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Nicole's
Story

In the past my main barriers to exercise have been motivation and finding something that gets my heart rate up but doesn’t feel like the monotonous slog of the gym. That's when I found Back to Netball.

In the past my main barriers to exercise have been motivation and finding something that IS exercise but doesn’t feel like the monotonous slog of the gym.  

It is very easy to skip a gym class if you are attending on your own and unfortunately this became more and more of a common occurrence for me (embarrassingly)I have always felt the need to be active of some sort as I suffer with Crohn’s Disease but the daily business of life can put halt to that.   

I saw a local Back to Netball session advertised which instantly ignited my interest as something I could do regularly and with others, who I wouldn’t be so keen to “skip” a class in front of, get into a routine with and I absolutely loved netball in my school years. All those aspects really motivated me and ticked all the above boxes for my “barriers” 

Following regular attendance at Back to Netball I am now part of, and indeed manage, a team with a group of lovely and completely like-minded ladies.  

We motivate each other but also appreciate that “life” can throw a curveball so there is no pressure if someone has an issue and can’t attend. It works perfectly.

We all share lifts which encourages us to go (and have no excuses), we have a WhatsApp chat group (which is VERY active!) and speak every week. Everyone is incredibly encouraging and we all want everyone to achieve their best which really spurs us on individually and as a team. 

My family can see how much I value this team sport and I have 2 “netball days” a week which are mine to do with what I wish – one is a training day and the other a match day. I am very much supported by my husband as he can see the positive impact it has had on me and encourages the above if I feel a little slack..  

I still have my gym membership and will attend when we don’t have a match but am far more motivated having got back into netball. I am thankful to netball for introducing me to a group of such lovely people and coaches and I can see myself continuing for the foreseeable future. 

Following the arrival of COVID and the world as we know it changing, we knew the inevitable was coming – netball was going to be cancelled. Despite all of our fingers being crossed, this wasn’t enough and our netball league was suspended. Whilst disappointed as we were off to a good start that season, we completely understood the reasonings why.

Not wanting to lose any momentum, when the restrictions allowed us we held our own fitness sessions at a local basketball court facility – numbers dwindled as expected due to the anxiety of what was happening in the world and we decided it best to cease these for the time being for everyone’s wellbeing.

With my primary fun source of fitness suspended and no gyms open, I knew I wanted to do something to maintain some form of fitness through lockdown and also to focus my mind.

For as long as I can remember I have despised running, completely despised it. A fair few of our team are avid runners, I am most certainly not. Our GS Jac mentioned trying the Couch 2 5K app. I laughed it off and said I’d think of something else but thank you.

One sunny weekday evening, I cant tell you what came over me .. but I started the C25K app. Admittedly it was hard work and certainly something my body wasn’t used to, but to my absolute surprise, I loved it! The format of the app, the motivation and the small increments really resonated with me and I found myself wanting to go out every night. This was most bizarre and I decided to keep my attempt at it to myself, to prove to myself I could do it.

Another of the netball girls I am close to was in the same situation as me exercise wise and I confided in her about the C25K. From that moment on we were each other’s motivation and it was amazing – we spurred each other on, we ran in the dark together, we ran in the freezing cold, the pouring rain; we ran past fish and chip shops and ice cream vans but we RAN.

We completed the C25K on Christmas Eve hitting our 5k run together and the sense of achievement was amazing!

We have since run 6k and are still going strong together. We are hopeful that this new-found love of running will show on the netball court so its win-win all round.

Our netball squad has kept in touch over the pandemic – through to supporting each other with things in our personal lives through to sending across funny lockdown memes – these gave us all much laughter in those strange times. Our team netball holiday to Benidorm had to be cancelled, against whilst disappointing, we completely understood the reasonings why.

Our team are all very keen to get back playing netball how we used to – we all miss each other, the fun, the camaraderie and seeing each other each week in the dark, the rain and the wind! We are ready and poised to pounce as soon as we get the green light.