This Girl Can

Today I finally dragged myself back to the gym. Most people get to January and they can’t wait to hit the gym. I on the other hand ALWAYS lose my mojo.

Thing is, all it takes is one session and this evening, completing run one, on week one of the Couch to 5K has done the trick…

My goals in the gym have changed dramatically in light of my recent diagnosis. I’ve always been obsessed with losing weight (and failing miserably because I’m an emotional and boredom eater). Now, my goals are about being as strong as possible whilst enjoying the exercise I do.

As a youngster, I danced. This carried on right until I was about 17, and there was no longer time for dancing, what with part time jobs and a social life.

Throughout my very late teens and into my early twenties, I flirted with the gym. My friend Hayley and I often went to the gym just go a Jacuzzi and a sauna. I found a love for Les Mills classes. I enjoyed the choreographed element of them, even with Body Pump which completely appealed to my dance background.

With one thing and another, at the age of about 23, whilst I’d knocked the gym on the head, I came back to dancing but this time to Salsa dancing which was a whole new thing for me, having historically ballet danced my way through life.

I really struggled with salsa dancing whilst I lived in Essex – I didn’t like to follow the male lead, but when I moved to Manchester I carried on dancing and quickly got the hang of it!

I loved this time in my life! I was out dancing almost every night of the week! Once I met Dave though, it stopped.

Roughly four years ago, I decided enough was enough. I was the most unfit I’d ever been and probably the most out of shape too. I joined a gym.

Me after my first personal training session with Sam. That smile is NOT real!

As part of my sign up deal, I got two free personal training sessions with a trainer called Sam. She totally understood my body, the fact that I wasn’t that fit and the fact that I HATED cardio! I’d had pretty clueless personal trainers for the odd session here and there, and it never really clicked for me.

Wigan Colour Run…I. HATED. EVERY. SECOND

I decided to carry on training with Sam, and still do to this day. She’s become an important part of my life – and if we had to part ways I’d genuinely be very upset. She’s one in a million!

Anyway, it didn’t take long for Sam to help me find a real love for weight lifting. The relief that I didn’t have to spend hours running on a treadmill was incredible!

About a year after I started training with her, she upped the ante and got me into lifting the heavy shit. Our previous sessions had always focussed on lower weights and high reps.

Looking back now, it’s funny. I never saw myself as strong. I was pretty feeble, but the buzz when you tell a guy how much you can deadlift (95kg for 1 rep) and he realises you could deadlift HIM is pretty awesome!

I’m definitely not in my best shape, but I’m definitely the fittest I’ve been in all MY adult life now. I can do things with my body I never imagined possible and I’m finding new things all the time.

But I still struggle to run.

It’s that thing that I’ve always wanted to be able to do though. So this year I’m torturing myself by signing up for the Wigan 10K in September. My plan is to run, walk or crawl it in aid of Wigan MS Therapy Centre who do some amazing work.

I’ve still not had a chance to go down there yet, but naturally I feel an affiliation now. I realise I’m lucky to have MS but be really mobile. A lot of this I put down to all the effort I’ve put into my fitness over the last four years.

Tonight, I did my first run on the couch to 5k running programme.

It took me 28 minutes to travel 2.5km and I only ran for 8 minutes of it, but we’ve all got to start somewhere. And I didn’t hate it. I didn’t love it but the sense of achievement when it was done was worth so much more than the marginally less enjoyable than the previous 1680 seconds.

But do you know what. I’m a determined soul when I want to be. And if I can deadlift 95kg, I can bloody well run 10K!

Post work out today!

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