When British Military Fitness member Roddy was diagnosed with throat cancer he took to BM to get himself fighting fit, ready to face the radiotherapy.
It's just under a year since he finished his treatment and he's already back at BMF and taken gold in his first motorcycle road race since becoming ill. Here's his inspirational story:
BMF: How does BMF compare to other forms of exercise
Oh it's night and day. It's nothing like anything else I've done.
It's a lot more enjoyable with a lot more variety.
There is simply no comparison.
BMF: How do you think BMF prepares you for your motorcycle road racing?
It works everything in the body, giving me good all-round upper body strength, endurance fitness and very good core fitness. Core is crucial in motorcycle racing as it's what gives you balance, so I find it the perfect training partner.
BMF: What fitness did you used to do to prepare for your races?
I did a lot of cycling but it wasn’t varied enough, unlike BMF. It’s so much easier to train with a group than on the road on your own.
BMF: What is your favourite thing about BMF?
The support. It's as broad and wide as it is long. It's not just support from a training perspective, it's right through to the social side and the way they helped Suzie when I was going through treatment. Unlike any other form of fitness training I've come across, there is such a community and family feel to BMF.
BMF: What's the social side like?
I’ve met good group of like minded, self-motivated people through BMF. We have a lot of socials and I've discovered new races and events as a result, such as Fan Dance, Paras' 10 and the Major Series. There's always a good turn out from BMF Frimley so we go as a BMF group.
Earlier this year we did Sunfit in Fuertaventura which was great. A few of us had been talking about it and decided to book. We knew it would ultimately be BMF but in a warm and sunny environment, and we all wanted to up our fitness levels for various reasons. Sunfit gave us the intense training over a full week, in a nice controlled, BMF-lead environment.
I've not had the chance to take part in the Royal British Legion Major Series yet as I was unwell when the group did it this year, but I went along to support them, hold their coats and throw water at them at the end to wash off the mud! I hope to do it myself soon too.
BMF: What did you think of BMF before you joined?
I used to laugh at Suzie coming home after a class, covered in mud and freezing cold! But the thing that puzzled me was the buzz she got out of it. In fact it gave me so much intrigue that I had to try it - and when she broke her foot and wanted to continue going to the indoor winter classes, it was my excuse to try it as I went as her driver and carer for the evening session.
I didn’t understand it until I got into it myself and now I can't sing its praises enough.
BMF: What do your colleagues and non-BMF friends think of you doing BMF?
They think I’m as mad as the rest of them because they don’t do it and haven’t tried it so they don’t understand it. It’s such a shame as they don’t realise the self-satisfaction you get at the end of a BMF class.
I did run club last night at BMF and it’s been a year and a half since I last did it so it was tough, but the sense of ahdivement is so good, it's indescribable.
BMF: What would you say to anyone unsure about joining BMF?
You’ve GOT to do the trial sessions.
You have GOT to try it.
BMF: Great stuff! So what’s next for you?
In the motorbike racing world, I’m racing in the British Thundersport Series on 23- 25th September in Donington Park. It’s a massive endurance event where BMF training will stand me in good stead.
The next big thing in BMF terms is that I'll be going back to a 'Green bib' BMF level on 16th September which will be exactly a year to the day since my radiotherapy finished. The side-effects of radiotherapy go on for about 2 years so I still suffer from tiredness, nausea, exhaustion and lack of concentration but I want to go green and show cancer I've beaten it.
To find out more about British Military Fitness, please visit: www.britishmilitaryfitness.com or simply join us for a free trial class.