If you don’t know me here’s a little bit of info. My name’s Paul Thompson and I’m currently living in Derbyshire. I was born and brought up in Wimbledon, South London, so living up here is very “countrified!”
I joined the Army straight from school at 16 and served 24 years , leaving when I was 40 in 2009. Having served in Germany, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, and Iraq to name a few, I know those who have suffered with PTSD and I’m sure there are others I know that are suffering in silence.
When I left the Army, let’s just say I became I little too accustomed to not having to do PT, not eating the right stuff and spending far too much time in McDonalds. In February of 2015, I went on a golfing trip to Turkey where I discovered that the amount I was eating and drinking really wasn’t normal! Also around this time, I lost a close friend from cancer and he was a similar age to me and similarly didn’t really look after himself. I decided at nearly 19st that it was time for a change. Out went the near 60 pints of cider a week, the pizzas, McDonalds, and cakes, and in came green tea, bananas, and sensible portion sizes!
I had to set myself something to aim for and by the October I’d lost nearly 6st and had entered my first duathlon! I got around it, no records were broken but I made it. During 2016 I started to do 10k races, another Duathlon and also the Lincoln half marathon. I think, as my partner said when I posted another workout via Strava on Facebook, that I was becoming “one of them”. 2017 was no different with cycling & swimming being the chosen forms of exercise along with setting myself a target of completing a Triathlon. I completed the City of Nottingham Tri in June. Again I was never going to beat the Brownlees but I’d gone from not putting my head in the water at the end of 2016 to swimming the 300m leg of the tri with a lot of confidence and a good stroke technique as well!
As 2018 approached it made perfect sense for someone apart from me to benefit from my new found energy and lust for life. Combat Stress was the obvious choice to raise funds for. It’s not one of the “fashionable” and well known charities and the work that they do is amazing, from the 24hr helpline to art classes and residential beds at treatment centres, you can find more info about this incredible charity here. I know as an ex serviceman I’d be helping my own.
The initial fundraising event is actually now the last one in this series. In March of 2019, I’ll be husky sledding 250km across Norway, which I’ve always wanted to do. A definite tick off the list.
So, this is where you come in. I need you to support me, motivate me and, if you can afford to, make a donation to help me hit the £5k target. Thanks for coming along and I hope you enjoy the ride as much as I’m going to!!