Aging Bull tells us why he continues to take part in white collar boxing events
Tell us a little about yourself, a small background to who you are.
I am a 50 year old father of two teenagers who has lived, studied and worked in South Wales for over 30 years, having held a senior managerial role with Paramount Office Interiors, for the last 15 years. Whilst I have had an on-off relationship with a basic level of fitness over the years, I had undertaken no competitive sport as an adult prior to walking through the doors of Elite Fitness in late 2013. I had toyed with the idea of trying my hand at white collar boxing for a while but, approaching 47, was unsure as to whether I had left it too late to start?
What have you had to overcome to make the changes that you have? What have been your barriers and frustrations?
My main barriers to progress were initially linked to my ability to recover between sessions and to cope with niggling injuries I picked up over the course of a training cycle. With the help of the staff at Elite Fitness I have significantly improved my knowledge of how often I can train, what works in terms of intensity, duration and how to adapt my training content in terms of focussing on particular objectives, be they strength, speed or endurance? I found that rest is as important as training and that patience is sometimes your biggest ally in working towards a goal.
What was the moment you began to see you were making a change for the positive?
I felt a change for the positive very early into training for my first fight, the basic fitness work was tough but I gradually acclimatised to it and would always make an effort to complete my circuits before others. I also found that my participation generated a genuine air of excitement around family, friends and colleagues. Fighting is the most fundamental form of physical challenge; this is probably why its appeal has lasted the test of centuries. I have raised over £23,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support over the course of my 6 fights.
I also learned over time that good nutrition, hydration and supplementation were vital to me being able to train at an appropriate frequency and intensity; this in turn led to me being able to manage my weight effectively and sustainably. I reduced my weight by 10kg over a 10 month period but I did it in a gradual, measured way. I found that my weight was linked to what I did 2-3 weeks ago, not what I ate last night, this naturally required an element of discipline when results did not evidence themselves immediately.
What actions have made the biggest impact towards the changes you've made?
The biggest changes I have made have been two-fold. Firstly, the ability to set achievable goals and to work towards them in a measurable way by cycling my effort in terms of intensity between fights. I have set a different mix of training goals each time, b they strength, weight or stamina targets – this has kept the training varied and interesting. Secondly, through experience I have learned not to be limited in terms of goals, there is always scope to improve your performance.
What has changed in you specifically?
I look and feel younger than I did when I started white collar boxing with Elite Fitness, people close to me can see the difference and people I have not seen for a few years always comment on the change in my appearance. I hope it has changed the way that some people view me as a person, it has been a major challenge for me to make this change at my age. I also hope it may inspire others to try whatever it is they may have been wondering about doing for some time but felt they were maybe too old to give a go.
I feel that I have experienced something that most people have not, having pushed myself beyond what I thought I was capable of. Be honest with yourself, how often can you genuinely say ‘I gave it absolutely everything I had? I now know that I can look back and say those words with some conviction!