215 Upper Richmond Road (Inside Daley Fitness), Putney, London SW15 6SY

How did I get here? My story.

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At the end of 2011, at the age of 32, I was pretty broken up. Every time I tried to do some exercise I injured myself. Whether I ran or went to the gym there was always payback. At the end of 2011 I’d all but given up on running. Earlier that summer my knees were giving me so much grief that I could barely walk. I couldn’t sit down with out using my arms, and I was in constant pain and the thought of a run filled me with fear and regret. So I turned to weights, but again I injured myself (this time my shoulder…). My doctor said it could be arthritis in my knees, so I had a scan. No wear and tear was noted. Instead, I was recommended orthotics and told not to run.

In December 2011 my Wife came home with a book about a tribe of runners that could traverse hundreds of miles without pain or shoes(!). Well, I was skeptical and also pretty grumpy about it. After all, I was busy walking about like an 80 year old.

My last attempt at running a month earlier had not gone particularly smoothly. I was running with Liz (my wife) around the streets in Kennington, out of breath and trying to minimise the pain in my knees. I’d bought a new pair of shoes, asics, with plenty of cushioning a year earlier, they’d been recommended as providing support for flat feet and pronation. The shoes would certainly work until my orthotics were delivered. It turned out that the streets of Kennington were turning into an assault course. A year previously I'd severely damaged my IT band as a result of wearing them, but that didn't stop me thinking they would solve me knee issues. I kept falling over. Tripping over curbs, twisting my ankle and clipping my own feet. I was struggling to lift my knees and keep balance. In the end we abandoned the run an I hobbled back home, angry upset and feeling like I'd entered old age too early.

Around Christmas I picked up Born To Run, Liz, a veracious reader, had read it and assured me I’d enjoy it. I became totally anti-social for a week. I couldn’t put it down. Like many people I was over whelmed by the possibility that I could run again. The day after finished it I left my Asics at the back of the cupboard picked up the flattest shoes I could (some old converse) and ran. I can’t say I ran like a gazelle, I still loped and clunked around, the difference was I knew running from now on was going to be different. I'd made a mental shift - I took control!

I have been on a massive journey one where I hit road blocks and frustrations to my position now where I feel I am in the best shape of my life. I move better, I feel better, I’m faster healthier, stronger (both in muscle and aerobic endurance ), I have great body composition, I can perform the fundamental human movements well, have gained loads of strength and importantly I’m totally pain free. Totally pain free, this is something that no one ever talks about. They ask you how fast you can run, how much weight you can lift. But do you live without pain, do you feel free? I do, its quite overwhelming.

I’m looking forward to pushing myself physically and mentally without the fear of my body breaking down quickly. I’m by no means the finished product! My fascination with exploring movement is a journey. I look forward to sharing some stories, insights and reviews and importantly discussing the successes and mistakes I’ve made. While I started off as a runner (a label I still hold close to me), I’ve become hooked on natural movement, kettlebells, calisthenics, physio and weights in tandem with aerobic conditioning, heart rate training and high fat low carb eating. I love physical culture. There should be no dogma when exploring exercise. Having said that, an element of scepticism and the scientific method should never go amiss!

All the best,

Paul


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