Until the first Workplace Challenge in January 2014 I had stopped doing any activity, but that challenge got me off my bum and out running. I'd started running briefly to get me through the breakdown of my marriage a couple of years earlier but given up. I have found it such a 'stressbuster' that during any period of stress in my life it really helps.
Once the #ThisGirlCan campaign came out I needed to try something else so I picked up back to hockey, which I love and although my running dropped off from about June last year I once again picked it up on the back of this year's challenge. The Workplace Challenge, #ThisGirlCan and my colleagues inspired me to test myself so I signed up for the Bath Half Marathon something the 20 stone me from 5 years ago would never have done, nor the person who was much lighter but still sedentary before the first workplace challenge.
I now also help with the local cricket club by being the club secretary, a job I wouldn't have had the confidence to do if I was less active, and I will try and encourage all the staff at work to take part in summer rounders too!
I'm still not skinny, in fact I like food too much to ever be thin but I like that I can be fat and still run. I used to only run at night when it was dark because I felt judged but I've more recently plucked up the courage to run in the day (or I'd not get the miles under my belt due to being a single mum of three boys and childcare issues). I still feel people look at me all sweaty and sloth like when they drive past but the fact is I'm out and I'm doing it so I've sort of given up caring.
Similarly to hockey; I was so scared I'd be judged as I hadn't played since uni days but now I don't care and love the intense workouts. At the end of the day I work full time, raise three boys (including a set of twins) by myself, I run a Cub group and I'm secretary to the local cricket club. I spend my weeknights and weekends taking the boys to their own hockey, football, rugby, cricket, beavers but even when we have time together we go for walks or go swimming because I am desperate for them to be active. Our newest addition to the front room is a cross trainer and everyone jumps on it and competes to go the fastest so even my least active boy tries something.
It's so important to me, as a large lady, that my boys value the need to exercise and hold me up as someone, regardless of size, who just tries when she can.
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