Last week, I did a post that included a blurb on Steve Way, the formerly overweight Brit who managed a 10th place finish at the Commonwealth Games. As I pointed out in that post, Steve was 33 years old, 230 pounds and a pack-a-day smoker… and then he started running. But how did “that guy” become a 2:15 marathoner (not to mention his 6:19:19 100km national record)?
First, Steve says anyone can do exactly what he did and sort themselves out dramatically and permanently through the power of the jog. It doesn’t require facilities; it doesn’t require financial investment; it doesn’t require learning new skills. He adds that any of us can engage in the recuperative power of running, no matter how slow we might be initially.
“Anybody willing to put in some consistent training can get to a decent level no matter their genetic ability,” he says. “What counts is the degree of improvement. My competitive edge has grown and grown as I’ve gone from 20th in a local 10k to tenth in a major games. I never set goals other than personal bests; where that takes me isn’t that relevant. Running is about personal improvement. You don’t have to compete in the Commonwealth Games marathon to record a real change in your body image and self-esteem.”
As Steve started getting faster, he changed his job, changed his diet, stopped drinking (mostly) and stopped smoking.
“When I started, it was something to divert attention away from smoking. It turned from that into a lifestyle and then into a competitive sport. I started to enter road races, finished towards the front of local 10ks and that’s when I began to get the buzz. If I’m honest, that’s when the passion and enjoyment started to kick in. It was the first time I had ever experienced being competitive in a sport and that adrenalin buzz, that euphoria, became rather addictive. That is the key that meant this was not going to be a fad.”
What do you think? Is there a little Steve Way in all of us?