I would like to start by saying that running has truly changed my life for the better. Also that I have done my story as I don’t want to be asking others to do something that I am not willing to do myself.
I started running in October 2014; I came to the second session of Team Anstey and I was really nervous and felt out of place. I was the last in the group and Geoff kindly ran in with me. I was very embarrassed to tell him that I wanted to do a half marathon in Sept 2015. I was the last in and when I got back the group was doing the cool down and I felt very embarrassed. I vowed not to go back the following week. Well I did go back and I can say that I have never once regretted it.
To give you some background prior to 2014 I had had several difficult years with my dad having a long 5 year battle with cancer along with my mum having cancer at the same time. I was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis in May 2010 which changed my life considerably. I woke up one morning with pins and needles down my right side and had problems with balance, coordination and other symptoms. I have struggled with my weight for many years and although I have lost 5 stone I could do with shedding a few more pounds. I also have two heart conditions and an under active thyroid. Sadly in 2012 my dad who was also my best friend passed away. I carried on and sorted out the practicalities after his death but in 2013 I suffered with a very bad spell of depression. I started boot camp in August 2013 to try and get control back over my life and one day Nikki, the teacher, took us out for a run and that is where it all started. Nikki believed in me and told me I could so I decided in July 2014 that I would do the 5k Race for Life in dads memory. I managed it in 35 minutes and I was really proud. I decided that I wanted to do the Robin Hood half marathon, something that he had done in 1981, in his memory. I had 12 months to train and I started doing Parkrun and the odd run. In October I joined the best team ever. The support and friendship has been overwhelming.
My first official 10k was at Lincoln in March 2015 and I managed it in 1 hour 3 minutes and 3 seconds, a very proud moment. I completed several league races – something that I never thought I would or could do. In September 2015 I completed the Robin Hood half marathon in 2 hours and 30 minutes. It was an amazing experience that was extremely emotional. My running buddy Lorraine kept me going and made sure that I didn’t have emotional melt down until the finish line, which of course I did! That finish was one of the proudest moments of my life. Since then I have completed 3 half marathons and have 3 more planned. I love the challenge of running and feel that it is my therapy, my time out to clear my head. Running has also given me control back of my body. I am not saying there are not bad times when my conditions flare up and I feel yukky but running has helped my coordination, balance and given me control of both my mental and physical health. I feel that I can do this. I have been asked to share my story with the local TM group and I am hoping that I will be able to show that even with chronic conditions people can achieve their goals.
I am also very proud to say that I am a LIRF for Team Anstey and I am the Welfare Officer and in May I will be starting my CIRF course. I also applied to be a Mental Health Ambassador for England Athletics and have been accepted, another very proud moment. None of this would have happened without running. I love seeing people’s journeys and their development. There are so many amazing people and stories. Every one of you is a total inspiration and has a wonderful story to tell. I have met some truly amazing and inspirational people and I have a great extended family. I am honoured to be a part of this amazing team.
My advice would be believe in yourself and know that your journey is unique. Don’t compare yourself to others and make sure your goals are your own. You are amazing. Keep looking at where you started and how far you have come. Believe that you can and never stop believing x
My journey began like a lot of peoples do on New Year’s Day 2015, with a new year’s resolution to go on a diet and get fit. This is something I have been doing year after year for many years now, approximately 20 years at a guess. Back in 2008 I weighed in at 23 and a half stone. Every year was the same - start afresh on January 1st but it would not last very long 2 weeks, maybe a month or 2 months at most.
So on January 1st 2015 I started again weighing in at 21 stone and 3lbs. This time I joined a gym, David Lloyd at Narborough, as I was working afternoon shifts and could go most mornings as I did not start work until 4.00pm. This continued quite nicely, then my lad Kevin said to me lets go and run around Thornton reservoir. So I did and I managed to do a run, walk, run, walk around the 2.5 mile reservoir in 36 minutes averaging about 14.20 minute miles.
As you all know I do a lot of walking my dog Alfie, and it was on one of those walks that I bumped into Gemma, who said why not come down and join Team Anstey Amblers and Runners. I was off work during Easter week so I messaged Gemma to see if it was ok for me to go down on the Tuesday night. And that’s where it all began……. I went and as Ayshea was injured at the time she walked with me. We walked to nearly Cropston and back. I then went down on the Thursday night and went with the beginners group. Then that was it as I was back on afternoon shift so could not get down until I was taken off shifts in the middle of May. This is when I went back to Team Anstey, first on a Thursday with the beginners, then I went on a Tuesday night and there was NO beginners group. I had a choice GO home or tag along at the back of the main group, and I did tag along at the back doing what I could. The rest is history as they say. I went from running lamp post to lamp post to two lamp posts, then after a while I could run a MILE without stopping. Then 2
miles and 3 miles, I then progressed to do 4 summer league races which I ran with a good friend I had made in the team Val. My biggest achievement so far was running the Leicester half marathon in October 2015, 6 months after I started running, running the whole 13.1 miles nonstop in 2hrs 37minutes. This was an especially proud moment as I did start the Sleaford half marathon in February 2014 but had to pull out part way through. At this point I had got my weigh down to 16 stone 10lbs. I have entered many other races including league races and more recently the Lincoln 10k and the Birmingham 10k. I am aiming to complete the Robin Hood half marathon in September with the team.
My Proudest moment during my journey must be picking up my award at presentation night for Most Inspirational Member of the Team, as I didn’t think about myself like that.
I have met some amazing people and made some great friends during my short time with Team Anstey,
And if I could give any advice or tips I would have to say -
DON’T STOP BELIEVING WHAT YOU CAN ACTUALLY ACHIEVIE.