At the beginning of 2012 I tipped the scales at the heaviest I had ever been. I had just joined the gym and wanted to get fitter and healthier for the sake of my kids, I didn’t want to be the dad you couldn’t run around the park because I was out of breath easily. Despite this I lacked the motivation to go to the gym on my own and push myself. I lost some weight through eating a bit better but this alone was not going to help my fitness.
I have known Frank for long time, I trained him on his first day at McDonalds, and I had heard about what he was doing and decided to check it out. I was apprehensive at first as I hadn’t ‘ran’ in years, but meeting people in the same boat, along with Frank’s enthusiasm and support for everyone made it so much easier. It started off running a mile with a rest thrown in as well. I won’t lie it was hard but before long it got easier and easier and the distance increased. I was soon running 2 miles. After a few months I took part in my first 5k race setting myself a target of 35 minutes, I finished just outside that but was proud of my achievements none the less.
I haven’t ran in as many races as some of the others, and I still can’t get myself to run on my own, I think I need the motivation of others to carry me along. The encouragement is immense, and not just from Frank & Gregg, it comes from everybody. Ability and fitness levels are disregarded, everybody is welcome and supported.
Since I have started to run with the group the distance that I have covered has grown and grown to my current PB of just over 12k around Rudyard lake in the snow. I have entered this year’s Manchester 10k which I will be running for charity. 8 months ago neither of these were an option. I’m not where I want to be yet, I still want to lose some more weight and improve my body shape, my stamina needs to improve. However I do feel fitter and healthier and going for a run with the team is no longer daunting. I have set myself the target of completing 10k in under 60 minutes without having to stop and walk and I know with the support of the group I will achieve this.
I don’t see Stoke F.I.T. as a running club, I see us as a group of friends who run.