3 years ago

Kelly Blaney, Director, Health and Wellbeing

When I was young I was passionate about sport. I loved it all, from running cross-country through knee-high mud in heavy rain and wind to turning head over heels on the trampoline.  Yet somehow over the years I have gradually gone from being a fitness fanatic to a fitness phobic.

The realisation of how this might manifest hit me physically when I found myself lying on my living room floor with a herniated disc.  “It’s all about strengthening the core…” was the message from my physio, “to compensate for the effect of too much sitting”.

Let’s not beat around the fitness bush here. Sitting at my desk, in front of the TV, in restaurants and in bars isn’t going to change… I needed to rekindle that long lost passion for exercise. However, it’s hard to restart when you have fallen off the workout wagon.

That was a month ago.  This morning, I comfortably ran four miles into work. But, to use a super corny (over used) cliché, boy have I been on a journey. A really hard one! I knew I needed a whopping kick-start and inspired by #thisgirlcan campaign (after a course of intensive physio), I signed-up for a week-long boot camp to lick me into shape.

So I headed off to a country house in the depths of North Kent armed with 14 t-shirts, 4 track-suits, thermals (forecast was 4°) and trainers.  All the gear and no idea what to expect, I was feeling pretty terrified. The thought of eight hours exercising on 1,200 calories a day… I had reason to be.

And it was hard work, challenging me both physically and mentally. I discovered I could live on the delicious and balanced 1,200-calories-a-day food rations and at the end of every day, I was aching in places I never thought possible, yet I also felt an incredible sense of achievement.

The personal trainers were brilliant and ensured we had great fun. They kept us going through a variety of activities so we never got bored and I sweated my way through sessions of circuits, cross-fit, daily runs, assault courses and boxing.

It nearly broke me, but I survived. I’ve rekindled my passion for exercise and lost a few inches along the way. More importantly, I’m feeling stronger, fitter and happier than I have done in ages. Thank you to Good Relations for my Passion Day, which allows employees to take a day off and focus on something they are passionate about outside of work, and thanks to GI Jane [www.gijanebootcamp.co.uk].

Warning – it’s addictive!