11 stone lighter – Justin’s story

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Last year we featured Justin Moors from Dorset who shed an incredible 8 stone in 2020 following a health scare and the sad loss of his Sister. Justin had a heart condition which was related to the fact that he was morbidly obese and despite lockdown literally walked his way to fitness.

We thought we would touch base again this January to see how he is getting on and not only has he lost a further 3 stone during 2021 but he reached his target weight and completed a Mighty Hike to boot (pardon the pun)! But that’s not all he has achieved.

Nordic walking InstructorHere’s an update from the Man himself ……………..

Nordic walking has really helped me improve my health and fitness, when I started I had quite a poor VO2MAX score of 26, its now at 47 which is considered excellent for a man of my age,  Having now lost just shy of 11 stone, I’m at my goal weight.  I took part in the 2021 Macmillan Mighty Hike on the Jurassic Coast and came in 4th position on the 13 miler.  I’ve already signed up to take part in the 26 mile Jurassic Coast full marathon for 2022, which I’m really looking forward to.  If it hadn’t have been for Nordic walking, I’m certain I would never have achieved this.

But that’s not all, Justin told us how he is now helping to encourage others to pick up some poles and get walking…….

Lucie (the Lead Instructor of my local group) made me aware of how I could become a walk leader and actively encouraged me through the training which I started in June 2021.  The training was interesting and well delivered, it made me understand just how well planned and organised our walks are, right down to the smallest details of ensuring the safety of walkers as well as making walks enjoyable and of course, a good workout.

I’ve since really enjoyed supporting the instructors by covering a variety of walks. Getting the opportunity to lead walks at the Purbeck Festival in September was a game changer for me, it put everything I had learned into practice, managing a mixed ability group, all of whom I’d never met before, all walking in unfamiliar places – it took things up a notch and I absolutely loved it.  Every aspect of my training came into play and I’m confident that everyone that took part had an enjoyable time.

They certainly did enjoy the walks he lead and the feedback was brilliant.  In fact, he was so popular that the Team at HQ asked him if he would like to continue training and to become an Instructor.

Justin is busy with his own business but took the time to do the training in order to increase his knowledge of fitness and Nordic walking but also to be able to help Lucie and the other Instructors in the group.

Many of our best Instructors have experienced the power of walking in a group themselves before they embark on the training and that empathy with the walkers (especially the less fit ones)  is invaluable. Justin is able to understand how they feel and is walking proof that it is possible to change.

He told us

After the festival, the logical step for me was to take things to the next level and train to become a Nordic Walking Instructor.  Despite the restrictions and limitations of COVD-19, the course is delivered excellently over Zoom, with offline assignments for items such as route planning and risk assessment.  The Power of Poles training is really well structured, it prevents the client becoming overwhelmed with instructions and encourages them to really feel how the building blocks are piecing together to give them the benefits of Nordic walking.

Having carried out my first Power of Poles induction session during training, I found it immensely satisfying to not only see the improvements in my pupil’s technique, but also to receive feedback on how they noticed the difference as their skills improved.

We are delighted to have him on board and will be supporting him on his Mighty Hike challenge too. We are sure that next year there will be another positive chapter to this story as Justin is not likely to stop achieving his own challenges and helping others to do the same

He finished with this powerful quote

I know how much Nordic walking has helped me to improve my health and fitness, I love the way that it has stopped “exercise” being a dirty word in my vocabulary and has made it a positive word, rather than something that would send a shiver down my spine, so I’m really looking forward to running my own PoP and PoP 2 courses starting in January and helping others to find all the benefits I have.

A final word about Lucie the Instructor who inspired me  – she’s an extremely motivational person, she’s helped me no end over the last year, keeping me motivated and helping me to unlock potential that I didn’t know that I had.

Here’s to you doing the same for others Justin – a big well done to you! We can’t wait for the 2023 update!

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