Our Own Real Stories (1).

Scott Wilcox - A beginner faces his challenge

My own story started a few years ago at my office desk, when I realised that I badly needed more exercise. I had arrived at that  age where sitting at the desk all day at a computer was causing me health issues. I noticed that my legs were sometimes painful and my muscles seemed to ache for no real apparent reason. One day I happened to attend a presentation on the Agile development process  by Venkat Subramaniam who happened to mention the same symptoms and  that  his doctor had told him to start running.  This worked for him and i decided to give it a go.
I started running on a treadmill about two years ago , each day for twenty minutes before going to work. This “cured” my issue and I slowly increased my workout to between 5km and sometimes 7km a day.
Over time however I noticed that I had not really improved much over the last year or so and was getting a bit frustrated with the treadmill. My interest in my “Own” sessions started to lag a little and little by little the sessions dropped and I really did take a step back in my fitness. Eventually I got back to the routine but I knew that something was missing form my running;  put simply it was not fun anymore, and more a chore at times.
Then one day I  met my neighbour outside and  for some reason I mentioned that I was running on a treadmill to try and keep fit.  It turned out that my neighbour was running and training for a marathon (you all know her as Michelle the Marathon runner), and she convinced me to have a go outside in the real world.  I had to admit I did need some convincing but she was very kind in offering to  take me out one day on a run around hatch warren. I have to say I enjoyed it  and even though the next day my legs were somewhat distressed shall we say, I knew it had “done me good”, or shall we say the effort was certainly to my physical advantage.
Then Michelle mentioned the “embryonic”  HWR club and I started to read the Facebook comments to find out more. I remember that first Monday morning run about four weeks ago as I stood outside the Portsmouth arms with Michelle, thinking “Christ I hope there are some other men coming here, as various ladies joined our group”.   I did not want to be the man that could not keep up and the one that had to be helped back to my car by the “girls”. Oh the shame and humiliation to let down mankind in such a way. Better to speak out and say “I’m sorry ladies I am going outside on a run and I might be a long time”.
Fortunately I was saved as “Spider man” turned up with another friend of his. Well it was gruelling for me as I had to walk up each hill from what seemed like a base camp to the summit of each mountain. “God I though , I never knew we had the Himalayas here in Basingtsoke”, that is how it felt at times, as my muscles screamed out their capitulation under the torture of  so called exercise.  
Something that really touched me however was the way people stayed behind to encourage me to keep going, there was no pressure , no criticism, just the acceptance that I was new and I would need time to build up my stamina. The whole group had been in my position in the past and seemed to take me under their wing and I pushed myself to the end of my first  outside 5km run.
Now I look back a few weeks later having done my second 10km run and , and I have met some great people like Eoin who have given me the encouragement I needed to keep on going up those mountains.
To summarise this had been one of my best personal achievements in recent years and means a great deal to me, sometimes I realise it is these “simpler” things that perhaps life is really about , and it takes you out of the normal workplace rat race.