David – Life has changed considerably since joining

“I applied to Manalive because I had been quite ill for a few years before hand with various different complaints. Firstly I found out in 2013 that I have 3 dehydrated discs in my lower back, and 2 cracked vertebra. This used to cause severe pain. Because of this I suffered with sciatica in my left leg. In 2014 my leg was bad, I fell down the stairs and broke my coccyx (tail bone). This was also really painful and just added to my back misery.

At this point I had given up on any form of exercise and healthy eating. The following year (2015) I had a burst stomach ulcer followed by a kidney stone (AGONY!!) 8 weeks later.

I was browsing Facebook and an advert for ManAlive popped up. I was certain that things needed to change as I had now put on a lot of weight and had generally let myself go. I decided to give MA a try.

Before joining MA I had been a member of a gym and also PT.

My main concern about joining MA was the condition of my back and whether I would be able to work out. If I hadn’t have joined I would no doubt have still been unfit, a lot heavier, and very unhealthy.

Since joining MA I have increased my fitness levels so much, I never thought I would get here. I’m now determined to take it further and push myself to do things I would never have dreamt about, such as tough mudders, weekend runs, skiing trips, maybe even camping and canoeing.

My life has changed considerably since joining, not only have my fitness levels increased, my weight decreased, but I have found a group of new friends, who socialise outside of training sessions and do things that my usual group of friends don’t do. I have also recently given up smoking, a massive goal of mine, and it’s totally thanks to MA that I have been able to achieve this. The effects of smoking became apparent in my run. I feel less out of breath, and I don’t cough anymore!

My goals for the future are to achieve black band, then black white, black red and possibly double black. Also I want to experience the activities some of the lads put on such as camping. I want to possibly run a marathon in the next couple of years, depending on my back.

My advice to anyone in my situation would be to take a long hard look at how you are living, and the probable outcome it will have. It is very possible to change. It does take a lot of effort and perseverance, but it is rewarding.

I didn’t really enjoy MA for my first couple of months. The early start, mixed with the weather mixed with my terrible fitness level made most mornings extremely unpleasant. However, as soon as I started seeing results, everything changed, and now I positively look forward to each and every MA session.

The last bit of advice to someone in the situation I was in – small steps. Don’t set yourself up for failure by settings lots of unrealistic targets. Nail one small thing first, once that becomes habit, move on. Don’t be disappointed if you fail – it’s ok, just try again.”