Nine months ago, he was a flabby couch potato whose idea of exercise was a walk to the pub.
But all that has changed. Rotherham Advertiser sub-editor Charlie Graves has shed almost two stone, five inches off his waist and forsaken pies for pasta to get in shape for a triathlon last week.
The bosses at the Advertiser, which is a sponsor of the Rother Valley Triathlon Festival, thought it would be a good idea to chart the progress of a beginner in a monthly diary.
In a weak moment, 56-year-old Graves volunteered – a decision met by much cynicism in the office. Graves said: ‘No one really believed I could do it. And to be honest, neither did I.”
He was given a personal trainer at the local Hellaby Hall Hotel which offered free use of its gym – and the tough training regime began.
He recalled: ‘Initially, it was absolute hell. I have never been a gym type and I often felt like death before, during and after a session.”
But gradually, the transformation into super-fit athlete was there for all to see and he completed the 1500m swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run in about four-and-a-half hours, raising £800 for Rotherham Hospice.
Speaking after the event, Graves said: ‘I feel dreadful, but glad to have finished.’His editor, Doug Melloy was impressed:’Credit to Charlie, he has stuck to his task.”