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Doc transforms from couch potato to athlete

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: June 18, 2014

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AN unfit doctor came up with the perfect prescription to turn his life around – by throwing himself head first into training for a triathlon.

Alex Wong, a Burton GP who lives in Alrewas, thrust himself into trying to get fit after his wife Rebecca commented on his ‘increasing girth’.

As a result of gym and swimming sessions at Branston Golf and Country Club, off Fairway, the doctor is now a regular in Iron Man challenges and was even presented with an inscribed hip flask stating ‘From Couch Potato to Iron Man – Anything is Possible’ by the Branston gym team to celebrate his amazing transformation.

“Back in 2010 Rebecca, my wife, worried by my increasing girth and lethargy, gave me 10 sessions with Simon Wheatcroft at Branston and after my first seven minutes on a cross trainer all I could do was lie on the floor to recover and contemplate my sorry state, deciding whether to give up or become Branston gym’s best customer,” said Dr Wong.

Resolving to get fit the 40-year-old began a programme devised by Branston Club’s fitness professionals in 2010 and over three months dropped gently from 113kg to 96kg and, encouraged by the friendly fitness team, began running.

He added : “Coupled with a burning desire to stay healthy for Rebecca, my wife, our two small girls and relieve the stress of my job as a GP, I was determined to keep going.”

He later signed up for an Olympic triathlon and, suddenly realising his swimming ability was limited to only a couple of lengths, he was helped by fitness instructor Nicky Ludford-Brooks to swim 1,500 metres in Branston’s pool.

Inspired by his aunt , a triathlete in Houston USA, he was hooked and, looking for the next challenge, set about training for the 17 hour continuous exercise demanded for an Iron Man challenge – taking in 112 miles of cycling, swimming 3,800 metres and finishing with a full 26 mile marathon.

Branston’s Leon Simpson then took Dr Wong in hand.

“I soon realised Leon’s specially designed programme was improving my ability to cope with the different physical challenges and combination of swimming, cycling and running that the Iron Man demands,” he said.

Dr Wong’s first full Iron Man was at Tenby, Wales, in 2012. Since then he’s completed another at Tenby and travelled to compete in the United States and Majorca. “My proudest moment was completing my first Iron Man at Tenby with Rebecca, my wife, in tears at the finish line – it just goes to show that with the help of the wonderful people at Branston Club’s gym anything is possible – even for someone who once was as unfit as me,” he said.

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