My life in exercise
First school: aged 4-8
Always last on sports day. I was once carried to the end of the running race by the head teacher. Out of pity probably.
Always chosen to do the demonstration in swimming lessons.
Middle school: aged 9-12
Belonged to, and later Vice Captain of, Mellstock, one of the 4 houses of the school. This house was renowned for its athletic ineptitude and never ever won a sports cup. APART FROM in the swimming gala. We always cleaned up there.
Was once forced to do a gymnastic display in assembly. Nailed the handstand-forward roll I had been practicing.
Played tennis on weekends.
High School: aged 13:15
Still hated sports, apart from swimming. PE and games were feared.
Sixth form: aged 16 and 17
Bunked off all PE classes instead choosing to stay in the common room and talk to boys about music or talk to girls about boys.
Shunned all forms of physical exercise in favour of drinking tea and watching Friends 50 times a day. Swam sporadically.
Took dance lessons as a good way to learn French and sound cool.
Swimming pools were grossly busy and full of men in Speedos. I naturally avoided.
Took up Pilates, and then yoga. Discovered I love yoga, especially the hot yoga classes at Yoga Fever.
Flirted with spin classes, Zumba and circuits but no true love match was made.
It is fair to say I never had that competitive nature so required for most team sports. I preferred to keep myself to myself and participate in solo activities such as gymnastics and swimming. Because of this I always had the mentality that I "wasn't a runner". Back in 2010 my lovely, sporty, energetic mother signed me up for the Cardiff Half Marathon. I reluctantly got training and gradually realised I could run an hour on the treadmill without much of a problem. It appealed to all the things I liked about swimming, yoga etc. I could do it alone, it cleared my head but it had an added bonus of providing a sense of achievement.
Since then I run regularly, sometime with massive breaks in between. And often I will hit mental blocks where I convince myself I cannot do it. Running is a mental battle for me as much as a physical one. I have to get over more the 20 years of telling myself I am not sporty enough to do this. So when I read Alexandra Heminsley's book "Running like a girl", I could really relate. Being a runner does not have to mean you are the most sporty person in the world. It just means you like to run. Time and distance are not important. I just do what feels right for me and set my own goals.