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Getting back to it – Leigh overcomes injury, with JOG Derbyshire group’s help

Leigh Williams, 40, a stock controller who lives in Riddings, joined the JOG Derbyshire Alfreton Jog Club group to help him get back in shape after he had a back operation. It has helped him go from hospital to completing a 5k in 10 weeks…

Leigh Williams out jogging.

Hit by injury

"I originally got into jogging for a fitness thing and managed to build up my fitness quite well. But that was until I hurt my back.

"I'm not exactly sure how I injured it, but I think it was as a result of over-working that area, so that eventually I had a slipped disc. It was pressing against a nerve, although it took a while to get diagnosed, so I was quite pleased to have an operation to get it sorted.

"It was a relatively straightforward procedure according the doctor, and it seemed to go well, but I didn't anticipate at first how it would restrict me and how unfit I would be by doing nothing for a while. I know I have to take it easy and I'll always have to manage it to stop the same thing happening again.

Joining Alfreton Jog Club

"That's why I thought joining Alfreton Jog Club would be good to make sure that I followed a set routine and didn't overdo things too soon. I could also take advantage of the expertise they would have with regard to stretching.

"My partner, Charli Wilson, had gone along when I wasn't able to jog anymore and found it good to go out alongside others, rather than go out on her own. When I started up again in January, I went along too.

"I didn't want to do any damage again – that was my main worry – and joining the group helped me manage what I did, plus it gave me the extra motivation to go along on those days when you wanted to stay in the house.

Jogging with others has put a smile on Leigh's face.

Sharing others' jogging journeys

"It was interesting to jog with people who had never done so before – and share in their journey as well as my own. Everyone was doing it for different reasons and had different motivations, but there was a togetherness from the fact that everyone had the same end goal – to reach 5k.

"There was a part in the middle of the 10 weeks where I had to push myself and up the tempo, but then the next week I went and I seemed to have pushed through it. When I made that breakthrough, it was great to know that I could build it up again from scratch.

‘A great first step’

"I never knew what I would be like, but this has been a great first step. I don't think I'll be running too much further, but I might get up to 10k and I want to keep attending the group and keep my fitness going – it's all good exercise.

"I'd never jogged in a group before, but I have enjoyed the social side and it's good that you're prepared to go along even on the days you are struggling because you don't want to let anyone down.

"Our leader, Amy Bradley, is also a very good person to have around because she is always very bright, happy and encouraging."

Find out more

Check out the Alfreton Jog Club, or if you're inspired to find a jogging group nearer you, go to Find a Group.

If you are interested in finding an activity in general, go to the club and activity search.