RELUCTANT RUNNER: Tommy’s words will spur me on

The Reluctant Runner with Tommy Coyle
The Reluctant Runner with Tommy Coyle

It was the Bridlington Sports Awards last Friday and once again, I was the host with the most.Onlythis time, I was the host with a lot less after getting very close to the three-stone mark at my latest weigh-in.

Our special guest was an inspiration. Hull boxer Tommy Coyle got the whole room talking.

The Reluctant Runner meets boxing champion Tommy Coyle

The Reluctant Runner meets boxing champion Tommy Coyle

It’s always interesting listening to a professional sportsman speak close-up about what makes them tick.

Tommy was a natural entertainer. The fact he was expelled from school and then went on to become a boxing champion means he has plenty of tales to tell.

He said: “If I am on the treadmill next to you, there is no way I am going to get off it before you. You will not beat me.

“I would rather die than get off the treadmill before you.”

Now, I am not quite willing to go to those lengths in my fitness journey.

But Tommy’s speech about the three principles which drive him on will help me.

He calls them HSP: hard work, sacrifice and perserverance.

The rest of us are never going to be elite athletes like Tommy, but the qualities he spoke about can be applied by all of us.

Hard work – Applies in any walk of life, you don’t succeed without hard work.

Sacrifice – Sometimes I’d rather stay at home and have a rest and watch TV, especially after a busy day at work, but I am doing my best to sacrfice that hour on the sofa to drag myself to the gym.

Perseverance – When I started on the cross-trainer at the gym, I just about managed to do 10 minutes. But I have persevered and last week, I reached half an hour.

I started doing 1km on the treadmill, and through hard work and perseverance, I have built up to a mile and then to more than 2km.

I’ve got 10 weeks until I try to complete the Parkrun at Sewerby. It’s only 5km, but there will be times on that course when I will be struggling, and I will make sure I think of that bloke on the treadmill next to Tommy and make sure there is no way I am giving up.

He’s had bigger obstacles to overcome than me.