About Me

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TL;DR – I’m a geek. I run a business. I like writing about my experiences. Here’s what I’m working on right now, if you are interested in hearing more then you might want to start here.

Hi, I’m Darren Beale. Please feel free to call me Bealers (most people do).

I’ve been working in the web industry since the late 90’s and have been self-employed for most of that time.

Professionally I used to be a back end PHP web programmer and Linux system administrator but these days I am focused on running my software development company and I leave the tech to my very capable team.

I write this blog because I enjoy doing it and want to improve my writing, but I figure I may as well pass on any useful & actionable information that I manage to glean whilst I travel upon my journey.

Personal stuff: I’m married to Cathie and we have 3 kids. I love being outdoors, the more remote & disconnected from technology the better. I have too many bikes and I don’t use my Canadian canoe as much I would like. I also run, a lot.

Contact

If you’d like to get in touch then I can be found in the usual places: Twitter (@bealers), Instagram (@beale.rs or @geek.runner) or email bealers@siftware.com.

You can also call me on 0845 680 9676 during UK office hours.

Additionally, I have a not very regularly managed Linkedin profile as well as public Facebook feed.

My story

Health of the mind and body is a subject very close to my heart.

Up to a few years ago I lived a very unhealthy lifestyle and this caught up with me in a pretty spectacular way soon after my 40th birthday. The cause ended up being a compounding of lifelong acute stress & anxiety as well as very poor body management (no exercise, no veg, lots of booze and so on).

I’ve since managed to turn things around so my diet and physical fitness are now A1 (for a middle aged man!) and I suffer a lot less from stress & anxiety, but only because I’m careful to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

If you’d like to read more then these few posts are related to that period:

There is also

Running

I started running in 2015, reluctantly.

Previously I’d been a fair-weather cyclist but I needed something more portable, that I could do when away from home so I gave running a go.

Instantly I became a born again runner and I couldn’t get enough. So much so that I very ill-advisedly went from Couch to 5K to completing the 2016 London Marathon in 10 months, a feat which nearly broke my untrained body.

I appear to have gotten away with it, though.

After recovering and then a more sensible regime of gradually increasing my training I now have a good level of base fitness. This coupled with me constantly listening to my body, ensuring that I feed it well and with a physio visit every month or so I’m able to safely train up to five days per week.

My runs get treated as meditation & mindfulness sessions. I focus on my form, my breath & my pace as well as observing my surroundings. My runs are very much mini-holidays for my mind, allowing me to clear it of unhelpful or unnecessary thoughts.

So, running is now definitely my ‘thing’ and I do it whenever possible.

Obligatory before and after photo

Circa April 2014

Spring 2014

April 2016

Spring 2016

2014: me presenting at The Business of Web Design roadshow. Pot belly-tastic!

2016: 2 years on, running past Buckingham Palace to finish the London Marathon (10 months after starting Couch25K). I’m well over 2 stone lighter and have gone from 36″ to 30″ waist.

 

I have a mailing list that I occasionally send updates to. If you’d like to be in the loop then you can sign up below: