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  • Simon Marks

Taking my first steps with Maccabi GB at the Community Fun Run


You’ve got to start somewhere.


None of us could walk when we were born. We all had to learn to take those first few tentative steps. Our muscles had to strengthen. Our nervous system had to improve our coordination. Our heart and lungs had to develop to provide the energy necessary to move our body around. But bit by bit it all comes together.

As we got older, we learned new abilities, like running, throwing, catching, swimming – some with more talent than others, to be fair. But often with the child-like excitement of learning something new, and a lack of self-consciousness about the whole experience.

Unfortunately, when we get to adulthood many of us find starting something new quite daunting. Especially if it’s a significant physical challenge. We all know that we should be keeping fit and healthy. But it’s such a faff. It’s cold out. The latest episode of American Gods/Game of Thrones/Line of Duty is on. But you’ve got to start somewhere. You have to take that first step.

For me, my first step was the Maccabi GB Community Fun Run 2014.

I was 41. Weighed 85kg/13.5 stone. Round face. Big tummy. I had carefully spent 20+ years avoiding exercise - I was never a sporty kid at school (yes, always picked last for any team), and hated the gym. Over the years my waist size kept increasing, and increasing.


So, it was a Sunday and there nothing to do with two boisterous boys in the house. Right, we’ll do the 1km at the Maccabi Fun Run. 1km can’t be that difficult, surely? How wrong I was. I didn’t see my 9-year old for dust, and I struggled to even keep up with my 6-year old. It was a rude awakening – there I was, early 40s and I could barely run 1km. It’s possible that after that experience I might have returned to my sofa (no-one ever got injured sitting on a sofa, amirite?). But thankfully for me, my mother also took her first step at around the same time – doing her first triathlon at the age of 69. Frankly, after that, I had very few excuses left.

I took my first step. I started running (mainly walking), and cycling (on a bike I had bought 10 years earlier but never ridden), and swimming (yay for Copthall). And somehow, 2 months later I had entered, and completed, my first triathlon, and I’ve not looked back since. I lost weight. I got fitter; stronger. I ran longer and faster. I got a better bike and started cycling everywhere. I actually started to enjoy it so much that I looked for opportunities to go cycling – on my own, with my family and eventually with friends and a proper cycling club! Our holidays are organised around where we can swim, or cycle, or surf.


In 2 years, I had gone from obese to slim, from out of breath and barely able to run 1000 meters to competing in Olympic-distance triathlons, half marathons and 100-mile bike races. I have cycled up and down mountains. I even swam a mile in the open ocean when my family got stranded on a remote island while on holiday! Last year I decided to take the next step and qualified as a Personal Trainer, setting up FreeRange Fitness with my friend Karina, to help people take their first, second or umpteenth step on that journey.

And it all started with the Maccabi GB Community Fun Run. Which is why it gives me great pleasure and pride to be working with Maccabi GB on their 2017 Fun Run. We are partnering up to help you take that first step. To run your first 1k, 5k or 10k. To use this amazing event to start your journey to a fitter, healthier lifestyle. We are going to be sharing our advice on how to train for your chosen distance. How to eat healthily while still enjoying your food. How to strengthen your body so you don’t injure yourself from all that running. And how to recover after you’ve achieved your goal so you can take on the next one.

So, take that first step. Push yourself a little. See what you are really capable of.

Sign up for the Maccabi GB Community Fun Run this year.

We’ll be here to help you.


#motivation #challenge #maccabi