When training for events and to increase fitness I have found one of the most important elements is a support network. For me I would say this is invaluable.
My support includes the following:
- My cycling club Romford CC
- My secondary cycling club Hornchurch CC
- My running club Havering ’90 Joggers
- Members of a local triathlon club (although I am not a member) Havering Tri
- And of course friends and family
I can say with absolute certainty that whilst I am not at the end of my fitness and weight loss journey that I would not have achieved what I have to date without the support I received.
They have all been people who provided both emotional and practical help and were a tower of strength for me, especially when I was not feeling so strong myself, and I know are a group of individuals who all provide support for one another and will always help if they are able to.
Now I know many people do this alone and that is also possible but to give some examples of support I am referring to:
- My husband first and foremost who I am lucky is a cycling coach but also takes time out to ride and run with me at my pace to help me improve. He is also at every event I take place in and vice versa with me doing the same for him. He is also like my very own accountability partner as he knows what I am trying to achieve and can help encourage me along the way.
- Cycling club where there are too many to mention who have taken time to cycle with me and help me, and continue to do so, as I try and improve. An example is when my husband and his friend Tim were going to do the Ride London 100 mile bike ride together in 2014 and decided they would ride with me instead, which was amazing. Not to mention my secondary cycling club who are just as supportive.
- Running club with many who welcomed me and the amazing interval sessions conducted by Dave.
- Local triathlon club that I am not actually a member of, though my husband is, but I am lucky that I have numerous friends in the club who have always offered support and advice when needed.
- Friends and family who I think for the most part just think I am a bit mental trying to do all this stuff – I probably am but then again the best people are! Especially Helen, Laura, Steve and Nikki who is just so positive and mental and I love them all.
- I can’t forget the amazing Team Scrambled Legs who I have done obstacle runs with and who I am sure I would be left dangling on a 4 meter wall or face down in mud if it were not for their assistance.
- The amazing Nuclear Races family, especially Lisa, Tracey and Craig who have all helped me with hints and tips at their obstacle training sessions.
- And of course everyone who reads my ramblings on this blog – I’ve made virtual friends with several people who also offer encouragement which is amazing and really helps!
I can’t recommend joining a club enough as it can make such a difference.
I know I don’t look like your average sports person (I won’t say athlete as definitely doesn’t fit) and yes it can be hard when you tell people what you are training for and they look at you in complete disbelief but I am and I will and I continue to improve and will continue even more so.
Don’t expect everyone to understand the journey you are on. Surround yourself with people who believe in you. Strive for progress and not perfection. Allow yourself to be a beginner as no one starts at the top – I made this mistake comparing myself to many people who have been running/cycling etc for years and wondering why I am not yet at their level. Most importantly don’t give up and go and smash those goals!