The last thirty years have been a whirlwind, one that has certainly been full of ups and downs. After living the party lifestyle in Greece and Austria for many years I found that I was not in the place that I wanted to be. With my continuous accidents, hospital trips and a worsening problem with drinking I began to realize that I really should be looking after myself a little better.
On my 22nd birthday I ended up putting myself in hospital after yet another long night out, I was faced with the doctor telling me that if I didn’t make some drastic lifestyle changes then I would have quite a few more visits to see him in the future. So, I packed my bags, left my old life behind and moved back to the UK.
Flash forward two years later (2013), and my health and lifestyle had improved immensely and my drinking had been curbed to almost zero. I was sitting on the underground in London, reading the paper at 6am and noticed an advert from a charity to run the London Marathon in a few month's time. In my tired state, I thought to myself “I can do that, it’s only a little bit of running!”, and before I knew it I had signed myself up to my first race. I was still living mainly on unhealthy food, but at least I was not hungover every day!
Like many first-time marathon runners, I had never run further than to catch my train before. After raising over £1,000 for Spinal Research, and running the marathon in a very slow time of 6 and a half hours, I vowed never to run again, this hurts.
A week after I had crossed the finish line it began to sink in that the pain in my legs from running was the only reason why I did not want to run again. I decided I wanted to do more, I was hooked. Not on the running but on the excitement of it all, meeting new people, doing something good with my time, the energy of race day, and just as important the shiny medal you get at the end!
Over the last six years, I have completed numerous half marathons and small distance races, four Marathons, six Ultras, one Six-day race, and a 3,700 mile run across a continent.
I have no idea what the future holds for me, but looking back at photos of me six years ago laying in the hospital bed, I could never have possibly imagined that I could achieved what I have.