The Beginning really started for me in 1972 as a newbie entering secondary School , it was in 1972 at Holte Comprehensive School formly Holte Grammar School . It was a good School back then with most of the Grammar School teachers staying on there , a lot of emphasis on hard work and physical sports activities and making a name for yourself .
On our first sports day we were taken by our Sports coach Mr Quigley an Irishman man to Halford drive and asked to run the perimeter of the field as fast as we could ! We set off and I came in about 12th , Mr Quigley took the names of the first 20 and that was me in the cross country running team !
We trained religiously every Wednesday night and ran every Saturday come rain or shine , snow and on one occasion thick fog running in Gold shirts with Blue pipping looking like the Brazilian Football team , we had a core running neuclus of about 15 good runners with another 10 or so what I would call fair weather runners but none the less very good , we were well blessed with good runners . We trained hard and really jelled as a team under Quigley , this team in the four years went on to win almost every race week in and out , we went on to win leagues ,relays and county Championships too ! Of the four years I ran with the team we won 3 All Birmingham Championships and a 3rd place in my final year of running largely due to the fact that some of our older runners were preparing to leave School ! My brother Karl was also a good runner and featured in many of our Grand Prix races !
I entered 6th form and my running days made way for A levels but i took charge of the first year runners for about 6 months as at that time there was a PT teacher shortage , it was a great feeling to be called ‘Sir ‘ at the tender age of 16 ! Mr Quigley left for another post in Coventry but 6 months later we heard the terrible news that a van mounted the pavement as he was running home ( as he did every day covering some 24 miles ! ) and killed him outright ! A terrible loss and one of Small Heath Harriers finest ! That awful news taught me a lot about how fragile life can be !
When i run with S.E.Fitness my mind sometimes drifts back to those glory School days of which my form teacher Gary Boothroyd wrote a book about called ‘ Are you a proper Teacher Sir ? I didn’t realise but this was a top ten best seller some years ago and a real good read ! ( I have a copy ! ).
We’re am I now you ask ? Well I joined S.E.Fitness after speaking to Amanda and Debbie Baxter as I was getting a little fed up with the LA Fitness gym due to the way it was run really ! They encouraged me to Join and I’ve never regretted it ! I remember first running with Mandy who was really lovely to run with and so encouraging , i then moved onto running with Helen Hodgkiss who was equally encouraging. I love running in all weather’s but do better in the cold , I don’t really mind running on road or trails but I do love running through parkland and loving the beautiful Green countryside ! As for distance I prefer to run longer distances like the half Marathons but not less than 10k as I’m just getting into my running stride !
My Future ,
Well that’s definitely with S.E. Fitness, it’s a fantastic club with fantastic members from all walks of life , I felt straight at home when I joined and nothing has changed with this crazy bunch , I see myself running more courses enjoying the company and camaraderie and social events with this crazy fun loving running family ‘ and love my adopted name Lion King too ! Thank you Mark Crawford for that contribution mate ! I’m proud of how far I’ve come and equally proud of becoming a run plus leader which i love doing !
My favourite event so far was the Windsor half Marathon which is very well run ( pardon the pun ) and the views along the course are lovely too ! I’m also quite partial to the C to C run too as it encompasses trail and road running and the distance is just right !
My tips :
- Don’t push yourself too hard but gradually increase your stamina and distance , speed will come in time. ,
- Set yourself small ‘ Goal Steps ‘ .
- Listen to what your body is saying to you !
- Properly warm up and stretch out on every run !
- My tip for staying motivated : look at where you first started and how far you’ve come ! Look at the achievements along this path that you have taken because your footsteps are leaving a history of your success !
- Be proud of what you are doing and where you are going ! ROAR !!!
Much love from ‘ The Lion King ‘ 🦁🦁🦁m