What was #FitTeam12 and what is #FitTeam13?

Thank you

This is a blog to say thank you and is my way of paying you all back for helping me achieve some amazing goals in 2012.

I’ve split it into 4 parts…enjoy!

1. #FitTeam12

2. #Operation3

3. #ironman2015

4. #FitTeam13

great to start

1. #FitTeam12 – For those not aware or wondering what the hell ‘#FitTeam12’ was then it was a Twitter hash tag that I set up back in 2011 to make 2012 an amazing year for me. There you have it, it was about me! ūüėČ


Having left the RAF in 2005 I’ve always felt something was missing in getting things done and it was not having a team around you.

When¬†I¬†started as¬†a personal trainer I found myself¬†being a coach to my clients as¬†I’d be there to assist them in reaching¬†their goals and watch from the ‘sidelines’ as they’d achieve them. Some may say that is the job of a personal trainer but I have recently found and now believe that we can offer so much more by being involved in a very similar journey to them so we can¬†share the highs and lows, explain the potential difficulties and bathe in the success of achievement.

team after

I wanted more of this and could see it coming from social media, especially twitter. I had found a platform to help more people achieve their goals but also one where I could increase the amount of  highs and lows sharing, where I could find out how others overcame difficulties and a place where bathing in the success of achievement was not seen as boasting but as a means of motivating others to achieve.

Sam's medal

#FitTeam12 was born and with my monthly challenge videos I felt I had to lead people by doing the challenges myself and therefore becoming fitter, healthier and in turn achieve more. Even though #FitTeam12 was about me, everyone else could get all the same benefits I was getting from it too. We now had a support network, a readily available advice column, a team that could help us achieve. Most of us have friends or family or work colleagues that help us in daily life but how many of them also hold us back by opening another bottle of wine, or ordering a take away or by bringing cakes into the office?!

With #FitTeam12 we now have somewhere to turn and be proud that¬†we refused some biscuits or cake or that we’d crept out of the bed without waking our ‘other half’ and exercising. We have doctors, physiotherapists, life coaches, nutritionists and even other personal trainers all involved! By surrounding ourselves with other achievers we’d continue to be motivated.


I still get ‘new followers’ asking me how they can get a six-pack in time for their holiday tomorrow and I always will. People seem to believe that there is a quick fix and that I have the answer…

Getting fitter is about changing your attitude. Going on a diet means you’ll come off a diet, new year’s resolutions usually mean that it’s a time that you are forced to try to succeed at something but that thing is probably not the reason you are possibly unfit or unhealthy.¬†Most of us are¬†looking at¬†changing at the outcome of having poor focus when poor focus is the problem, e.g.¬†I’m fat because I drink too much alcohol, when you’re actually fat because you’ve not set your mind on achieving a goal so¬†important that having alcohol would cause you to fail. In doing this you’ll then work out when you can¬†allow some alcohol or bad food to keep you on track. Remember, when you set out¬†goals you¬†should be aiming to¬†achieve them not seeing how far you get before failing…again!

junk food

2. ‘Operation3’ was my 2012 goals. I feel you need to give your goals a title and to me being ex-forces¬†it had to be an ‘Operation’. Your ‘Operation’ has to be taken serious by others as they can potentially steer you in the wrong direction or towards the ‘old you’ so I find the more cryptic it is the more you’ll gain respect. Imagine saying to your work colleagues¬†that you’re on ‘Operation Drop a dress size’…if you’re a man they’ll ridicule you but seriously for women it sounds like what every women says in January or prior to a holiday. ‘Operation No Alcohol for January’ is a red rag to most as they’ll try to break you…it is going back to looking at the outcome of your poor focus.

tri transition

‘Operation3’ was mine and it was this. The number 3 signified¬†me doing my first¬†triathlon with 3 being the number of events in a race (I actually did 3 with one being as part of a relay team). I also set out that I wanted to break 3 personal bests from 5km to the marathon (I actually broke 4). Going a step further, I aimed to break the 3 hour mark for the marathon (I¬†failed with¬†3hr¬†8mins¬†but have qualified for the 2013 London marathon by going under 3hr¬†10mins where I WILL GO UNDER¬†3 HOURS!) and to help my swimming I booked¬†a place on the 3km Marlow open water swim (blog is here). It’s funny how people seemed to change around me on hearing all of this as I was pretty focussed.


