I have never been much of a health and fitness enthusiast. For most of my life I have been relatively unfit; spending most of my teenage years going out drinking with my friends, enjoying the occasional cigarette and eating absolutely anything/everything that I wanted. Exercise was the last thing on my mind!
Luckily I’ve always been naturally slim so my unhealthy lifestyle never caught up with my waist line, so I never felt the need to look after my health. What I didn’t realise then is that it’s not always about what you look like but how you feel and an unhealthy lifestyle will make you feel rubbish.
Little Steps Towards a Healthier Lifestyle
5 years ago I joined my University Gym. I didn’t know how to work any of the equipment so I only ever used the treadmill. I thought running was pretty simple; putting one foot in front of the other can’t be too difficult... Back then I only managed to run 5 minutes before I was completely out of breath and drenched in sweat. Running was hard but I always felt great afterwards, even if it was for only 5 minutes.
I went back every day and each time I tried to make sure that I pushed myself a little bit harder, even if that only meant running for one extra minute or running for 0.5 MPH faster than the last time.
I gradually became fit enough to run a 5K and then a 10K and each time I did it I tried to beat my personal best. I enjoyed running, it gave me a chance to focus on myself and it helped me to manage the stress of University life.
On the 5th of January 2016 my little niece Sara suddenly passed away in her sleep, she was 5 years old. This tragedy hit my family hard and some family members fell into a deep depression. My way of coping through this difficult time was through running.
Running allowed me some time to myself to gather my thoughts and to completely focus on my physical and mental health, and the rush of endorphins was a great mood booster too! Last year, I was in the gym running on the treadmill watching the London Marathon on one of the TVs and in my positive, endorphin induced state I thought that I would love to give it a go!
It was then that I decided that I would run the London Marathon in memory of Sara and I would run for the charity Sense, a national charity that supports disabled people to enjoy more independent lives.