By Dan Jones, a running advocate with Aspergers Syndrome and creator of the Running With Dan blog: My story, where do we start? Three years ago in 2017, I weighed 18 stone, I struggled to walk up a flight of stairs without heavy breathing. Today, I’ve run 7 half marathons and two marathons and wouldn’t look back. Running has changed my life and I want it to change your life too.
How did it all begin?
In 2010 I ran the Silverstone half marathon so I knew it was possible to lose weight and start running. I remembered that healthy feeling, being able to run that far, that feeling of accomplishment and knowing you’ve done something that not everyone could do. After getting to 18 stone in 2017, I craved that feeling again, I knew it was going to be hard, but I knew I had to get out the door and push myself. It was simply mental strength.
I set myself a mile to run and kept increasing it mile by mile. I knew the more I ran that mile, the further I was running, the fitter I was getting. Day by day, week by week, the weight dropped off, combined with two hours of intense cross-training and gym work which significantly helped. I thoroughly believe if you put your mind to something you can achieve it, it’s simply your mind playing tricks on you. With focus, determination and drive, anything is possible.
How you should start running?
To be honest, it’s your decision to get out the door, honestly. If you start running or exercising you’ll feel amazing but it’s YOU that makes the decision to change your life, not me. All I can do is try to inspire you to do something great, do something amazing and live your life to the full. If you want to read more of my running journey my blog is runningwithdan.com, I’m also on Twitter @runswithdan, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
What’s next on my running journey?
2020 is such an exciting year for me, I’m brimming with confidence and this is coming through in everything I do. I’m running the Queen Elizabeth Half Marathon in February, the Banbury 15 Mile in March and Liverpool Marathon in May. There are plenty more races I’ve got planned too. You never know I might see you on the start line too.