READER REPORT:

After a decade off, I just do it

PAUL JACK
Last updated 05:00 18/02/2014

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From couch potato to running bean

I'm learning to run Overtaking everyone on the couch From binge drinker to Ironwoman Pushing my body forward The reluctant runner After a decade off, I just do it Finding my stride and myself Addicted to running Running's the best 'drug' on the market Run like you're being chased

I grew up in small town New Zealand and was as active as most youngsters. I played sport into my mid 20s.

Once I finished playing competitive sport I virtually stopped training as I had no team or game to train for.

Training for the sake of personal fitness never really occurred to me until I reached my 40s. I was drinking and smoking, not exercising and starting to feel worn out. My children would ask questions like: "Don't you want to live Dad?"

I decided at the age of 42 that I would stop drinking and smoking. 

To help with the non smoking I started to jog again.

Now I'm 48. I recruited my young sons who were 8 at the time to jog with me and soon enough my wife joined us too.

From 2008 we have all been exercising regularly and as a result we are all relatively fit to very fit - one of my sons won his school cross country last year.

This has led to my sons now doing crossfit, rugby, touch and swimming.

I am now fitter than ever, still don't drink or smoke and feel really good day to day.

I exercise six days a week; running, lifting weights, pull ups, push ups, etc.

My goal now is to compete in masters athletics, so part of getting older and getting fitter is about awareness of your body.

I have found that I am very aware of any slight pains, especially in the lower legs. This means training smart and carefully.

I should mention, because it is so important to me, my christian faith has been an integral part of my change in attitude toward taking care of the things that are important and significant.

Keeping fit helps in all areas of my life.

My advice to someone who was in need of exercise is just to start. Time does pass, it does get easier and it is fun. Don't focus on results, just focus on the moment for that day.

Don't compare yourself to others who are already fit.

Make exercise non negotiable. I virtually never miss a day of exercise. Just keep going and when you look back in two years you'll be astounded at what you can do.


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