“I started running just before I turned sixty and will never stop!”
My husband came home from work one day and said, “come on we are going running, I want to lose weight”. I was fifty-nine at the time and has never ran before in my life! Anyway, off we went to the local park and after a few minutes I was struggling. I was gasping and couldn’t breathe properly. I carried on a bit more but I wasn’t enjoying it at all. I ran just a few more minutes but then I’d had enough.
We went again the next night but it wasn’t any better. Being the determined woman I am, I continued to try running just for a few minute and after a week I had lost two pounds. I thought, “Okay- maybe I should carry on”.
I tried working on my breathing over the next few runs and found I was able to run just that bit further each time. I was only running for ten minutes and just let my husband get on with the rest.
Another week went by and I found myself starting to enjoy it. My breathing was getting better and I’d bought a sports bra which really made a difference! After the third week my husband said, “I’m had enough so I’m not doing it anymore”. I told him I was actually enjoying it now so he encouraged me to continue running by myself. I won’t go to the park alone so I began running on the streets near my house. Just ten minutes a day and what a difference it made. I was really enjoying it and getting the benefits of feeling fit and healthy. It was coming up to my sixtieth birthday in four months so I wrote on a piece of paper that I would lose over a stone by then, and put it on the bedroom wall as a testimony.
My husband is younger than me and walks a lot at work so I let him off for not being my running buddy. When my birthday came I had lost one stone and three pounds and was absolutely delighted! I was still only running for ten to fifteen minutes a day.
The motivation pushed me to stretch to fifteen to twenty minute runs and sometimes more. I entered my first Race for Life and have continued to enter each year for the last eight years. This year I was interviewed by the TV man and made it onto ITV Calendar News.
I am now sixty nine and have only gained three and a half pounds in the years I’ve been running, I’m chuffed with that! I met up with a friend from school and told her about my running journey- she now runs with me twice a week. I still run on the streets on other days in the week, and I know run with Dani Penney from Leeds Girls Can- Active Leeds for thirty to forty minutes every Thursday.
What would I say to other females thinking of starting running? Come on girls, you really CAN do it if you just give it a try! All girls together!
By Eunice Walker