This morning we had a spot of car trouble so I couldn’t give my youngest daughter her usual lift to the station. I decided to keep her company on the walk and am so glad I did as it was a most enjoyable start to the day! The photos are from my return journey which I took at a more leisurely pace than the walk to the station- I was happy just to take in the early morning quiet and to appreciate my surroundings. I could feel my spirit lifting with every step.
Friday was a somewhat chilly day with low grey skies attempting to dissuade me from trotting forth from my cosy sitting room! However, as Sam so rightly points out there are few days when it is impossible to go out and particularly as I missed our weekly Beginner Joggers session on Wednesday I was determined to wrap up and get out there! I decided to stay local as a change to the Park and I am so glad I did!
I chose to explore a path that I have driven passed many, many times since moving here and at the back of the new houses behind Tesco I followed the river path and found this! I knew the River Darenth ran along here through Riverhead, but hadn’t realised the extent of the body of water there
Even under the lowering skies it is stunning! I spotted a heron as well as plenty of ducks and moor hens
The river is beautiful and peaceful despite the close vicinity of the huge supermarket, the new houses and the main road.
I walked and jogged as far as I could along the river side: the signs saying PRIVATE discouraged further exploration… So I retraced my steps back to the main road.
I headed through Dunton Green, over towards the path through woodland that leads towards the Wild Life Reserve. I found a piece of sheltered, flat ground and decided to do my dynamic stretches
I have grown in confidence over the weeks so that, despite still struggling a little with working through the stretches whilst out and about, I able to complete these important movements. I still do my cooldown stretches at home ^^
The river reappeared, meandering through the woodlands so I was able to capture a few photos along the way. I saw another heron, but again it was too far away for my phone to be able focus and capture the moment.
Sunday was another lovely, crisp, sunny day so the Park was an obvious choice for today’s run. However, given that it was Sunday I was inclined towards a slow gentle start to the day with a special luxury breakfast of a healthy ( and small) pancake loaded with banana, strawberries and blueberries and a mix of linseed, goji berries, flax, chai, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
This meant we were much later arriving at The Hole In the Wall…so the Park was very busy with runners, walkers and families.
My youngest daughter decided to come along for the run and a park workout: hence the title different strokes for different folks as this surely was a run with a difference. We threw in several sets of squats, press ups, jumps and mountain climbers….much to the amusement of other visitors to the Park. I freely admit that I had not taken into account how very much busier the park would be given it was the weekend and we were there so much later in the day! My rather sad effort at press ups whilst my feet were elevated on a handy log were quite hilarious- and I feel I have entertained quite enough people with that so am choosing not to upload a photo of my efforts!! Here are some photos of much fitter, slimmer people doing the same exercises…haha!
It was such a different experience and I did enjoy it though I must quietly confess it was a tad too far from the comfort zone for me to be huffing and puffing next to the sleek young form of my offspring! Equally she admitted that gym bunny was more her style than park lady…. it is indeed different strokes for different folks. We are on the same journey to fitness whilst taking our own route!
Today was a glorious day- sparkling blue sky, frosty ground glinting in the sunshine, the air crisp and chilly! Delicious! Perfect weather for walking and running- particularly for sweaty betty menopausal me! I decided to go on a mission to find my first snowdrops of the year as in previous years I have already spotted some within the first week or so of the New Year.
This little fellow drinking at the edge of the lake was the first delightful spot of the afternoon- unfortunately brain fog caused me to forget to take the phone cover off so it’s blurry, but it is possible to just make him out. Sadly he ran off before I could get a better photo!
I had decided to stay local rather go to Knole as one of my daughters and I plan to run there tomorrow and the ducks and geese at the lake were not impressed when I proceeded to continue on my merry way without casting plentiful handfuls of naughty white bread! The lakes were partly frozen and the water had barely a ripple so formed a perfect mirror for the trees.
The homework run is not as much fun as when we are together as a group but the sun and blue skies certainly helped to encourage me to keep going!
Haha! The photos are SO much clearer now I remembered to take the phone cover off! Overall I would say that the menopausal brain fog has improved just a tad since I embarked upon this back to fit journey, but obviously I am still having those ‘special’ moments!!
Finally on the last part of my run, just before the homeward bound cooldown I spotted some snowdrops!
Lovely! A successful mission for mind, body and soul as I felt my mood lift, felt the muscles respond to the exercise and fed my soul with the beauty of nature! The bonus is I covered 3.74 miles and can now feel the happy hormones flowing through my veins: wonderful!
Sometimes, when the bleak, black, all encompassing void swoops in for an unwelcome visit, it’s tricky to hold onto a realistic sense of perspective.
I am aware I am unwell physically, but recovering nicely- albeit with a stupid and irritating cough so…. was it genuine reason or flakey, scaredy, anxious reason that stepped in to stop me from attending the first run of the year with the new SLJ season beginners? The void has claimed me somewhat, and bronchitis has supplied a welcome alibi for avoidant behaviour, which I am well aware is one of my markers for mental ill health.
I wish to process it differently this time, to be kind, to be compassionate to self as I would so easily to others. I wish to be the change within the challenging times, as well as the rather more fun, positive ones. The change I have referred to previously is easy (or at least easier and more tangible) when the going is good, the mood is positive and inspirational intentions fuel my actions- the challenge is to find a path that maintains momentum whilst compassionately allowing for the missteps upon the way.
Over the holiday season there have been good days, bad days and indifferent days and there has been a dramatic variation in levels of activity achieved- frankly sometimes it has been shite….yet within this period I have also managed my best day ever in terms of steps/active minutes/ h2o/ consistent activity through nine/twenty four hours.
Tomorrow is FitBall Class and I love that class so much! So I missed a run yesterday? Yes, I am a little sad with myself, but in all honesty my chest is tight and my cough is troublesome, so a little self compassion allows that tomorrow is indeed another day and Wednesdays run is still waiting to embrace me.
Who knew that such a simple item combined with simple movements could have such an impact whilst being so much fun? I signed up for a fitball class with SLJ, without really knowing much about it all…and by that I genuinely mean nothing at all… so I googled…
Oh my stars and whiskers! The first class was awesome!! I was so anxious and uncertain as I walked into the studio for my first class, despite having already experienced the warm, all embracing welcome of the Ladies at SLJ.
That first class was some little while ago now, as I am somewhat behind in putting some of my experiences since September 2016 into words, but the impact and memory is as fresh today as the day it happened… what a class to have as my introduction to Fitball!! It was AWESOME! The theme of the class revolved around the UK gold medals won at the Olympics 2016- it was innovative, challenging, interesting and above all FUN! I loved it!
Every week delivers a challenging, fresh workout with a central target core theme, it’s fun, it’s fabulous and it’s flexible with easy adaptations to suit individual needs- so that any one from new mothers to menopausal women, from the lithe and fit to the aspiring yet abysmally unfit can participate: all will benefit!
I have been amazed that each week is different to the last, and that whilst the movements have frequently been quite small the difference to me has been huge! I am changing shape and it’s great!!!!