Anne Testimonial Feature Image

Anne

I do strength and conditioning at a local gym, working with a personal trainer once a week and then doing two other self-directed sessions. I am also getting back into running following a knee injury I sustained earlier this year.

My gym has a great community feel to it. The regulars and staff are always ready to have a chat and a laugh, and we all encourage each other and celebrate our achievements. I also love working with my personal trainer as he is a constant source of non-judgemental support and motivation. He gets me to prove that I can do more than I think I’m capable of.

My running is a great way to have some real ‘me time’ and I use it to unwind and practice mindfulness. It’s a great way to get outside, get some fresh air and enjoy some of NZ’s beautiful scenery.

I love the sense of self-achievement that I get from both running and the gym, and I love that through them I have met a wide range of other women who also enjoy both of these activities and are keen to share their experiences and offer support and encouragement.

I used to be very self-conscious getting out in public in my gym and running gear. I was convinced others would judge how I look and how slow I run, but actually everyone is so busy with their own fitness and activity that no-one is interested in what anyone else is doing or how they look. Now I just get on and do it and if anyone is judging me, that’s their business. I just focus on my goals and how far I’ve already come on my journey.

Sometimes it’s hard fitting my physical activities into daily life. Working full-time means I do my gym and running in the evenings or at the weekend and this can conflict with family who want me to spend time with them. Overcoming this barrier is all about compromise. I try to work around mealtimes so that I can sit down and eat with my family.

At the end of a busy working day, I can sometimes feel too tired to train. When I’m feeling this way,  I tell myself that I’ll just do a quick gym session, or a short run and I usually find that once I’m actually out there and active my energy levels increase, and I start to enjoy myself.

I also have mild-medium range osteoarthritis in both knees that sometimes makes running and weight training difficult or even painful. When my knees are sore or achy from the arthritis I know I have to either rest or adjust my activity, such as run a flat route on a softer surface or use seated weight machines at the gym.

At first one of my reasons for being active was that I just wanted to regain some fitness, but now I love how much more energy I have and the positive effects being active has had on other areas of my life. I have high blood pressure and high cholesterol (both run in my family). Being active, and especially running, has had huge positive effects on both these conditions. I push on with it to keep myself healthy both for me and my family’s sake.

Being active makes me feel happy. The feeling of achievement, of self-confidence and of feeling so alive at the end of the activity – it’s priceless! When you set a goal, train hard and achieve it you can discover what you’re capable of and then transfer this mindset and work ethic to other areas of your life.

I have huge admiration for all of the active women I’ve ‘met’ through social media. There are a lot of them out there setting goals specific to themselves and training hard to achieve them. They all have personal stories and everyday lives, which means that they understand my fitness journey; and they’re always quick to share their experiences and offer support. They have taught me how to accept that you’re going to have good days and bad days when you take part in any sport, and how to become more resilient.

My advice to other women and girls is to not feel guilty about taking time out for yourself. It’s not selfish. It is just as important for you to be healthy and look after yourself as it is for you to encourage and support your family to be healthy. I also believe that it is important not to waste time worrying about how you think you look (in active wear or doing your chosen activity), or what (you may think) others may be thinking. Pick an activity and give it a go and keep trying until you find something that you really enjoy. If you love it you’ll find it easier to keep on doing it.

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SHARE YOUR STORY

Our goal is to create a community of women and girls who share their stories and offer advice to support and inspire one another to get active. If you would like to share your physical activity journey, please contact us at info@thisisme.org.nz