Parkrun: where we all run our own race…

I do so love Parkrun. I’ve completed 43 on 3 different courses and all of which have had the same thing in common – they’re all about people trying to achieve their own personal goals and feel good. They are always full of happy positive encouraging people, from the runners to the marshals and supporters who cheer everyone on.

No one comes last at a Parkrun as there’s always a Tailwalker and no one is ever told they can’t join in. Run, walk, crawl – sprint it like Usain Bolt or plod along with your dog in tow, everyone is welcome.

  • Are you trying to get a PB? Good luck to you, let’s hope you smash that target!
  • Is your focus on trying to get physically fit? Good on you, keep on going!
  • Are you participating to help your mental health and feel better about yourself? We think you’re great, welcome welcome!
  • Are you meeting up with friends and enjoying the experience together? Perfect, have fun!
  • Is this something you’re doing with your family to give you quality time? What a great idea, enjoy!

Last week I went to my local Parkrun and it was such a jolly affair. It’s going to be a few weeks before I can go again so in the meantime I wrote a little ditty…

Parkrun

Happy chatter fills the air, colourful t-shirts everywhere;

Let’s limber up, jog on the spot, muscles loose, we’re ready to trot;

The hooter sounds and off we go, watches set, faces a glow;

Some legs are fast, they really Race, others take a more leisurely pace;

Are you quick or are you slow? No one cares just GO GO GO!

Marshals cheer as we run by, “You can do it!” They all cry;

We reach the finish, cross the line, grins all round and feeling fine 😃

Advertisements

She believed she could so she did…

It’s that time of year that we reflect on the past 365days…

Well, 2018 has been a whirlwind for me – a year of feeling the fear and doing it anyway! And d’ya know what? It’s been GREAT!

Not everything has gone to plan, I’ve stumbled and fallen (literally sometimes!) and I’ve had the odd let down too – but I’ve got up, dusted myself off, learnt from the experience and moved on…

At the same time I’ve achieved many goals, surpassed my wildest expectations in some cases! I’ve met amazing people and visited some beautiful new places – all in all 2018 you’ve been fantastic – so thank you xx

What about 2019? Do I have resolutions? Not as such, I kinda think of resolutions as meaning wanting to change things and I really don’t…what I want is more of being afraid and doing it anyway! The only way to really understand ourselves, who we are and what we can achieve is to step out of our comfort zone and give it a go, however scary it may be…

So here’s to feeling nervous, to biting off more than we think we can chew, to taking a first step into the unknown and to keeping going even when the sea gets a bit choppy and adjusting our sails when the storm is whipping up around us…

Here’s to 2019

Four seasons in one day…

Today it rained, snowed, hailed and blew a biting stinging wind – did this bother us? Oh no it did not!!

We Ladies of Swans RFC laced up our boots, ran out on that pitch and played our hearts out!

The sun saw our passion and decided to join us, warming our ears and hands which were red and frozen with the cold. It was an afternoon of glorious fun! We rucked and mauled in the mud mud mud – oh boy there was MUD!We tackled, ripped, kicked and ran our legs off up and down the pitch… our scrummaging would have made the England Red Roses proud 🌹 We won the day 31-10, our first win ever! These are what Sunday’s are all about – good friends, good fun and rugby… happy happy days 😊

(Oh and I scored too 😉😊)

Here’s hoping you all had a lovely Sunday too…

I found this beautiful song the other day. Today the title is apt and the words are lovely – may we all find that someone or something to love ‘come rain or come shine’…

https://youtu.be/Pxs3jGy9k9w

I’ve done it…don’t know whether to laugh or cry!

So this morning at 6:15am (oh my Lordy just getting out of bed that early was a challenge in itself!😳😄) I set off to complete Day31 of this RED January malarkey!

2miles later I finished with a sprint home, spring in my step and the biggest grin on my face ever!! 😁 I also wanted to cry 😭 … it was such an emotional moment – I have achieved something I didn’t know I could do and, when you can say that and know you’ve really worked hard to do it, well…it seems that tears as well as laughter must follow!

70miles/112km run, 40miles/64km walked, 2xRugby & 1xZumba and £100+ for the Charity MIND and that was it – the challenge is complete!!

