The Unelite Athlete

The Party is over?!

Happy New Year folks!  In my last blog, I spoke about relaxing, unwinding and not being afraid of taking time off over Christmas. So that’s exactly what I did.

I took my own advice and had a little time off, with a lot of overindulgence threw in for good measure. Now I didn’t do absolutely nothing. I ran the Greencastle 5 mile race (it has become a tradition with friends) and had the odd session on the exercise bike. Nothing too strenuous because I want to get back into full training this month and be ready to train consistently.

The point I’m making ,is that for me, the festive period is over and it’s time to get the work done.

January is a great starting date for anyone, and that’s why I love it. I’m addicted to the “New Year, New You” persona that everyone adopts as they aspire to change in whatever way they have set out to.

  • So you want to lose weight?

Perfect, it’s January!

  • You want to stop smoking?

Perfect it’s January!

  • You want to start a new hobby?

Yeah, you get the picture, it’s January!

It’s easy to change whenever you give yourself the chance to. For example, I gave up smoking 9 years ago on New Year’s day. I’d like to say it was my own decision but, I’m a believer in things happening for a reason, and that day they did.

I woke up with something called spontaneous pneumothorax (a lung collapses without any known cause). Now that day I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Like no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t suck in enough air to get my lungs going. So an ambulance rushed me to hospital and they stuck a tube in my ribcage (a chest drain) then I had to get on a bike an pedal to try and inflate my lung. It was hell.

I stopped smoking that day and, although my lung collapsed 5 more times in the first quarter of that year, I never looked back. It took  the shock of what happened to me to finally change. I had said for a while that I was going to stop when the time was right, and the time was definitely right!

Here’s a tip…

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now.

Take the leap into the unknown, not just because it’s New Year but, because it’s something you’ve been wanting to do. And if you hear a friend setting themselves a goal, give them your support as well. We all need extra encouragement when we are trying something new. Who knows where you’re goals will take you. One thing’s for sure. 9 years ago when I stopped smoking, I had no idea that I’d be where I am now, writing blogs and loving running.

Whatever you do, best of luck. And let me know how you get on.

Catch up with you soon



Ulster Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW