…being fitter is awesome!

My Fitness Journey = Cate Hamilton

I’m very good at making excuses to get out of doing exercise. My parents tried to get me into tennis, but I hated it. Books were better. At school I always managed to time music lessons to avoid PE. I did one year of rowing at uni because I fancied the coach (and reader, I married him) but that didn’t change my attitude in general. Then I ran the D of E scheme for my sixth formers and discovered that I actually loved getting stronger and fitter through kayaking and cycling, so in my late twenties, exercise and I became friends (as long as it didn’t involve any aerobics or whooping enthusiastically or horrid music or leotards or high fives). I even managed to run a 10k once, and cycled round the Hebrides. I got quite fit.

And then I had kids.

I could hardly walk after my second baby was born. My back was ruined, I’d put on three stone and felt miserable. Mumsy and frumpy. There was no way I was ever going to be able to run again as I could barely lift my own child. I had as many excuses as I’d ever need to avoid exercise for at least another decade!

And then I met Kirsty.

I couldn’t even have managed to walk to the park for Parkfit, so we met at the gym and gradually, half an hour at a time, with the baby in tow watching mummy do strange poses on a vibrogym, my back got stronger again. My legs got stronger. I lost a stone and could wear my ‘in between the two kids’ jeans. My stomach muscles started to repair. I could carry the baby in the car seat upstairs. I lost another stone. I bought a new pair of jeans for this ‘not quite there yet but so much better’ phase!

There was a wedding I was aiming to get into an old favourite dress for earlier this year so after Christmas I finally made my husband make me go to Fitball on Thursday nights (having made excuses for two months before). It’s such a wonderful class. I laughed the first week at the thought of balancing my feet on a ball whilst doing press-ups, but quickly progressed and got so much stronger and, frankly, less wobbly! The week before the wedding I tried on my old dresses. Some were too big! That was a good milestone. And three months after that we had a 40th birthday to attend. I was planning to drag out another old dress but actually felt so fantastic by that point I bought a playsuit. Me! In massive heels and sequin shorts.

It’s not all straight forward progress. August was a tough month with even less sleep than usual (thanks, kids!) but Kirsty supported me through it and with her on side I knew I wasn’t going to lose ground.

So now I’m all for wearing lycra and high fives and whooping enthusiastically because being fitter is awesome, I’ve met some fab people, and I’m happily running without any sign of collapsing in a heap of mumsiness on the floor. This year is going to be the one where I run 10k again, only this time I’ll have my children cheering me on at the finish. That would rock.

No more excuses from me! Thanks, Kirsty. PT = pretty terrific

Cate Hamilton



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