I began to see the strong woman that I could become.
I am a transgender woman and until the beginning of my gender transition had never exercised. I’d suffered from years of depression – hiding who I really was and trying to be someone I wasn’t took its toll. I was a heavy smoker and at my lowest a considerable drinker.But things changed. Five years ago I began hormone therapy and I started to take control of my life. I embraced the person I knew I could become, let go of my past and began to think of my future.
The frustration of being without nicotine after quitting smoking was channeled into exercise. Beginning a daily workout regime, my lounge quickly becoming home to my ever growing collection of Jillian Michaels DVDs.
With diet, exercise and hormone therapy I changed. Even with all its flaws, I began to love my body for what it could do and what it had the potential to be. I began to see the strong woman that I could become.
Running started slowly, literally, first walking a short route, then getting the trainers on and taking up a jog. I didn’t really know what I was doing but I was out there doing it. Pushing myself along the ever changing Liverpool Waterfront, I couldn’t ask for a more compelling companion to run alongside. Four years ago I ran my first Race for Life 5k, yesterday I completed my 4th Half Marathon.
I joined Nike Liverpool’s run club. An incredibly supportive, ego-free community, with which I know I will only continue to get stronger. Running has enabled me to pursue other activities that five years ago would have been inconceivable; salsa dancing, snowboarding and swimming (which myself and a friend finally learnt to do just this year!)
As a transgender woman the battle with my body for many years was an internal one, but when I took ownership of it I began to affect the changes I wanted for myself. I was empowered, I allowed myself to be seen and I began to define myself. I’ve found acceptance within myself and the active communities I’ve been a part of and I’d like to encourage others to find their own.