We are pleased to highlight one of our FITIV users: Paul Widdicombe!
FITIV Pulse has an amazing group of users who are getting fit and achieving athletic goals every day. Are you looking for information, inspiration or advice? Check out the new FITIV User Spotlight blog posts here at the FITIV Blog!
We are starting today with Paul Widdicombe, a FITIV User who took charge of his life and made fitness a priority. Learn more about when he decided to make a change, how he took charge of his life, and how he thinks you should get started following in his footsteps.
What successes have you experienced in your fitness journey?
My greatest success is the maintenance of daily strenuous exercise and being passionate about prioritizing this as not negotiable. In terms of achievements, I have run 21 half marathons and managed a PB [personal best] of 1 hour 53 minutes.
Have you experienced any setbacks? How did you overcome them?
My main setback has been a recurring left hip strain injury from running. Initially after several attempts to continue running, I was advised to rest which left me frustrated as my daily running routine was something I relied on for physical and mental well being. The silver lining was that it lead me to take up swimming and cycling which are now part of my routine. I now cycle and swim on alternate days and cycle and run on the other days. This prevents me developing muscle fatigue from over running which has helped prevent the hip strain from flaring.
Do you have any advice for people just getting started with fitness?
I think the greatest, single ingredient to achieving fitness success is having the determination to stick it out in the early stages. This is the most difficult time, as it is all effort with very little return. It takes a disciplined routine for at least 4 weeks before the benefits of feeling fitter, losing weight and actually enjoying the training begin. In my case, what triggered me to take up a routine of strenuous workouts, was a nasty wake up call.
I was running late for a meeting as I had misjudged a train timetable. Back then at the age of 54, I was overweight – 94 kilos, ate what I liked and did no exercise. Foolishly I tried to run to the train station and after about 300 metres nearly collapsed. I was pale, nauseated and very short of breath. Needless to say I missed the train.
This experience was a shock to me and made me seriously contemplate my unhealthy state. At around the same time I had bought my first iPhone and had downloaded a fitness app called Pedometer. I decided I would start doing daily walks with my dog at a local park. The fitness app gave me the incentive to compete with myself as the stats were targets I could aim for. I persevered and within 6 weeks was walking a brisk 10 km per day. I was losing weight, feeling better and had more energy. After two months I had to stop taking the dog as the vet advised he was too old and had arthritis in his back legs. This freed me up to mix in a little running, though the initial efforts were a big struggle. I was only able to manage about 200 metres at a time. But I persevered and within a few weeks managed to run my first 10 kms.
Within 6 months I ran my first half marathon and after that there was no looking back. The weight kept shedding and I found my diet changed quite naturally. I no longer ate junk food, but preferred natural unprocessed foods. I now weigh 76 kilos, only need to sleep 4 to 5 hours per day, rarely get sick and have a good positive attitude. Maintaining fitness is now fairly straight forward routine. I actually get grumpy if for some reason I can’t exercise for the day.
We want to thank Paul for sharing his story!
One of the best ways to get started on your fitness journey is to find inspiration. Getting started can be as easy as finding a mentor and learning about their journey toward health. FITIV is proud to be able to put the spotlight on some of our amazing users who have gotten fit, broken barriers, and created their best selves.
If you are interested in sharing your story to be featured on the FITIV blog please contact us here.
We look forward to hearing from you, and thanks again to Paul for sharing his story!