In May 2011 a friend encouraged Sarah Brookes to attend her first BMF class in Bolton. Little did she know that her life was to about to change dramatically. She tells us her incredible and inspiring journey:
“My friend had been a BMF member for several years and loved the camaraderie and friendless of the park and classes. She had asked me numerous times over the years to join her but I had always said no, as I had an image of all the members being very slim and fit and not wanting an overweight and unfit woman joining their classes. One Monday evening she texted me and said she had a two week free trial and sent me the link. All evening I thought about the message and whether I should attend the next evening. I decided on the Tuesday morning that I would go and see what it was like.
BMF has changed my life completely
“Up until May 2011 I hadn’t done any exercise in a very long time and hated the thought of people watching me workout!
“BMF has changed my life completely. When I started I was 20+ stone and got out of breath walking quickly. With the help of other members and instructors I improved every session, running a bit further every time, managing an extra press up, sit up or burpee. Slowly the weight started to drop off which encouraged me to eat healthier.
“By November 2011 I wanted to start running further and entering some local running events. I asked a couple of members (now close friends) to join me on a 5k run. Throughout the course I thought it was the worst decision I had ever made but when I finished I had a massive buzz and wanted to do it all again, forgetting about the pain. As soon as I got home I signed up for the Manchester 10K and The Major Series event the following March.
“By May 2013 I had lost over 7 stone and still needed to loss 2 more. Each event had to be bigger and longer than the previous one. Once I completed the half marathon in May 2013 the only way to go was a full marathon or a multidiscipline event, such as a triathlon. For many reasons I decided that a marathon would not be a good idea, therefore triathlon was the way forwards; the next decision was what distance. After talking to a BMF instructor who had completed Ironman UK the previous year, I decided to enter Ironman 70.3, 1.2 mile swim, 70.3 mile bike ride and 13.1 mile run. Soon the news spread around the park and a team of 30 BMF members entered either Ironman 70.3 or Ironman UK.
I would not have been able to make my journey without the help and support both within the classes and via social media
“Over the 8 months of training I lost the final 2 more stone taking the overall total to 9 stone. On the 15th June 2014 I completed my challenge alongside other Bolton BMF members in 7hr 46 Mins. The whole weekend was very emotional and the feeling as I crossed the line was unbelievable; my journey had finally been completed. There was now a problem what event to do next. It had to be bigger than the last, therefore the only option was the full Ironman UK in 2015!
“The instructors at BMF are always enthusiastic, encouraging and supportive. I would not have been able to make my journey without the help and support both within the classes and via social media. BMF doesn’t just improve your fitness but can also change your life forever in other ways; I met my fiancé at BMF back in June 2011.”
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