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Juicing has changed my life and health beyond recognition. Before I started the journey to regain my health in 2009 I was severely obese, taking multiple prescription medications and getting out of breath doing simple day to day things like running a bath for my children.

Natural Juice Junkie - Cheltenham Triathlon Swim

I write this post not to brag about my achievements, but rather to show that we are all capable of controlling our own health and pushing ourselves beyond our own expectations.

I was the most unlikely person ANYONE would’ve expected to get fit and healthy and everyday I wake up grateful for the moment when I decided to take responsibility for my own health.

For the first couple of years of my journey I only did minimal exercise, but as time went on I needed to find ways to burn off my excess energy and in June 2012 I started running, despite the fact that I always HATED running (or at least that is what I believed for most of my life).

September 2012 saw me run my first race since I left school some 21 years earlier.

I remember thinking back on the day of that first race and questioning if I’d really hated running or not.

As a small child I was always outdoors, playing. My memory of this time is not filled with slow walking, but moving as fast as I could. I was chasing life in the way so many small kids do, hungry to get big and to be able to do the things bigger kids (like my older brother) were allowed to do.

Natural Juice Junkie - Cheltenham Triathlon Bike Transition

I think my hatred of running actually came from school and was not so much a hatred of running, but of failure. What I always hated was coming last, not being celebrated and watching other kids basically be told they were better than me.

A sense of failure is hard for many of us to accept at any age and for me that feeling of ‘being crap’ is one I long associated with sports of almost every kind.

Whilst training for that first race something I hated has became something I love.

The initial training was hard going and there was as much walking as running, but determination and perseverance paid off and I quickly found that running let me switch off from the stresses and pressures of the life associated with being a working father, with a mortgage, bills etc and temporarily reconnect with my infant self. As an infant I didn’t have anything to worry about and when I ran as an infant it wasn’t exercise it was fun.

The competition of school took the fun away from sports for me, but in 2012 I found a feeling that had been hiding from me for 30 something years. Running once again was not about exercise, it was about fun, relaxation and time for self reflection.

Running became addictive, almost like meditation and somewhere I could find peace, whilst also pushing myself to see what my body is capable of.

Feeding My New Addiction

I completed a few races in 2012 which lead me to up the ante, setting myself the challenge of completing 2013 self-powered miles in 2013 including completing at least one race each month.

It was in 2013 that I completed my first half marathon and then my first full 26.2 mile marathon, something I’d always believed I was incapable of doing.

My 2013 mile challenge was completed in early December 2013 and it was time to set new challenges.

5 Health Goals for 2014

This year I decided to up the ante again. The more I push my body, the more I discover just how much we are all capable of with the right motivation and mindset.

My 2014 goals were:

  • Complete the Virgin London Marathon
  • Complete my first ultra marathon
  • Complete my first triathlon
  • Practice yoga
  • Become a No Meat Athlete
No Meat Athlete Training Roadmaps

I’ve used the No Meat Athlete Roadmaps for my training. Click here to learn more.

I’m ahead of schedule again. My 2014 goals are done as today I ticked the last thing off the list when I completed my first triathlon.

It still amazes me that I’ve gone from being unable to be active with family to completing events that I would’ve considered “impossible” just a few short years ago. In fact, until 2012 I didn’t even know ultra marathons existed and when I heard of them I thought only crazy people would ever attempt them!

From fat boy to athlete. I never saw that coming and I never thought the words, ultra marathon runner, athlete or triathlete would ever be associated with my name.

We are all capable of so much more than we are conditioned to believe – we just need to decide what we want to achieve and commit to the outcome. When we are committed and don’t allow ourselves to make excuses we can achieve the “impossible”.

Natural Juice Junkie - Cheltenham Triathlon Run Finish

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