For past month or so I have been slowly embarking on a health kick. Historically I have always been a pretty fit person, my childhood was filled with back to back games of football, cricket, tennis. Then in my late teens/ early twenties I developed a pretty full on gym habit. All of which came to a sudden end when I went travelling in January 2008 and realised I didn’t miss spending half my life in the gym.
Then like most people when they move to London I invariably became busy making lots of new friends and enjoying this amazing city. Recognising that I hadn’t been doing any exercise I decided to run the Royal Parks Half Marathon in October 2010 and ended up stumbling around in a pretty slow 2.17 (I was injured). The aftermath of not quite enough pre training and some poor trainers which ripped my feet to shreds meant that I found it really hard to pick the running back up. There have been a few abortive attempts in the couple of years since but during this time I have increased my cycling and this has kept me in some sort of reasonable condition.
However as I approach my 29th birthday (August) I have started to feel like I need to look after myself a bit better. I have always found that when I exercise regularly I have increased energy levels, feel more confident and I have a better work productivity level. Probably as a result of participating in team games like football and cricket I have always found running on my own incredibly hard which leads to me cutting corners.
Since starting on my health kick I have been on a couple of runs with my friend Lauren and these have really helped. Lauren recently ran the Brighton marathon for a great charity called GoodGym which essentially is a running club with volunteering on a community project sandwiched in the middle. I went to my first GoodGym run on Tuesday, I was actually pretty nervous that I wouldn’t be able to run the 8km and that I would be slower than everyone else. I was really pleased to discover that I actually wasn’t that bad and the other running volunteers were lovely. Our volunteering task was to help shift pallets and scaffolding planks to a new community permaculture garden in Shoreditch, which being me I was thrilled to discover. Then before we knew it we were on the way back to our meeting point in London Fields.
I think GoodGym might be the social running solution for me, next week we’re running 10km (gulp) and if I am last in the group, I will have to swallow my pride and deal with it. But the great thing with GoodGym is that someone will always run with you. GoodGym currently operate in East London, Camden and Liverpool. If you’re looking to get fit and do good you should definitely check it out.
I have also been inspired by a number of my friends have recently ran the marathon or have been living healthy lives and look great as a result. A number of these people are vegan and have lots of energy to achieve impressive fitness feats. Vegan fitness inspirations include, Laura Scott, Milly Banana Anselmo- Oldfield, Cat Turner, James Proctor. Non vegan inspirations are totally Hannah McQuarrie and Juliet Chard, Natasha Lees, Lauren Garland, Ree Ree, Amy Cooper and Tom Mustill and Luke Chaput– ‘ Luke- my knees aren’t springy anymore mate’. P.S: If you don’t already follow each other you should start 🙂
All of the people above are incredibly smart and motivating people to be around, I don’t think it is a coincidence that they all exercise regularly.
My getting fitter strategy will include:
- Running more often and going to GoodGym when possible
- Eating more vegan meals
- No milk in coffee
- Press-ups and sit-ups most days
- Getting a new bike for long cycle rides
- More raw food
I am thinking that perhaps I will run a half marathon at the end of the summer. I did always say I wanted to do an marathon by the time I am 30 and the clock is ticking.