I didn’t really enjoy exercise at school. I think cross country running was my favourite activity but it was very rarely an option. I was hopeless at all ball sports i.e. netball & hockey and I was glad to leave sport behind once I left school. Of course, there was lots of dancing in my student days at the nightclubs of yesteryear, does that count? Probably not.
That was it activity wise until I started playing golf in 1999, which is a nice walk round for at least 4 hours and although it’s better than sitting on the sofa for the same amount of time it I don’t really class it as exercise.
Thankfully my now husband coerced me into joining the gym in 2003. Boy it was tough, especially as I was still smoking then. It was a struggle just to do 5 -10 minutes of anything in the beginning, only to be left with a beetroot red face and so much disappointment as it didn’t seem to be working. I quit the gym after a year as I couldn’t see the point, I was very self-conscious of my body, I found it too hard and then as soon as I got in the car afterwards I’d spark up. Pointless.
Fortunately, I did get back on the horse (aka treadmill) a year later but It wasn’t until I finally quit smoking in 2006 that I started to enjoy exercise more and could actually start to see an improvement in my body shape and fitness level, it was a huge turning point in my life.
At this time, I was also living with the symptoms of ulcerative colitis and I really believe that exercising helped me cope with some of it. It certainly helped me build up some confidence and help me destress. I started going to classes at the gym and Zumba was a firm favourite to begin with. It was high energy with great music and so much fun.
I had a bad year in 2012 and needed an exercise boost so I invested in 6 personal training sessions. It was just what I needed to get my motivation back and I found my mojo again. As my fitness improved I kept trying different classes and circuits and Bodypump are top of my favourites list now.
A couple of years ago, someone asked me to be their running buddy. I wasn’t a runner but I said why not, let’s give it a go. I’ll try anything once, within reason. It took quite a long time and patience on her part but she managed to get me up to running 5K without stopping. I still only run about that distance but it’s something I enjoy and can fall back on if I can’t get to the gym or I’m away on holiday. This year running along the Menai Straight whilst on holiday in Anglesey was really magical.
Nowadays I try to find time to exercise most days and I live for those endorphins (feel good chemicals your body releases when you exercise). Keeping fit and healthy is always on my agenda and I do get rather grumpy if I can’t fit it in.
I guess I feel that if I can do it, so can you. And if you get despondent grab a mate and support each other or treat yourself to some personal training, who knows where it will take you?