Posts by ojmsites

We couldn’t have done it without you! Comments Off on We couldn’t have done it without you!

We couldn’t have done it without you!

Posted by on 12th July 2016

It had been just over a week since Michelle and I attempted and completed the Gung-ho challenge. We did a little running but not a lot and one main reason was because it was so wet. It was heavy drenching rain and surprised there was no thunder with how dark it got at times.

We THANK YOU all for your support, at the time of writing this post YOU helped us raise over £800 for Alzheimer’s society plus a load from Gift Aid too. We thought an aim of £500 over 3 months was a bit of a high target but you all helped us SMASH it and raise over 50% more than our initial target. I am sure the money will go on to help so many people.
Running became impossible as the ground slipped between us and we saw more than one person go over and slipped over ourselves a few times injuring ankles, falling down – it was crazy but thankfully with the ground so wet, the landing wasn’t painful just very muddy. There was one occasion where I climbed up the inflatable, jumped over onto the sliding area which was an inflatable water slide now and kept skidding a few metres after the slide ended. We laughed so hard it was difficult to get up again. It was so wet that before finishing the course all the mud was washed off me.

Some of the pictures from the event from my mobile (I’ve no idea how the phone worked afterwards as it was like we’d jumped into a swimming pool):

And here are some that Michelles’ husband took (J P Warwick Studios )

So… What now…

As I said, its been a week since the event and we are looking to the future. This is in no way the end, just a start to a life change. We are looking to the next challenge but if it was up to me, I’d avoid the running – I don’t enjoy it but the other parts – I love that so guess I’ll be in the running again as all events seem to require it. Michelle has been looking at other various events but none in the immediate future – something for next year.

Our fitness will continue, and we will work to get ourselves how we want to be. We still have each other and all of you cheering and encouraging us on and we both see changes in ourselves. So the gym & swimming will continue, the weights and runs will continue and hopefully we will find people local to us to keep us going and join in. It is really hard on your own to progress but it will be interesting to see how we are in 6 months time and thankfully this blog has some pictures we can look back on.

THANK YOU TO YOU ALL – We couldn’t have done it without you!

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It has got so REAL suddenly Comments Off on It has got so REAL suddenly

It has got so REAL suddenly

Posted by on 26th June 2016

The packs came in the post in the last day or so. Less that 7 days and this whole Gung-ho event will be over. The bouncy crazy course of 5K will be over and I know I will not be running all of it but will be enjoying it with Michelle. We will laugh and struggle and hopefully not break anything but we have been blessed by the amounts that so many of you have given, in encouragement and in money.

Gung-ho Pack

We beat our target of £500 last week and were overcome with appreciation that people believed in us enough to donate for it. Many have said they would donate but don’t know who has or has not as there has been so many anonymous amounts. We do say Thank you though to everyone.

Will training stop now… one week to go – not likely. Have either of us managed to complete the C25K program that is meant to get you running from nothing in 6 to 8 weeks. Well, I know I haven’t but have been going outside or to the gym multiple times a week trying. We started or I should say I started after Michelle at the start of April with training and that first session of 60 seconds running and 2 minutes resting. We have done it just over 3 months and though can do better than when we initially started – I am nowhere near to running for 30 minutes non-stop but this is an obstacle course so intervals are better.

We both will continue on the road to getting fitter and though this target WILL be passed, 3 months was not enough time for us to get there. We will struggle and get through, we will support each other as many of you have also supported us. So Thank you, and I’ll update again next week after the event 🙂

We got sent this link to what we will expect to see next week: The obstacles on the course – It should be fun… right?

gung ho course


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Addicted to Sugar… Comments Off on Addicted to Sugar…

Addicted to Sugar…

Posted by on 17th June 2016

I can safely say that I am addicted to the sweet tastes of sugar. I have some friends who like smoking, some that like other things, me – I’ve always loved sweet things, be it chocolate, lollipops, fruit pastels, toffee, or the many fizzy drinks like coke, lemonade, mountain dew, iron bru, and tend to eat them most while sat at work at my desk.

I am in the process of reducing my sugar intake as sure that is not helping with my health in general and it seems even more difficult that the exercise and running. I presume though that if I manage to cut down sugar intake then my weight management, and general toning from the regular exercise will improve well too.

Salad Pots

Salad pot I made for snacks – Very Tasty

It is not easy to cut down, I manage for a few weeks then get that craving and have one or two then don’t stop. I’ve found the best way in the house is just not to buy any to keep there and snacking there has generally stopped even with the cravings. I’ve read many articles online about how its a good idea to reduce sugars and when I measured my intake, I found its insanely high.

I’ve tried making snack pots of fruit and salad and they see me through but still fruit has lots of sugar in it. I’ve also tried many different dishes and will generally cook from scratch so know what is going in my food – Cutting down sugary fizzy drinks and instead having soda water is nice for a while but flavours are generally full of sweeteners or sugar which isn’t great for you.

Will I manage it? Well – it is just another challenge for my health. I want to be able to do so much more in life and enjoy foods but IF I keep with the high sugar, there is a possibility for diabetes and I don’t want that so changing my attitudes slowly.

A few weeks ago at university while lowering the sugar intake I tried having some 7-up and reacted with “WOW thats sweet!” and couldn’t drink it – it tasted like pure sugar in water and in reality probably was but I’d never noticed before how sweet it truly was.

So I will continue, Only 2 weeks until the event now and another change to master.

