How to pick yourself up after failure

A man who failed, but picked himself up.

Father Fitness

We always hear of people breaking records and smashing challenges, but what about when they don’t make it? How do you pick yourself up and keep going?

‘If at first you don’t succeed dust yourself off and try again.’ I think that’s the saying anyway.”

Meet Paul Stainthorpe, otherwise known as Father Fitness. Last year he took on an almighty challenge, and it didn’t go to plan. Find out how he admirably picked himself up and moved on.

Take it away Paul…

The Run

In 2012 I ran 60 miles over the 12 Days of Christmas for the Percy Hedley Foundation. In 2013 I attempted (with my friend Lee), to run the 12 Park Runs of Christmas.

This was a challenge we didn’t take lightly. Running 12 park runs (60km) in one day was going to be one of the toughest things we had ever faced. The plan was to run 12 different parks, and this meant running one and then travelling to the next one. This gave our legs time to seize up and we found it difficult to move by the ninth one!

The Failure


Newspaper coverage

After the 11th park run, I collapsed. I don’t really remember much, just that my body had completely shut down; I couldn’t even move my head.

I left hospital and it was a difficult 48 hours for me. Admitting defeat is not something I take lightly but it could’ve been worse. I just started to think about why we were attempting the challenge in the first place.

The most important thing for us was the awareness and the amount of money we raised for local charity, Tiny Lives. The support we both received from friends, family and the public was amazing and we can’t thank them enough.

The Aftermath

Since the collapse, running has been here and there. I’ve been suffering with leg, foot and back problems since the challenge. Still, I don’t regret attempting it. The failure has made be a better man. I’m stronger mentally now and I appreciate everything in front of me even more.

Nearly eight months have passed and I’m already thinking about attempting something similar next year.

I know where I went wrong and I know what I need to do to improve. The new challenge will be running 12 Park Runs in one day but there’s going to be twist. I’m not going to spill the beans but it’s going to be even harder than the first attempt.

The Future

Despite my lack of running, I’m still lifting weights and I’m also using my own bodyweight more. One piece of equipment I can’t recommend highly enough is the Loxley Suspension Trainer. It’s an all in one total body workout and fantastic for core training. You can perform all types of exercises on it included suspended push-ups and the chest press. You simply move your feet to make the exercises easier or harder.

It’s important not to forget core training or strength training. Working the muscles of the core helps to correct postural imbalances that can lead to injuries.

One of the biggest factors to last years challenge was my nutrition. I won’t go into too much detail but the fact of the matter is, I was burning more calories than I was consuming. I thought I had it covered but I clearly didn’t. I think when I attempt it again next year I’ll look at using some supplements and how they can benefit me. I’m sure the guys at the Supplement Centre can help me out in that department!

I’d like to finish this post by revisiting the introduction. If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.

Thanks for reading and never give up.

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