It’s been over a year since I made my big move to the big smoke – and what a year it’s been. I’ve been really lucky to have landed on my feet – ending up with a job I love, a house that I’m glad to come home to (even if it is a little worse for wear), and most importantly – I’ve made some incredible friends. Including one I’ve just been to visit, living in the manor pictured above.
I know, right?
Needless to say I’ve come back – after a nine mile country walk, I might add – feeling very zen, and a lil’ bit philosophical.
I’m grateful to finally feel properly settled here in my new home – which is starting to really feel like that, rather than ‘some place I live for work’ – because for various reasons, it’s not exactly been an easy year. A lot of things going on beyond my control means I’ve been living pretty intensely over the last twelve months, so this sense of normality is a genuine relief – and I intend to enjoy it.
See, being the kind of frustrating person that I am, I’ve reached this settled point – and now I’m itching to change it up. Not in the big ‘full life overhaul’ way – mostly ’cause all those big things like my job, and my house, have fallen nicely into place. But having been a bit under the weather recently, and feeling a lil’ settled… I’m ready to make some changes.
So I’ve decided: 2014 is going to be the year I try new things.
See, I’ve got this fitness thing pretty much figured out – but having been doing variations on a weights ‘n’ walkin’ theme for the best part of four years, I’m kinda ready for… Well, new stuff.
So last week, I made my first step towards it. I made an attempt – drum roll please – to run.
To help you understand that for the big ass freakin’ deal it is, let me give y’all a bit of backstory on my history with running.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I’ve always been a fat girl. So when people say ‘you could run as a child, it’s just a matter of re-learning it,’ strictly speaking… That ain’t true. I was more at home in front of a book, and the only time I recall attempting to run when I wasn’t actually being forced to, I tripped on a paving slab and hit the deck with such force I broke both my front teeth.
So I didn’t run. And in PE class, I’d go out of my way to escape it. I’d fake a stitch, perform an impressive pratfall, or just get a sicknote for ‘period pains,’ and thus never actually run. I may not be Usain Bolt, but nobody, nowhere, gets to argue with the fact that I can be resourceful in getting outta exercise.
Then, I broke my knees, gained ten stone, and found myself unable to walk for three years – only to re-learn, slowly, lose the weight, and find myself where I am now: fit, healthy, a lil’ bit fat by stupid-ass magazine standards, and still definitely not a runner.
But damn. I don’t know if it’s the city, or the fact that I’ve not had the internet for a few weeks, or whether it’s just some kind of weird primal urge – but I’ve been fantasising about running. I’ve had a couple of dreams about it; I’ve been scoping out routes; I’ve just been thinking about how nice it’d be to feel my heart pounding in the crisp spring air.
It’s bloody weird, and it’s kinda freaking me out – but the way I see it, I’ve got no other option. I’ve got to give it a try.
Now, it just so happens, too, that my gym membership expired yesterday – and being six runs into the ‘couch to 5k’ programme, I’m feeling pretty optimistic. Nothing’s broken – yet – and my knees seem to be holdin’ up. Not only that, but I’m in a better mood on the days I’ve been out and about – so that’s a boost, and one I’m really lovin’.
And it’s not just running I’m trying out. I’ve recently been sent a couple of awesome things to review – which is amazing, because my bank account is feeling a lil’ tender after Christmas (yes, still) so anything that saves a girl having to hustle is a-ok by me.
So I’m trying out something called a MisFit Shine – a snazzy lil’ tracker that measures your activity over the course of a day – and last night, I made my first attempt at creating a green juice after the folks at John Lewis very kindly furnished me with a juicer to play with. So far, so delicious:
And next week, I’m hitting up a hot pilates class for the first time – so my horizons are going to be well and truly broadened over the next month, I can tell you.
I want to try new things, and gain new experiences, because there are a million ways to get active out there – all of which will appeal to different people. There are so many diet brands and so-called gurus out there who’ll tell you there’s only one way to get healthy – which just so happens to be their way, retailing at £99 – that it’s easy to overlook the joy of just doing healthy things for the heck of it.
I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person who – at this time of year, when it starts to be lighter in the mornings, and the air seems fresher with something like potential – gets the urge to do something different. You don’t have to be thin, or perfect, or even all-that-fit to try new things, fitness-wise – you’ve just got to be an optimist, and up for a challenge.
In other words, you’ve got to be prepared to fall on your ass, and ready to pick yourself up when you do.
So join me. Try new things. Do more good stuff. And love every minute – ’cause when you get out there with a positive attitude, I’m pretty sure you’ll be amazed at what you can do.