Even as a doctor, I had no concept of the power that exercise has to improve and maintain mental wellbeing until I experienced it myself. When I started running it was to get fit and lose a bit of weight after having three children. I knew that regular exercise would do the trick. What I didn’t realise was that ten years later, my main reason for running wouldn’t be so I could eat cake or keep up with my kids. My reason to run has changed. I now run more for my mental health than my physical health. This is why I was delighted when England Athletics, asked me to support their #runandtalk campaign in conjunction with the mental health charity Mind.
Author Jenny Baker kindly sent me a copy of her book Run For Your Life – how one woman ran circles around breast cancer. I was really keen to read this, not only to hear her story but also to help with my conversations with patients who have cancer.
What a week it’s been! I’m just back from a quick trip to Minnesota where I was teaching on the latest 261 Fearless Train the Trainer course. One thing that I can guarantee about these courses is that I will leave exhausted but also happy, inspired and motivated. There’s something very special about being with a bunch of women who want to do their bit to improve the world by helping other women to get active and start running. So much laughter, positivity and unity which is wonderful medicine in what feels like an increasingly divided world. So what happened in Minneapolis and how you can get involved and experience a little of this fearless magic? Running is a great way to see a new place so never having been to Minneapolis before I started with a sight-seeing run in the streets around my hotel (ps I can highly recommend the Westin Edina Galleria). It’s an active-person-friendly city and in many places there are separate paths for pedestrians and bikes which I think is a …
I can’t wait to share this interview with you; it’s one of my favourites. Vickie just decided she wanted to make a change, she stubbed out her last cigarette and just got on with it. Here she tells her story and shares lots of great advice for those who want to make a change too.
Marathon number six is only five weeks away for me now and it will be swiftly followed by number seven, five weeks after that. What I’ve learnt from my past marathons and current training is that me running a marathon is NOT just about me. Yes, I’m the one who has to put one foot in front of the other but this wouldn’t be possible without an enormous number of other people. It really is a team event. Here are some of the members of my team and how they’re helping me. I really wanted to give them a shout out and thank them because without them I wouldn’t be able to do this.
The women I speak to give many different reasons for why they started exercising. For some it’s been a photograph they didn’t like, for others, just the desire to be healthier. For Carol it was an imminent wedding but being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes was the thing that really triggered her health drive. Here she tells me how exercise has done way more for her than just lower her blood sugar.
This #activewomen interview is testament to the fact that you should dream BIG. Read on to hear about how Jenni started her Couch to 5k on a gym treadmill because she was too nervous to run outside and now she’s tackling ultra marathons and supporting others to run too.
I love to run on my own. I love to run with friends and I LOVE to run with my dog! Best of all, my dog appears to love running with me too. Not all dogs like or are even suited to running so it’s important to find the right breed of dog to run with. Dogs that are good runners can enhance your training and help you maintain your pace. They also make the best motivators as they’re always keen, ready to go and they don’t have to faff about choosing which outfit to wear!
I love this interview with Jenny, it’s packed full of inspiration. From body image concerns to fitting exercise into her busy day. From learning to guide a visually impaired runner to being a role model for her patients. Her stories of breast cancer, depression and odd shaped bottoms will have you reaching for your parkrun barcode. I’m super grateful to her for sharing her life so we can all benefit from her wisdom and enthusiasm. A true #ActiveWoman.
Hurray! Finally, I can officially share my news that I’ll be running the Boston Marathon in April 2017. I’m delighted to be running as part of Team 261 Fearless Boston.