Around September 2013 was when I met Mel and decided to join Run With Life. At that time I was feeling pretty down and depressed and felt like nothing right was going for me.
One of my goals has always been to run. I was probably the worst runner going around and just hated it so much I would always give up. I then decided to talk to Mel, who then told me to come down and have a trial with her running group. I was feeling pretty anxious and nerves started to kick in. I got through my first session and survived! I was SO bad but I knew I had to start somewhere. Mel taught me so much about technique and applying it to different styles of running. Running then became easier and a lot more enjoyable each session I continued on to do. People usually feel embarrassed or think they can run better by themselves than in a group setting. That’s what I always thought anyway. BUT then soon realised it is so much EASIER running with a group of people, because you’re always being pushed whether you realise it or not. Along with the improvement of my running I also met an amazing group of people too. Each and every one of them has been so influential and inspiring in their own way, they have all pushed me to be where I am today. I can’t imagine my life without them. I’ve never met a more encouraging, non-judgmental, supportive group of people. I definitely wouldn’t have stuck to running without all their support and encouragement every week.
I look back now and am glad I stepped out of my comfort zone that day and gave running a go. I knew I didn’t have to stick with it, I could’ve just not bothered and decided to not return, but being around positive people really changed my life and attitude towards everything. I suddenly just became so much happier with life!! It was the first time I started to feel happy again in a really long time. It made me realise how much time I’ve wasted missing out on life. I decided to push myself and do new things I would never have imagined doing. Late last year I entered in a few running events along with my fellow peers, the Spartan race and tough mudder. I will definitely be entering more events this year as there is no better feeling than crossing the finish line knowing you’ve just achieved a goal.
In November I wanted to get my nutrition right so I could get the best results from all my training. I had no idea. I ‘thought’ I was eating right but deep down I had no idea what was in a lot of my food. I never ate a lot of junk food and didn’t party as much as I used, I was never really overweight, was training nearly every day and yet my body shape was never changing. Mel suggested trying her 12 week challenge. I had no idea what I was getting myself into it but knew what I was doing wasn’t right. So something needed to change and I signed up!
I was pretty excited to do my first 12 week challenge in March 2014. But before I had started I had a lot of complications which set me back. It started in January 2013 when I thought I had irritable bowel syndrome. I never properly looked into it and eventually it passed. Exactly a year later January 2014 I thought I had it again. As time went on I got more and more sick, I missed a lot of training, work, never wanted to leave the house and felt so frustrated. Mel was always there supporting me the whole way, helping in any way she could and am so grateful to her. It had finally taken a turning point when I had to have immediate tests and procedures done. Weeks later my results came in and found out I have Colitis disease (inflammation of the bowel). It was hard at first to come to terms with as I have to live it with it for the rest of my life, but it made me more aware of what food I was eating and how my body would react. At first I saw it as a negative thing, but thinking about it now it’s not really a bad thing at all. It’s bought out a lot of positives! I now feel empowered with knowledge of what I’m eating and why. And I feel so much better for it!
These last 12 weeks have definitely been an eye opener. There were a lot of ups and downs, not every day was perfect, but I learnt from it all and wouldn’t be where I am now. When you think of a 12 week challenge everyone immediately thinks of abs, bikini bodies - basically physical appearance! I loved that this 12 weeks wasn’t about any of that. Sure, we all want an amazing body but to be happy in our own skin was always the number one priority in our lives. As much as I learnt so much about nutrition, exercise and living a better lifestyle, I’ve also gained a whole new perspective of life and traits about myself. By following and implementing the MP guidelines I feel like there’s nothing I can’t do!! I used to remember Mel would always say to us ‘believe you can do it and you will!’ It’s so true. Teaching the mind to conquer the body is so hard but once you can get past that mental block you can actually do anything you want!!!! Every day I’m constantly learning more and more about myself, my body and my mind. I wouldn’t change these last 12 weeks for anything!!
A big thankyou goes to Mel for everything you have done. All your effort and time you put into each and every one of your clients. You’re not just a trainer but so much more. You are a huge mentor in my life, I feel proud and happy of my new lifestyle and it’s all because of you!