My fitness journey first started in January 2021. I’m not usually one to make new year’s resolutions, especially because making a promise to myself on the first day of the year is often not a compelling enough reason on its own to then follow up with that promise. However, in light of the very difficult year we all have had due to the coronavirus pandemic, I felt I had lost control of many aspects of my life. My fitness and health felt like very tangible outcomes and something I could look back to and say I had been able to accomplish in 2021, despite the pandemic.
From a very young age, I’ve enjoyed sports activities with volleyball being my main sport activity on and off over the past 20 years. I have also always wanted to take my fitness to the next level, beyond just a childhood hobby that I happen to engage with from time to time. I wanted to take on an activity that could fit into my adult life and that I could easily maintain for a prolonged time as I enter into my thirties. Running always felt inaccessible to me and its individualistic nature contributed to that.
It all started with downloading the Couch to 5k app and my former Olympian housemate pretending that she found running with me challenging. I believe my very first continuous run lasted for about 5 minutes and I felt very much out of breath and unable to continue. It took me several months to complete the 9-week programme and as I was hitting the 5k milestone, I overheard there was a spot available to join my JfKL colleagues in running the Royal Parks Half Marathon. For a very long time, this felt like a faraway date, but it was the most perfect goal to work towards. Due to the pandemic, we haven’t been able to share the experience of running together. Luckily, just like with many things in our lives, we have been able to adapt to a digital space – we created a WhatsApp group to share our runs, struggles, achievements, views, and companionship.
Recently, I’ve started becoming more comfortable with running 10k – shoutout to the Nike Run Club app QuickStart! Now, I’m trying to push myself to be comfortable with running 15k and taking note of all the tips from the more experienced runners amongst us, like getting used to running whilst eating energy gels. I’m really excited at the thought of finally getting to run with my fellow colleagues and cannot think of a better inspiration than running for a great charity like Just for Kids Law. This has been a truly amazing journey.
Fun fact: I recently joined a football team, which has been a longstanding desire of mine but I never felt fit enough to engage in such activity. I know basic rules because I used to be an avid AC Milan fan when I was living in Italy, before switching to Arsenal FC since living in the UK – it must be the red! What a game that was between England and Italy at the UEFA Euro 2021! Even though I’m still learning all the different techniques and tactics, what a surprise it has been for my teammates who simply cannot understand how I can go on running through the whole game without collapsing – recently I told them I was training for a half marathon and suddenly it all made sense!
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