bill deering – running from stroke


for this week’s shit-sorter file, we look locally (to NMMFG) and get the nitty gritty from a West Aussie athlete, who runs (amongst other things) ultra-marathons…

so let’s start – can you let everyone know who you are and your background?

Sure, my name’s Bill. Bill Deering. Originally I’m a Sydney boy, but moved to Perth in 1997.

thanks Bill, now I believe your running career didn’t actually start until after you had a stroke, is that correct?

yeah, that’s right. I had a stroke in 2004, but didn’t start running until 2011. prior to the stroke I was reasonably fit. I played golf regularly, but was not a runner.

interesting, so it wasn’t until 7 years after the stroke that you finally took up running – how did that come about in the end?

At the time of the stroke, I weighed 95kg. The stroke itself left me 100% paralysed down my left side; I was not able to walk unaided for 2 years.

Well, depression kicked in, and comfort eating and LOTS of alcohol.

All that saw me blow out to 125kg.

The reason for taking up running was a mate in the police. He invited me to run with him at the park, where he would literally run laps around me!

I was disgusted with how unfit I was so decided to fix it, dropped the booze and eating rubbish.

alongside the way you felt about yourself, was there any other motivation behind the conversion to running and the lifestyle changes?

My main motivation was my family; my wife and kids. When my wife became pregnant with our fourth baby, I had my “enough is enough” moment. I wanted to be a fit Dad, not a fat Dad.

I also did NOT want to shop in the big guys section anymore.

well having met you in person, I can attest to the fact that you most certainly turned things around mate – would you care to share a little about your running achievements to date?

Well, I started out run/walking 4km per day – within about 6 months I had lost 40kg AND entered an Ultra marathon!

My biggest achievement to date was finishing Kep Ultra marathon – 75km.

I cannot begin to imagine how anyone can run 50km, let alone 75km – that’s amazing Bill. there must have been challenges along the way that you’ve had to overcome. What have these been, how you stay motivated and also what benefits have you seen?

The biggest challenge was getting started – running hurt because of my weight and stroke symptoms. The main pitfalls have been injuries, and running in cold weather!

The greatest benefit is that I have a much healthier lifestyle – I have a much more positive outlook, and can run after the kids now.

What has really kept me going is inspiration from other Stroke Survivors plus always wanting to challenge myself to do more.

awesome Bill, finally what would you say to someone considering making significant changes in their life?

Do it! At the very least try. It will be hard at first but you HAVE to start.

perfect – alright then Bill, thanks so much for that, I know the stroke symptoms can make questions seem a little confusing at times, so I truly appreciate the effort. Finally, where can everyone find out more about your journey, and connect with yout?

You can find me via my Facebook page

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