My journey back to a healthy lifestyle started with a picture of me at Christmas time, when I had turned 41. I could not believe that the guy in that picture with the big gut was me. I thought I was in shape and doing pretty good. Instead I was 238lbs, 37% body fat. I couldn’t run and could barely do any sit-ups or push-ups. I needed to make a change.
I joined a health club and started walking and doing some weight training. My trainer pushed me very hard. I was in pain 7 days a week. I put up with it because I wanted to change, and I did. I dropped 40 pounds of fat, added 12 pounds of muscle and looked like a new man. But, I couldn’t keep that pace up, I hurt all the time and that’s when I met with Grant.
I wanted to get fit, which I equated more to aerobic conditioning. I had always wanted to do a triathlon, so Grant suggested I try the Vulcan sprint race. I practised for the race by doing two 10km bike rides, a couple of 5km runs and swimming until I could go 500m without stopping. I finished the race and felt good. I thought that triathlons would be good balanced training for overall fitness conditioning. Grant put me on a program of biking, swimming and running at easy heart rates and I did my first Olympic length race about 11 months later.
I then heard that he was putting a group together to train for an Ironman. I thought, why not. I trained a year for the Florida Ironman and finished the race. I felt great, I didn’t have any injuries and I managed to do it by averaging 5 ½ hours of training per week (about the amount of time it takes to do a round of Golf and a couple of beers at the club). I had a very busy family and business schedule, and that is all I could do. I did manage to stay consistent, even if I couldn’t get all my training in I always tried to do something each day.
Fitness is now a core part of my life. I am participating in activities I haven’t done since my early 20’s. I run, hike, bike, swim, sail, climb, mountain bike, scuba dive, adventure race and just plain have fun. I don’t ache after I do it, and often I am keeping up with people half my age. I am enjoying more of life, and want to help others do the same. My next goal is to become an outdoor adventure guide, something that I would not have even thought possible 2 years ago. The key for me has been the sustainable aerobic training I switched to. Keeping your heart rate down works and doesn’t hurt, it’s sustainable.