As I turned 30, I was just over 22 stone with bad eating habits, zero exercise and even less self-confidence. I’d accepted the false belief that I’d never be any different and if I tried to change I’d fail, so why bother? I was too embarrassed to ask for help and just accepted what I was and consoled myself with junk food and alcohol.
5 years later, 16 stone in weight I’m a different man. I’m healthier, happier and I’ve a lot more self-confidence. I like who I am. It’s a long story and while the change wasn’t easy, it was absolutely possible as I’ve proven. I’m a firm believer that things happen at the right time and for me, I discovered parkrun at the right time for me, when I was at that point to finally try to make a change. I knew very little about parkrun before my first event – I expected to see mostly slender, toned athletes sprinting like March hares; in reality there was one, maybe two of those. The rest of the people I saw – and met – were just like me; people looking to get a bit of exercise and enjoy some socialising on a Saturday morning. Walkers, Joggers and Volunteers all enjoying an hour in the park and a coffee and a chat afterwards.
It’s changed my life. I truly believe in what parkrun brings to the community and I’ve become an Ambassador to help spread awareness and support new events being set up to bring parkrun to more communities and people of all ages and abilities. It costs nothing but it gives back so much. My story is one of thousands of people whose lives have been enriched – and improved – by parkrun.
All I ask is that you give it a go – pick a local parkrun to visit some Saturday morning be it to walk or jog or even to volunteer. All parkrun events operate with the same ethos of inclusion and support of everyone, and you’ll be warmly welcomed by other volunteers and participants alike. I promise, your physical and mental health will be much better for it – I know mine is.
Colin Doolan | An Ordinary Guy