FIVE MINUTES WITH: Tom Maguire - a man who turned a life of gambling addiction into one of health and fitness

My name is Tom Maguire and on Saturday, April 17, I am box jumping the height of the Yorkshire three peaks, totalling 2,153 metres, 3,588 box jumps to be more specific.

Friday, 16th April 2021, 10:12 am

The reasoning behind my madness will be explained. As will my preparation both physically and mentally.

But first, a little more about me and what I do.

In June 2020, I launched a fitness page on social media and to date I have helped over 400 people become fitter, healthier and happier.

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Tom Maguire

My passion for health and fitness is life long but having graduated from university in 2007 with a sports coaching degree, I lost my way a little.

I left university with no direction, the standard debts but more worryingly a gambling habit.

Over the next few years, this gambling habit would grow into a destructive addiction, literally pressing pause on life for a decade. I muddled through my 20s week by week and had it not been for the support of friends and family at crucial times it would have been a lot, lot worse.

On May 24, 2016, I decided that enough was enough and attended Doncaster Gamblers Anonymous.

Tom Maguire and the box

Welcomed with open arms by likeminded people, I was given life changing advice.

Not least that I would need a hobby to fill the void left by me no longer gambling. Welcome back health and fitness.

I was also told to take recovery one day at a time as the magnitude of life long abstinence quickly overwhelmed me.

This was great advice and a strategy that I apply every time I am faced with what seem like impossible tasks.

Tom Maguire

Jumping on a 23 inch box, 3,588 times for example.

The challenge itself I aim to do in six hours, completing ten box jumps per minute, every minute.

Living in Doncaster, the link to the Yorkshire Peaks (Pen-y-Ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside) is obvious, but why jump them? Walking them is a challenge in itself.

I love pushing myself. I take great influence from fitness professionals such as Jamie Alderton and Ross Edgely who push their mind and bodies to extremes you would not have thought were possible.

Not only that but lockdown has pretty much dictated that I am limited to my home.

So, I set up a box in my living room and began jumping.

I was in fairly decent shape when I did my first block of ten minutes. Or at least I thought I was.

The magnitude of the task quickly sinking in.

That was back in January this year.

Since then, I have applied what is commonly known as the SAID principle.

SAID stands for: Specific Adaptation to Increased Demand.

Put simply, the more you do something, the easier it becomes. Having now spent many an hour jumping onto a box, the once back breaking task of ten minutes is now a breeze.

But let’s face it, it needs to be.

Mindset will be huge on the day. I have already highlighted the need to break it down into manageable chunks.

If I focus on six hours then I will become overwhelmed.

If I focus on ten box jumps and then when complete, the next ten, my task will never be more than ten box jumps.

A task I know I can complete.

Additionally, I have a principle that I focus my coaching around.

This is influenced by William H Mcraven and his famous commencement speech where he addressed The University of Texas in 2014 with his ten lessons from his time at Navy Seal training.

The ten lessons that will help you change the world.

Lesson number ten, he makes reference to a brass bell in the centre of the compound.

When things get tough, you have the choice to ring the bell if you want to quit.

But, If you want to change the world, you don't ever, ring the bell.

No matter how tough it gets on Saturday , April 17, I will not ring the bell. Stopping is not an option as my reason for starting is too important.

Along with wanting to reach new limits, I am doing the challenge to raise money for the Encephalitis Society, a small charity that supports people with the disease which causes inflammation of the brain.

The mother of a close friend recently battled e ncephalitis and it was support from the charity that helped her make a full recovery. So this is my support back to them.

If you would like to make a donation then you can do so at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tom-maguire7

Additionally you can watch the event live on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/TomMaguireHFWB

You can also find me on Instagram @t om_maguire_

If you need my help dropping body fat and looking great then drop me a message on social media.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.