2 Year Runniversary!

It did strike me at the time that there was a certain irony in starting my fitness journey on April Fool's day, but to everyone's surprise, my own most of all, I actually stuck with it and it actually worked.

Given the elastic nature of time it seems like only yesterday I set out on W1R1, and yet I can't believe its only been 2 years. My life and body and mind have all changed so much in that time.

Those first few runs I had to wear a backpack with my ipad in it because I didn't have a phone or MP3 player. I literally fell on the floor after the 3rd 60 second interval. I am sure I was sick at least once during W1. Until W3 I ran in secret, not even my wife and kids knew what I was up to, so uncertain was I that I would be able to stick with it. I can clearly recall the first time I ran for 5 minutes unbroken it felt so surreal I thought I was having a flashback. Prior to that I had never run for 5 minutes continuously... well possibly in my life, as I had health problems as a child that prevented me from running even then. Living on a couple of bottles of wine a day (conservatively) and whole lobes of foie gras for the following 30 years meant that at 46 I really did not imagine ever being even halfway fit again. It also led my to have the minor stroke that provided the impetus to finally do something about it.

Even while I was doing C25k I did not really think I would reach graduation. I had in mind that I might get to being able to run for 10 minutes and would then stick at that. 10 minutes was the loftiest goal I could imagine. And then I got past the 10 minute mark. And then the fabled W5R3!!! 20 minutes!!! and on to graduation. Somewhere along the line I guess I got the bug. With each run ticked off I realised that I could do a little more. That with hard work, consistency and a sensible progression plan, it is possible to achieve whatever you want, however impossible it seems at the outset.

2 years later, I have run more than 50 races, on road, cross-country and particularly Obstacle races, up to distances of 30 miles. I have lost 2 stone in scale weight and my body fat ratio has gone from 28% to 12. Much more importantly, my confidence, self-belief and enthusiasm for life have sky-rocketed. The realisation that I could achieve a goal led me to set more goals and achieve them too. Far from 'never being satisfied with my achievements', it has taught me to love and thrive on the process. The goals themselves are a pleasant byproduct, it is the doing it that counts. Running led me to an appreciation and enjoyment of all the things my body can do, and the importance of keeping it in good order. I have become keenly interested in nutrition, I lift weights, do gymnastics, yoga... there are so many fun things to try. There are so many things that I had written off from childhood that I would never be capable of that I have mastered or am working on. I have done my first handstand and have a goal of walking on my hands; I have learned to skip and am working on double-unders; I am working on learning to swim properly rather than my lifeong panicked flail to the shallow end. I can get up off the floor without using my hands where two years ago I couldnt get up the stairs without holding onto the banister.

And I am having so much fun doing it, and have made so many new friends along the way, at gyms, at races, on here... and friends who have a positive influence on my life.

All in all I am in a much better place than I was 2 years ago, and have a much healthier outlook on the future. Old and ugly are inevitabilities that are beyond my control, but fat and weak are no longer on the agenda.

So, thank you Laura for C25k, despite your horrendous music, and thank you to all of you on here for all the support and inspiration. I quite literally would not have made it this far without you.


Featured Content

Join the NHS Couch to 5K community

Couch to 5K has been designed to get you off the couch and running 5km in just 9 weeks

Start today!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

48 Replies

  • Happy runniversary Rig:)  that is one amazing journey and very inspiring :)  

  • Wow, what an inspiring post. Thanks for sharing your story, Rignold. Given the high esteem you're held in and all your knowledge and experience (and your crazy Crossfit enthusiasm) I thought you would have been doing this for a lot longer than 2 years.

  • Blimey that's quite a tale fella.

    It's good on you for making the changes to your lifestyle that mean you will enjoy your life so much more.


  • Wow Rig only 2 years?  I honestly thought it was way longer.

    You are a true example of what can be achieved through determination effort and a touch of craziness (tree falling & shorts splitting aside......)

    Happy runniversary Rig. Here's to many more xxx

  • Buddy !!! thank you so much for sharing your story, I have learnt that through our stories and the identification it gives others we can positively affect our own journey and the journey of our fellow travellers. Yours is an amazing story of transformation and growth ( mentally and physically ) and one I hope top replicate in my own life

    Rig thanks again


  • Inspiring stuff,  you have come so far. It is amazing how one small thing (starting running) can lead to so many other changes in your life, hope I can achieve similar improvements, I am still at the "running continuously for 12 mins but can't believe I'll ever be able to do 20!" stage.  Already finding I am thinking about nutrition more and considering what to eat to help me run, addictive stuff this running lark!

  • Rig, let's campaign to get you on The One Show, or Jonathan Ross, or that camp Irish bloke so you can Inspire The Nation. You and ju-ju- should be convincing enough.

  • What a great story! Because of the brilliant advice, inspiration and great humour you share with us, I've never thought of you as a "beginner" (just a crazy fitness freak) and didn't consider that you also had your own issues and hurdles to over-come.  

    This post has got to make us all wonder what we could achieve in two years time. 

    Utmost respect to you.

  • You're a nutter, Rig, but we love you.  Happy runniversary!

  • From novice to guru in only two years!  You are one of the big boys that we lesser mortals look up to and it is amazing that you have achieved so much in such a short time, against such odds. Thank you for sharing your incredible, funny, uplifting story of your journey thus far and long may you continue to enlighten, inspire and entertain us! 

  • Happy anniversary Rig.  Two years to go from foie gras and lifting wine bottles to meals of kale and leaping up mountains.  What a ride.  Please keep posting good Spartan, you're an inspiration to all of us.

  • Fantastic post, Rig, just fantastic. What an amazing difference you've made to your life in the last 2 years. You are indeed an inspiration -a crazy, improbably fit, cross-fit-fanatical, take-it-to-the-limit sort of inspiration, but most definitely an inspiration! 

    I remember your first race and also your impressive array of tablecloths when you posted pictures of your medals. Can't believe it's only been 2 years. Long may your kettle bells swing, your trainers hit the trails and your squats impress a grateful nation. Move over Laura and make room for Rig, c25k King for the day 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

  • ...and you wonder why you unnerve me ( past posts) ? What an incredibly awesome and amazing journey... and you are still on it.

    Inspirational?  The word is inadequate. Thank you. 

  • Ooh I never knew! You started just before me! A HOAR in Miles Yonders words...A Hell Of A Ride! Happy Runniversary Rig xx

  • Congratulations on your runniversary. What an amazing story. Well done to you!

  • Great post Rig... here's to the rest of your life running and keeping fit !! :-)

  • I love this post as it shows how much you've changed your life and you're clearly loving the transformation. Your grit and determination shine through all your exploits and I love reading about them. You are a fabulous role model here and this forum just wouldn't be the same without you.

    Happy Runniversary Rig. May you have many, many more. x

  • Congratulations. An amazing turnaround in your life. I'm sure you've made your family so proud and been such a positive influence on them too. Wishing you many more years of happy healthy running ☺

    Ps Yesterday I saw a man running with a rather large tyre over his shoulder on the man road into Nottingham City centre. Two years ago I'd have wondered what on earth he was up to but yesterday I smiled to myself, sent him psychic good vibes and thought of you!

  • Congratulations Rig! Happy Anniversary indeed!  You are a prime example of what can be achieved if only you GO FOR IT!  It's great fun though isn't it!  You feel glad to be alive. High on life!  Yeah baby!  I'm dancing like Eric Morecambe, kicking my heels together. A dance of joy!  

    Here's to another year of fun and frolics x

  • Aw Rig , what an amazing post ! You are such a legend on here .

    You uproot trees with your bare hands, wear tyres as necklaces, chomp on iron bars for your lunch and you have got an amazing collection of tablecloths !

    What a star ! Thank YOU for playing such  a fantastic part to make this forum the  amazing  place it is .

    You have made us laugh so much .Weve  cringed  at your injuries and  winced at the crossfit videos you've  posted , what a brilliant journey you have had and you look damn good in a skirt !

    Youre as mad as a box of frogs Rig, but we love you to bits !!

    Happy 2nd Runniversary to you , and heres to many more ! :-)

    Youre the Man ! :-) xxx

  • Wow! I too thought you had been 'at it' far longer! That is amazing, in two years! Happy runniversary🙂!

  • As one of my heroes on this forum I thought you were a kind of "founding father" and were so fit because you've been doing this for ever. To discover you've only been at it for 2 years was astounding - I am in awe! And what a story before you started on this fitness lark. Does your wife still recognize you? Could it be that whatever you do you always give 100%? 

    A great inspiration and I'm sure you've got many of us thinking and revising our goals! That cross fit stuff is still crazy though!

  • Amazing post from an amazing poster. You've come so far in such a short time, it's incredible. I'd like to see your story added to the ones on the livewell c25k introduction page. You'd insire anyone to take it up.

