About James

How's it going Big Boy?

James here, founder of the Big Boys Run Club. I've been getting a lot of questions about who I am and what my story is, so I wanted to share it with you.

I'm a six-foot-five Englishman who currently lives in Cologne, Germany. I'm a freelance writer, language learner, and a Big Boy Runner

My running journey started in early 2018 after a rugby injury. I took a knee to the head which resulted in an acute bleed on the brain, broken nose, fractured eye socket and torn ligaments in my shoulder.

Here is the wonderful moment and resulting injury caught on perfectly timed camera:

james johnson head injury

Two nights in the hospital later it was safe to say my rugby career was over.

Mourning my loss, I did what any ex-fat teenager would do; I ate my way through it. 

I became pretty sedentary thanks to my shoulder injury. And, no matter how many times my girlfriend asked me to go for a run, I had the same excuses:

  • "I'm too heavy"
  • "Running's hard when you weigh this much"
  • "Big guys have to work harder"
  • "I'm not built for running"
  • "I hate running...unless I'm chasing after a ball."

There was always a reason not to go out. So, I didn't. 

As the months went by I began to notice some real changes. My jeans got tighter, my belt went up a notch and my t-shirts didn't fit as well.

Suddenly, there was this fat guy in all of my photographs, too:

Oh, hello overhang. 

It was time to do something about it. I grabbed the best sort of running shoes I could find out of the cupboard, laced them up and went for a jog.

I lasted about 2.2km (just over a mile) before my back seized up and I needed a lie-down.

"Man, that was hard", I thought to myself, "never again."

A few days went by - eating and sitting as normal - when I began to feel pretty stressed. I needed out of the house and to move, so, I went for another run.

This time I made it to about 3.0km (1.8 miles) before my heart gave out. But, this time, it wasn't so bad.

The third run was a little longer and, again, felt a little less like I was going to die from rapid-heart-disease. (That's not a thing.) 

Before long I found myself sitting at my desk wanting to get out and go for a run. It was the craziest feeling.

I began upping it to five kilometers, then seven, then nine. And it wasn't long before I found myself signing up for the Cologne half marathon.

Since that moment, I've been in love with running.

I love the sense of community. I love pushing myself. I love that I think about everything and nothing as I run. I love exploring the unknown. I love buying tech to see my statistics. I love uploading to Strava even though nobody cares.

And, here I am, running my own t-shirt company and providing advice to my fellow Big Boys. (More about that here.) 

If you want to know more about me, or just want to drop in to say hi, please feel free to get in touch via the contact form below! 

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Have a good one,

James