Alex has been on a life-changing journey thanks to triathlon and has big goals for the future. He talks to Sundried about life as a triathlete.
Have you always been into sport?
My sporting background was mostly centred around natural bodybuilding and performance nutrition throughout my late teens to mid 20s, until work, family life and other influences caught up with me. My main sport from 11 years of age has always been amateur club golf, until I decided to recently transition into endurance sports.
How did you first get into triathlon?
Like many other age group athletes, triathlon found me. It came at a very important time of my life, when I was struggling with mental health, alcohol addiction and had become overweight at 210lbs. On randomly watching the Ironman World Championship event at Kona on TV and hearing the story of Lionel Sanders, I was inspired to try this myself. I saw myself in the same position as him at the beginning of his journey, to what he had now become.
My first steps were running again, where I could not manage 1km. I had burning chest pains and threw up in a bush, but the mental drive and desire to become better were enough to push me through and keep trying each day thereafter.
Six months on, I find myself 45lbs lighter, training 15-20 hours per week of swim, bike, and run and in some of the best shape of my life (more to come - I'm yet to peak). I now have a healthy body and mind and the goal set to conquer my first 70.3 Ironman in Summer 2021.
What is your proudest achievement?
Recognising and accepting I had a problem and having the strength to talk to loved ones and ask for help.
How do you overcome setbacks?
Take time to reflect, learn to accept that things happen for a reason, and use this as fuel to push on to become better next time.
Talking to family or fellow athletes/coaches who have been in the same position and take their advice because they have been there and overcome it. It brings comfort, education and shows you can get through it too!
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
Don’t wait for a special moment or a sign to start something new to make a change. If you have a dream, adopt the lifestyle, skills, surround yourself with the right people and set a timeline to enable you to achieve it. You will thank yourself later, when you look back and reflect on the person you have now become.
What are your goals?
I aim to set a sub 5-hour time in my first 70.3 Ironman. It’s a very big goal, but I am extremely motivated each day to do the work in order to achieve this. Further long-term goals would be to then quality for the GB squad as an age group triathlete, as well as reaching worlds at 70.3 level. Then, who knows - a full 140.6 might be on the cards.
Who inspires you?
Of course, Lionel, as I mentioned at the start. But mainly all age group athletes who find the time amongst busy work schedules and family life, to get out there and train each day for such a big goal. It’s very easy for professional athletes to knock out 40 hours of training per week, so those age groupers who find that balance and still perform to their maximum potential come race day, is more inspiring to me.
Everyone has a story to tell, and it always amazes me hearing about the journey some people have come on, where triathlon has effectively saved their life. It always resonates with my own story and keeps me pushing on harder every day to be my best self. I hope I can also inspire others by doing this through my social media channels.
Why work with Sundried?
In my household, we strive to be environmentally friendly in order to set a better place for our future generation. Learning about Sundried and understanding the brand's eco-centric values was a no brainer for me to want to be a part of.
The vision that Daniel has to build a company that his children will be proud to be a part of, shows selfless leadership, which again I’m more than happy to endorse and spread the Sundried message to as many as possible to get involved.