I love to run, and my passion is running marathons. Running has changed my life. Prior to that I had never really been very active or very good at anything. I started running around four years ago and instantly fell in love with it. I love feeling free and being outdoors. All of my problems seem so much smaller when I’m outside running. It has given me confidence and improved my fitness. I’ve also been able to inspire other ladies which is very important to me. I want other ladies to get the same benefits as me.
My barriers to running are my asthma and hay fever. I also struggle with the heat and run much slower during the summer. This affects my enjoyment and I often lose my mojo during this time. I overcome these barriers by focusing more on distance instead of pace. I accept that running will be difficult and try to enjoy more scenic trails and run slower. It’s almost a chance for my body to rest and recover after competing in lots of winter races.
I am physically active because it lifts my mood. I need that boost each day, and the release of endorphins. Not running feels like not cleaning my teeth. I dislike rest days as I feel less energetic when I don’t go for a run or at least break a sweat. Being physically active makes me feel alive, happy, healthy, empowered, strong and gives me a sense of achievement. It’s brought me through some really difficult times in my life such as when my dad died. It’s an outlet for me and I feel as though I am in control when it’s just me and my running shoes.
Mel Aitken is a real woman who inspires me. She is a pocket rocket who is always out there racing and achieving. She fits so many events around her already busy life. She manages to hold a senior position in the Police and still run long distances practically every day.
My advice to other girls and women is to find an activity that they love as it is so much easier to stay active if you’re doing something you enjoy. It is a chore if you are dragging yourself to something you don’t like and it’s unlikely that you will continue. I’d also suggest joining a club, like a running or walking club. It is much easier to commit to things when you’re doing it with like-minded people. It’s also a great way to make new friends.
"Going to the gym and being physically active makes me feel alive and motivated"
"The rush you get from being active, and achieving your physical goals, is unmeasurable"
"I love the feeling when you're all sweaty, tired and out of breath because you know you've tried your best and pushed yourself as far as you could"
"I like getting fit, competing and winning medals. I like to have big strong muscles"
"So often as a mum you are doing things for other people, so being physically active makes me feel good in that I’m doing something positive for myself"
"I enjoy the social aspect of being physically active, when it’s not too serious and it’s just about learning new skills or getting out of the house and having fun"
“I don't like sitting around and being bored. I love participating in team sport and putting goals in place to achieve.”
“Never give up, keep pushing even when times are hard, and love yourself. Find your passion and grow because your only competition is yourself”
“Being active is important to me. I want to live a healthy life and movement is a big part of that”
"For me, sport and physical activity has offered me opportunities to make friends for life and memories I will never forget"
"I’m now convinced that I am not in competition with anyone and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks anyway. I know I’m never going to win races but as long as I am trying my best to be a better me than I was yesterday then I am winning at life"
"Not being the one sitting on the sidelines watching and being able to role model how to stay healthy and fit to my children so that they grow up believing being active is a part of everyday life and sharing all these wonderful adventures with them, it makes my heart sing"
“Quite often when you can’t be bothered or you’re feeling sluggish and tired you can surprise yourself on how well you’ll do. Just get out the door, breathe in some fresh air and take some time for YOU, because you deserve to be HAPPY and HEALTHY!”
“Start out with small steps and milestones like walking around the block without stopping, going to that first group fitness class or jumping in the water for the first time in 10 years or so”
“I feel a lot happier when I'm active. A run or a swim will always clear my head”
“You have got to have a positive attitude and just get out there. Keep moving, stay focused, because life is way too short to waste your time not doing what you love to do. Just do it”
“By valuing ME more, I started to recognise myself and all of my qualities. Now I’m proud of who I am”
“I find I am generally a better human being and can give more when I keep active”
“Being active amazes me at what my body can achieve, after all I have put it through. It amazes me how it can heal”
"Find something that you enjoy doing and make the time to do it. You’re not being selfish; you’re looking after yourself. The best time to start is today"
“Running and working out are my antidote to the everyday stresses of life. When I’m not active I find it harder to switch off and view things in perspective. Sweating through activity means I don’t sweat the small things in life”
“Being active makes me feel like I’m using my body for good. It makes me feel powerful, positive, sweaty, glorious, achy in a good way, and hopeful for the future”
“Running is an outlet for me and I feel as though I am in control when it’s just me and my running shoes”
“I was proud that I was determined enough to start from scratch and have had lots of fun playing in local competitions”
"I didn’t want to be the parent that only ever watched my kids run around and kick a ball – I wanted to be a part of what they were doing"
“Happy is a very well-known word but yet can be described in many ways. To me happy means doing the things you love while not being forced to do them. Sport and keeping physically active are my happy place”
“Overall regular physical activity makes me more positive and happier”
“I feel alive and ready for anything”
“Active, healthy lifestyles aren’t defined by how often you run or go to the gym. Exercise can look like what you want it to be and what fits into your life”
"Just by putting your shoes on and getting out there, you’re being active and doing great things for your wellbeing."
"There’s so much reward to be had by overcoming fear and achieving things you never thought you could – so go for it – and link up with other likeminded women along the way."
"Exercise makes me feel incredible! It makes me feel strong capable and grounded."
"...there is more to life than the aesthetic of your body."
"I am so damn proud of what my body and brain can do for me. It brings me so much joy."
"Feeling confident in my own skin, being stronger and fitter than when I was younger."