THE RELUCTANT RUNNER: Thank you to everyone who helped

After completing a 5km run, it's time to reflect and say thank you
After completing a 5km run, it's time to reflect and say thank you

If you thought the Reluctant Runner column would have disappeared after I completed my challenge last week, sorry, I’m still here.

Many people have helped me to build a better me and I wanted to say thank you.

○ Thanks to my family, they have supported me all the way. Once they’d got over the initial surprise of me trying to change the habits of a lifetime, they encouraged me through the difficult days and will get the benefits of an improved dad and husband. One of the main driving forces was to set a better example to my children, and hopefully they are proud of what I have achieved.

○ Thanks to Natalie and Harry at the Health Trainers who set me on my way, explained how badly out of shape I was at the start but did it in a gentle way with facts and advice.

○ Thanks to everyone who let me interview them and write about their stories, from Anna – who lost eight stones in eight months – to James, who was trying to quit smoking. Knowing that many others are going through a health journey like me was inspiring.

○ Thanks to the staff at East Riding Leisure. It’s a wonderful place and I knew that if I couldn’t get motivated there, I couldn’t anywhere. But the centre is only as good as the staff inside and people like Steven, the instructor who met me for a health check-up every month, kept me on the right track.

○ Thanks to Charlie Kilburn, the personal trainer who took my for my first run. The thought had terrified me, but he made me feel at ease and got me in a position to be able to complete the Parkrun.

○ And thanks to everyone who has told me they have enjoyed reading this column. I wanted it to be entertaining, but to acheieve real results, and the feedback has been better than I could have imagined. So to everyone, friends, colleagues and even strangers, who stopped me and said well done and offered encouragement, I really appreciated it.

Next week, I will go back to the Health Trainers office in Quay Road to have the same tests I went through at the start of this process in December, and I will be able to compare the results.