3 months on from graduation. A tale of the unexpected

3 months on from graduation. A tale of the unexpected

It is almost three months to the day that I graduated from this plan. I started, like most of you, just to get some exercise and get fit.

Eight years ago I gave up smoking when my daughter started to mimic me by pretending to roll and smoke a cigarette. What role model was I? I stubbed mine out and haven't touched one since. However, apart from this one positive change I had done nothing.

Last year though, a colleague invited me to play badminton after work. Great I thought, I used to love that. After about 20 minutes red-faced and ready to throw-up I looked at my colleague, ten years my senior hadn't even broken a sweat. A wake-up call for me, but what to do? I didn't want to be a gym bunny. So I was elated when I found out about lean in 15. Three months of HIIT training did leave me slimmer and leaner, but it was hard training and I needed a change. A quick search of the internet, and I found C25K. A 30 minute plan for 9 week seemed manageable.

I loved the plan from day one. I printed the whole 9 weeks out, pinned it on the fridge and crossed off as I went. It makes me smile to remember as so many of you seem to hate the thought of knowing what is ahead. personally, I'd hate to walk into the unknown. Besides I loved looking at that plan with a sense of "wow, I'll be able to do that by W5, and I can't wait till W7 when I can do that."

Anyway, graduation came and went. And a strange thing happened... I kept running. Yep, barring a couple of injuries I got up and ran 3 times a week; twice in that week, up at 5.20am to run before work. Nothing else ever got me up that early (apart from when my kids were babies). Some mornings were easier than others admittedly, but the outcome the same. For the rest of the day after a run I felt bullet-proof. Able to handle all that came my way.

Park run soon followed. I was reluctant to start, feeling that I was a lone runner, but my wife and kids came to support me and I was hooked. Then something even more amazing happened. My 10 year-old daughter; my shy, anxious socially awkward daughter. Asked "Can I run with you next week dad?"

She ran halfway round that first week (met her mum at the turnaround point). The following week, her younger more confident, sister joined us for halfway. My 10 year-old decided this time she would run the whole 5k. She came in at 30:56.

We soon found a junior park run a couple of towns away. They both run there when we can. The only proviso being that it is they who choose whether to go - which so far they always have. Their times are good. My eldest has even won one. But whilst that's nice, it's not important. What's important is that by changing my lifestyle, and finding something I love, my kids have discovered something they love. They have copied me, and this time I am immensely proud. I have seen their confidence grow and what's more, I am no longer a lone runner, we are a family of runners - all we have to do now is convince their mum...


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49 Replies

  • This is a great story - thanks for sharing and well done to all! :)

  • Thank you. They want to do a colour run next!!

  • Great post, I'm glad your daughters joined you, my youngest daughter is nearly 19, shy when it comes to body image but outgoing in just about every other way, she's just started Uni and I think she may in the next few months possibly start C25K.

  • That's brilliant. It will help her body confidence and getting to run together will be amazing.

  • This is beautiful. My goodness, what positive changes, and the fact that your positive changes have influenced your children makes you a fantastic parent! You should be super proud of yourself. Thank you for posting such an inspirational story. Good work!

  • Thank you. It has cost me a fortune in the sports shop - their trainers are better than mine - but totally worth it!

  • Great post, when my two children were that age they were in an athletic club, my late wife was a coach and officiated at those meetings, I went along as a spectator, my happiest memory was my daughter, she was about 10 at that time coming in second in a 5k race, not sure what her time was but as you say the time isn't all that important, it's getting yourself out of the couch and getting fit and healthy.

  • What an inspiring post. Thank you for sharing

  • Thank you. They have inspired me. I wish I had found this plan sooner!

  • Oh my gosh, I nearly cried. You've introduced and inspired your kids so young to something so joyous - and you get this quality time with them! - which will serve them forever. So beautiful!

  • Thank you. I did it so I could be fitter and be more active with them, when on the beach, in the garden or the park. I never thought that they might want to run with me as well. An amazing side effect I never imagined.

  • Just brilliant Whatsapp😊..you are indeed a great role model...

    Start showing your wife some of the posts on here...once she realises how many of us have taken up running and are lovin' it..she might just have a go 😉

  • Might just do that Jan-now-runs. She was quite impressed by the running clothes, when we went to get the girls their trainers, so who knows; and she comes along to park runs for support, so maybe the colder weather might encourage her to warm up with a nice run, perhaps!

  • Ha, and you can remind her to go nice and slow and steady 😉x

  • Ha ha, it would be my duty as a graduate!