My fabulous friends and family have put up with my daily posts and with my endless natterings about running and have been unfailingly supportive and encouraging – they’ve helped me more than they’ll ever know 💕💕

My fellow REDders have made me laugh, made me cry and have inspired me to really push myself and I am proud to be part of this positive and friendly community.

I have loved every moment and can’t wait to do it all again next year ❤️😊❤️😊❤️

In the meantime…what’snext??😉

Never argue with a Dame…

Hi Peeps!!

Gosh it’s been a while hasn’t it?!

You’ve not been far from my thoughts, sorry to be away so long…

So what’s been going on then? Have you been having fun and enjoying 2018? I hope so.

I’ve found this year to already be a remarkable improvement on the last !

Well, when you get told you’re brave by Dame Kelly Holmes – peer of the realm, Olympic Champion and all round awesome woman – it’s hard not to be just the tiniest bit jolly!

(Pics courtesy of streets-united.com, olympicpark10k.com & the sun.co.uk)

I remember watching Dame KH race at the Athens Olympics and being blown away by how amazing she was; she had an unabiding sense of purpose, was composed and strong as she ran and was filled with raw overwhelming happiness when she crossed the finish line…Dame KH was just SO inspiring. I’ll never be able to run like her but I try to push myself beyond what I think I can do, just as she does… who knew I’d be chatting (albeit via Twitter) with her years later…bizarre really!

Anyways, why am I brave? If I’m honest I’m not! Dame KH is doing REDJanuary and all us REDders were all sharing our daily stories on Twitter…I’d just walked to work and run home again (2miles each way) in the pouring freezing cold rain and wind…and that’s when I was complimented! I’d have said I was more daft coz it really was rather horrid out (and she was probably just being kind rather than accurate!) but hey, I’ll take ‘brave’ and say thank you 😊

Yep that’s made my January 2018 so far!!

Here’s wishing you a great rest of January 2018. See you again soon, I’ll try not to stay away so long next time xx

It’s a new dawn…

It’s a new dawn

It’s a new day

It’s a new life

For me

And I’m feeling good…

I’ve always loved these lyrics and when sung by the amazing Nina Simone I am filled with an overwhelming feeling of hopeful joy.

As one year floats into another it’s a time that most of us reflect and make promises to ourselves to improve our lives, often that of others as well and generally look to the future with hope and aspiration.

Sometimes it’s quite hard to do this, especially if you’re in the throes of depression and/or anxiety; if you suffer with self doubt, lack of self esteem you can find yourself crippled with negative thoughts which crowd your space and prevent you from seeing the light.

The mental health issues that we can experience are complex and I don’t understand even half of 1% of it all, I do know that there’s no simple ‘cure’; there’s no ‘one size fits all’ solves depression, no ‘xyz’ fixes anxiety…so as we are individuals so as we have different needs and experiences.

I do know, however, that there is something that can help everyone – in fact two things:

1. Talking. Even peeps that say they don’t like to talk, especially about themselves, can find specialist listening ears and advice to be healing.

2. Exercise. Don’t get me wrong, sports men and women are susceptible to mental health issues as much as anyone, I’m not saying get fit and all your troubles disappear! But there are proven links between regular exercise and improved mental health and wellbeing; so doing exercise, anything that gets your endorphins pumping, is definitely a good thing!

I work with incredible men and women who provide advice and support to young people experiencing difficulties. I see the difference they make in the lives that they touch and it’s value cannot be overstated.

So thinking about all of this made me decide to start this new dawn with a challenge to myself but which also helps to shine that light for those who maybe aren’t able to see the new day and feel good at the moment.

I’m taking part in REDJanuary – I shall attempt to Run Every Day in January and raise awareness of the importance of exercise for mental wellbeing and some funds for the charity MIND.

MIND is a great charity which helps anyone with a mental health issues- they provide invaluable support, advice even advocacy. They’re website can be found here and it’s well worth a look:

https://www.mind.org.uk

I like running although I’m not a natural that’s for sure! I wibble wobble along, often puffing like a steam train, all red faced after 10metres and I often look very ‘stern’ when I’m doing it but actually I find it therapeutic, rewarding and dare I say fun?! I try to complete the local ParkRun when I can, I often run home from work and recently completed the Great South Run in October which was 10miles; back in 2016 I did a very slow London Marathon – so I know I can run…This REDJanuary is a challenge for me because I’ve never run more than three days in a row so running 31 days straight does fill me with some trepidation!

