‘No matter what I did, I still walked like John Wayne for three days afterwards’

From broken bones to new beginnings

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When News reporter Emma Judd signed up for this year’s Great South Run, she knew she’d need some help. As personal trainers Dawn Grant and Max Eacott, from Portsmouth-based 24/7 Fitness, put her through her paces, she’ll be writing about her progress each week.

‘Are you going to throw up?

‘Seriously, are you going to?’

As I continued to cough, doubled over in the pouring rain, I managed to shake my head at my trainer Max, who’d asked those questions.

He wasn’t pleased.

It seems that despite lunging and squatting my way across what I now lovingly refer to as The Car Park of Doom, opposite the Wightlink car ferry terminal, and despite jogging, sprinting and side-stepping around bollards, not to mention stepping up onto a wall multiple times, Max wasn’t happy until I’d lost my lunch.

Never mind that my groans of effort trying to force my protesting legs to get me on that wall brought much mirth and merriment to one passer-by.

And never mind that every time I had to bend down and back up again quickly my necklace smacked me in the teeth.

No, despite all that, Max wanted me to hurl.

I’m happy to report I didn’t oblige, resorting instead to some extremely unladylike – but necessary – hawking and spitting.

About three years later, letting the drizzle cool my sweaty brow, and after gulping the sweet, slightly fishy Gunwharf air, I was able to jog most of the way back to the gym, and have a stab at running (stumbling) up the stairs to the gym itself.

The cool-down took 10 minutes, and I was careful to stretch very well.

But no matter what I did, I still walked like John Wayne for three days afterwards. Whose bright idea was all this training, anyway?