Run Angel Amy contacted us at the beginning of the year to enquire about setting up a social run in Nailsea. We were thrilled to have her on board, but what we didn’t realise at the time was how bit the appetite for headspace in the area would be. Flash forward to June, and 45 women showed up to her first run.
Here’s Amy’s story of carving time out for herself, and helping other women to do the same:
“I’m Amy, married to Alex and we have two children: Tom aged 4 and Maggie aged 2. We moved from South Bristol to Nailsea in March 2018 which has been a big adjustment but a great decision for us all. Alex works full time in Bristol and I stopped work last October to focus on the children, my son really struggled with the move and changes in nursery and we were only just covering childcare costs so we decided to give me not working a go. It’s really helped us work better as a unit and the children to settle in their new area. Tom finally settled at a local pre-school and has made some strong connections and my daughter is with me full time. I’ve always worked and never considered not working post kids so it’s been a big adjustment for me. It’s hard work and can be very lonely and isolating, especially in a new area where I didn’t know anyone initially.
“My next door neighbour in Bristol (aka best friend /confidante and I miss her loads), decided to start running in 2018. Having never run before, she joined the Grenville Smyth 0 to 30 minute run course and has never looked back now running around 3 times a week. It was fantastic to watch the confidence it gave her, not just in running but in all areas. How she gained headspace from her children and everyday life and has new found courage to try more things and put herself out there.
“I was so unprepared for the effects of pregnancy and parenthood on my mental health (is anybody?!). I’ve always struggled with my hormones but, now on reflection, I can see that my hormones, anxiety and stress reached a whole new level and I didn’t know how to manage it. I felt the ‘Mum Guilt’ big time and found it very hard to admit how much I was struggling. I ran 10ks and a half marathon before children but I always trained for an event, never for fun, headspace or relaxation. I put pressure on myself to hit a target in a short space of time which was never enjoyable and resulted in sporadic exercise and a view that exercise is always hard. This pattern continued between my first and second child.
“Fast forward a couple of years and we’ve moved to Nailsea, away from my support network of friends and I’ve quit work. I’m struggling to adjust to the constant company of the under 5s (either being ignored or trying to remain calm with screaming /shouting /repetition), dreading the new playgroups and craving some time with like minded adults and time alone. So, I decide to start running again. I contact the local running club but they only offer a 7pm start smack bang in the middle of bedtime so this isn’t an option and I can’t find any other running groups. Then I remember This Mum Runs. Perfect. Running, exercise and a way to meet other Mums in the local area. I contact Jo Lee who was so encouraging and explained how easy it would be to set up TMR Nailsea. I hadn’t run since having Maggie so I wanted to be able to run 5k comfortably before, but this time I had a new motivation for running :headspace. The difference this made for me was incredible. I enjoyed running! I looked forward to running. A whole new experience.
“We launched TMR Nailsea on the 5th June and 45 women turned up for the first run! 45! It’s brought together Mum’s across Nailsea. A mix of some that know each other already, some strangers, Mum’s that have always ran, recently ran, sporadically ran (like me) and given them a welcoming, inclusive and social environment to get back into exercise / exercise in.
“Personally, I’m not great at prioritising myself and getting time that’s just about me, launching TMR Nailsea has given me that much needed time and headspace guilt free and the difference in my mental health is incredible already. I’m more rational, more able to cope, less isolated and feel part of a community (locally and world wide). I can feel my confidence returning and on top of that, the best bit of all, is that we are helping all these amazing women to feel the same. I’ve never joined and been part of a group so encouraging and inclusive, it’s always supportive, always. It’s helped me to feel like me again.
“If you are considering joining TMR, go for it. Feel the fear and do it anyway. You won’t regret it, all that will happen is that you’ll meet amazing, lovely local Mummy’s who will have stories similar to yours that will make you feel normal and included. You’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain. Go for it. Join the revolution. “