About Me…

So what’s all this Growing Young about?

Well it started when i was 49 years old in May 2014 when i was visiting my grandchildren. After one week i was utterly exhausted. I felt weak and old.

When i got home i measured my waist and i’d ballooned up to 36 inches and weighed 10st 4lb. My normal waist is 26 1/2 inches and my normal weight is 7st 12lb. I hadn’t done any exercise in over a year. I decided there and then to start doing something about it.

So i decided i’d learn to swim. Something i’d never done because i had a rather bad hole in heart when i was a child.

I figured that i could wear a wetsuit so i knew i wouldn’t sink and then just get into the sea whenever it was calm enough and teach myself. But before i was going to attempt that i knew i had to get fitter, a lot fitter. And also lose the weight because i bought a wetsuit to fit my normal size, not my overweight size.

So off i set every day walking the beach, just over 3 miles to the end and back and half a mile each way to get there from my house.

And then i began to add short runs into the beach walk, which i built up over time until i could run the whole beach both ways without stopping. Barefoot.

By this time i could just about squash into my wetsuit and felt fit enough to learn to swim. Which i did. And while i learned to swim i also kept on running the beach. By the end of summer 2014 i could swim non stop 800 metres and run 3 miles, barefoot on sand, straight afterwards.

I then figured that with winter coming i would need something to replace the swimming, so i bought myself a nice road bike for my 50th birthday and started training on that. Then i had the crazy idea to do a triathlon, now that i could swim, cycle and run. So i spent the winter training hard on the bike to get up to 40km at 15mph and also kept the running going well.

Once the sea warmed up in spring it took me 4 swim training sessions to get my swimming up to 1500m and so i did my first triathlon shortly afterwards. A 1500m swim, followed by a 40km ride and a 10km run. And i felt great afterwards.

While i was doing all the above i was trawling the internet for ideas on how to improve other areas of my life, such as diet, and that’s when i discovered lots of long distance ultra athletes who live and train on a wholefood vegan diet and get fantastic results doing so. So i gave it a go and the improvements were instant and amazing.

So i’m now a wholefood vegan, which is very different to a junk vegan. Junk vegans will eat any processed thing as long as it has a ‘suitable for vegan’ label on it. Wholefood vegans don’t have these labels because it’s obvious that an apple is vegan food. Our food is alive and is not manufactured in a factory. If you want to feel fully alive then you have to eat a fully alive diet, and that means a wholefood vegan diet. Every seed we eat will grow into a plant if you just add water. Veg sprouts new buds and stems and leaves if you don’t eat it quick enough.

So back to the triathlon. Once i did the olympic distance i then decided that i would train up to half ironman distance. I’m not in a rush to get there. I know i can swim the 1.2 miles, ride the 56 miles and run the 13.1 miles on their own, i just need to train up to get more speed and then put them all together, which i was hoping sometime in the summer of 2016 but personal life got in the way a fair bit and i also had a really bad IT band issue in my right leg (fixed now). So then i was planning for 2017 and in March i landed badly on my left foot while running and wrenched the joint between the fifth metatarsal and the cuboid bone, so that kinda put 2017 on a back burner. Admittedly i had had a hard session on the bike and i did have the treadmill turned up a bit too fast, so all my own fault and lesson learned.

So while my foot was recovering i got to spend a lot of time working on my bike more and built that up quite well, but still not where i want it to be, and when i started running again the bike suffered somewhat and made me realise that 2017 was definitely not going to be my first half iron triathlon year either.

But i’m still happy with my progress. I’ve certainly improved a lot on the bike and my running is slowly coming back up to speed (although i’m taking it easy getting there after the injury), and i’m looking forward to spending the second half of 2017 doing nothing but work on form and speed and power ready for 2018.

I’m really not in any rush to get to half iron distance, it’ll happen when it happens. I do think that it’s more important to enjoy one’s fitness journey than just aim for goals, and sometimes life does throw a curve ball into the works and we have to back off for a while. So not being goal orientated does help you get through those moments a lot easier.

And that brings me to my other exercise joy, inline skating. This started in May 2015 when my grand daughters decided that they wanted me to take them to a rollerdisco. I’d only ever put skates on once in my life when i was a teenager, fell over instantly, took the skates back off and never thought about it since. But my grand daughters are very insistent, so while i got away with just sitting in the cafe while they had lots of fun skating on that occasion, i promised them that next time i came to visit that i would rollerskate with them.

So when i got home i bought some inline skates and set to learning how. It was very difficult at first. I just wore them in the house clinging to furniture like a baby learning to walk, but after a week or so i was actually skating around the house not needing the furniture at all. So then i took myself down to the prom and haven’t looked back at all.

So now, whenever the weather allows, i skate half marathons before breakfast, which tend to burn up to 900 calories, so it’s certainly a great weight losing, cardio, full body, low impact workout. And you get to go to rollerdiscos with your grand daughters and have lots of fun there. What’s not to like?

I do hope one day to be able to afford to go to Berlin to skate the Inline Marathon there.

Note for 2017… sadly, skating has gone on the back burner this year as i work on other areas of fitness. I do miss skating but at the moment the cycling and running is more important, the prom will still be there next year and my skates will still be wonderful to ride.

So basically this website is about what i’m learning and experiencing on my growing young journey. I simply do not want to grow old and sick and slide down the long slope of disease and sickness into a slow and painful death. I want to live to at least 100 years old and to enjoy those years with health, fitness and wellbeing. And i’m going to share what i learn and experience on that journey on this website.

We have a choice, in our minds we can just give up and just accept that we’re growing old, and not bother to make any adjustments other than do less and less, get sicker and sicker, take ever more medications, have more and more operations and spend more and more time at the doctors or in hospital; or we can decide to go the other way, to grow young – to seek out everything within our grasp that will allow our bodies every opportunity to remain healthy, fit and well for as many years as possible. Life is wonderful, so why not live as much of it as possible?

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or suggestions.

Best wishes.