Stuart Davidson, Peer Worker at our East Lothian service, shared with us a moving and inspirational story. He shows that fit150 can be achieved in many different ways and that, in the end, it is about finding what works for you.
I’m wider than I’m tall, my body is alien to me it doesn’t look like how it looks in my head but it makes me feel bad, like I have stolen sustenance and turned it into indolence. All things set to burst creek and groan and I groaned and groaned. I came to believe that the mad, exciting, explosive things that other people did were solely for other people but this didn’t matter because another hour on the sofa with a packet of processed whatever and vicariously absorbing the lives of others while experiencing the lack of life in me was enough.
In my stupor something happened that I had not anticipated or imagined. My wife encouraged me to enter a “Tough Mudder” (in the way that all middle aged couples encourage each other with threats of bad things and promises of worse to come) and I agreed. She trained, I trailed, she moved and I moaned but I scraped by and on the day, despite a deep cut to my head, scrapes up my shins and bruises everywhere, I crossed the finish line. I felt so proud that I had endured it and that someone my size could do that changed my perception on what else I could achieve.
In the subsequent months I took up running. I hoped to run around my block without stopping and setting tiny achievable goals. But my wife (who was now 6 months ahead of me in training) set great big giant ones. Let’s push for 2k, 5k, 10k, let’s think about the half marathon next year. My chest would lurch contracting violently to sup up every molecule of oxygen. My knee felt often like it would snap and my hip would hurt ironically the slower I went. But I achieved and achieved and achieved. But they were quiet achievements, imperceptible to any one else, irrelevant in the grand scheme of things but whopping great milestones in my life. I soon came to realise that once the pain was gone all that was left was goals.
I am not super fit or superfast I don’t have a rippling six pack (more of a jiggling keg) but what adopting the spirit of fit150 has given me is immeasurable. Running has catalysed all the great things I have learned in recovery and given me an hour of serenity and hardship that is compensated by the positive influence it has on my life. Being active, getting moving and feeling better no matter how hard is a kindness I have never visited on myself until now.
fit150 asks that we engage in a 150 minutes of activity and for someone who struggles to socialise, I’ve found that reaching my 150 is easier done with other people. Currently I am supporting someone on their journey from couch to 5k. We experience the same aches and pains and suffer the same desperate gasping for air but we support each other congratulate each other and when that 5k is reached I’ll encourage them to go another 5k and beyond. fit150 so embedded became a wellness tool.
Why I continue to work towards my fit 150 every week is because it vitalises my body and makes my mind a more peaceful place to be. I sleep better, I eat more respectfully for myself and I have more energy to live and what’s more is that it’s free. I encourage anyone to find that activity they enjoy and pour their heart into it as spending that 150 minutes of exercise could be the one element that you can control that can make the difference in battling illness and that’s got to be worth something…
Thank you Stuart for sharing this beautiful story with us. fit150 can look completely different to everyone. It is about trying and finding what works for you whilst not giving up on your journey.