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...