Worth His Weight In Gold
An engineer ran it off – and reaped the health and performance benefits.
I was neither a fat nor a skinny kid – sometimes I was heavy for no apparent reason, but I also went through periods of my life where I was slimmer, because I had to walk or run long distances to farm schools. When I became an adult, I started a job, got married and had kids. Life became comfortable, and I indulged in and enjoyed unhealthy food and takeaways.
I visited the doctor with a minor ailment, but after checking my vitals he told me my blood pressure was dangerously high. The doctor recommended I reduce my salt and red meat intake, and introduce healthier alternatives like veggies and fruit. He also advised me to start exercising.
I had just moved jobs, which didn’t make sticking to training easy. But when a new gym opened up in Witbank, offering more affordable rates, I saw it as an opportunity to enlist the help of a personal trainer there. I also made use of a circular running track inside the gym. Losing my first 15kg was motivating.
My friend Lucas had been road running for a couple of years, and convinced me to join him. And the rest, as they say, is history: I have since run three Comrades (PB: 9:15.14).
I’m training for a sub-9:00 Comrades. The benefits have been huge: before I started running, I suffered from back pain that became so bad, I even considered buying a new bed.
Besides having banished back pain for good, I don’t get sick as often now, my blood pressure has returned to normal, and I’m full of energy. And now I’ve reached my goal weight, my focus has shifted to improving my running performance.
All this was made possible by controlling what I eat – including protein and low-GI food in my diet – and becoming active. Here’s to the (better) second half of my life!