Due to a crippling combination of mental, physical and menopausal I had been excluding myself from life, hiding behind a wall of good intentions, losing myself in beautiful books, drifting day to day, leading an increasingly housebound existence for months that slowly dripped and slipped into years. There was an absence of me in my own life, self esteem and confidence were barely even distant memories. “The Change” was in charge and that needed to change!! I needed to BE the change!! (I do so love a word play)
The first step was acknowledgement mixed together lightly with self awareness and seasoned with humour… after all there are a crazy number of posts and affirmations on Pinterest about “Be the Change”
Fast forward a bit, half-hearted skip and a jump over an ineffectual tangle of “I will start on Monday” and various other forms of procrastination and avoidance and I spotted an advert for Sevenoaks Ladies Joggers, SLJ, as I sat waiting in traffic at a red light and a flicker of excitement stirred my soul… “Could I? Would I?” closely followed by a “Dare I?”
It’s not often one can say, “Thank goodness for Facebook” is it? Yet when I spotted a post about #SLJ in my newsfeed and followed up with a click I began a journey that has found me saying exactly that!!
Wow!… a journey of discovery that encompassed fun, warmth, understanding and support- but even more importantly one that facilitated a rediscovery of self: the self that got lost somewhere between the arrogance of youth, amid the confusion of early adulthood; the demands of motherhood, submerging and compensating in single parenthood; the foggy sweats of menopause that saw an unprecedented gain in weight and loss of joie de vivre. The self who could take a risk, laugh because life is good, sing because the sky is blue, enjoy the moment and feel life fizzing though my veins… Depression started to dissolve just a little as hope returned to entice my soul out of hibernation.
I took a risk and signed up. Damn straight…. I actually did, done do it!
I signed up for the free taster session for the Beginners Course with SLJ. Heavens to Betsy! I voluntarily signed up to walk/jog/run/stumble in public whilst wearing leggings n a t-shirt!! Well, thank my lucky stars I did- as it has seen the start of an epic life-changing event! That Saturday was the day the girl who was ALWAYS told she couldn’t at school by her PE teacher changed into the woman who DID and CAN! The warm welcome by the inspirational Sam, her Coaches and the lovely ladies attending the session embraced me immediately. I forgot self consciousness and became a part of something special, something empowering…yes I was way out at the back, but at no point was I not part of the group, the fun, the laughter. The sheer power of achieving a walk/jog/run of 3k (2 miles) was euphoric, it was an awesome moment! I realised I was the only stumbling block to change and with that my perspective moved from disbelief and doubt to hope and determination.
The rest of the weekend was a high of achievement- the endorphins were simply delicious and more of the same went straight to the top of my “To Do” list!
This was the moment where I carpe diemed and became the change I wanted to be.It turned out that the biggest stumbling block had been my own attitude!
Please note the photos are not my own and I have linked my source.