Having your first child is a landmark moment for anyone.
For one of the Renfrewshire Leisure team at Johnstone Community Sports Hub, it was a life changing moment in more than one way.
Back in 2011, John Glen was chasing his son around the back garden when he had to stop to catch his breath. With his weight sitting at 21 stone, it was at this moment that John knew he had to make a dramatic lifestyle change.
After joining Renfrewshire Leisure, John successfully shed an incredible seven stone in the space of only two years through being motivated and dedicated to achieving his goal of being fit enough to play with his son.
John said, “It got to the point where I realised if my son ran away, I physically wouldn’t be able to catch him. This was a really eye opening moment that gave me the push I needed to take that first step.”
Seven years on, John is unrecognisable from his former self and keeps his 21 stone pictures on his phone at all times to ensure he can use them as motivation when necessary.
One of the key things that helped spur John on with his training was being able to workout with a training partner.
John said, “When I first walked into the gym, I must admit it was really intimidating as it was something I had never done before. Even with the help of the gym staff who couldn’t have done more to make me feel comfortable; it was still tough to go in alone.
“After a couple of weeks I started going with a training partner and it was the best thing I could have done; I had somebody to bounce off of who could push me when I needed it most. There was also an element of competition between us which kept us both pushing on.”
Striving to achieve his goal not only changed his life from a health and fitness point of view, but also helped him start a new career.
In 2013, the centre manager at the newly opened On-X Linwood centre had noticed how dedicated and driven John was to achieve his goals and had a conversation with him about what he did for a living. At the time, John was at college as a mechanic and was looking for a career to help provide for his family. He was given an opportunity at On-X Linwood and has never looked back since.
He added, “Once I started at On-X Linwood, I achieved my Level 2 qualification and have since achieved my Level 3. I wasn’t the best swimmer at the time and in order to be able to work as a lifeguard I adapted my training plan to include swimming which helped me to achieve my lifeguard qualification. I really do love my job and I’m so thankful for the opportunity that came my way.”
John now takes part in Tough Mudder every year as well as completing a number of charity runs in aid of CHAS (Children’s Hospices Across Scotland), something he previously could never have dreamt of doing. Getting fit has also meant he no longer needs to use an inhaler for asthma, something he used to struggle with on a daily basis.
John believes that Renfrewshire Leisure’s new What’s Your Goal? campaign is the perfect thing to encourage people to get into shape.
He said, “Overall, setting that original goal of being able to run about with my son has completely changed my life.
“I’m now much fitter, healthier and have managed to start a career in fitness. If a 21 stone version of me can do it, I honestly believe anyone can and I would encourage anyone who is perhaps a little bit hesitant to just give it a go as it could be the best thing they ever did.”
For more information about Renfrewshire Leisure’s What’s Your Goal? campaign, call 0300 300 0250 or visit our website.