I have been fit all my life. Pre pregnancy, I even had a personal trainer. I was a size 10, and I felt and looked great.
Then I got pregnant. 6 months of sickness and debilitating tiredness followed and as a Director in a fast paced start up, all my energy went into keeping my Team and business afloat. There was no time, (or energy), for exercising. Then there was birth. A physical marathon and body blow of epic proportions. Then breastfeeding. Constant, 24/7, exhausting. Then the toddler tasks.
For the last 3 years I have not exercised. The world of yoga and lycra leggings is a world I no longer know. More than that, it is a world in which I do not feel I belong. Pre pregnancy my motivation was to try and fashion a 6 pack. That goal is long gone (and quite frankly, one I care very little about now!), so where was I going to find my new motivation?
I decided to try Run 30, This Mum Run’s carefully curated running course to hand hold you from being unable to run for a bus, to running for 30 minutes. I bought my TMR ‘FearLess’ Jumper, I dusted off my running shoes and spent a few days just looking at the jumper. I got my interval timer ready. Run for 1 minute, walk for 1.5 minutes (x8). I could do that, right? The thought of walking more than I ran made me relax.
So the day came. I was nervous. It was such a contrast to the pre pregnancy me, the one who could nail a 1.5 hours intense yoga class without a sweat. My confidence and personal drive had plummeted so far.
I watched the This Mum Runs Runner Full Stop videos to get inspired. I saw other Mums, and heard their stories. I knew I was with my Tribe and I could feel their cheers even though it was just me in the kitchen. It was the TMR warm up video that lit up that deep buried spark for life! Seeing Mel wave and put her thumb up, (with a massive heart warming grin!), made me smile whilst I stretched. It was fun. I felt excited. I could feel adrenaline starting to kick in. I was ready.
I went outside, and I ran. And just as it started to feel challenging, and all my inner gremlins started saying, ‘You don’t have to do this Shona, you could just start next week, you probably can’t even do this first day…’, the interval timer beeped and it was time to walk. I breathed in the fresh air, stared at the sunrise, and smelt the lavender. I felt alive. When the next beep invited me to run, I proudly stepped up my pace. I smiled at the guy that walked past me and in that moment, I felt like a Runner. No, let me rephrase that; I was a Runner.
I had broken the cycle. The cycle of sofas and chocolate. Of jogging bottoms and baggy jumpers. Of Facebook and Netflix. I remembered the version of me pre Mum. How I took care of myself and held my head high. And I realized in that moment that THAT was the version of me that I wanted my Daughter to be best friends with.
I completed my fourth Run this morning. This one was harder, (having to run for 2 minutes before that precious walk!). But I did it. And after every run, I feel great. I learn that whatever mental or physical struggle I have in that split second whilst pounding the streets, is short lived, and the up side outweighs it by a mile. The thought that I might run for 30 minutes non-stop in a few weeks is still daunting. But being able to look into the eyes of the other Mums in the TMR community, (whether in real life or on a video), puts a fire in my belly that above all the fear and doubt says, “you can do this”.
And that power, that fire, is a fire I need every day. Running or not. So if I’m feeling a bit unsure, a bit tired, a bit low, I just put on my TMR jumper and say, “I got this”.
This Mum Runs currently offers coached beginner running in Bristol with plans to make these widely available in 2019. Find out more about the courses and sign up for regular updates at www.thismumruns.co.uk