As a mother of 4 working full time, I’ve found it difficult to fit activity into my day
As a mother of 4 working full time, I’ve found it difficult to fit activity into my day. Taking on a Sunday role as a contact worker for children left me with little time to focus on me and my health. Doing so would mean that dinner is later than normal. Other priorities need to come first.
Mental challenges have also held me back – feeling too fat or too slow and that I will fail.
Anxiety has been a big challenge for me and stopped me over the years getting involved in things I wanted to.
I was an active child and teenager, always ran with my dad and joined an athletics club as a family. He became a coach and we went every week with him. I competed and was under 11 champion for the club. Once into my teens I ran with my dad only usually cross country from our house and we always bonded with our running together.
In my later teens I had pains in my tummy and had to have them explored. It was extremely painful and put me off sport due to the pain it caused. I didn’t do anything from then until I went to Uni and started rowing. I loved rowing and competed as a novice travelling around to competitions, which was great fun.
My university days were fragmented with anxiety and, although undiagnosed, I look back and see how I struggled and avoided situations. I stopped rowing and fell pregnant at 20 with my first child. We bought a house and I had 3 children under 5 by the time I was 26. My relationship was very troubled and I was very young.
I picked up running again after I separated from my husband 10 years ago. It was an escape and something I could do for free and with very little time or money.
I found that I no longer had the pains I had when I was a child and actually enjoyed running again. I pushed through my anxiety as I felt empowered for leaving a marriage I was unhappy in.
Since then my running has started and stopped and I have had my 4th and last child who is now 6. I have ran the great south run and various other little events, always with my partner.
I joined Her Spirit at the start of lockdown as I wanted to get active and had put on some weight I was desperate to shift. I was the heaviest I had ever been and a friend had recommended giving it a go.
I had a look and started joining some of the virtual classes. I’ve now done open water swimming and Go Tri as well.
It has opened up a safe and supportive environment for likeminded women to support each other.
In the winter I’m going to cook for my youngest early and then go for a run and we will eat later. When I went open water swimming this summer my girls came with me to watch and even joined in.
I think it’s good for children to see an active lifestyle in adults. They join us at events we attend and watch the hard work we put into achieve our goals big or small.
Having two active parents that run together and do other activities is a juggling act, but as my girls are now 16 & 17 they help to look after my youngest if we are out together.
We’ve teamed up with Her Spirit to offer a 30-day free trial of their Give Me 5 programme, designed to help all women build the strength, fitness and confidence to enjoy running. Visit the Her Spirit website to find out more.