Let me introduce you to Kevin. Kevin has very kindly given me permission to rave on about him in this blog post.
I first met Kevin in an IT class (I was the tutor, he was a student). Every week after class he would sit outside eating oranges – lots of them, an absurd number. And every week I would say, “so, Kevin, you coming running tonight?”. Honestly? I don’t think either of us really believed that was ever going to happen. It became a running joke. (See what I did there).
But one day last spring, Kevin came running, and he hasn’t stopped.
And all around him, people have been noticing the changes.
We all have a starting point in running, as in every new thing we try. I’m not giving away any secrets by telling you that Kevin was not a runner. He had never run, and until Walk2Run never had any intention of running. To meet him at first you would see a gentle, kind, quiet man, who could appear shy in company. He is also very honest: if you ask Kevin ‘how are you feeling today?’ you are sure to get the truth. ‘Good’, or ‘not so good today thank you’. Kevin also has diabetes and has lived with a mental health condition for some time.
Last week, another Walk2Runner saw Kevin for the first time in a few months, she saw him sprinting on the shingle on Hastings beach and exclaimed ‘What’s happened to Kevin?’
Kevin can run. And he’s a beast at sprinting – who knew????? He has become noticeably more flexible, his balance and coordination have improved, and he can now master the pre-run and post run dynamic and static stretches with ease. Kevin’s enthusiasm is spreading, and he now brings his neighbour to the sessions. Not only that, they are going out together for short fartlek sessions (yes, Kevin now knows what fartlek means). Kevin has lost weight – not so long ago he had to buy new (smaller sized) trousers.
But the biggest thing, and the one thing that people most mention to me, is Kevin’s smile. At work, in class, in running sessions, people talk about his smile. Even if he starts a session with a ‘not too good today thanks for asking’, he finishes it with a smile.
If I can do it, if Kevin has done it, if other Walk2Runners are doing it, you can do it too. You don’t have to start out as a runner, you don’t have to have the right kit. You just have to do it. Every step counts, one foot in front of the other, and one day, you’ll be running along the beach, or prom, or the streets where you live, and someone will shout, ‘What's happened to …….?’
Come and run with us, it might just change your life...