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Getting Out and Active for Movember

This week we are celebrating Movember. As the November campaign comes to a close, we are raising awareness of men's health by sharing stories from some of our GOGA male participants and volunteers.

Lincolnshire Couch to 5K 

Photo of rob completing the couch to 5k activityRob Goddard is 51 years old from Skegness and has had an incredible journey through GOGA. Rob first got involved in the GOGA funded Couch to 5k programme in March 2018 ran by Skegness Running Club. Rob had been meaning to start running a while ago but never got round to it but this time decided to give it ago. Lets hear from Rob and his personal journey through GOGA.

“I first heard about the opportunity through Helena the founder of the Skegness running club on BBC Lincolnshire news and thought go for it, I called Helena and she arranged for me to come to the club which I was a bit apprehensive about as in the January I started suffering anxiety attacks and did not feel great in myself but the club were so welcoming and I was put in the Couch to 5k.

The club is so well run and supported they cater for people who are really good and compete at higher levels, those who want to compete and get better and those who like running for whatever reason so anyone and everyone with all age categories represented and respected.

I completed my couch to 5k in May 2018 and did really well coming 4th in Skegness group which gave me a real high and I felt unbelievable. At that time I smoked 40 a day and after my couch run I packed in smoking as it made me more determined to do better, I have been smoke free for 6 months and have done two 10k runs and a half marathon where I got a decentish time of 2.12.52 . I also decided to do my runs for charity and raised over £400 for Mind, Suicide awareness and Addenbrooke hospital NHS.

During races it sometimes hurts but knowing the club believe in me gives me belief in myself and I keep going and after I feel elated that I did it especially the half marathon where it was so cold and windy but I had to do it!

One time I was really poorly and started suffering quite severe shakes and was going to give up running as its quite embarrassing to shake in front of people, I spoke with Helena about giving up and she threatened to drag me out of my house where I just wanted to curl up and hide . So I went along to a hill run with Helena and I have got to be really honest it will be a memory that will be with me for my whole life and one I will probably recall on my dying day. I arrived and was shaking, a couple of the runners asked if I was ok to run but the silly thing was it stops when I run, so Helena and I set about my first ever hill run, Helena was injured at the time and I think she did this run to help me and that is what the club is about all levels and abilities help each other.

I cried when I finished but it was the beginning of the end for the shakes and I have continued running. I have entered a few 10k runs and have entered the Liverpool Marathon in May which the club are helping me with. I will continue running and try to raise money for my charities which gives you a real sense of achievement. I Had counselling by Lincolnshire NHS – steps to change and said how much the running has helped me mentally and has given me a real focus and I have lost nearly 2 stone and packed in the cigarettes so better physically , financially and mentally. The social aspect is great too and being around people is always great for you as a person and I have come across people who have or are suffering issues and the running just lets you forget and find some peace

This has made me realise how many wonderful people in my club there are and how they have the ability to drag you out of a very dark and lonely place!”

Find out more about GOGA and how you can get Involved here.