopped playing football, the one thing thing that had kept me relatively fit and I'd lost my brother. I was seriously overweight, extremely unfit and very depressed. I needed to make a change. I wanted to get back in clothes I hadn't for years, I wanted to run a mile that didn't take me 11 mins, when in my younger days, I could run one in less than 5! I wanted to deal with the grief of losing Lloydy in a positive way, in a way that would make him proud and in a way that he would have recognised as being his brother. I wanted to pay tribute to him in a way fitting of the man he was. I started eating better, researched events I could take on, started running properly and going to the gym, the obvious things, but the things that become so easy to discard when life takes over. So how do you push yourself, test what you're made of, find out what you're truly capable of? Think outside the box! For me, I loved running, I loved running with Lloydy and would often run with him when he was home from operations. Him fully loaded, me in normal run kit, and he'd still run at my pace! I found the PARAS'10, signed up, signed up 15 or so other friends and began to train, it was hard, harder than anything I'd ever done. But by the end of it we'd made a wonderful tribute to Lloydy, raised a lot of money for charity and got ourselves fit!
WHAT DO I WANT TO ACHIEVE?
There is in reality so much! On a personal level, I want to qualify Good for Age for New York Marathon, which means running a sub 3:05 marathon. I want to complete the Abbott World Marathon Majors, with Boston and Chicago to come this year and London (x 3) and Berlin already bagged, I'll be two thirds of the way there! I want to take what we did with The 100 Peaks and really push that ethos on through 'Be A Black Sheep'. I want to create a movement that really does move people and help them become the best versions of themselves. I want ultimately to be a great dad to my littleman and be the dad and the role model he needs and deserves.
WHAT CHANGES AM I MAKING?
Despite everything I've achieved in the last few years, I'm still not where I want to be, there are changes I need to make to be better, I still need to fuel myself better when training and on events and to maximise the time I have, especially when it comes to strength training. The one thing I've noticed this year, is that without a Challenge as epic as The 100 Peaks to focus on, I've taken my foot off, and that mentality I need to sort. Whilst, I might not be preparing for something as demanding as that at the moment, I've let my standards slip and I know I need to rectify that. I shall be developing training and nutrition plans that mean I'm lighter, fitter and in much better shape come the events and challenges that I am focusing on. So over the next few weeks I will be analysing what I've done in the past and seeing where I can improve my all round physical and mental health.
MY PLAN FOR 2018 AND BEYOND.
6th January Fan Dance Winter – Woodhouse Edition [COMPLETED] (admittedly aborted the idea of doing Trident due to conditions and injury recovery and with Boston Marathon in mind)!
10th March Chester Ultra
16th April The 122nd Boston Marathon (AWMM)
7th May Milton Keynes Marathon
9th June Endure24
18th August UltraGB The Race Across Scotland
23rd September L'etape London
7th October 41st Bank of America Chicago Marathon (AWMM)
& some secret stuff (at the moment) and Bears Adventures!
MY PERSONAL PROMISE.
This is a difficult one, because really I will be just be trying to carry on what we've started and grow the projects we've created and as much as possible help others grow by in some instances becoming more active and in others give them support to help them realise their aspirations. That's what being a black sheep is all about, helping others become the best versions of themselves.