Matt Gilson

“Don’t forget where you have come from” are the words of mentor, coach and new found friend Frank Murphy as I celebrate completing my first half marathon (Potters Arf 2014) so what’s the story here then you may ask it’s a running club testimonial so I’ll tell you…….. For some strange reason not being an athletic/fitness minded individual I decided In January this year to search and join a running club not only to prepare me for a 10k obstacle course I had volunteered to do for charity but for a lifestyle change, one which so far had led me to pizza, chips, chocolate and sweets and were not talking in moderation at 17 stone 8, high blood pressure, borderline diabetes I was heading in the wrong direction considering I was only 30. I stumbled on Stoke FIT and joined the Facebook group to see if I could get into the mind-set that running was for me. I started to get the vibe and I did a local route no more than 2 miles on my own twice a week but it was a start. In March the FB page advertised a ‘come along and try’ ParkRun no pressure but an opportunity to meet likeminded individuals. So I did, Frank agreed to meet me along with some other members of the club and from there that day I have never looked back completing the 10k obstacle course many Stoke FIT outings and the Potters Arf.
After reaping the benefits of my partners slimming world adventures as an extra bonus and joining Stoke FIT I have managed in 6 months to turn my not so healthy lifestyle around I’m now 14 Stone 8, no risk of diabetes, perfect blood pressure and not heading but Running in the right direction. The effect the club has had has been astronomical; it’s a no pressure, pleasant, try hard group which asks for nothing but the desire to change and welcome others as you have been welcomed. I have made great new friends and the club ethos is second to none. It’s quite simple we are ‘Friends in Training’ no matter what level of experience or fitness. So when reminded where I have come from that’s my story and that’s where I have come from 
Thank you Stoke FIT, Frank Murphy and Emily Vickerman for being inspirational leaders, my partner Nikki Dentith for the love and support and all of my new found friends for their support, added value and fun (yes fun)

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