My name is Tony Poole (nickname Sparks). I live in Torrevieja, on the southern Costa Blanca Spain, about 50 km south west of the city of Alicante. I work as a self employed electrician (Sparks In Spain). I am 59 years old and originally from Enfield, Middlesex (Spurs supporter).

I am no stranger to health and fitness, though before now I had never trained for an endurance event. During my senior school years (1968-73) I played soccer for Enfield Schoolboys, and competed in school athletes at the 100 yard sprint and the high jump (I hated the weekly cross country jaunt around the sports field... because I wasn't very good at it).

In 1973, aged 16, I started Wado Ryu Karate under the tuition of Tatsuo Suzuki 8th Dan and trained for 10 years obtaining my 1st Dan Black Belt. In the later years I competed at inter-club level along with notable team mates, former world champion Geoff Thompson and Vic Charles, and trained in Full Contact Karate and Kendo. I was also an instructor at my own Karate club in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire.

Back in the day, Bruce Lee was an advocate for total body conditioning in the martial arts. He influenced my training regimes to incorporate free weights and endurance exercise. I joined Len Sell’s “Mr. Universe” Gym in Walthamstow, North London (the guy who first endorsed The Bullworker) and continued off and on over the years to workout on strength and conditioning.

96 kg and rising
After my father’s death I took a hiatus from martial arts, though continued to keep fit with running and weights but never fully got back into it, which is one of life’s big regrets.

I took up golf around the time Tiger Woods burst on to the scene in 1996 following his revolutionary new approach to strength training for golfers. It was (is) a great way to combine a fitness regime with a leisurely sport. I continue to play golf, though rarely at the moment.

Up until last August last year the pounds had gradually started to pile on. At one point I weighed 96 kg (212 lbs). Something had to give as I was heading for "a cheese burger away from a heart attack" kinda look. Then over the course of the following months I made a commitment to lose weight and undertook a total body workout programme. Over an eight month period I lost 26 kg (57 lbs) and reduced my weight to 70 kg (154 lbs) with 11% body fat.

In March 2015 I set a goal to complete a sprint triathlon with Whites GoForIt and devised an 11 week training programme. On Sunday 14th June I completed my first event. The following Sunday I completed another sprint triathlon in Torrevieja, and later in the year a third in San Javier.