From Wilderfat To Wilderfit

The last couple of years has seen a lot of changes for me, but most of all, the biggest change has been my personal transformation. In 2018 I weighed in at a hefty 20 stone and it was a case of Run Fat Boy, Run – just like the Simon Pegg movie, fitness wasn’t my first love. I’m happy to say that now I’m 5½ stone lighter – a remarkable achievement that took me just over 5 months.

Did I move into the local gym?
Did I attend an Army-style boot camp?
Did I have any form of surgery?

No, I didn’t. So how did my miraculous change occur? Read on ….

Accountability has got a lot to answer for, especially when it comes in the shape of a YouTube channel, which is exactly what myself and my good friend David Whitehouse of inLIFE Design set up back in 2018. The mission to get fit, combined with having fun and my (at the time) hobby of videography were the perfect mix.

Thinking back to those early days of Wilderfit, the runs around Chasewater Country Park, peppered with the occasional bike ride on a nursery trail, seem positively mild now compared to some of the antics we get up to – but they were hard work. Soon, our Wilderfit channel had attracted a following on YouTube and others started to join us on our antics. There was a lot of banter and support but no gym fees. It was easy to forget that we were pushing ourselves a little harder with every challenge. Maybe without the support I wouldn’t have progressed as far as I have.

We film everything we do. We’re not talking hi-tech polished productions, but real people showing that you can get fit whilst having fun. Yes, it can be a bit laddish, but it works. From those cold winter evening 30 minute runs we’ve now progressed to climbing mountains, mountain biking trails, triathlons, long distance runs and a 20 mile course with 200 obstacles known as the Rat Race.

I’ve been duped into climbing Mount Snowdon and there have been times when I’ve wanted to give up, but thankfully never have. I believe that being based in the Midlands helps – we’re spoilt for choice on our own doorstep with the likes of Chasewater Country Park, miles of trails at Cannock Chase and centrally positioned to drive to the Derbyshire Peaks, Snowdonia and the Lake District for the more mountainous challenges.

2020 has been a strange year, but I didn’t let lockdown stop me. Channelling my full-on caveman look with lockdown hair and beard, I ran a virtual half marathon on my own – and they even sent me a medal for it!

My latest fitness goal is road cycling – a completely different ball game to off-road trail riding. If all goes to plan, I’ll be looking for a road cycling event in 2021. In the meantime, you can subscribe to our wacky Wilderfit antics here, and keep up with our madness. Who knows, maybe you’ll even feel
compelled to come along and join us one day!