I was an active child growing up. Like many sporty boys living in England I enjoyed playing and watching football. Although my preferred physical activity I never shied away from practicing other sports in the playground, field, sports hall and my back garden. These included basketball, tennis and cricket. Athletics was just one of many pursuits I discovered. I also loved playing snooker.
My Physical Education classes were some of my best times at school. I was described by my teachers as “highly competitive” and a “reliable, hardworking and talented sportsman”. Such was my enthusiasm that I participated in hockey, gymnastics and dance, even though I had no particular interest in perfecting my performances.
Highlights from my first sixteen years include winning three borough basketball championships and earning top school honours in cross country running.
Whilst at college I experienced my first and only extended period without regular physical activity; my academic studies took president. At university I returned to strengthening my body by visiting the campus sports centre gym daily. I undertook exercises that worked muscles I had never before consciously targeted.
Over the next three years I made many friends, became a valued part-time employee and again embraced competitive sports. I spent time improving skills in racket sports such as badminton, squash and tennis, and became lean and strong through weight training, indoor triathlons and extreme workouts such as CrossFit.
Before I ran my first competitive road race I had built a respectable fitness base and learnt the basics of effective training; a consistent routine fuelled by passion and developed in a competitive environment.