Various dishes I am making

Thanks for reading – Do you have any suggestions that could help me. I know not to go cold turkey from everything but just trying different ideas to reduce sugar now.

– John

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I honestly do not know… Comments Off on I honestly do not know…

I honestly do not know…

Posted by on 14th June 2016

Will I be ready for this challenge is a question both of us have asked ourselves and the closer the date (2nd July) gets, the more I wonder if will I be able to do it. Apart from some bad thing happening, we will be doing the challenge and completing the course even if we do end up walking a load of it.

But it is just less than 3 weeks away now. I have been going to the gym and managing the weight machines, and rowing but the when it comes to running – I run out of breath easily. I’m not sure how I can walk it no problem, row the 2000m warm up find but running still throws me completely.

5 pictures of John

I started on the couch to 5k program, it seems a good idea as it trains interval training wise which with us doing obstacles and not just 5K all in one go seems like a great idea. I started it at the start of April – you are meant to be able to run 5K within 6 to 8 weeks. I think this is not true as it assumes you have some ability to start with I am sure. I am on week 3 still and struggle finishing that – it is 90 seconds run, 90 seconds walk then 3 minutes run, 3 mins rest and repeat again. I manage one round okay, but only got through the second batch once – I am really struggling.

Current Gym Plan

My Current Gym Plan that I’m working with (mostly)

I am swimming twice a week, and started on 10 lengths and now up to 30 in a session – a new personal best. I am trying the best I can to get fit and attempt running outside at least once a week and attending the gym doing various strengthening and cardio exercises 2 to 4 times a week.

The question of will I be ready seems to be a resounding No, will that stop me though is also the same answer No. We will pursue the target, and really been built up by friends and sponsors. We set a target for £500 between us, and we are close to it already but appreciate all who sponsor us to do this – you would be surprised at how much of an encouragement that you believe in us while we are struggling that we can do this.

A 5K Obstacle course may not sound like much but that is just the end result, our real challenge has been getting out there and trying, doing something we have not done and really going for it.

Although I started with “I honestly don’t know if…“, I have actually came quite far. Last May (2015) I hurt my shoulders – both of them and it stopped me doing lots of things I enjoyed. I could not easily put weight on them and lifting things became very difficult – I could not even lean on my side longer than a few minutes without pain for about 20 minutes. I had physiotherapy after being referred and that started on Christmas eve, I did the what seemed like silly exercises with bands and body weight and got better to have full motion back and rarely any pain. I went to the gym induction and could not lift more than the 4kg barbells and felt really stupid but started there, and now in the gym I can use the 20kg+ ones in just over 2 months and more on the machines so it is helping my health.

I can now pick up my nephew without worrying that my shoulders will drop and so will he, so games have got a lot better since (He is coming up 3 in August). My confidence has increased from simple acts so its all a journey – one I would encourage people to do. I am not sure if we will run the entire event but it will be fun and I don’t think the journey of fitness will stop there. We have both noticed great things from attempting running and getting fit and glad we pushed each other into the idea – we both needed it, and need support and thank all that have helped us so far and all that are going to keep supporting us 🙂


– John

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How it is going… Comments Off on How it is going…

How it is going…

Posted by on 22nd May 2016

Running is a lot more difficult than I expected. I’ve never done running as a thing since we were at school and made to run track and do cross country which I used to complete but be at the back of the group. That ended in 1995 so was quite a while ago now. Many friends say how easy it is when they just choose to do it and wow, they manage it – they say they felt a bit tired but no big thing and to me even running the 3 minutes at the moment of the programme I am struggling.

I started the couch to 5K programme at the start of April with Michelle. It says within 6 to 8 weeks you’ll be able to run 5K and I think it lies big time. I started outside, running by the Tees Barrage and around the Stockton area, there are lots of other people running there and got some tips on how to do cool down stretches after my training and some helpful encouragements. I found it exhausting and only completed a few of the runs outside, I had a gym membership I never used so tried it there and running inside on a treadmill was a lot easier – this does not seem to help with outside running though.

Stockton - Infinity Bridge

I can do the week 3 programme on a treadmill but struggle with the earlier weeks outside so modified my training to do the 3 runs per week inside and one extra on a weekend outside. When meeting with Michelle, its outside all the way – she has a park within about 5 to 6 minutes walk away from her home thats got a nice path around a big green area with lots of trees so its nice to look at while running. I tend to have music on to run too, with the C25K app running in the background.

We are trying to raise some cash for Dementia awareness, it seems that both of our families relatives and many friends relatives are dealing with this issue and we are aiming to get over £500 between us to try and help the charity. We are up to around £260 so far but I think most of that came from Michelle bugging people to sponsor us so I’d hope a few of you would sponsor us too:

I’ve needed to get fitter for a long time and think this is helping. I’ve now a regular routine of gym time with some rowing to start, running and some work on the machines and body weight exercises. I swim twice a week and while university is on (this is the last week) – I do trampolining twice a week too. I’ve been able to do more every other week than I did the weeks before but still struggle massively in the running department.

Very orange people out running

Various times out running over April and May

The 5K is the length of the course we are doing so we will get breaks to do the obstacles and kinda get rest periods so the interval training of the C25K programme probably will help with that. I’m not sure I’ll be finished the programme in the 5 weeks remaining before the run but will continue trying to do my best and will have a little more time from start of June with University over for another year. Its been difficulty working full time, studying part time and trying to get fitter alongside the normal craziness of life but we must all push on to better ourselves and to grow so its a journey I am taking 🙂

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Thank you

– John

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