I actually wrote this post yesterday and didn’t have the guts ( apt choice of words as I actually have an abundance of gut ) to publish it. BUT today is a new start, and if I can’t face the facts then I’ve already lost. So here you go.
I’m embarrassed and to a certain extent feeling a little fraudulent.
Over the past 18 months or so I’ve received many messages from people saying that I inspire them. My book has nudged / helped / given people the confidence to go out and change their lives, enter a triathlon, lose weight, or even finish their first Ironman. And no one is more happy for them than me, it makes me feel very proud that I’ve had a very small part to play in their success. So why does this pain me so much tonight?
Today I met with my new coach, he’s one of the UK’s top trainers, and he has a very exclusive set of clients : 3 pro boxers, 3 celebs and me. Why me? Well he just so happened to see a local news report about me before I took part in Ironman Lanzarote and got in touch. He obviously knew I was carrying too much weight, but he sensed my desire and determination to better myself. As he put it, everything I’d achieved had been with my heart, not my head. He said that if half the people he trained had my attitude they would be world class. Getting the attitude is difficult, having someone do the science and the planning is fine but without the right attitude you’ll fail. Combining Kevs training knowledge with nutrition and physio, I’d have the complete package.
I would have been nuts to turn that down. To show how keen they were, Kevin and his companies PR man flew out to Lanzarote the night before the race just to watch me and flew home the next day. We agreed not to start working together until after the Outlaw, but we’ve stayed in touch in the meantime.
I saw the physio ( works for an english professional football club ) on Thursday and had a very thorough assessment. Every bone, every joint and several muscles that I didn’t know existed were tested, prodded and poked. Several thing emerged, some of which I always knew. I have both patella tendonitis and achilles tendonitis in my left leg. The patella is causing the achilles problems. I also have a weak core and glutes. All of these things can be redressed with the correct exercises. The physio sent Kevin a detailed report and we discussed that at our meeting this morning, devising a routine that would correct my weaknesses and strengthen my legs and core.
All sounds great doesn’t it, so why the embarrassment and feelings of being a fraud?
Well because I had a full body assessment and had to be weighed. I hate being weighed, my issues on the matter are well documented. Anyways to cut a long story short I tipped the scales at 17 stones 2 lbs ( 240 lbs or 109 kilos ). The heaviest I’d been for years, certainly the heaviest I’d been since I started triathlon. I’m shamefully embarrassed by that. It’s not where I want to be, I’m not who I perceive myself to be BUT as the saying goes “You become what you eat.”
So why do I feel like a fraud? Well because I’ve inspired people to lose weight and change their lives whilst I’ve been piling on weight. Now I see my book more as a story, a journey, I don’t actually think I’m preachy in it about weight loss. In fact I say that I know I’m never going to be a racing snake. It wasn’t like I claimed to have the magic answer and that was what I was selling. BUT I still feel like I’ve let people down. And if you feel that way then I’m sincerely sorry.
My life, my story continues obviously, there are ups and there are downs. This is about as low as I want to get, and I’m damn sure it won’t last.
Kevin has started me on a six week fat loss programme that will radically change the way that I eat ( I will post more on this soon ) and he thinks that he can strip the fat whilst maintaining my power, and actually strengthening my body. I am so excited about this, I want to be the best that I can possibly be.
This morning when I expressed my dismay Kevins answer was a simple one, and a very positive one.
“Think of what you have achieved this summer, two Ironman finishes, six weeks apart. Most human beings wouldn’t be able to run a mile weighing what you do. You are remarkable, the engine is finely tuned, imagine what you are capable of when we fine tune and repair the body work.”
Tomorrow sees me taking a different path, one that will lead me to achieve everything I’ve ever wanted to do in Triathlon and Ironman. No more excuses, it’s going to be fun, it’s going to be hard but it’s going to be rewarding.
I will take my inspiration from everyone that has got in touch, I won’t let them or myself down again.
I’m an Ironman not a fat man.