Introducing Emma, one of our Active Together Champions!
During lockdown I took part in 'PE with Joe' with my 5 year old son and also 'cosmic kids' yoga. We walked almost daily from lockdown with our 2 dogs.
Before lockdown, I ran competitively with Kibworth and Fleckney running club; my last race was in March and was the 'Kibworth 6 mile' race. Prior to that I completed the winter XC running season and ran a Spring road race at Melton Mowbray where I got a 5km PB of sub 25 minutes.
I also organised and ran a wellbeing running club for school staff linked to LSLSSP schools, we all kept in touch during lockdown and got together when it was safe to for socially distanced jogs and walks.
I have been involved in virtual running competitions with my running club. I was able to run one of them, the rest of the events I was made a team captain – this was because I was unable to run due to contracting Covid 19 myself in February.
I walked with my husband and 3 children as much as I could from lockdown, even though I was very unwell, managing to walk supported my mental health and helped us all stay connected as a family.
Even just being able to walk was massively positive for me and my family. We were finding my illness very worrying and I worsened as time went on, any active movement was so precious for us, especially when I developed post viral fatigue in June and was bed bound for a number of weeks. My husband supported me to 'find my feet' again which took weeks of very gradual rehabilitation.
Seeing my children and dogs enjoying nature and feeling freedom in the countryside even though the World felt so trapped was so liberating.
Personally, trying to be active within my own capabilities was a huge life learning curve. Having come from being the fittest I've ever been in my life to not being able to get out of bed was humbling. I knew I could beat it, but I had to reach a different level of patience and trust my own body and strength.
I returned to work as a Primary school teacher, this was incredibly challenging, and I was not sure if the fatigue I was still experiencing would get better or worse. The energy the children exude has helped me in my recovery and the positivity of teaching eager minds has helped me mentally and physically – I am still on the road of recovery.
I would really like to start running and cycling again but need to be sure I am physically capable first.
For me exercise is lifesaving both physically and mentally. I took up running 5 years ago, I had a weak lower back, and this would often leave me feeling quite debilitated. I took up running to strengthen my back which it did, but it also strengthened every part of me! Running gives you the freedom to explore and be part of nature, in all seasons, giving you fresh air and sights and sounds you remember from childhood. Exercise as a whole in enabling – it takes away ailments and gives you a new lease of life.
If you liked Emma's story and want to find out more about being active, visit Active Together
My advice if you're thinking of getting more active:
Never think you can't. I was heavy and unfit when I began running, but I took about a year to build up my fitness at my own pace. You can tune into your own body and you will know when you're ready for a little more push or perhaps a day when you get active but take it easy – you're still being active! Above all don't give up – I can't run at the moment, but it will happen and when it does I will never take for granted how it feels to have flushed cheeks and a buzzing vibe!