Ahhhhh holidays! Time to relax with the family in the sun, splash around in the sea, eat your body weight in Mediterranean food, sample the local vino and chill the hell out, right? Wrong! oh so bloody wrong. When you’re training for a marathon, and have got your heart set on not dying on route, you need to put in all the leg work you can. So with this in mind, and realising that I would be coming home to a half marathon, I dragged myself out of bed at the crack of dawn 3 times on this holiday – go me.
Well I say I dragged myself out of bed, actually I sprang out of bed, knowing that I was about to get an hour away from the kids constant bickering. Even in their sleep they bicker, what is that all about?. So it was with a great deal of joy that I got up, necked a coffee or 2 and headed off to the beach front to join the hundreds of other crazy people who had come on holiday to plod. It was totally what I needed to do. The scenery was stunning, the camaraderie was brilliant, the sea was crystal clear and still and the sun was just coming up to say good morning to the mountains and here I was watching it all happen and witnessing the world waking up in all it’s glory.
So why, you may be thinking, have I included the “dreaded” bikini shot in the photo’s above? This blog is about running after all and I sure as hell am no bikini model. Well something quite bizarre has happened since I started this running malarkey. Yes running gets you fitter, if you’re lucky you get to shed some poundage and you meet some fantastic people, all with their own agendas and reasons for running, but who are willing to support and guide you, there are even some laughs along the way.
What’s changed for me is whats inside my head. A lot has been researched and written about the mental benefits of running. Its been known to benefit people with anxiety and depression, it can help relieve stress but for me it changes the way I see myself. Yes I’m still chunky with extra wobbly bits, a mum-tum and thighs that spontaneously clap for me every time I run and during the course of growing up I totally abused my body, yet it doesn’t give up on me. One day I’m sure it will, but for now it’s doing everything I ask it to do. I have tiger stripes on my thighs and stomach which will never tan no matter what but now, in my head, my body is stronger, perhaps a little bit leaner and those tiger stripes? well, they’re the road map of my life and when I look at my girls, I’m damn proud of what these stripes stand for and I hope my girls will grow up with the positive body image it’s taken me years to get to.
So as I lazed around the pool, I saw men and women of all shapes and sizes, some were desperately trying to cover themselves up, others were flaunting … well probably a little bit too much to be honest! but I still hoped against hope that they all felt proud of their amazing bodies and if anyone dares criticise, well quite frankly they can….
Until next week ….