At the age of 50 I decided I was going to take massive action and do something that was going to change my life forever.
After leaving the army at the age of forty I set out to make my fortune and created what was once a successful business. What I failed to do however, was to look after my body, my years of living a full active lifestyle in the army counted for nothing. I abused my body, by working 24/7 living out of my car, eating fast food, or just grabbing a big breakfast at a networking meeting or getting home late and eating all the wrong food, just hours before going to bed. Then waking up and doing the whole thing over again. I worked hard on my business, but not on myself, chasing a goal regardless of the consequences.
So what changed for me….
As I was approaching my 49th birthday my business was taking a huge nose dive, so without covering something I have documented in more detail in my book The Best Loser, here are the highlights. After my mother died in August 2007 I seemed to take my eye off the ball as far as my business was concerned, the overall result was that I got in what can only be described as, a slight financial difficulty. Which all in all contributed to my bouts of depression and anxiety.
To help beat these bouts of depression I found running was in a way a form of escapism, which allowed me a time to reflect. It also allowed me to set myself physical challenges, in that when I was faced with a hill I would run up it and use the physical pain as a form of goal setting, by not allowing myself to stop until I reached the top. I treated the hills as obstacles in my life and by concurring them I was in effect able to approach the problems with a more positive approach. Of course this didn’t always work, it never made the problems go away however I did find that I started to feel a little better about myself. More importantly I was improving my health, so towards the last quarter of 2009 I was able to take part in the Great North Run and subsequently both the London and Edinburgh Marathons in April and May 2010.
It was during the build-up to entering the Great North Run when I first had the idea for FAST@50. Here’s a brief background to how it came about: Throughout my army career as an instructor and trainer we would become accustom to the use of Acronym Mnemonics, for those unfamiliar with there use, they are basically used in assisting, or intended to assist the memory. Therefore I told myself that my goal for 2010 was that I would still be fit and training at 50. So when I wrote this on a piece of paper I simple wrote down “FAST @ 50” (FIT AND STILL TRAINING AT 50). Which can also be used as fit and still training after 50.
I first registered the domain way back in 2009 but never actually did anything positive with it, I simply let it expire after a couple of years, but managed to re-register it in 2016. Almost seven years on from when I first had the idea. My intention as always been, to not just motivate myself but hopefully encourage others who like me are approaching that so called midlife crisis phase in their life to continue or take up some form of active pursuit, be it running, cycling or any physical challenge, and throughout their 50’s and beyond, continue to be fit and still training.
My ultimate goal when I first registered the domain was to help raise at least 1 million pounds £1000,000 for charity. I know… that’s quite a huge task on my own, my vision now is much greater in that. I would like to think that this website and our social media activity puts FAST @50 on the map, so to speak, which helps to encourage people to get off the couch and do something for charity, more importantly for themselves. If FAST@50 encourages just 2000 people who each raise at least £500 for charity then that’s the first million, it could be more?
Like many I am sure, when I reached forty I had so many plans, life was about to begin for me… Although I achieved some things, it wasn’t until I reached my 50’s when I realised that the clock is ticking faster than ever and before you know it like me your forties will be a distant memory. Without good health all those things we want to do will be much harder, so my advice is… if you haven’t already… then join us and be FAST@50 to you give yourself a stronger chance of living a healthy happy lifestyle.