There Is Always A Hill To Be Climbed!
After seeing Keith's before and after pictures on our Facebook page, we were intrigued to know more about his journey from a 24 stone lad to a 15 stone Fat Lad!
"I have to say I have been a bit overwhelmed by the positive response i've had on Facebook.
I only wanted really to say thank you to Fat Lad Richard and the Team for creating a brand that the fat lads stuck at the back on a club ride, had an identity, had a voice, and had something they could wear with pride, and like me are proud to be part of the team!
My story started when I turned 40, (I work as an Artworker, and so was stuck in front of a mac all day. I worked too much, and never exercised at all, i had gradually got bigger, and bigger, i never really saw it though, until Christmas 2011, when i went to get Jeans and i was a 44 waist.
I was depressed, looking in the mirror in the changing room... i was round, my shirt was tight and it was XXXL.
I Decided that this wasn't the life I wanted.
A work mate (who is ultra fit) suggested that him and i go swimming (i always loved swimming as i had canoed in my youth, and loved water)we would go twice a week before work (tuesday's and thursday's).
I can remember that first time at the pool, i was very self conscious about how i looked, but Dave was brilliant, and told me just to get on with it, I swam 20 lengths, breaststroke, I was knackered! But once in the pool, no one even noticed how i looked, by the end of January 2012, I joined the Penicuik centre, I had increased my swimming from 20 lengths to 40, and was also swimming after work on a monday and Friday.
Our publishing Manager Fiona suggested that i did the swimathon ad it would give me a purpose and something to aim for. It was 2.5km, (100 lengths) and was in March 2012, I had to push myself, and increased my distance 10 lengths a week. I got sponsored by everyone at work, so there was no backing out! I swam the 100 in 1hr 30mins.
As a reward I decided to learn front crawl, and got lessons (yes I was forty, and was learning to swim again!). I swam regularly for 12 months... I met other like minded people at the pool, who suggested that I go to the gym, my membership covered access and an induction to the gym.
I was back at square one, I was out of my comfort zone. I googled gyms and saw on youtube, men and women with beautifully defined bodies... in reality, Penicuik centre wasn't like that, it was full of people like me!
The Personal Trainers worked out a program for me, to help me build strength and loose weight! I added going to the gym 3 times a week as well as my regular swimming, and continued for another year.
Some of my swimming friends, suggested that I cross train and try spin classes, as it would be a great way to loose lots of weight. I could burn 800 calories a session! I had no idea about spin, I thought it was to do with wool!!
I went along anyway... wow that was hard there were hills, sprints and jumps on a stationary bike, all meshed together with pumping music, and an instructor shouting instructions, it was intense, but even though I was melting, it was great fun, so went back increasing it to 3 times a week!
The only problem was, sore feet using my trainers, so I bought some cycling shoes, and spd cleats and the spin bikes took spd's, wow sore feet were gone. By Christmas I was still exercising 6 days a week. (I got my first cycling top: Fat Lad at The Back in Navy Blue) I also bought bib shorts as my shorts kept falling down! I was a cyclist! Lol although i never actually cycled.
One of the spin class mates suggested, that I should try cycling, and gave me some advice on a bike and what to look for, and how much to spend, so on May 2014, I ordered my first bike (Specialized Allez Sport) I also bought SPD pedals, I had been using them in Spin, so I thought it will be no problem!
How wrong I was: 2 things happened first on the day the bike arrived. I was over keen to get set up, and so failed to tighten the cleats on the shoes properly, so while I was in the house I clipped in, but couldn't clip out, couldn't reach my phone, so effectively was stuck... luckily I hadn't tightened the pedals to crankshaft so just bent down and un did the pedals!
Then I went out, on my first ride, having never clipped in on a bike that wasnt bolted to the floor... and ended up in a wall!
I stuck with it, though and after a couple of months I was cycling 25km on a quiet single track road, with my partner as team support in the car following me!
My friends at spin suggested I join them for a group ride, so I met up with them one Thursday night and did 30km! Not on quiet roads though but on main roads.. that was me, on normal roads, I gradually increased the distance over the coming months, 40, 60, 80, 100km!
This year I joined Peebles Cycling Club, and took part in a time trial. I'm not the fastest, but what I love about TT, is its a race against myself! So here I am pushing further, climbing higher, always pushing!
This is my life now, I cant ever go back, I need to climb the next hill! There is always a hill to be climbed!"