Baldock man's journey from overweight office worker to Spartan-racing personal trainer
PUBLISHED: 15:39 18 March 2019
A Baldock man has run more than 50 obstacle course races all over the world after deciding to "take control" of his fitness.
Joe Brigham wanted to turn his life around after becoming unhappy with his weight gain, and is now a Spartan SGX Coach.
The 37-year-old said: “I was in a job I hated, had just come out of a bad relationship and had no direction in my life.
“I worked in an office, was piling on the weight and I was quite depressed.
“One day I just looked long and hard in the mirror and thought ‘enough’. Am I really going to let life just drive over me, or am I going to take control?”
Joe’s transformation – which saw him lose 50 pounds in just nine months – led him to get his personal trainer qualification in 2013, the same year he took on his first Spartan challenge – the Spartan Sprint, a 5km race with 20 fun, exciting and challenging obstacles to manoeuvre.
“I convinced the boot camp I ran at the time into running with me, so we spent the summer doing trail runs as well as my classes to get fit for it,” he said.
“I loved it so much that I signed up for the Super and Beast distances pretty much as soon as the race finished and completed my trifecta – finishing one of each Spartan distance in a calendar year – a couple of months later.
“For those thinking about it I say, just do it, sign up, train, embrace the journey, reap the rewards, and let the whole process improve your life for the better.
“You will gain a lot from the experience. If you are wondering what, well... you will know at the finish line!
“The race itself challenges every aspect of what it is to be active from climbing, carrying, crawling, hanging and every other fundamental aspect of human functionality and that is implemented at every race – and the venues always bring a unique challenge and vibe for their terrain so no two races ever feel the same.”
Joe fits a heavy training schedule around his commitments as a full-time personal trainer, making sure to work on all disciplines included in the courses.
“I think my biggest competition this year is the same as last year – myself,” he said.
“There is a mental battle that starts when I wake up in the morning, sometimes manifests in training, and can pop up when things get tough in the race – you can get an internal voice come out and say you are not good enough or start doubting yourself. It happens to a lot of people, so I call that the first rival.”
For more information on Spartan races visit spartanrace.uk/en.