The Journey Begins…

Right, where to begin? At the start I suppose!

I have always been ‘sporty’ and functionally athletic, I think that is a good way to describe it. I am not blessed with supernatural athletic ability, nor am I hindered by any distinct lack of ability. Simply put, I am your average active participant and gym goer… well, at least, I was…

Back in 2015 I upped sticks from Leicester where I was born and raised, attracted by the bright lights of the big city, I arrived in London. At that time, I was around 80-85kg, and trained regularly in the gym, kickboxing and casually running and cycling at my leisure. When I got to London, all of that stopped… and what began was a 2 year descent into gluttony and athletic apathy.

Before I knew it, my weight had reached 105kg. I was ‘socially’ smoking, drinking heavily and massively overeating. On top of that, I developed a Lipoma (a benign fatty tumor) on my cheek and jaw. Retrospectively, I think it’s growth was massively expedited by my excessive consumption… let’s just say, physically (and psychologically) I was at an all time low. I asked my girlfriend to take this picture at the time I decided to make a change… Yeah… not my best look.

September 2016

September 2016

My transformation back to health didn’t start immediately, and it didn’t happen without a few speed bumps along the way… but I had reached an important turning point and knew it was time to make a change. I finally got myself to a doctor (something my girlfriend, family and friends had been near constantly encouraging me to do for the 12-18 months preceding). Several scans and appointments later, I was booked in to have the Lipoma removed. Stage 1 complete.

Stage 2 of my transformation began somewhat spontaneously. I had just got back from a week long holiday in Barcelona. I had indulged on that trip, as you might expect, with alcohol, lots of tapas (I am only human) and all of the trappings that go along with a week in a beautiful European city. It’s fair to say, when we got back I was not any lighter or healthier than when I left. None the less, I woke up the next day and decided I was going for a run.

So I ran… and ran… and ran some more – before I knew it I had ran 13 miles. Round and round Clapham Common. I don’t know how many laps I did, I do know that the battery was about to die on my phone which was tracking my run, so I stopped. I had ran a half marathon… in 1 hour 58 mins (I now know this was no mean feat! a good time by most  standards). When I woke up the next morning, I realised I had made a mistake… possibly phasing in the miles may have been a smarter move! I limped around for about 2 weeks solid after that.

That day I also decided that for the indefinite future I would not drink alcohol, I would stop smoking and I would sign up to compete in a half marathon. Which I am pleased to say, I did! In October 2017, 6 months later, I completed my first official half marathon (The Leicester Half) in a time of 1 hour 43 mins. A proud, proud day 🙂

I have since completed my second race, the Berlin Half Marathon in April of this year, achieving a time of 1 hour 37 mins. An equally proud day.

Since then I have been working hard with my best friend (and great personal trainer, James Lambert – insta: @james_lambert_pt – give him a follow!) to increase my strength, muscular endurance and to reduce my body fat. This is me now!

update photo August 2018

19th August 2018

Which brings us up to date.

On to my next challenge, which is where I hope you will join me – 4 weeks ago, I decided that I want to become a Triathlete. At least, I want to compete in Triathlon races, and come out the other side in one piece… the ultimate goal; Iron-man… but that can wait. For now I am targeting my first sprint triathlon in April 2019.

In this blog series I am going to share my progress as I attempt to reach my goal – No doubt there will be some serious challenges along the way – which I hope that anyone out there thinking about taking on the same journey towards triathlon can use as inspiration to keep on going! I won’t quit, and I hope that will help you to keep on going too.

I hope this can also become a platform to share your own success stories and challenges. I want to create a community of runners, swimmers, cyclists and triathletes of any level to share ideas, advice and inspiration – so please get involved and share as much as you feel comfortable to.

So welcome, and thanks for joining me 🙂

The journey begins…

First challenge… learning to swim competitively 😐 Since setting my sights on triathlon 4 weeks ago I have had 3 swimming lessons, and already I am getting more comfortable in the water. But so far, I am having to pause after each length to catch my breath… lot’s of work needed!

On that note, I am heading to the pool! I will touch back in with you all again soon and let you know how I am progressing… in the meantime, follow me on instagram for daily updates (@lukes_triing_times) and get in touch to let me know you are out there and on this journey too!

Thanks for joining me in these ‘tri-ing times’ – I look forward to sharing this experience with you! 🙂

Insta: @lukes_triing_times
Use the hashtag: #LTT

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