[Words by Jo Stevenson]
On New Year’s Day in 2019, when I saw a Facebook ad pop up for Lynette’s beginners class I thought why not give it a try.
I was feeling rather isolated and quite deflated after handing in my PhD, getting married and returning from my honeymoon in India (quite the comedown!). I hadn’t had time to go out or see anyone due to my packed schedule towards the end of 2018, and I found that quite depressing. I had also gained a fair amount of weight over the previous years and felt I wanted to do something about it.
One run I did during the beginners running group sticks in my mind as being particularly rewarding. Lynette, Rhiann and I ran 6km and I was so proud of myself. I hadn’t realised how far we’d gone as I was enjoying their company so much!
After the Edinburgh Half, I was knackered. I said I’d never do it again but, before I knew it, I was slowly changing my mind. With encouragement from Lynette I decided to give the full marathon a try.
Running became a way for me to work out my frustrations with other areas of my life where I felt things were moving too slowly (predominantly career-wise), and moving onto the next distance was a way to measure the progress that was within my control when other things weren’t. My introduction to running also showed me that women can participate in physical activity without shame or embarrassment.