Here we are…February – bit grey, bit stormy, been back at work forever, shiny New Years resolutions have gone a bit ‘meh’ (well done if not!) – so I thought maybe its time for some kick ass inspiration to get things going again!
You may have noticed that I get a bit GRRR every year when the annual deluge of fitness videos, preachy adverts and awful powder-based diet plans hit our screens, newspapers and every bloody social media platform. I mean, people who I previously followed as I thought they were quite interesting-famous-types, suddenly start wanging on about their hot body and how ‘if they can do it, so can you’. No. Just stop it.
Comparing your life to someone that has buckets of cash, a personal trainer, state of the art home gym, carefully calorie counted chef cooked meals and a nanny to look after their kids is completely distorted.
So I’ve decided to start finding inspiration each month on our doorstep – normal people, living normal lives, achieving great stuff. People who don’t have the money, the time or the support crew managing their lives but are still pulling off awesome things.
And to be fair, I work on lots of those people every day, so finding a few to talk to was easy peasy.
To kick things off, we’ve got a little profile on Meic Pritchard.
From binging on booze every weekend to Strava updates every day, Meic has turned things around with nothing but his own will power & things are looking up.
Seeing as you’re not a famous, I’m guessing you live a fairly normal life. What does your average week consist of?:
“I work for myself so I’m working 5-6 days a week as a joiner, from 8 til 5 and running wise (Clwb Rhedwyr) Hebog Tuesday, then Thursday and a big run on the weekend. And I’ve got the kids as well every other weekend from Friday to Sunday too”
When you were growing up what was your relationship like with sport? Mega active or not really interested?:
“I was into football. Stopped playing about 3 years ago now, but use to play locally for Penrhyn, Blaenau, Port, Llanystumdwy…but after that I didn’t do anything. Wasn’t into running at school, did a bit of cross country and enjoyed that but never really got into it. Probably had to do it, more than out of choice”
So the exciting changes in your life really occurred pretty recently then, in the last few months – what happened?:
“About 8 months ago I was really struggling with depression and I was in trouble with the police for drinking and fighting. Nearly went to jail. It was weekends, binge weekends. Probably a lot to with the struggle with depression and stuff, drinking a lot, being overweight – always feeling down. The alcohol gave a bit of a lift, then during the week, basically felt like crap. Then I thought, that’s it…can’t do it anymore, seeing the kids upset and stuff, made me stop drinking. Then just started running a mile, 2 miles every other day. Just got hooked, pushed myself through it. It was really hard at the start. I was about 16 stone then and am just under 14 now – had to really push myself and now I’m really enjoying it.”
Why running? What makes you get out in the rain or up on an early morning to run?:
“I didn’t want to go back to football cos I felt a bit too old and what with injuries and working for myself…mainly at the start it was just to lose weight so I’d wrap myself up and go for a run, but then really got into it. Its free and I could fit it in in my own time. Now, it just feels really good – feeling satisfied after doing it, especially if I had a bad day…it helps. Takes your mind off everything (Cerys – and you get the smug feeling posting on Facebook & getting lots of likes?) Yeh ”
And how has life been since? What positives & negatives have you found?:
Positives: “Its helped me with no drinking, feeling more positive, feeling much better about myself, obviously losing the weight as well. I feel better. My kids are happy for me, my son really wants to come running with me”
Negatives: “It was really hard at the start. Running 2 or 3 miles and I was aching, really hard to go again the next time, but now if I don’t go its hell!”
Considering you didn’t even mention your calf injury as a negative, it shows how mad you are about running! How did that happen?:
“Probably not enough stretching. I was running up a hill, first time and hadn’t warmed up basically and pulled a calf muscle. Felt pissed off. It was about a few months in since starting and didn’t put me off. Thing I didn’t do was rest it enough and went running again, so it went again.”
Did you have any concerns about starting running in the first place or giving up alcohol? Did you get any stick from friends or have to leave behind old situations?
“Any concerns? The pain was hard at the start. The body getting used to it, it was hard. Big time. Struggling to walk and stuff but nah, it was more to do with me being in trouble that gave me the drive to do it.
I don’t do so much with some people now, I’ve gone the other way, but I’ve made new friends like (Rhedwyr) Hebog and yourself. Its all good – I’ve left old situations behind, you get people saying its good you lost weight but then you get people saying ‘oh you still not drinking’ or ‘you’ll be drinking again soon’ sort of thing.”
The last few months have seen a big transformation in you, but what do you see the next few months bringing?
“Keep going. More mileage. More runs and a marathon for charity in October – doing it by myself with a mate coming over for support.”
Is that something you ever thought you’d end up doing?:
“No way, no, I never thought I’d run a marathon. The Conwy marathon was my first one and I really enjoyed it except the injury, but never thought I’d do such a thing. But that’s why I’m doing my first marathon for charity. Because its helped me so much I thought I’d give something back.”
What do you think the old you would have said if you’d told him you’d end up running a marathon?:
“No chance. No chance. Never!”
And finally, if you could give any advice to other people stuck in a rut, same old, same old and feeling the need for change, what would you say?:
“I’d just say its definitely worth sticking to it. The hardest part is getting started, but once you get going, its definitely worth it. So much positive can come from it; weight loss; health benefits. I was 16 stone and wanted to eat healthy, stop drinking and get my weight down. It felt good to lose the first bit of weight, so I got a bit addicted and carried on. Its just all positive.”
So maybe theres something you can take from Meic’s story, or maybe you can just appreciate it for the fact its real and hes turning it around. Meic has no plans to release a smug DVD or diet plan anytime soon – but if you want to donate to his charity fundraising efforts for Children with Cancer UK, and give him some support on his marathon mission head to his page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Michael-Pritchard7?utm_id=13