“So where do we start? Picture the scene, its November 2014 I’m in Spain on holiday and I’m involved in a hit & run accident on my bicycle. I’ve got a smashed collarbone, fractured arm and severe bruising down my left leg and more importantly, bleeding on the brain, blood clots and black outs; 6 months of hell, ever so slowly healing,
During those 6 months I’ve did no exercise and my weight ballooned up by nearly 4 stone, my diet was shot to pieces and I was in free fall. Something had to be done, and what really brought it home to me was that my jeans would not do up and walking was very tiring. Having to buy cheap jogging bottoms at the local sports store really hurt!
So this is where Man Alive came into my life, I was sitting in my taxi scouring through Twitter and saw an advert for ManAlive about how “real men do it outdoors” I thought to myself what have I got to lose? So I filled in the questionnaire and within a few hours had a reply and a chat with head honcho Craig about what I wanted out of Man Alive, I think Craig was happy with my answers and I was offered a place.
So on Monday June 1st 2015 at 7.30pm I turned up, it was rather a hot day, I was made to feel welcome instantly, not by just the coaches but by all the other members, all different abilities, but all there for the same reason, to get fit or stay fit .
After getting weighed and measured (for the record I weighed 126.5kg or in old money 19.9 stone) we headed out onto the field and it was “man test” night, everyone was to do the same 4 tests, regardless of size weight height etc; 2 minutes of press ups, the plank for as long as you can hold it, 2 minutes of burpees and then 1km run. Well for me it was 0 press ups as I was still in pain from the hit & run, 30 second plank, 13 burpees and 8 1/2 minute run (4oom walking) I was shot to pieces, but at least they were PB’s!
“See you Wednesday ” came the shout, I had no energy to reply, but I did return and over the following weeks and months I continued to turn up, slowly chipping away, there was a few weeks when I was down, as when my dad had a heart attack and I just wasn’t in a mood, but the troops rallied round me, told me turn up “it’ll do you good to get it off your mind”, you know what, that’s so true – off to another world for 1 hour 3 nights a week.
It’s just not about the training, it’s about your diet, your lifestyle & your mindset. There’s the organised nights out & the occasional ‘pocket money’ night to the Pub over the road. The closed Facebook group where everything takes place and you’re positively encouraged to put pictures up of your food, If I did that on my own Facebook page I’d be crucified, there is the odd bit of swearing, but hey we’re all over 30!
Summer came and went, running walking stretching, flipping tyres, throwing & lifting sandbags, hammer hitting, lunging ,sit ups, press ups. Autumn came and went and it was the same, then winter (which I dreaded, but in all honesty I really enjoyed it) and then spring again, all the time weight coming off, getting fitter & stronger. So much so that my Number 1 passion of cycling, I could barely muster 20 miles in September 2015, but today June 22nd 2016 we’re up to 80 miles!
As I mentioned earlier we have “Man Test” day, and only the other month I broke the 6 minute mark for the run, managed 33 burpees, 2 1/2 minute plank and 50 press ups. More importantly I’ve gone from a 44″ to a 36″ waist and not relying anymore on XXXL shirts, but looking at the XL range. My confidence is back and as for my diet, I’ll happily buy quinoa and broccoli spears nowadays.
Setting goals is a major plus point within ManAlive, I have never been able to ride 100 miles on a bike before, I’ve done 100k but not 100 miles, within the next two months, it’s going to happen, there’s even talk of a Marathon, we shall see…….
In all honesty, it’s the best move I’ve made, making great new friends, the camaraderie, the banter, getting a nickname, being part of a ‘family’.
So if you’re thinking about joining Man Alive, don’t think, do it! You won’t regret it, I joined and certainly don’t!”
Gerry Rosen – Radlett Location