Many of you will know that I’ve been involved with the global women’s running network 261 Fearless for a few years now. I absolutely love it because I find it fulfilling, challenging and exciting too. It’s all about helping women to find support and empowerment through running. Now things are stepping up to another level!
Welcome to my new ‘Active Women‘ interview series. I’m passionate about helping inactive people to become active. There are just so many barriers stopping women from making exercise part of their lives. Time, health issues and lack of confidence are just three that spring to mind.
The U.K is an ‘uncomfortable’ place to live at the moment with divisions forming in all areas of society. It’s hard to stay positive amongst the chaos and concern. Sport can divide but also has an amazing power to unite. (Let’s not mention the football!) When we turned up to running club the morning after the #Brexit result there was a brief discussion how everyone had voted but we quickly moved on to some crazy running games and for one wonderful hour we moved and laughed and escaped the woes of the world. That’s what I love about 261Fearless, the ability it has to bring women of all backgrounds and beliefs together to enjoy running.
As many of you know I’ve become involved with a very exciting project. Well, ‘project’ is a bit of an understatement really because it’s a global movement!
I love to win! I’ve always been competitive. I’ve even been known to beat my own kids at snakes and ladders when a subtle ‘miscount of the dice’ would’ve been more appropriate. These days though the only person I’m really out to beat is myself. I started my running career late and I’m thankfully still getting faster. I don’t enter that many races but when I do I always want a new Personal Best. I know there’s no shame in being the final one to cross the finish line but it’s not something I’ve ever wanted to be. This race however was different, that was my only aim … to come last.
On Friday I headed down to the big smoke for The Running Awards. I was kindly invited by Strava to join other bloggers for a run followed by a Q and A session and a balcony seat for the awards at the O2. I left London with a goody bag, loads of selfies and really sore feet and I didn’t even run the marathon!
Followers of my blog will know that I’m an ambassador for 261Fearless, a movement which empowers women through running, all over the world. I’m really excited that the movement has come to the UK and that my running club has become the first official UK 261 Fearless club. More than that, I’m now involved in training other women to become coaches and set up their own clubs. Interested? Read on to find out what’s involved, we’d love to have you on board!
I’m keen on self-reflection. I wrote a diary for years as a child and I dip in again from time to time now. I find it very therapeutic and I just LOVE reading it back. It helps me to be grateful for all I have and to set targets for the year ahead. It’s amazing how much you forget, even in the space of a year. I guess blogging and vlogging kind of replaces a diary in some ways but I’ll still be making my yearly entry looking back on the year I’ve had and making plans for 2016.
Yesterday my milkman asked me what the 261 number on my running top meant. I didn’t want to make him late for the rest of his deliveries but I really wanted to tell him about it. You see it means lots of different things, is very important to me and its powerful message will help so many women. It’s a number you’re going to see popping up more and more all over the place in years to come. Let me explain.
There are so many things in life to feel guilty about and I strongly believe that exercise shouldn’t be one of them. A common answer when I ask a patient how much exercise they do, is, “Not as much as I should”. Getting some exercise seems to form part of a big list of targets we’re told we need to achieve in our daily lives; eat your five a day, drink lots of water, not too much sugar, fat, alcohol, get some screen free time, spend quality time with loved ones etc etc. We can end the day feeling like a failure and realistically, who manages this long list on a daily basis? This is why we need to fundamentally change the way we think about exercise and this involves every single one of us.