So this is how my exercise story began.......

I was sporty at school, playing soccer regularly until moving to Jamaica when I was 24 years old and, after that, on and off until my early thirties.  I was lucky, one of those people who naturally stayed slim.  But then I got older, and things changed.  After spending 2012 living and working in South Africa, I returned to Dubai overweight.  It was decision time.  Make an effort at that time to lose the excess weight, or face a much tougher task further down the line.

I decided to make the effort then and went on the Dukan diet, the only diet I've ever been on.  It's a strict diet which also demands 30 minutes of brisk walking exercise each day.  Sally joined me on the diet, we dieted and we walked, and the weight started to come off.  After a while, I thought why not replace the walking with running.  I set off on a 5km run, got about 2km and thought I was going to collapse! But I didn't give up, tried again a few days later, and eventually did my 5km.  I slowly built up to 10km and tried to get faster.  It was so tough, after enjoying progress initially, I plateaued.  A work colleague told me to go to his running club, I remember being really nervous thinking I'd be out of place, but they were very welcoming.  I now do almost all of my running with Desert Road Runners in Dubai, and love the social aspect and the encouragement from running with others.

I now run in various events, from 5km to marathons, and some trail races up to 72km.  I've also bought a road bike and try to get out cycling twice a week.  My latest venture is to learn to swim properly, at the moment it feels like an impossible task, but I guess that's what I thought about the running in the beginning, so I'm sure I'll crack the swimming given time and practice, and my decision to retire early should give me the chance to practice.

I'm going to include some feedback of my events, personal bests and other bits and pieces from what started out as part of my losing weight plan, but has now become one of my biggest hobbies and areas of enjoyment, and early retirement will only give me more time to enjoy it.

September 9, 2019

We've reached the end of our Route des Grandes Alpes cycle tour. In reality, it was just 10 days of my life and well within my capabilities, but it feels like a bigger deal than that because it's an example of the type of thing that I didn't use to do.

I can argue that in my old pre-early retirement life, I was too busy with work, with family, with saving for the future. But they would be excuses. The reality is that early ret...

August 31, 2019

A while back I read a comment saying that most early retirement blogs start out as personal finance blogs but then transition into lifestyle blogs. From memory, the comment suggested this wasn't a good thing. 

I think the opposite is true. Early retirement does of course require the finances to work, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. The lifestyle element of early retirement is much more significant so it's not surprising...

June 7, 2018

You may ask what this has to do with financial independence and retiring early (FIRE). It seems a fair question.

My answer is there's a good chance that our FIRE journey meets the time of life when weight starts to pile on and our clothes start to get tighter. I speak from experience!

Even if we're not fussed about appearances, we should be fussed about the health part of the equation. What's the point of FIRE if we're not going...

April 19, 2018

It can be said that you don't need to be mad to run a marathon, but it helps.

That was certainly true for Boston Marathon 2018, something I found out the hard way on 16 April as I stood shivering on the start line waiting to set off on my first attempt at this famous event.

Before reliving the pain, I'll try to explain some of what makes Boston so special in marathon folklore. Perhaps, to some, it's over-hyped, but it most certa...

December 28, 2017

I set myself some targets back in April. I also set a timescale for them, which was an early date of December 2017 and a late date of March 2018. 

I'm thinking that was a smart move. At the end of December, everyone is seeing what resolutions they didn't achieve, but I've got a get out of jail card - my March 2018 date.

But I'm not completely off the hook, December did get a mention, and that's right now, so how am I getting on...

December 14, 2017

Almost a year ago, I started my blog. Last Friday, I ran a half marathon. Today I'm trying to figure if the two have anything in common.

They probably don't, but I'll see if I can weave a thread. Really it's just that I was pleased with my run and wanted to shout about it a little - surely it's not a bad thing to be proud about something and to want to share it.

Anyway, what about this run? It was the Dubai Creek Striders Half M...

September 28, 2017

Approaching your forties or fifties is probably when you spend more time thinking about early retirement or, perhaps like me, you've already got there. It can also be the age when you start to find it harder to keep to your preferred weight and body shape, something else that I've already had experience of!

The science between gaining weight and age isn't fully understood, although there are various matters that are thought to...

August 17, 2017

I set myself some targets back in April, and since then I've been too scared to write an update for fear that it will show I'm not doing well against the goals that I set myself. However, burying my head in the sand kind of defeats the object of setting the targets, so I've summoned up the courage to "fess up" and see how I'm doing.

As I said back in April, having retired early, I'm really not sure that I should be setting targ...

May 23, 2017

I'm home from my latest travel adventure, a trip to Germany. More on that in a moment, but first a quick recap of my travels so far this year.

Four trips in five months

February 2017 - England and France, two trips combined into one. England was to look for some buy to let investment properties, and also to see my daughter at university. France was for our first ski trip.

April 2017 - London, England. This was actually for work,...

May 11, 2017

Spring time in Prague sounds delightful, provided you forget you're there to run the marathon. 

Our trio of Desert Road Runners, Tom Sindall, Matt Reed and myself flew into Prague from Dubai on a Friday, ready for the marathon on Sunday, 7 May.  Matt on Emirates (Oh how the other half live!) arriving mid afternoon in time to pick up his number and a good night's sleep, while Tom and I, on budget airline Smartwings, la...

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About Me

I think I'm a normal kind of guy, although I've perhaps had a slightly non-typical life in some respects.  I'm from the UK, 47 years old, married to Sally and with two

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