Three years later, my son was 1 year old and, for some reason, I suddenly decided to take up running. I think I'd seen posts from people doing couch to 5K on my facebook feed and felt inspired. I'd been a cross country runner when I was 14 and after one attempt to pick it back up again and failing when I was in my 20s, I thought I would give it another try.
What appealed is that the blurb with the programme seemed to say exactly what I'd found, that most people fail at running because they start too hard, i.e. they think they can go straight into running a mile or more without building up to it. So over a few weeks, with a few faltering steps in the middle, I managed to run for 30 minutes, non stop.
3-4 miles is still my go to distance now if I have time for about half an hour of exercise.
But why should you take it up?
Give up the idea on exercise being the thing which makes you lose weight. It won't on it's own but it does do lots of marvellous things.
Running challenges your heart
It gets it pounding and working hard. This is great for your body.
Running helps your mind
Running is my thinking time. I use it to get rid of negativity but also I have loads of ideas when running too, it's as though because my mind is partially occupied but also free to wander, it comes up with more creative solutions to problems.
Running really helps your mind
Exercise is known to be good for the mind and then changes in your body help reinforce those feelings of good self esteem. Getting outside to exercise also massively helps that.
Running tones muscles
Not just your legs but also I found my midsection became more toned when I started to run.
Running is free
Ok, you need some decent trainers (go to a running shop and get properly fitted) but even if you went to a gym you'd need decent trainers too. I spend a lot on mine, say, £80-100 but I get a year's wear (at least) out of them and no further cost to my pocket. You don't have to pay that much but I like to think I'm worth it!
Running is quick
I know that sounds stupid, obviously it's faster than walking but it's difficult to get a decent work out in 30 minutes, especially in the gym. Running and HIIT (high intensity interval training) are the only ways I've found which really challenge me enough in 30 minutes. Let's face it, if you're going to try and fit in 5 work outs a week (which you should try to) you need to be efficient with your time.
Running takes you into a new community
Even if you don't take part in park runs or running clubs (I don't), most other runners I see out are friendly (and no-one has ever laughed at my jiggly bits) and things like race for life are great experiences.
Which take me back to 6 years ago. Here is a photo when I walked the race for life.
And this is how I've changed. Not through hard work but through enjoying being active and eating what my body needs not what my emotions think I do. A few more wrinkles but genuinely fitter, 3 dress sizes smaller, healthier and with a much happier head on my shoulders.
Give it a go!