I was fortunate enough to be able to take early retirement in January 2018. 36 years years of working in the City had taken its toll on my fitness and health, working long hours and eating and drinking poorly. Having always been very sporty in my younger years and running marathons in my 30’s, the last few years had seen my weight creep up again and having had a heart attack when I was 44 I realised I needed to do something if I was going to enjoy a long and healthy retirement.
My wife and I joined Benton Hall Gym on February 2018 as we felt there was the right balance of Fitness instructors, Gym equipment and classes. I did my initial assessment and started on the road to getting fitter and healthier. Starting off easy at first and with the help of the gym work and following a diet programme, I have so far lost over 3 and a half stone (25 Kg) with a couple more to go to reach my goal.
Getting fitter meant I started to feel like doing more and in the summer of 2018 started cycling again and in June of this year completed my first 100-mile ride. I now ride regularly with friends from Tiptree Velo doing anything from 25 miles to 70 miles.
Also getting fitter meant I was able to go skiing again in January for the first time in 4 years and with the help of a programme put together by the Benton Hall Trainers, built my fitness so I could really enjoy a hard weeks skiing. Following the skiing, the team tweaked my workout so that I could focus on building my fitness to improve my cycling and must say that I have seen this improve in leaps and bounds. Finally getting fitter meant I felt like playing golf again and in May this year, joined the golf section at the club which has the most amazing Seniors section, where again in true Benton Hall fashion I was made to feel most welcome.
The trainers are always cheery and encouraging and I could not have got back to my current level of fitness without their help and guidance. I now look forward to the continuance of my journey towards even better health and fitness.
Last year, my wife Helen signed me up to take part in the York Triathlon for my birthday. A challenge I was more than happy to accept…although it also meant I had to learn to swim!
Fortunately, she had lined up Wendy Osborne to help me overcome my phobia of the water. It’s taken 8 months, but I have gone from not being able to swim at all to managing a distance of over 500m, which is more than the required 400-meter discipline of Triathlon sprint. I have also (since a recent cartilage operation) had to shed nearly 3 stone in weight – which is one of the main reasons I joined Benton hall gym! – Having achieved that, I teamed up with Ella Edwards to help me build my fitness, strength, stamina and ability to take part in a fairly challenging event! In the last 8 months, I have learnt how to swim, achieved my first 5 km and 10 km runs, bought a bicycle and joined a local cycling group! – Literally started from scratch
It’s been a huge personal challenge, but I am thrilled to confirm that I successfully took part in the York triathlon, in a ‘ steady’ time of 1 hour 50 mins. I was even more thrilled to have been able to raise nearly £1000.00 in funds for CHAPS UK, a Colchester-based charity which aims to raise awareness and support the development of new health services directly targeted at men’s needs, to enable them to take care of their own health and well being. I would like to thank Wendy Swim Co-ordinator, and especially Ella…. who has guided me so professionally (and patiently) – I would recommend her abilities to anyone wanting to gain fitness levels and achieve their goals. THANK YOU!