Running hasn’t come easily to be me but I am so glad that I found it. I was always relatively sporty growing up and through university but then life got in the way, excuses were easy and my physical activity became virtually nil. I had dipped in and out of running several times but never really took it seriously and when my two children were born I had enough on my hands to not even think about exercise.
I committed to running properly though just over two years ago and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The company I worked for at the time had arranged for the community arm of the local Premier League team to come into our offices and conduct health MOTs for any staff who wanted one, I didn’t sign up but the colleague who was organising the day sat opposite from me and towards the end of the day he announced that there were a few spare slots and would anyone in the office like to go down. My reaction was, “why not, what’s the worst that can happen?”. The results shocked me and gave me the wake up call I needed, no more excuses. I started running again two days later and since then it has grown into a real passion and it has genuinely changed my life.
Running has helped me to lose three stone in weight, I have drastically reduced my levels of body fat and my metabolic age is now lower than my actual age. Through running I have also improved my mental health, I still have my moments but I know that running gives me a release and that is a powerful thing when it feels like everything is getting on top of you and let’s be honest here, every parent has those moments, some of us more frequently than others.
In the two years since I really got into running I have taken some big steps and achieved things I never thought I was capable of. There are many things I am proud of including running a sub 6 minute mile, taking part in a half marathon 10 years after my first attempt which was a complete disaster and put me off running for a long time and in October last year I complete my first marathon in York. The feeling of crossing that finishing line will stay with me for a long time, I honestly have tears in my eyes now as I am typing this and thinking back to that day. Not only was it a huge accomplishment both physically and mentally but in completing the marathon I helped to raise over £1200 for charity. One of my two chosen charities was Macmillan Cancer Support. In 2012 I was diagnosed with testicular cancer, I caught it early and after five years of surveillance I was discharged last year, an achievement in itself.
As a parent I hope that my running inspires by children to be active and healthy in their lifestyles. My son Isaac is 7 and already swims better and further than me as well as playing football, my daughter Hattie is 4, she also swims and goes to a weekly gymnastics class, so the seed that I have planted is slowly growing. Both of my children have taken an interest in my running, they always ask me how far I have run when I come in from training and I regularly get high fives, Hattie also thinks I should get medals for particularly long training runs! What I love most of all though is when they come along to support me at races, I think it is a great environment for them to be in. They cheer for everyone, not just me, and hopefully by seeing the determination and effort of all the other runners they will realise that success is a personal thing. It isn’t easy and it isn’t about coming first, it is about taking a few knocks, going through some pain and being the best you can be.
You can follow me on Twitter: @stu6wright
You can read my blog at: marathonbore.wordpress.com