Tuesday, 10 January 2012

New contributor: Simon Bruce Lake

Name: Simon Bruce Lake
Home parkrun: Oldham
Date of first parkrun: 12 February 2011
Total Number of parkruns: 40 (as of 7 January 2012)
Number of other parkrun locations run: None - yet!
Number of times volunteered: 25
My parkrun history: http://www.parkrun.org.uk/oldham/results/athletehistory?AthleteNumber=83952

They say that life begins at 40...well, if it does then I had more than my fair share of practice for the main event! At the time, I was a 'weekend alcholic binge drinker' and a 50 a day smoker. At the age of 43, I had 3 strokes - only minor but losing the use of one side of your body for even less than a week is a bit of a wake-up call! The weekend drinking became the monthly binge and then the occasional binge but the smoking was a bit more of a challenge. At the ripe old age of 9 (yes - nine) I had my first cigarette and it was disgusting! But I got caught in the act and my dad decided to teach me a lesson by having me smoke 20 Capstan Full Strength one after the other! Apparently, after throwing up a couple of times, kids learn their lesson and stay clear of the evil weed...or they become hopelessly addicted to nicotine! Even after nature's warning, I continued to smoke. It wasn't until I changed jobs that I finally managed to kick the habit. But as everyone knows, every silver lining has a cloud...and my cloud arrived in style - an additional 4 stones in weight in less than a year. My wardrobe was now looking like a Primark rack with waist sizes 28 through 38 and I decided that enough was enough!

In 2007, several people from work decided it would be great to run for Sport Relief. I immediately signed up for the 3 miles version. The reasoning behind this was that if I signed up for one mile, I would probably not bother with training and just turn up on the day. To do 3 miles was more of a challenge! It turned out that everyone else 'forgot' to register in time or thought that somebody else had registered us as a team! I was on my own! I have to say that guilt is a brilliant fund-raising tactic and helped to take the total above the £1000 mark. The run was switched at the last minute from the roads to a local sports track and I actually ran 5k because it was easier to calculate! This gave me my first ever 5k time of 28' 22" and got me thinking about taking up running.

After much Googleing and a fair amount of procrastination, I signed up to Oldham parkrun on 22 July 2010...but around that time I was going through a depression phase of Bi-polar disorder and didn't go. Towards the end of the year, we were offered a corporate gym membership provided we could get enough people to sign up and I decided that this might be a good step towards shedding some of the excess baggage I was still toting. I tried spinning but that just gave be a sore bum! I tried lots of different equipment in the gym but nothing seemed to be geared to losing weight and the treadmills were often occupied by 'fit' people pounding out a few miles. Instead, I discovered Zumba! I can highly recommend Zumba classes for getting a bit of motivation into your workouts. But something was still missing...

On 12 February 2011, wearing a pair of clapped-out trainers, a matching set of 'holiday' shorts and t-shirt and some 'sports' socks I presented myself at Oldham parkrun...

To be continued...

1 comment:

  1. Simon,

    thank you so much for sharing this. As I read each post I realise more and more that most parkrunners have an amazing story to tell and you are certainly no different in that respect.

    I look forward to reading your next post,


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