I run like a girl…try to keep up

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In June 2011 I took part in Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life 5km event with my mum. As we wandered round the beautiful course we talked about entering the event in 2012 and perhaps upping the distance to 10km. I had a more ambitious target, I wanted to run a half marathon. Not just any half marathon, I wanted to take part in the Great North Run. For years I had watched the event on TV and been inspired by the runners and their stories. I turned 30 at the beginning of 2012 and it seemed like an excellent goal to kick off a new decade. Despite not being a runner my mum was sure I would be able to complete the course and told me she would be there cheering me on.

I entered the GNR ballot in 2012 and was unsuccessful. I wasn’t too disappointed, I had entered the Race for Life again and with a group of work colleagues trained to run the whole 5km course. Mum had decided that running might be a bit too ambitious for her so was going to be there as a cheerleader.

On 5th June 2012 life changed forever. A simple diagnostic test revealed my mum had an oesophageal tumour. On 15th June we were told the diagnosis was terminal and any treatment would be palliative. Despite the dire prognosis my mum came to cheer me on at the Race for Life just 48 hours later. On an exceptionally emotional and rainy day my team of six completed the race in good time and raised over £1000 for Cancer Research.Read More »

Sweaty, Happy, Proud

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The most surreal moment of 2015 so far happened at about 1.30pm on Saturday 14th March. I was drenched in sweat, twerking in a room full of strangers to All About That Bass with a massive grin on my face. I wasn’t drunk, on drugs or at a rave. I was at Les Mills One Live in Glasgow – which is like Glastonbury for fitness fans. Thousands of likeminded folk had descended to try out the latest releases of the phenomenally successful Les Mills workout programmes. I am not a fitness expert; I am barely a class participant, so how did I end up there?Read More »

The Elephant in the Room

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Hefty, sturdy, solid, sumo, chunky, lardy and dumpy. They sound like plump Disney dwarfs. I was called all of these (and worse) as a teenager. All by so-called friends and even my brother. They could have just said overweight or plain fat. I was fat. If you believe the wonderful BMI calculator I still am.

As a baby complete strangers would squeeze my cute chubby cheeks. Fast forward several years and those chipmunk cheeks made me a target for every bitchy girl at school. The bullying started at primary school when I was the first girl in my class to get a bra. By age 11 I was a 36C and became a walking freakshow. The straps were pinged countless times a day, to the point I started wearing a vest under my bra so it wouldn’t hurt as much.

When I would stress over outfits my mum would say “it’s school, not a fashion show.” That was easy for her to say. She wasn’t a teenage girl. She didn’t burst the zip on her school skirt and have to hold it together with an elastic band. I had grown out of children’s sizes before I reached high school and was wearing a size 14 skirt, which clearly no longer fitted. My friends were skinny with long legs that could easily slide into Topshop jeans. Their thighs didn’t chafe in the summer when they wore shorts.Read More »