Seriously, I would never have kept running for all these years if I hadn't been completely dependent on motivation from external factors to keep me active.
- And the ability to show off on social media
It is true.
These 3 things have kept me extremely motivated over the past decade.
My blog Fat girls' guide to running was set up after being the last to die of a stroke 10 years ago.
I remember getting out of the tub and sitting on the couch thinking,
"WWhat can I do to stay motivated, how can I make myself more responsible ”
There were no two ways to create community.
I had to have other people watch what I was doing. Holding me responsible.
And that's how the TFTR community was born.
There will be people who read this and think, "Why can't you just be motivated yourself"
And if that works for you, great.
But for me, I need external factors.
Which leaves me a little screwed up right now.
I love having a distant goal to reach.
I had 7 years to prepare for 2012… well not quite, and no I did not participate in the Olympic Games… I worked there as a specialist in community engagement… working so that the neighboring districts are ready to welcome the week.
It's just that I ran my first marathon that year too.
It was a huge motivation for me to train.
I even joined a real running club.
But with no runs in the newspaper, I'm not going to lie… I'm fighting.
Combine that with the lack of child care, the worry of running my business… and the general angst about what's going on in the world. I struggled to keep fitness on the agenda.
A few Sundays ago I ran 5km in my underground car park to mark what should have been me running 26.2 miles around London ... and it was neither fast nor pretty ... I had a pretty awesome marshal and race director though ... my 7 year old was a great support team.
But what are you supposed to do every day when your mojo is well and truly gone? And even if you wanted to run, logistically it's a nightmare?
8 weeks ago, as the lockdown became more and more imminent, I knew it would be a problem for so many women… yes men too, but women in particular.
And so Flourish inside was born
A program based on the gift of mentality, wellness, fitness and movement sessions to keep our body and mind occupied.
The free facebook community of over 1,700 members is a huge support to all of us, with weekly mental health checkups and a safe space for people to celebrate their movement, no matter how small, our 3pm dance sessions and our accelerated workouts.
It is difficult though.
I want to do all the sessions, but integrating them, making sure I'm in sports gear, having fueled well… and just having the energy is difficult.
I listen to a lot of guest speakers' speeches while I work or before going to bed.
I attend the indoor cycling sessions on Wednesday in the early evening… and I do the dances sporadically… sometimes my 7 year old child joins me (sometimes she looks at me in the sky)
I don't beat myself up if I can't do the sessions.
Just knowing that there is a structure there if I need it helps.
So with no big races on my agenda… like NONE… I now have to focus on small wins.
- A daily walk
- Some stretches
- 15 minute jump (I did it yesterday on our common yard before breakfast)
- Our occasional bike rides
Seeing people doing what they can in my community encourages me to do the same ... like a cycle on Saturdays where I really didn't feel like going out.
I see people crushing their daily workouts elsewhere and sometimes I'm triggered into feelings of guilt and shame… like I'm not doing enough.
My neighbor does 1000 repetitions a day of all kinds of strength exercises (good for her)
I've read about people on Facebook who have revived their love of yoga, or are still breaking their 10,000 step per day goal… and seriously I'm really happy for them.
For the time being.
I can't commit to doing more than I can, when I can, if I can.
Well-being is not just about weight control or cardiovascular fitness, it's also about mental health and family balance, and for me financial security ... and self-esteem. .
I will have more structure in my workout routine when I can.
But for now, I'm fine.
Our only job at the moment is to stay healthy. Stay home (for those of us who can) and stay well (did I say that before?)… As good as we can be.
I had a good race, didn't I?
A decade of races, 5 marathons, 2 triathlons, an ultramarathon, some climbs for good measure, obstacle courses, a new obsession with cross-fit, swimathons, wellness retreats…. Literally hundreds of events, hundreds of adventures.
My work over the past decade has taken me to over 20 countries… and that is perhaps what upsets me the most, this loss of freedom… and having something exciting and new to look forward to.
So this morning, as I write this blog before the little one gets up for her (maybe) Joe Wicks session, I allow myself to feel this heartbreak and loss, for all the things I can't anymore. to do… but also to allow me to feel an incredible gratitude to have been able to live this life for so long.
It was an incredible race.
And who knows what's around the corner.
For now, my goal is to continue to thrive on the inside… in any way I can.
