I don’t actually remember a starting point for sport and fitness and that’s possibly because I was an active child and being sporty simply continued into my adult life. When I was born my dad delivered me – I didn’t wait for the midwife and my dad laughs when he tells me that I entered this world with speed and purpose and haven’t stopped since.
I know I used to run everywhere and as a child I had skinned knees frequently, I climbed on things and recall feeling excited the first time I saw a rope swing in a woodland near to our home. The earliest I recall anything about fitness being ‘a thing’ was in primary 7 when I was awarded sports champion. I didn’t even know such a thing existed and suddenly I was given an award for doing something I loved. I recall my gran being very pleased as she had been sports champion in her day and was delighted that the sporty gene had been carried forward.
High school offered lots of sporting opportunities and I tried them all – the only ones I didn’t connect with were racquet sports but otherwise I embraced every opportunity. I am sure I paint a picture when I say that running shoes and sportswear were the main items on my Christmas list each year.
In my adult life I experienced the evolution of lycra and aerobics – it was good at the time but the classes weren’t quite ‘me’. On the basis that it wasn’t the done thing for girls to go to a traditional gym, along with the idea that lifting weights would give me muscles I didn’t want, it was 1996 before I discovered that weight related fitness was the key to remaining strong and in good shape. It’s bizarre looking back as I can’t imagine following a fitness programme today that doesn’t involve weight related routines. Thank heavens fitness evolves the way it does or I would still be in a leotard and tights !
Running and general fitness moved into triathlon and triathlon moved into adventure racing then obstacle course racing and now I enjoy different events wherever I go.
I like to have a solid fitness foundation so that I can train up relatively quickly for any event that takes my interest. Over the years that has included hundreds of events from 5k runs to longer distances, the London Marathon was very memorable. I have enjoyed fell races, kayaking, cycling and pretty much anything that creates enthusiasm when I read about it.
Last year I applied for Ninja Warrior UK …. Well why not!! I went through the application process, the audition and in August made it to the filming stage in Manchester. While I was fit and strong enough I lacked skill between transition and splashed down on 4th obstacle. With a bit of luck I will be back there this year but with over 30 000 applicants I know the odds are against me. Making it up that warped wall would place me as the oldest female ever to have completed that stage of Ninja Warrior anywhere in the world so I am training hard …. and keeping my fingers crossed.
While 50 seems old at times, (there are certainly days when I ache a lot and I recently noticed my knees are sagging ….. truly what on earth is that about 😀) I also feel young, energised and entirely ‘alive’ when I am training.
This weekend I completed Tough Mudder with a fabulous group of ladies from our amazing gym — Good Health and Fitness
(Dundee’s best kept secret when it comes to gyms that make a positive difference!!) It was a fun event and we laughed, helped each other, shared moments, and felt very accomplished by the end. Friendship through fitness is something special and I value that as much as fitness itself.
So the future …. I cannot imagine ever being inactive so enjoying sport and fitness will continue to be part of me, hopefully when my time is up I will eventually leave this earth in a similar way to my arrival – with energy and a bit of a sparkle. In the meantime I am truly thankful for the active life I have, those that are part of it, and for the opportunities that are out there just waiting to be grabbed and embraced.