Stressed and being overweight was not something I thought about in my job as a restaurant manager, working long hours was just part of the job along with socialising with my regular customers, entertaining people on a regular basis particularly when you are really passionate about your business and I was.
Discussing the latest creations with chef testing; tasting experimenting then taster events with clients demonstrating the expertise of your kitchen and team was indeed a big part of my job.
Then one day it all caught up with me chest pains, high blood pressure, 2 stone overweight, panic set in as I took myself off to my local A&E hospital convinced I was having a heart attack. As it turned out, I was suffering from stress with those pains giving warning signs; that if I didn’t change my lifestyle, I could very well suffer from a heart attack or cardiovascular disease.
Faced with this reality I was primed to make some changes but where to start was difficult as I had no idea at that time, gyms were only relatively new, there was a jogging craze about but I always thought it a bit odd and dismissed it as a funny trend.
Until that is I was watching the London Marathon and coverage of what I think was the oldest competitor on that day a man of around late 80’s crossing the finish after several hours over a 26-mile course. Amazed I made a promise to myself that I would go ou
t and try this jogging idea for myself.
Right outside my flat was a small park with a lap of .9 of a mile, I know I measured it by driving around in the car because in that first run I had to stop 4 times, disgusted with myself I was determined to get around in one attempt. My first goal was set.
I set about a morning run 3 times a week for several months with eventually running 4 laps before making the leap of faith to increase my circular run, for fear of getting stuck and being embarrassed at walking home. Well, I overcame and kept up the running now! and needing advice I discovered Runners World which became my running bible for a long time as I built up my mileage to 20-30-50 mile a week.
At the same time, it became obvious that I would need to change several other lifestyle habits alcohol was one, a big one I used to drink a lot!! smoking had to go, eating better another, education for this was partly intuitive but Runners world provided the knowledge and inspiration for achieving the change, I read all the articles on how nutrition played an important part in your running performance that was the key; so I followed it.
Fast forward two years I had lost 2 stone and ran my first 10-mile race in 60 minutes, now hooked I continued running but I joined the Stragglers a running club
in Kingston South London. These wonderful people took me to so many races changed my social scene; improved my attitude to life and helped me realise there was life outside my work.
These days its 25 years later I am still running, entering triathlons and cycle events, have since changed my occupation to personal trainer and living in a world surrounded by younger people who keep me on my toes, at the same time I get to work with and train many older people like myself inspiring them to achieve change, reduce their own risk of developing lifestyle disease and hopefully living longer or as I prefer to describe it, living a better quality of life to enjoy their retirement.
With the population living longer; 30 years is an awfully long time to be stuck in a care home unable to fend for yourself.
You can do it! Get Fit, Healthy and Stay that way if you are over 40 start now!
In this book I will show anyone new to change how they can achieve it.
Norman Brown 66
Over 400 road races, 60 Marathons, 4 Ultras, Marathon PB 3:18, 6 miles (10K) 39 min.