For British Army Veteran, Stephen Wootton, Rokman has provided him with the motivation to keep fit and stay in shape. By adding variety to his workouts a reason to put on his trainers each week, at age 45, he is still surprising himself with what he's able to achieve. Read his story in his own words below.
Could you give a bit of background about yourself and what has led you down the path of taking on fitness challenges?
I was born and bred in Swansea Valley, South Wales. I left school at 16 and joined the British Army (Royal Corp of Signals). After completing a 2-year apprenticeship at AAC Harrogate I was then posted to the 7 Signal Regiment in Germany during which time I completed a tour of Bosnia.
I left the Army after serving for 6-years, and after several banking jobs in London I ended up moving to Gravesend, Kent, where I now work as an operational manager for G4S.
Outside of work, I’m married to my wife Amanda of 23-years, who I actually met as pen pals while serving in Bosnia, and a father to two sons, Rhys (20) and Stephen (14). I’m also captain for the local veteran’s rugby team and coach the current U15 age group.
I like to keep myself fit and healthy and the Rokman challenges enable me to do that. They keep my training varied, working different parts of my body that I always neglected when I’m just running.
What impact does taking part in challenges have on your life?
The challenges have had a big impact on my fitness since I joined Team Rokman in January. They definitely make me push myself harder than I normally would when I was just running or rugby training. I am also exercising a lot more since I started and that can only be a good thing.
What were your expectations when you first joined the Team Rokman Facebook group?
I was both apprehensive and excited when I decided to sign up for my first challenge. I thought to myself “what if I can’t complete a challenge” or “what if I make a fool of myself”. These fears were put to bed once I started though and I really enjoyed embracing the challenges.
How much value do you put on the Team Rokman group and how has it helped in terms of your challenges and goals?
I would highly recommend the Team Rokman group. Everyone is so supportive and encouraging. I have never encountered any negativity, which is a rare thing on social media these days. The group has helped me through the challenges with support, encouragement and various hints and tips.
What’s been your favourite Rokman challenge and why?
My favourite challenge has been the Four Horsemen, especially the speed week. Running is my favourite and strongest activity, so pushing myself to try and get the fastest 100m time really motivated me. I don’t think I did too bad for an overweight 45-year-old, lol.
What’s been your most challenging Rokman challenge and how did you push through it?
The most challenging series for me was the Frogman Corp, especially the boat carry. I misunderstood the original brief and thought it was just to carry the weight, so when I realised you had to carry it on your shoulder it really put me out of my comfort zone because I hadn’t prepared for it. I just thought to myself “I’ve got to just get on with it”. So I packed a rucksack with the weight and went for it. I was pleased with my effort afterwards but it was really tough.
What’s your advice to someone who is thinking of taking on a Rokman challenge?
I would advise anyone who is thinking of giving a Rokman challenge a go to just go for it. You have nothing to lose. You may surprise yourself by performing faster, further or stronger than you first thought possible. The Facebook group is so friendly and supportive that will instantly feel welcome and supported.