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.
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!
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! 🙂
Use the hashtag: #LTT