had never focused on his health and wellbeing. He had struggled with his weight
since his teenage years and had battled with low self-esteem.
his heaviest, Dan weighed over 22 and a half stone. Despite losing some weight,
he struggled to maintain his weight loss and found himself putting it back on
again after a few months.
was introduced to run-leader Taz at the Edgbaston Reservoir run group, after
his fiancé encouraged him to join. He was weary, and felt self-conscious about attending,
but was pleasantly surprised when he was met by friendly faces and
of my weight I had always been judged. I thought ‘Are people going to judge me?
What are they going to think? Am I going to be too slow?’ But it was the total
opposite to what I thought.”
group were fantastic and everyone was so friendly. They didn’t judge me for how
far I went or how fast I was, it was just the taking part and getting active
Dan began to attend the run group every week, and
began to see improvements. He started getting better week by week, running a little
further each time and also running without taking breaks or stopping.
suffering with their mental health, get them out in open spaces, go for a run,
out for a walk around the block. Just get out, it will help you.”
he was able to lose a
significant amount of weight and keep it off.
only runs 3 times a week, but has now built up his confidence and ability
enough to volunteers as a run leader for his local run group.
Leading the run session something he never thought he’d be able to do. He explains:
“I’d always been shy
and found it difficult to approach new people. Once I started volunteering, all
that changed. I was able to welcome new walkers or runners to the group,
without feeling uncomfortable.
“The smiles on people’s
faces and their sense of pride is what keeps me going, week in week out.
I would recommend volunteering to anyone; it’s a great way to meet new people
and brings you out of your shell.”
3 years later, Dan
still runs regularly and cannot imagine his life without running and physical
activity. Since beginning his running journey,
he has even gone on to take part in 10k runs, half marathons and even full
marathons raising over £1000 for charity. Dan adds:
“My run journey
has really boosted my confidence. I’ve managed to do things I’ve never done
made so many new friends while running, it has truly changed my life.”