  • No words ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • Thank you. Enjoy your graduation run. Looking forward to seeing you with a badge soon

  • What a lovely post!!

  • Thank you

  • Brilliant! I'd love my "children" ( 23 and 19 years old!!) to want to run with me - maybe one day...Well done all of you!!

  • Sounds like they could be getting running trainers for Christmas then 👟👟

  • Great post... :) Thank you for posting this.. time to gent Mum involved indeed..

    "The Family that Run together..have Fun together ?"

  • Brilliant. I always thought I was a lone runner. But running with my girls is the best feeling.

  • I love this post, knowing that the power of exercise will do so much for your kids.

    You have indeed set a brilliant example, as for the other half........I said nothing to my wife after she said, "You won't get me running. I always hated running." She now runs, to my great joy.

    Keep running, keep smiling.

  • It's funny when they elected to run I was worried about them. During the run, I kept checking in that they were okay. They had no worries. I don't think running gremlins exist in the minds of children. We could learn a lot from them. Just to run free, for the sheer joy of it!

  • That says it all. Run for fun. We all have to relearn it.

  • What a lovely post. Well done, you should be very proud of your kids and yourself :)

  • Thanks Helen. I am very proud of them. We've been looking round senior schools this last couple of weeks. When asked by the guide what would we like to see, my daughter always asks to see the running track

  • My boy- 25 in China- has started going to the gym after no exercise since school, inspired (he says) by his old mum running :)

    Makes me happy - just wish I did it sooner :)

  • I know what you mean. I wonder how quick I could've run if I'd done this in my twenties. But I think we all come to find running at the right time for us. I think I wouldn't have had the focus or discipline for it in my twenties.

    Well done for inspiring your son. It is an amazing by product of this that it can inspire others.

    I remember someone posting on here saying that someone came up to them at a park run and said they had been inspired to give it a go after seeing them (the poster) running past their house every other day.

  • I keep hoping I will inspire my kids as well. Today my four year old just looked at me after the run and said, "Mum, your whole face is purple." Sigh. I don't think they will want to emulate that.

    Extremely well done though -- 1. the smoking -- so TOUGH; 2. the getting fit -- so easy to weasel out of. Your kids are right to be proud of their dad.

  • Try a junior park run. It is 2k. They will love it. Purple faced or not

  • No park runs in our area. My daughter is also like me and hates crowds.

  • Aww, tell them it's a magic trick! Or just tell them "yes but I have so much fun running, who cares!" :D

  • I love this post. Amazing to be such a great role model for your children. Enjoy running with your family 😀

  • Thank you. I guess they saw how much fun it looked. The first week they played in the playground. It takes a lot to get them away from the playground normally.

  • Come on mum u can do this too 😀 The thought is worse than than the actual running . Think of the fun u can have on race days ( also burns stress , when the kiddies r hubby r driving u crackers 😂) go for it x

  • Mum is brilliant. She is always there to support and cheer during, and with water bottles at the end. She always drives too. Shes very much a part of the team, just not the running bit.

  • Fantastic post ! What a great example to your children. As a 42 year old mum who only started this plan in April this year, I can highly recommend it. My 12 year old son did run a 5k colour run with me in July and loved it.

  • Yes it took me by surprise as well. It was only supposed to be for the duration of the plan as a change from my normal routine. But I never stopped. Still, there are runs where I question 'why' exactly, but the feeling soon passes.

    Its good that you run with your son, too. It's nice that we can do something so simple with our kids and get so much from it.

  • It was because of him I started. I wanted him to see me achieve something I knew he would be impressed with (he is very sporty!).

    In April I couldn't run to the end of our estate (about a 1/4 of a mile). In 3 weeks time I will run my 2nd 10k. I feel I have proved my point !!!!

  • Brilliant EleanorL . Your son inspired you. Its amazing with kids, there no fussing and worrying, they just get their trainers on and go.

    Well done for getting to 10k as well.

  • Wow - this is so great - I know my kids have gained so much in the way of confidence from their various sports over the years. Now I'm the mum that has finally been persuaded to join them and their dad rather than being the one watching and cheering.

  • Brilliant story. Huge WELL DONE. Very inspiring xx

  • Brilliant post, thank you for sharing your experience with us.

    All I can say is ... 'come on Mum, you can do it!'

    Good luck and happy running!

  • Brilliant....what a great story!

  • Fab! What a great role model you've become, well done.

  • Fab! What a great role model you've become. Well done.

  • That is great, thanks for sharing your family's running story so far - long may it continue.

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