No Human is LimitedEliud Kipchoge
Danny (right) and I after a 1, 2
Growing up I was always the fat kid. That may sound harsh but that is the reality of my childhood. That is not to say I didn’t play sport, far from it. I was just fundamentally a different person to the me of today. So how did I become, well, me?
Me playing hockey at Uni. If anyone from the Uni asks, my head was shaved as a life choice and definitely not during an initiation…
I was lucky enough to be born in a small affluent city in the South of England called Winchester. Being a city whiter than Nigella Lawson’s ‘secret ingredient’ and having a father who played the sport, I kind of fell into hockey (field hockey if you’re from a third world country).
I loved the sport, I really wanted to be a professional player believe it or not. I was pushed during my secondary school (high school) career mainly by the legend that is Mr Birch. If you need confirmation of this status, he once shouted at half time to my then 13-year-olds school team, “Those are some of the worst decisions since Hilter’s parents got it on.” This man made me hungry to succeed in the sport. The highest level I got myself to was the now-defunct JRPC (regional level). I was good but was never great.
I went to university at The University of Birmingham and for those who don’t know, it is one of the strongest hockey universities in the country, if not the world. I scraped through the trials and was selected for the 5th team… of 5. I quickly moved to the 4’s and played with some great people. I really enjoyed that year of hockey but I always had a nagging feeling that I wasn’t doing myself justice. I felt I was playing just because I had always played hockey, that years had past and I had plateaued majorly. I needed to make a change.
After that first season of hockey at Uni I had lost a slither of the initial puppy fat of my youth but I was still a portly 75kg (176lbs). A pretty sight on my 173cm (5′ 8″) stature it was not. I wasn’t happy in my own skin and no longer could settle for what I considered mediocrity. So I made a decision. I decided that in the off-season I was going to become really fit. I was going to come back next year a machine. At the time I had done a bit of running for fitness, I could clock off a 19min 5K and 38:30 10K. My goal for the summer was to run a sub 38:00 10K which to me felt like a barrier comparable to the 4min mile.
Me being the obsessive I am and having far too much spare time I began to research. I researched recovery strategies, healthy eating, training methods etc. This wasn’t a solo endeavour though, I had enlisted the help of close friend Christopher Stocks who had a vast knowledge of running and together we masterminded a training plan. By the end of that summer I was leaner (now 63kg), more confident and happier version of the Will from the previous 19 years. I had run 16:17 for 5K and had smashed 38 with 34:45 for 10K. I had to make a choice between continuing with hockey or pursuing a new sport.
The cards had been dealt. The river had been shown. My hand? A full house… I went all in. I haven’t played hockey properly since.
2 and a half years on and I am in the shape of my life. I recently ran in the Great South Run, a race in which broke my current official 10K PB and was only a handful of seconds off having a 5K split faster than my current 5K PB. I have now graduated and have come to the realisation that life will soon be taking over and I won’t be able to train anywhere near the amount I am currently.
But I still have unfinished business.
This blog will mainly be about the big year I am planning as a runner during 2020. I am going to be:
- Documenting my “journey” every Sunday (sorry, couldn’t think of a better word)
- My pseudo-veganism (I have just polished off some Hotel Chocolat without a seconds thought but am eating 95% plant-based food)
- Running related news
- New running gear (FYI, I have a SAYSKY and Nike fetish)
- More (ideas please x)
If you have got this far I think you’re going to like this and I’d be honoured to bring you along the “journey” with me.
Lots of love,