Julie Creffield is a 5-time marathoner and founder of the Too Fat to Run movement. On a mission To sign up for Thrive Inside click here.
Plus… you can now order a limited edition Thrive Inside “Leisure Wear” tshirt… Because it's all about casual wear, for the ladies?
When TFTR went from a blog to a business in 2013, the Jobcentre didn't give me a loan for a coaching business, but they would for a t-shirt printing.
So my initial £ 1,500 business loan was spent on a branding expert, a website designer and 100 too big to run t-shirts ... I put on my friends to model ... and the company was born.
To date, more than 5,000 women around the world wear official TFTR products, it's been a big part of being more visible in sport and connecting with each other in races. These new Tshirts bring me back to basics ... so please show your support.
click here to discover more
Most people think of course as a solo venture. And while runners appreciate ( read : need ) quality “me time, ” there’s something quite powerful about running in a pack.
“Most of the time people join groups for the social experience, but the cool thing about a course group is that you can be a part of it without saying a word, ” says Scott Miller, founder of the Boulder Trail Running Breakfast Club. “It’s a great opportunity to connect. ”
Here, Miller plus five other running club founders, share tips for building—and sustaining—your own running club.
Jessamy Little, who founded the Cass Runners Club, a 100-plus person running group in London comprised of her business school classmates, suggests asking potential members what days, times, and locations work best with their schedules. Some groups may favor an early morning sweat sesh, while others may prefer meeting after work. “A recommendation for a newer club is to have two set course days, ” Little says. “One during the week that is more focused on ‘getting it done’ and one on weekends that can have a more ‘fun and footloose’ vibe. ” For Little’s group, the weekend runs were geared toward exploring new areas of the city.
“Don’t get discouraged if not a lot of people show up at first, ” says Marnie Kunz, founder of Runstreet, an NYC-based company that leads art runs—urban runs that pass by street art in cities across the U. S. When Kunz held her first art run in 2015, just one person came : a man on a bike. Kunz was disappointed, embarrassed, and considered canceling the whole thing. But the next week a few more people showed up, and then a few more. Soon, word got out. Runstreet has since hosted more than 200 runs in cities around the country “Realizing that everyone starts from scratch really helps, ” Kunz says.
Kunz stresses the importance of having your own website that houses all information about your runs along with photos. “Social media platforms can change—and not everyone is on every platform—so it helps to have everything in one place. ” Keep your communication consistent across platforms to help create a streamlined brand.
Let people know what they are getting themselves into, Miller says. His Boulder, Colorado-based group of 100-plus members meets every Saturday for a long trail run ( anywhere between two to six hours ) followed by a group breakfast. Because the group’s runs cover a wide range of terrain, he wrote several articles explaining the general variétés of conditions runners can expect and the group’s approximate pace along with safety tips.
The articles are published on the group’s MeetUp page, and when a new person signs up, Miller sends them the reading material. “If your group is not a beginner group, you need to make that clear, ” Miller says. “You don’t want people to show up and have a bad time. I try to be really descriptive about the time, distance, and elevation of our runs so people know what they are in for. ”
Many members of Miller’s group take photos during the runs and post them to the group’s page. He says it helps draw new members. “When people are looking for a running group and they see pictures of runs in amazing areas, people smiling—both men and women—they see that it’s a mixed group that likes to be social and have fun. ”
Frankie Ruiz, cofounder of the Miami Marathon and founder of the Baptist Health South Florida Brickell Run Club, a free, once-a-week, Miami-based group of about 400 runners, can count on one hand the number of times he’s cancelled runs throughout the program’s nine-year tenure.
“Our main message is that we don’t cancel, ” he says. “If it’s really rough out, we’ll go to a stationnement garage or go indoors and do a core session. ” He says this has helped build the club’s reputation as a consistent amenity offered by the city. “Even if a runner doesn’t show up, I think there’s a comfort knowing that there is something in your city that doesn’t stop. ”
“If you have new people coming in, you can’t assume that they know the rules and guidelines, ” Ruiz says. “Communication needs to be all the time. ” Even though the group’s “weather-proof policy” may be well understood among current members, every time the skies get gloomy, the club blasts their social channels with reminders that the runs are still on. It also helps to communicate the planned route, en ligne, and pace in advance so that new members can plan their fioul and attire accordingly.