Grace made my impossible goal…possible!

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A personal story from Forge Client John Walker…

My name is John, and I have been a Forge PT client since January 2016 (12 weeks at the time of writing). When I first approached Grace about losing weight I had a goal in mind, a 5K ‘tough mudder’ course called Run Mucker Run. It’s something I’ve dreamt of doing since 2014, and Grace helped me achieve my goal, losting 34lbs in 12 weeks and smashing my time to complete the course in a blazing 90 minutes!

Run Mucker Run is something I’ve dreamt of doing since 2014, when a friend first sent me a photo of the poster. The event is held every 6 months and every time it came up my friends and I would say we’d do it, but I never felt comfortable or fit enough to take part.

So in January I approached Grace about getting ready for Run Mucker Run, she calculated four full months to get ready. At this stage I weighed in at 17 Stone 10 lbs and was very out of shape and I definitely couldn’t lift anything remotely heavy! That night Run Mucker Run announced their next event was in 3 months, not 4. I messaged Grace to let her know we had a month less, expecting it to be a problem.  “I’ll get you there.” Not what I expected to hear!

It started with a test week to test my base levels of fitness, and my eating habits. Grace then prepared an individual programme that would enable me to conquer Run Mucker Run, and a nutrition plan that I could follow. I enjoyed the workouts…even those with burpees! One of the reasons I love my workout programme is that no two workouts are ever the same.

Within 4 weeks people at work started comment on my weight loss, while I wasn’t really seeing it myself, more than enough people mentioned it to make me believe. At the start of the third month I visited my friend who had originally put me onto the idea of Run Mucker, who had once again decided to opt out due to the unsociable hours he had at work.  I hadn’t seen him since I started training, I walked into his house, took my coat off and sat down. When I looked up he was staring at me, confused I raised an eyebrow at him, “Where’s the other half of you?” he asked, “there is literally half of you since the last time I saw you!”. Feeling really good about myself and my weight, there was only one obstacle left. Run Mucker Run.

On 30th April 2016, me, Coach Grace, her brother and a collection of friends and work colleagues headed down to Kirk Road in Ballymoney for my final test. We arrived early to allow for registration and rounding up the various people that came to watch me. The weather was mostly bright, without being warm, although there was an odd shower of hail stones. The time came, they called for my group. I walked to the start line and focused. Coach got me fired up and told me to enjoy the experience as all the training would now pay off. This was everything I had dreamed and feared of since 2014, and I had allocated myself 2 hours to complete a 5K course littered with Walls, Barbed Wire and other obstacles.

Just 90 minutes later I reached the finish line to cheers from even more people who had turned up to support me. Half an hour faster, and in much better shape than I had expected. I’ll not for one second say I thought it was easy, and there was still obstacles I had to pass on, but I had done more than I thought I would, and in a lot quicker time.

Not only did The Forge prepare me in 3 months for my goal but we smashed it. I did much better than I thought I was going to both in terms of time and ease of some of the obstacles. I came into this one saying “This year finish the course, next year beat it” and with obstacles I had to skip being few enough that you could count them on one hand, I am fully confident that by next year I will beat the course.

In 15 weeks with The Forge I have lost 34lbs of weight, I started in January as a XXXL T-shirt and I’m now in a Large, in fact my Run Mucker Run XL T-shirt was so big, I was able to wear  a T-shirt below it!

I’ve tried to lose weight and become fit and healthy in the past and I failed many times, so I can confidently say that I could not have done this without the amazing support and training provided by Grace Smith at The Forge! I am really excited to be one Week One of my second training cycle at the Forge, and seeing just how far I can go with Grace as my coach.

Coach’s Note

Thanks John for sharing your own personal Forge story! You have become an inspiration to so many other Forge members with your dedication to your training and food choices. Here’s to more amazing adventures!


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