I love exercise!

There, I said it. 

No I'm not mad (at least I don't think I am), but I do enjoy the rush of endorphins from a good session, they're a great fix and one that I'm in no hurry to give up on.

I have a history of exercising, though oddly I used to skive PE lessons at school. As a kid I was part of a local athletics club and focused on the High Jump which I really enjoyed. I also had the pleasure of representing the athletics club at two separate meets, one at Aldershot and one at Crystal Palace, where at the age of 15 I jumped my own height. I also used to run quite a bit.

Once I left home at 17 exercise took a back seat (though I remained very active and regularly cycled to work & college) and I didn't really exercise intentionally again until my late 30s when I took up Mountain Biking. 

Like most things I do, I took this to silly levels and in 2009 completed the Cape Epic finishing in the top half with my team mate. As part of this journey I also started Road Riding and took part in many local races, my favourite being the Double Century, a 205km road race which I rode as part of a team. We finished this race in 7:47 which I'm proud of to this day.

Sadly I gave up cycling after a few close calls with cars and got to the point where I wanted to be alive to see my sons grow up rather than die under the wheel of a moron not paying attention. One very close call with a young woman on her cell phone really killed things for me! Please don't use your phone whilst driving.

For my 30th birthday my amazing wife bought me a unicycle, but it wasn't until 1999 at Bible College that I finally learnt to ride it. I messed about on it on and off, then had the joy of teaching my youngest to ride when he was six. Over time I got a few larger wheeled unicycles and today I have a collection of seven ranging from 20" wheels up to a monster 36" wheel. But unicycling was to remain a fun activity rather than an intentional piece of exercise for a while longer.

By 2018 I had become a couch-potato and had packed on a lot of weight! I stopped weighing myself when I hit 105kgs but I know I got bigger than that. Along with the weight I was having some health issues; my cholesterol was way too high, my BP was raised, I was getting out of breath far too easily and there were a few other red flags waving.

So over the Christmas & New Year of 2018-19 I decided to get back to regular exercise. But what to do???  Cycling was a non-starter, the gym was too boring, I hate swimming and my knees (at that time) weren't keen on running. I then thought I'd give boxing a go and I've never looked back. I've posted on this before here, here & here, so I won't go massively in to it, other than to say my health is transformed. Today I'm just under 88kgs (13.8stone), have none of the previous health issues and I feel really good!

Then in in 2020 as the world shutdown for Covid, disaster struck for me. I had got back in to running and had just cracked a 25 minute 5k run so was feeling really good, but then I herniated a disc in my spine. I had to stop running and with the hernia appearing not to heal I went for an MRI scan, which sadly told me the disc had actually collapsed. The Orthopedic Surgeon was very keen to schedule me in for an op to sort it out but I was not keen, especially once I learnt that the success rate of the op' is only 40%. At the time the Surgeon also gave me the option of some intensive core exercising. This would then engage my core muscles and they would begin to do what they should have been doing all along and take the stress off my spine. As the Surgeon was speaking, I knew that I had to take my unicycling to another level.

And so, along with boxing 4 times a week I now regularly unicycle at least 10ks once or twice a week. The difference this has made to my core is incredible, and today in the boxing gym even the youngsters struggle to keep up with me when we're doing abs & core exercises.

So there it is, I turn 56 later this year and I'm as fit and strong as I've ever been and I'm a whole lot fitter than probably 99% of men my age, but it takes a lot of hard work to get there. I do not have a beer gut and will resist having one for as long as I can, and on that note, I also stopped drinking 3 months ago. Whilst alcohol was not a problem, it's been good to stop and enjoy the benefits of not having a drink! Maybe I will have a cold beer again one day, but for now I'm quite happy without one and I'm loving being fit & healthy.

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This post is part of a series in the Blogging From A To Z Challenge, April 2022.

4 comments:

  1. Wow u r inspiring! I also keep a tracker for my workout on my Samsung app to which my smartwatch is connected! Covid spoiled all my zeal .I am trying to get back. I do yoga and walk but I need to rectify my diet a lot. some how my weight is stagnant doesn't seem to come down (hav some health issues too) : ( anyhow i wish this year to be better for me
    Kudos on u.... Stay fit and healthy




    Dropping by from a to z "The Pensive"

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  2. Wow this is inspiring on so many levels. I am at my personal max weight now, 4 kgs more than my ideal weight but then I was always an underweight person. I have avoided fitness routine since my pregnancy 3 years ago. Gotta get back on track. Will revisit this post when I feel like not doing it!

    Dropping by via A-Z challenge from momandideas.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. good for you. The Unicycle seems like quite a challenge - impressive. Being fit is important at all ages.
    Xanthic

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