I am running to support the amazing work of Great Ormand Street Hospital and in memory of Shannon Hewison. Sunday 28th April is when I will be using all of my mental and physical techniques to get me through the 26.2 miles journey.
I am not a “natural runner” – I would love my legs to take the long strides that cover more distance in a more efficient way. But my legs – although long – refuse to do this. They take shorter strides that take double the time to cover distance.
This could be quite a demoralising observation, but what I have learnt on my running journey so far is that no one is judging you. Because they are on their own journey. You don’t know how far they have run at the moment that you see them, you are unaware if they are recovering from an injury and you do not know what type of day they have just had.
This resonates with me in class when I practice yoga. We are all sharing the same space but in that moment in time our practice is our own journey and there is no judgment from anyone else in that space. Some days our bodies will achieve more than what we expected, and other days, for whatever reason, it doesn’t move in the desired way. But the fact that we have showed up and participated in our practice is a win in itself.
When I first started yoga Bikram was a mental challenge for me. The heat and looking at myself in the mirror constantly did not come easy. But the more I practiced the more I was able to harness my breath and my focus. It has been such an integral part of my marathon training. My long runs take place on Sundays and the Monday Bikram is such a great way to stretch out fully. It has also helped me work my “fight or flight” system – when I feel like I want to give up – I can mentally shift the thought process to somewhere more positive and manageable.
I also practice Flow on a weekly basis and this has been a great way for me to come back to my breath work when I run. The majority of my running plan is solo running, so mentally it can be quite a challenge. However, I honestly believe that practicing yoga has really helped me mentally focus.
If I see another runner I always make a point to wave or smile to acknowledge them – when I receive an acknowledgement back its such a morale booster – it just feels like someone has said to you without using words “good on you – keep going.”
When I have moments of wanting to stop or “I cant do this thoughts” I can dig a little deeper and remind myself that I am doing this for those that need help and support and I park my ego and keep going. The mind will want to stop before the body does.
“In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”
After a successful career in the Leisure and Sports I really wanted to step away from the corporate side of things and be involved in a community with wellbeing at the centre of what it does.
When LANO opened in February 2018 I took out the Intro offer and threw myself into all the different styles and I just loved how my time on the mat was my time to really shut off from the outside and just be present in the here and now.
Exercise has always been a great escapism for me and the positives that it has on mental health are incredible. With Yoga I have now found a place to have the much needed quiet time for a very busy brain.
I am so happy to be part of LANO and what they stand for – to be able to be part of something that is directly positively impacting the Community is the perfect job satisfaction for me.