  • Oh.  I was hoping wine and foie gras were still allowed. Boo hissssss.  (amazing post - very inspirational stuff and just what i needed to hear today!). Another amazing person on this forum :-)

  • What an inspiration you are, well done. I haven't been so hooked as you, but I started only a few weeks after you, graduated, ran for a bit, then didn't run at all, and now I'm back at it. Still don't think I'm hooked, but to come back on here and see you were powering ahead has kept me going. Just getting out 3 times a week has been difficult and I'm only just back at it this morning after another 3 weeks off. It is people like you who have made me keep coming back to it and keep trying, because it shows what can be done. Thanks again, you are amazing!

  • incredible journey, you the man!

  • Aw that's great! I'm already finding I want to try other things too. Good to hear it can continue and it's good to read about your experience. Sounds like this really did change your life :)

  • Wow Rignold. Thats a fantastic story. I actually got a prickle in my neck reading about your journey.

    You have definately turned your life around and are reaping the benefits. Good old Laura indeed.

    We are all very proud of you on this forum


  • Happy runniversary Rig!

    This is one of the best posts I've read on this forum since I joined it.

  • damn, I just wrote that! So much for originality 😣

  • Great minds think alike. :D

    Or more simply, it is just a prove that Rig's post really is one of the best written here. ;)

  • Well, I just love , love , loved reading that post.... It was like a confession ! Who knew, only 2 years Rig?? You are flippin awesome... Give yourself a pat on the back - a great achievement  and a marvellous read  👏🙌🏻🎂☀️

  • Happy runniversary Rig! Hard to believe that it's only been 2 years.

    You always bring straight talking and wise counsel to the forum. Long may you keep running.

  • Congratulations to you and thank you for sharing your journey.  This type of post, like many others on here, make me think that Laura should receive an OBE. She has made a huge difference to so many lives and must have saved the NHS thousands!

  • Congrats on your achievements, and I may refer to this post in the dark times of weeks 6, 7, 8 & 9 to motivate me to keep going!

  • Best post I've read so far on here. And that's saying something! Px

  • That was nothing short of inspirational Rig, I will remember that post. I was motivated/scared into doing something about my own health and fitness when my mum had a massive life-altering stroke last year at the age of 57, I'm not going down that road.

    Edited to say "happy anniversary!"

  • What an amazing journey.  Am jealous of your obstacle courses, and that's an aim of mine. Finally got my ass to the gym and a fitness program to address strength.

  • Wow, what a truly epic post. And wonderfully written as well - a skill and art that often goes overlooked.   Hugely enjoyable to read :-)

    Along with many others, I assumed you'd been at this for a lot longer than 2 years. I've been on my own journey in the last 2 years, nowhere near as dramatic as yours but somewhat life changing and C25K has been central to that in the last 12 months.

    I could go on but there's something I need to do....

    *goes to Rig's profile and looks up previous posts*

    Have a great weekend and thanks again for this. It should be pinned, printed, framed, posted, bookmarked, 'favourited' (it can't really be verb can it?), put on a scoll, sent to space, stored in a Doomsday cannister for future generations... You get the picture.

    You should take a little pride in how much you've affected others, going on the posts above and how many have referenced your previous ones - that's some effect you've had.



  • Well done Rignold!50 races??!! And to think it all started with those 60 second run! Fantastic achievements all round, look forward to reading all about your next adventures, and punishing exercise regimes! You have motivated me to start squats and planks!😊

  • Wow!!! Happy runniversary!!! That's a very inspiring post Mr Rignold!! Fantastic. Amazing what running can do. Thanks for sharing xx 

  • And think what you've done for the wellbeing of geese!

    I note you don't mention the falling out of a tree, the split shorts and, best of all the evident addition of rat pee to your diet at some point...

    I am secretly so chuffed that I managed one more of the runs than you at my first attempt... didn't know I was competitive like that! But doesn't this prove that what matters is just showing up time after time? It is a terrifying, exhilarating thought that we have these people inside us just waiting to be released and blossom.

    Happy Runniversary Rignold - thank you for continuing to be such an encouragement and inspiration.

  • Lol I notice a few of us have referred to the tree falling & short splitting escapades. Obviously stand out moments for us all!!! 😆

  • Wow, wow wow wow. Your story is amazing. Now that is something.   happy runniversary. 

  • Happy runniversary . A true inspiration. Please keep posting. 

  • Happy runniversary, Rig, and may there be many more of them.  You are an inspiration :)

  • What an inspirational post. Thank you! 😀

  • Great post, and like many others I am surprised at how recently you started. It's both encouraging, humbling and slightly intimidating - everyone's journey is unique, sure, but wow have you come far!

    Congratulations, sincerely, and keep up the tough love! :-).

You may also like...