However, I’m SO excited at the same time! I’ve already met so many other REDRunners online and been part of sharing positive thoughts and encouragement – and I only signed up a few days ago!

I shall be blogging every now and again on how it’s going – I hope you won’t mind too much.

In the meantime, I leave you with this beautiful song and wish you a wonderful new dawn, positive new day and a happy life in 2018

Feel Good xx

Can I rise to the challenge?

I’m an avid reader but not necessarily a broad reader…well not as broad as I feel I should be.

I mainly like crime fiction, mysteries and fantasy sci-fi; I’m partial to a classic or two and will read the odd historical especially if it’s a personal account of happenings…there’s something about stepping into someone’s memories and seeing that which we learn about in the abstract at school from a personal and REAL viewpoint.

However, the more I think about it the more I have to admit I’m picky about which authors I read and I’ve a tendency to re-read particularly when I’m in need of comfort. I like popping back to see old friends and when the writing’s good the story unfolds in such a way that, even when you know the ending, you still find yourself invested, finding new aspects to the characters and plots that intrigue and envelope you.

The Discworld is a case in point: not to mention that there’s like a million squillion of them so lots to choose from but it’s got to be my ‘go-to’ place when I’m in need of some solace and comfort – I always get swept away by Sir TPs inventive but oh so very ‘almost too close for home ‘ observations on humans and our weird & wonderful lives! I always find a new dimension to a character, realise a parody is not really acknowledged before and the stories are like a warm blanket that wrap me up and cheer my cockles.

So, that being said I am determined to read more variety – I need to discover new authors – those who are blazing into the literary world and those who are easing in gently; I want to discover old established ones too – books that to my shame I’ve not read and by all accounts I should have read, such George Orwell’s 1984 & F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

Last year I joined in a Reading Challenge and it was great fun… it really pushed me to read something different – for instance I read Hamlet…

Now Shakespeare is, for me, far better on the stage. I admit to sometimes finding it difficult to follow when reading; the different threads Shakespeare weaves have me as confused a fly trapped in a spiders web and then other times it’s like I’m wading through treacle as I can find the pace so sllooooow. But on the stage the plays comes to life…the players show me the wit and vibrancy of Shakespeare’s words, they move at a pace I can connect with and what’s most important is that I generally find I understand!!

A case in point is last September when I saw A Midsummer Nights Dream at The Globe, London and WOW! The play quirky, modern and hilarious and in The Globe setting it made sense…I now get what Mrs Bedford was blithering on about in Year 9!

Anyways, back to the Danish Prince…reading Hamlet, was quite a challenge for me – but I DID IT!! (Can you tell I’m quite chuffed?!) I read through till the end and although I know I didn’t grasp all the nuances and follow every thread as perhaps as clearly my friend Kerry would like (She’s like a TOTAL Hamlet nut!) I think I got the gist of it! I’d not realised quite how many of our ‘sayings’, our little everyday pearls of wisdom come from this play…

I knew about “To be or not to be” but hadn’t realised “To thine own self be true” or “The lady doth protest too much, methinks” came from Hamlet.

…Ahh but every day’s a learning day isn’t it?!

I enjoyed the reading challenge so I’ve set myself a new one.

This time it’s simple… instead of read one book that’s ‘this’ and one book that’s ‘that’ it is just going to be this:

for every book I re-read or every book I read by a favourite author I have to read a book by someone I’ve not read before…simples!

So I start this week…

As I have just re-read Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett (for about the ten millionth time!) I’ve now begun reading The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (yes I know it’s JK in disguise but I’m counting it as a book by a new author as it’s a world away from Hogwarts!). It’s the second in the series but seems easy enough to pick up the character storyline and it’s flowing okay so far…

I shall try to do a book review of each new author or book I read – these may not be long, helpful or indeed well worded (is that even a phrase?) but I shall try…so you’ll all see if I manage to meet my own challenge!

It’s quite exciting actually to think that a whole new world is opening up…I wonder what will be next?