Latest from Lorraine.....

Another addition to the household activity centre included a puppy! Yes, I know, a full time working, single mum of three active boys and who runs a Cub group and is secretary of the cricket club decides to get a dog…mental! On one hand yes, it was just hilariously insane of me but on the other hand it has been a joy and a pleasure because we have all got out as a family to walk her, along with the eldest being tasked to take her out when I simply couldn't and has upped our walking by at least three fold. We literally have to go out now, and when I say 'out' I mean dog walking out not just to the park to play or ten pin bowling. I can now also be seen donning a Fitbit, which I was sceptical about to begin with but can honestly say has been an amazing tool to help me achieve 10, 000 steps, 30 minutes of activity and 7km per day. If my settings aren't all green (a sign that I've completed my targets) then I'll get on the cross trainer or take a walk round the block or have a little jog – it is all in the mind but it helps to have the nudge!

As a work team we took part in the rounders league; always hilarious, always fun and always about being a team. I'm quite possibly the worse rounders player on the pitch but actually I don't care anymore because on a sunny Thursday evening what could be better than being outdoors, surrounded by people having fun and doing some exercise (often just through laughing!)? My children love coming up as they bring a ball or a cricket bat, sometimes join in and so it's a family social thing for us too plus they aren't just sat on the X-Box. By the way, we didn't win but the photos on our staff room walls remind us of a good summer.

We started back at hockey after a summer break and it was so good to be back. The Back to Hockey group is kind and encouraging and we all seem to gel which is great (there is always room for more though!). We even took part in the HockeyFest at Taunton Vale (our first ever competitive matches) and despite being the oldest and least able team of players we did ourselves proud, improved with every match and even got a goal but we just all had a great time playing as a team.

Probably my biggest achievement of the summer has been sea kayaking and coasteering with my colleagues (who are so brilliant I'd call them all friends). We had the opportunity to do a coasteering day with Channel Training and so I worked with them to organise a day after our term had finished; I put a list on the wall and announced our intentions…on the day 17 people took part with an age range of 42 years! We were mostly all very nervous and I have to say the week before I had been trying to think up excuses to get out of it. What was I scared of…? Well, I have no upper body strength to talk of, am overweight, climbing isn't something I'm well-rehearsed in and it has been a long time since I wore a wetsuit in front of people I know! However, I have to say that we had the most amazing day! The sea was rough and the kayaking was hard work, climbing up cliffs was actually easier than I thought (mainly thanks to the stronger men in our group for sometimes giving me a hand up) but standing on the edge of a cliff and jumping off was exhilarating. Seeing colleagues scared to try new things but being encouraged by everyone to do them was awe-inspiring, the fact of achieving something so far outside my comfort zone was immense, knowing that my colleagues and I had all worked together to give us wonderful memories was awesome and the feeling that I had just done something the 'old me' never would have gave me goosebumps. I know I'm going to be hard pushed to find those feelings again; but I will keep looking until I find something that gives me something similar….what will it be, who knows, but I know that I my confidence has improved through sport and activity and that without the small steps I took in the beginning I'd never have completed that!

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