After my third child was born just over two years ago, we decided that our family was complete – ‘No More Kids’ was my favoured mantra in the early weeks after my daughter’s arrival…
Don’t get me wrong, I was beyond delighted to, at last, have got my little girl, but I was also excited at the prospect of getting my body back. As many mums will know, during the baby-producing years, you often feel like you’re in a constant pregnant/post-pregnant state; the clothes you used to wear don’t fit like they used to, you’re keen to get back on the fitness wagon but, equally so, you’re pretty hopeful that in a matter of months you’ll be back in the pregnant ring again and on it goes….until you realise that several years have passed and you’ve not run for more than five seconds or lifted a single weight - unless you count the weekly shopping bags.
Well, this was me. And I wanted to get back on track but I just couldn’t get my fitness groove on. There was always a plethora of excuses; too tired, no time, no money, the list goes on. But, one day a friend sent me a message encouraging me to sign up to Kayla Itsines’ fitness app, known as Sweat; “There’s a free month offer going, Miranda. You’ve been saying you need a challenge and this is it!” It was the kick-start I needed and I duly signed up and started to work out at home three times a week, for 28 minutes at a time. If you’re not familiar with Kayla Itsines, then have a look online; she’s a twenty-something, Australian personal trainer and she’s proving a real hit with women the world over. Her workouts are hideously brilliant and within six weeks I was really feeling and noticing a difference. Wind on several months and my sister, a new mum herself, has downloaded the Sweat app, as have several friends. You don’t need tons of equipment and you don’t even need to leave your home to work out. In my opinion, for busy mums it’s a sweaty winner and I couldn’t recommend it more.
But, there was one problem as far as I was concerned: I wasn’t getting out running. Pre-kids, I used to pound the pavements of Bristol during my lunchbreak and I loved the feeling that running gave me; freedom, happy-endorphins and the reality that I could eat a Snickers bar back at my desk and not feel too ridden with guilt. But that was then, and this was now. I knew if I just went out and started running after all this time, I’d do myself an injury, so I needed some kind of guidance on how to get ‘running fit’. Over the years, I’ve dabbled with various apps on my phone but, if I’m honest, I’ve found them pretty tedious; either the voice grated or the music/jingles were too saccharine. In a nutshell, I simply gave up. Until, that is, I came across the app Fitness to 10K. It’s great, it’s easy to use, it’s not tedious and the lady who tells me I’m doing “a great job, awesome runner” is tolerable, too! So, I started to run. And it felt good. Gradually, the distances I was covering crept up and within a couple of months, I was nudging the 5K mark. But could I keep up the momentum?
And that’s when it happened. An email arrived into my mailbox alerting me to the MoRuns taking place across the country during the month of November and would I be interested in taking part? Well, this was the challenge I needed. I needed to prove to myself that all of my training runs were counting for something and worth continuing. I roped in a friend, we signed on the dotted line and last Sunday, we headed to Southampton and took part in the MoRun. It was brilliant; relaxed, friendly with a big dollop of feel-good factor. People of all ages were getting out there, enjoying the crisp November weather and having a good time. Like ParkRun, it’s very hard to find anything negative to say about these brilliantly organised events. It had been a long time coming, but as I ran around the course, my body felt my own and it felt good to be out there, joining in. Events like these are taking place up and down the country, year-round – a couple of online searches will show you where and when how to get involved.
If you’re contemplating getting back into the fitness groove, but not sure how/when/where then I hope you’ll find some of the above helpful. Oh, and get some funky trainers – they’ll make you run faster, at least that’s what my five-year-old son has told me.