What will your ‘Operation’ be? Again, make it cryptic so people believe you’re serious and more people will ask you questions and some may even join you as your determination will become infectious…how do you think #FitTeam12 worked?! ūüėČ


3. #ironman2015. On the 16th September as my ’57yr¬†old client’ did her first triathlon and a good friend Graeme (@lapchallenge) did Challenge Henley (iron distance triathlon). That evening, Sean and I, who’d be two-thirds¬†of a triathlon team that day decided to surprise Graeme in his Tandoori restaurant of choice in Twickenham and when ‘our hero’ chatted about his event he said that I’d be able to do it. Something I’ve never really¬†doubted but at that time I hadn’t even done an ‘Olympic¬†Distance’ Triathlon. I have often thought about getting the ‘M-Dot’ tattoo but I don’t want to just finish the distance, I want to do it in a very respectful time…say sub 11 hours hence saying #ironman2015. Also in terms of getting others involved I felt giving yourself three years to achieve a goal makes it much more achievable…surely!


The response was immense when I announced it on twitter a couple of days later with around 30 people committing! My thoughts are we do ‘Olympic distance’ (1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run) triathlons¬†in 2013, ‘half ironman¬†distance’ (ironman¬†70.3 – 1.9km swim, 90km bike, 21.1km run)¬†in 2014 and then the full¬†ironman¬†distance (3.9km swim, 180km bike, 42.2km run)¬†in 2015. Triathlon can also¬†be an¬†expensive sport as you have 3 events which basically means 3 lots of equipment including a bike and a wetsuit¬†as well as race entry fees and ironman¬†events are not cheap. To train for the full distance requires a lot of time and to do that all next year would mean not seeing my family and although doing an ironman is important, ALL of this is about being a healthier Daddy or boyfriend to my family.

Dad and Sam

My first question is who fancies joining me in becoming an #ironman2015? Second question is do you fancy setting a huge¬†goal and taking 3 years to achieve it? It’s doesn’t have to be an ironman it could be to do a triathlon or marathon. Look 3 years ahead and choose a huge¬†goal and then plan back the steps you must do to achieve it.

4. #FitTeam13…One problem I had with #FitTeam12 was you were not held accountable and for those of us that were lazy or lost motivation, you could skip doing the monthly videos the same way people join a gym in January and then continue paying a monthly membership with good intentions of going back.

New Year

A major company has got involved and together we are going to help you guys really achieve your goals and I am so excited about this! It is still work in progress and will not be ready by the start of 2013 but that doesn’t mean #FitTeam13¬†is not ready because it is. I will post a video online tomorrow with details of what you need to do to become part of #FitTeam13 and the first challenges that you’ll do in January.

#FitTeam13 is again about me ( hee hee) but it’s also (always)¬†about you to use to help¬†us achieve our goals by having a team that is there to help us all. I use motivation from everything I see as demonstrated by what I wrote on my hands before this year’s Edinburgh Marathon. Be open to luck as you are the controller of your own destiny!


Let’s do this for ourselves because we ARE worth it!!!


Dedicated in memory of Ged Clarke and Clare Squires!


7 thoughts on “What was #FitTeam12 and what is #FitTeam13?

  1. Great post, I’m sure you’ll rinse the Tri in 2015

  2. Didn’t do all of the challenges of #fitteam12 but it did inspire me to do three 10 week bootcamps and take up running, all at the young age of 52! More power to you Stuart for 2013.

  3. Good luck ,make time for your family ,they are far more important then your ego ,you could probably do the ironman distance next years ,remember its what you put in to the hours ,recovery time (family time ) and nutrition ,don’t get hung up on a time !enjoy one of the best days of your life .

  4. Hi just read your blog & as a soon to be 52year old I would like to join your challenge. I am already entered four an Olympic tri this year but my goal is to do an ironman before I’m 55 so fits in brill
    Also the 3 goals are also great idea & I’m going to work on this
    I look forward to hearing from you

  5. Ok ok, I’m in Ironman 2015 it is. Doing my first tri in march and hope to do a Olympic later in year. Good luck with your goals this year, keep inspiring

  6. I admit I only dipped in and out of #fitteam12 but was more in than out! Also completed my first ever half marathon. Thanks to u and it I’ve already entered a duathlon, the wife’s entered me in a sprint tri and I’m looking at further along in the year and beyond. You’re so right about aims and plans. Easy, TOO easy, to drift without them. So that’s what I’m about right now…..physically writing a training plan, putting it on display so there will be no excuses…..see my avi!! Look forward to your big plans…..being held accountable can only help!! #fitteam13……let’s do this shi….

  7. Just read your blog,I’m going to be doing FitTeam13, like others I dipped in &out of FitTeam12 but with the support of my husband boys and close friends I lost 4 stone last year and dropped 2 dress sizes, I joined a running club and now go out running on my own, I also do circuit training once a week,loving the new me as does my husband, thank you FitTeam12 it really helped to keep me focused! Just signed up for a 5k charity run round our local forest!…..

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