I was born in Wales in 1967. I lived there till I was 10 years old. I am one of six siblings. 3 elder than me and 2 younger. Was a bit of a turbulent 10 years but as far as I remember it was happy enough. Except for the fact that my parents split when I was 6, they should of split far earlier. There was lots of fighting between the two of them, pretty much all the fault of our father. From the age of 6 to 10 I was pretty much shunted between the two of them, it was an unsettled life but I still remember happy times. Both parents never really had time for us and I certainly dont remember either of them helping with things like schooling. We were pretty much left to our own and got on with it. What it did mean was none of us were at that stage set for a good educated life.
I then went to the Midlands for a holiday of two weeks with an aunt & uncle I had never met before. I ended up living there till I was 18. These were good settled years, provided to me by my aunt & uncle and two cousins. Went to school ( mostly) and was sent on many a school trip. My new family went way beyond the call of duty where I was concerned. I repaid them by being a complete idiot. Looking back on it I blame my parents for not bringing me up properly but I'm not using it as an excuse. I was given a fine opportunity of a good life and should of behaved far better than I did. Nothing dramatically bad, just being a complete idiot. Bunking off school, smoking, out all hours of the day, schoolboy pranks and teenage strops were taken to the limits.
At the age of 18 I moved to London, this was my first big mistake. My father owned a pub in London and though he was the cause of our family splitting up it did not stop me heading there and to the bright lights of London.
From 18 to 24 were probably my most turbulent years. I was a complete waster. Spent most of the time working in the pub and drinking in other pubs. Got in trouble a few times for drunken behaviour .
At 24 two things happened to me. 1, I had a fight with my father who was continuously verbally abusive, he liked to call me a useless ####. So we had a fight. Only good thing about that was he never spoke to me like that again. But I still hate the fact that it came to blows.
The second thing to happen was I got married. Was never the happiest of marriages however, no fighting or anything bad, just didn't really get on. Never rush into marriage folks. Obviously the 2 daughters out of that marriage was the best thing. However, 10 years ago my wife died of cancer and I suddenly became a single parent.
Up until now I was still just plodding on through life, numerous jobs and pubs were still a constant in my life. My wife and I both preferred it if I wasnt indoors. By becoming that single parent it was time to get serious. The youngest daughter, Molly was 5 years old and it is she who has PKU . Its means a very restrictive diet and the younger they are, the more important it is to keep on top of the diet.
Then came another big moment in our lives, Molly and I moved from where we were in Hertfordshire to Berkshire. The eldest daughter stayed in Hertfordshire. To this day, I wish I'd insisted on her coming with us. She was struggling with her mothers death but seemed to be putting on a brave face and coping well. It's a decision I regret everyday. It's what happened though and I cant turn the clock back.
So Molly and I were living in a tiny village near Newbury in Berkshire . It was Kate Middleton country, believe me, we were the odd ones out in that village. What I did have though was two very nice part time jobs, both people i worked for I firmly classed as friends, still do. Three times a week i would jump in the van and deliver Eggs to shops, pubs, farm shops, butchers etc all around Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire. when not doing that I helped out in an art gallery in Goring on Thames . I loved both those jobs. So my life was work and being a single parent .
Other than those few years in Berkshire, believe me I had done nothing with my life. I was now aged 46, its 2013 and weighed 245 llbs.
Its July 2013.
Though life was more settled now, on the whole I had done nothing with my life.wasted time at school, totally messed up the education I could of had. Never found a proper career, just gone from one job to another. I felt I had done nothing up to now and I certainly never achieved anything worthwhile.
It was while I was at the art gallery one evening that life changed though.
I was having a conversation with the owner on the subject of what we would like to do before popping our clogs. The typical bucket list conversation. I said I would like to run a Marathon. I have no idea why, I had never had anything to do with running whatsoever. It was by no means any part of my life. I had spent the last 30 years wasting my life, not achieving anything, so I really wanted to do something on my own, something I can achieve on my own.
Both the art gallery owner and molly both said " well, you best get of your bum and do it then "
I decided to do something about it , I also knew I didn't want to go straight into a Marathon, I had heard the odd mention of a couch to 5k thing. I looked up running plans and once again, my life was about to change.
I had stumbled on a running site called https://runningbug.co.uk and a 10k plan. So I went with that plan. My 1st ever run was on July 27th 2013.
It was the start of the 10k plan, was 2.27 miles run / walk and it took 23:34 minutes.
I had the previous week gone and bought some kit and ordered a Garmin F10. I was taking this seriously.
I had also joined the Running Bug web site and was taking lots of advice from there. Advice which would be the cause of that major life change. .
I plodded on through that 8 week plan and arrived at a local 10k event. Swallowfield 10k on 22nd September 2013. I completed that run in 58:45. I was chuffed to bits, knackered but chuffed to bits. It was the first thing I'd ever done on my own.