Lorry driver Phil Newman spends every hour of his working day behind the wheel in his cab but once he finishes he puts the sedentary life behind him and concentrates on exercising.
You might spot him out and about because Phil, who is from Maresfield, walks for up to two hours every other evening, alternating with sessions at the gym.
Phil’s most-walked route is from Maresfield to Framfield Road in Uckfield where his brother lives. When he first tackled the hike he took one and a half hours. Now he can manage it in less than an hour.
The reason for all the exercise is partly because the 47-year-old has made a conscious decision to lead a more healthy life, but also because next month he’s taking on the challenge of a 100km – 66 mile – continuous walk from London to Brighton.
His original plan was to tackle the walk next year but when his childhood friend Lynn Ireland suggested he join her this year he said yes. The pair successfully completed an 18-mile training walk along the Cuckoo Trail on Saturday.
Phil and Lynn have known each other since they were at playgroup but they also have bonfire in common. Lynn is secretary of the Uckfield Bonfire Society and Phil is a member of the Fletching society. He is also a member of the British Red Cross at Haywards Heath where he offers fire and emergency support.
A big part of Phil’s new lifestyle is a changed diet. It was very easy to snack all day long while behind the wheel in his lorry cab and at every stop he drank coffee. He might end up having 15 cups a day.
Now he takes sandwiches out with him and he drinks mainly water having cut down to three cups of coffee.
Sheer willpower has enabled him to change his old habits and besides feeling much better for it he has lost two stone in weight since he began in November.
Phil will be raising funds for Fibromyalgia UK on the London to Brighton Walk because his sister in law has the chronic condition which causes pain all over the body. If you would like to help him reach his £1,500 target please visit his JustGiving page.
Lynn Ireland will be raising funds for the Alzheimer Society as she walks with Phil. Her JustGiving page can be found here.
Also tackling the London to Brighton Walk is Maresfield Primary School special needs teacher Lynda Huggett. Read more about her in a previous Uckfield News story here: Lynda prepares for extreme walking challenge.