I've always been active, be it sport or doing things at the weekend. However, I must admit I was unprepared for all of that being turned on its head when we started a family. I think it was worst with our first because we were learning as we went, and after; a full day at work, limited sleep, house chores and DIY etc the last thing I felt like doing was going for a run, or even think about exercise. Instead; we'd eat post 9pm together, most of the time. I'd raid the vending machine of sugary dreams at work, and then crash on the sofa between the two hour bottle feeding cycles we were 'advised' was a must.
It wasn't until I saw a picture of myself whilst on a beach, that I realised I had started to develop the 'Dad Bod', and was actually 'daddy cool'. This was not a look I wanted or felt comfortable with. Don't get me wrong I was not a finally tuned athlete before, but I certainly did not have moobs or a second chin. I'm not critical of anyone who does, as it takes all sorts to make the world go round. But I personally felt something had to change, which I decided to do gradually so I could still help out and pull my weight (no joke intended). But also I wanted to show the boys that taking part in activities was good.
I started taking part in the local parkrun which I found by chance online. It's a free event and only 3K, plus:
- It's organised which helps in me thinking I've got to go because someone else is taking the time to be there.
- You have a unique barcode which tracks you on the morning, and plots how you're progressing time wise, within your age and gender groupings.
- There are people of all mixed abilities which helps make it a friendly place to go, particularly when it's blowing a gale in the middle of December.
- If you're away for the weekend and there is a local parkrun, you're able to attend and your time is recorded using your barcode.
This helped me start to get back on track and cut those sugary foods from the vending machine etc. Don't get me wrong, I still look nothing like Cristiano Ronaldo, but the moobs and gut are slowly disappearing. Plus my wife doesn't hear me moaning after the third bit of cake anymore. I'm also feeling more energised, which has picked my mood up, and I'm sure is helping everyone in the house as it's one less stroppy person to deal with.
As the boys get older, I'm sure there'll be opportunity to get back into recreational sports, and they may even join their old man in the weekly parkrun. For now I feel like I've found the balance that's right for everyone. Who knows, I may even meet my target of taking part in a half-marathon by the end of the year, and a full one in the next three (knee permitting).