Three times this week I’ve been referred to as an inspiration, and don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’m not partial to a compliment, after all, who isn’t? But I just can’t work out why, I, little old me, is being labelled as such.
Was it the fact I put my before (I started running) and after pictures across all of my social media platforms, or because I’d completed a 20 mile event, or maybe that I tweeted about getting a Malteaser stuck up my right nostril?
Because if you look up the word ‘inspiration’ in the dictionary, the description reads;
“Someone that people admire and want to be like” and I couldn’t help but wonder who else in their right mind would want a chocolate treat rammed into their septum?
And then I realised that Hannah mark two, Hannah the runner, Hannah who’s about to embark on running a marathon was quite a tidy person and just a mere four years ago she’s the person I wanted to be!
(Cue another epiphany)
Now, it’s inevitable that pictures of one looking like Bjork post pie party next to pictures of one looking like Bjork/Yoda sporting a healthy BMI are going to spark, who, what, where, when and even, how questions.
After all, I vividly remember Googling quick fix make-me-look-like-Britney-Spears antidotes, as I inhaled pork pies, two at a time, back in the day, and had I had a short, sharp word with my rational myself (if anyone can call someone who competes with themselves on quaffing savoury snacks, rational!) I would have forewarned me that Miss Spears worked very hard for her arse to look that good in just a diamante, sort of hosiery suit. Very hard indeed.
So, when I get asked, about a thousand times a week these days, how have I done it, how have I lost the inches and changed my life, I can only reply that it’s been a long, hard, sometimes painful journey and unfortunately that’s not the answer people are looking for.
In fact, people want me to say, ‘Oh I got this batch of weird organic supplements from someone down the pub, which I can put in my Jack Daniels on the weekend and whalla! I’m less chubby and super fit now.‘ Or, ‘you sprinkle sugar over your chips instead of salt and you lose way over a stone during the night time.‘ Or even better ‘I just woke up and boom the fat was gone!‘
So, you can imagine I’m slightly jaded by the excuses I hear day in day out about why people want to change but claim they can’t.(I have an actual inbox full of them if you’re interested?)
Anyway, when I was invited to Adam Jones’ 10 week to 10k programme as a so called ‘inspiration’ and I decided to go without preconceptions. After all, I’ve seen the excuses, heard the excuses, I’ve even ironed the bloody t-shirts of the excuses.
I know Running is hard work.
I know changing your life is hard work. And I fully know that it’s reaping the benefits of all of the above that people like/want without the necessary graft. But, What I didn’t know was that there are people out there like Adam Jones, and what I definitely didn’t know (or what I hadn’t seen for a long time) was there were people out there like Adam Jones’ clients, who are just waiting for the exact precise moment for everything to fit together in order for them to get going!
And guess what? That click happened Monday night at Adam’s week one of 10 week to 10k class.
I first came across Adam on the BBC’s programme Run for Your Life, the TV show that ran as part of the BBC’s live longer month, it was known more locally as, Alfie’s Angels. So, when I met him and his gang at a Run Wales event a few months ago I was intrigued to why he does what he does. (Which is to get inactive individuals running things like, oh I don’t know; say the world half marathon championships!)
Then I went to his class.
Adam is not only a born professional coach he’s the type of individual you’d be more than comfortable trusting with your body fat/ muscle ratio. He has a passion you can’t purchase and a cheeky glint in his eye that makes it obvious that your heart rate is going to zoom through the roof when he gets going.
The roof in question for week 1 of the 10 weeks was Rhyd-y-car leisure centre in Merthyr and the first thing I noted as I waited for Adam was the sheer amount of people that turned up for his class.
There were close on 50 individuals who had turned up on a Monday night, ready to change their lives or at least tackle a 10k, which technically is the same thing!
Having worked with Run Wales over the past few months and more recently public health with regards to get more people, more active, more often, I can’t tell you how excited I was about the numbers. I mean, Adam was potentially going to change fifty lives, and if those fifty inspired just one more person, well that’s mind blowing possibilities right?
Now, obviously I’m already at 10k fitness, mind you, the fact the trip or fall bloke thrust a card into my hand because of my marathon tapering limp, just hours before the class started, would have you thinking otherwise, but I was fairly confident I’d be able to manage what was thrown my way, but even if I wasn’t, such was the welcome and camaraderie it really didn’t matter. And the fact the numbers were so large meant one could easily blend in should one be on the less confident side!
Adam started the session by asking for commitment and by commitment he meant, turn up, try hard, and embrace what he was about to throw at us.
He said; ‘Don’t be that person to drop out.‘ And I can’t speak for anyone else but it was a statement that really struck a chord with me and made me even more determined to see the programme through.
And then we got going. And it was one of the best hours of my life!
OK, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it was a brilliant, beneficial session and the phrase ‘I wish I’d had this when I started out’ kept whizzing around my brain because I had started, a lone wolf, well, more like a lone, overweight retriever, in the dead of night in a balaclava, and it had been scary and hard but this, this was fun.
It got me thinking I wish everyone knew that it could be this fun.
I wish people knew that just an hour a week of your time could result in something truly amazing. Especially an hour of your time with like minded people! I wish everyone knew that, despite the graft, the aches, the tiredness, running can change your life, your shape, your everything!
So, in the words of someone random on Pinterest; ‘The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are!’ As soon as you’re comfortable with this notion, go and get yourself a decent pair of trainers, find a group, a PT, hell, find a friend that also wants to change their life, or contact Adam about his future projects!
And remember; it doesn’t get easier, you just get stronger…and fitter, and lighter, and more friends, etc. etc. etc…
For information about Adam’s classes or PT availability email email@example.com or have a browse on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JWPtraining/?fref=ts and for any tips or general nonsense don’t forget to tweet me @hannah3phillips