When you have fallen off the wagon climbing back on can be daunting particularly when it comes to health and fitness. We have all been there, looking up from the bottom of a deep hole desperate to climb out.
Many succumb to the latest fitness craze throwing themselves obsessively into a cataclysmic lifestyle change. Inevitably some don’t make it through the first few weeks. Other’s trawl the internet for quick fixes and miracle cures throwing money away like tipping notes at Calendar Girls.
Whatever you do it needs to be compatible with your lifestyle and sustainable in the long term. It can be as simple as moving a little more and consuming a little less for sustained period of time.
This is where the story of Scoop the fast finishing half marathoner comes in. Most of you know Scoop as a non athletic mild mannered reporter by day, a keen socialiser frequenting Queenstown’s bars and restaurants by night. Renowned for getting the ‘scoop’, he’s got a keen ear, a well tested liver and a lightening quick trigger finger on the digital camera (especially if you’re blonde).
I inherited Scoop as a training client from a longish line of other pretty handy trainers. Scoop reckons he wore them out over the years, some people choose to believe in the tooth fairy, you can make up your own mind. They had got him started my job was to push on.
Scoop like most Queenstowner’s preferred the pub to the gym however, not to be deterred by reputation, physical constraints, age or our mutual love of life’s finer things we built slowly into training like an old diesel engine warming into its work on cold winters day.
I used to tell people I was taking Scoop for a run, those who didn't know him asked what type of dog he was, those that did laughed as if it was some form of code for going to the boozer for a lazy pint but we soldiered on regardless. We only ran twice a week being careful not to take over Scoops life. One run on Thursday originally for a little as 25 minutes, now these can be an hour or more. This was followed on Sunday with a longer run, building up 5 to 10 minutes a week to nearly 2 hours, often finishing at the Hilton for a Speight’s. We did this for a year before his first half marathon since he was in his mid 20’s.
Recently Scoop with his now famous sprint finish completed a sodden Queenstown half marathon in 2.21 his 4th such race in the last 12 months.
He still drinks, albeit maybe a drop or two less but coupling that with a little more movement (running) for a long time (2 years) and he’s now lining up his next race with excitement and has added a few decades to his life.
No one’s too old, too fat or too far gone all you have to do it start moving and keep going. If Scoop can anyone can!
Mark writes a regular column for the Mountain Scene - View the original HERE
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