My functional fitness journey on planet UK: Part 1

raleigh-grifterLike a lot of young boys I was a very physically active kid. Bikes were my singular obsession. I can still remember the feeling of exhilaration when I got my first all-new bike; a Raleigh Grifter with 3 speed Sturmey Archer twist shift. It was silver, had a parcel rack and was 100% mine (although it was occasionally subject to temporary storage due to behaviour based leverage issues…). This love of bikes and the freedom they engender grew into my early teenage years where I was shaving my legs (didn’t take long back then) and swinging my leg over exotic Reynolds 531 tubing to travel further and further afield in the hope of replacing the aluminium with something warmer… The other side of my young life was less urban/road based and distinctly rural. We lived in a Bucks commuter village which although very close to the end of the Metropolitan line was certainly not suburban. This meant a lot of very involved war games in the woods, developing into fires, cider et al as age and the associated retail opportunities presented themselves… My mum and Dad were long divorced and he had married into a farming family in Hampshire which meant all holidays were spent either working on the farm with livestock, harvest etc. or trying to drive and ride anything we could find with an internal combustion engine. And so my twin loves were born; driving and (functional) fitness.

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