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#RunEveryDay

A year ago last week, I saw this hashtag on Twitter: #RunEveryDay.  It was started by a sportswear company and people could “sign up” on their website and receive motivational emails throughout the month.  With no desire for any more spammy emails clogging my already stuffed-full inbox, I just opted to run and tweet about it, and donate £1.00 per run to Northamptonshire Rape Crisis at the end of the month.

On the first of October, I was off – #RunEveryDay challenge was on.

Unlike my friends, I somehow thought I needed to add the daily runs to my normal 7-day a week fitness timetable.  As well, a week into October, I started karate classes.  It will come as no surprise that I developed Achilles tendonitis in both ankles by 18th October.  So I stopped….I’m kidding.  Nope, I began getting up 30 minutes earlier (oh yeah, I am scared of the dark, so as if running every day wasn’t a challenge enough, I made myself do it before dawn!) to ice both ankles to get the swelling down a little, before strapping them in sports tape and running/limping across my estate in the dark, cold morning air.

I wrote about my inner struggle over whether to stop or not in this blog.  I questioned whether I was showing “strength” by continuing with #RunEveryDay, despite painful injuries in both ankles, or if it was a sign of my “vulnerability” that I was unable to let myself quit, and possibly feel a failure for being unable to finish the month?

I can promise you had I known that I would do severe, lasting damage to my tendons and calves that would continue an entire year, I most definitely would have sucked the lemon of vulnerability, and stopped.  Totally.  Instead, I hobbled to Hallowe’en, pleased to have won two very inflamed Achilles tendons and the pleasure of telling people I had done #RunEveryDay the whole of October (and my other 7 workouts and two karate classes a week).  At least Rape Crisis got their whole £31 donation, too.

Since then, forced to cut back on running and high impact classes, I spent a fair bit of time on the stationary bikes in the gym, or doing bendy things in BodyBalance classes during the past 11 months.  Now #RunEveryDay is upon us again, and I would love to enjoy the sense of achievement on October 31st, knowing that I had run every day for the whole 31 days, even in the dark mornings which saturate my bloodstream with adrenaline and cortisol.

I now know also that sense of satisfaction will likely come at too high a cost.  This time, my challenge is not whether to #RunEveryDay, but instead, whether to pull out of it should #RunEveryDay become too painful.  It remains to be seen whether I will be able to do that, to give up if I am too injured.  The difference this time is that giving up under those circumstances, and listening to my body, I realise and believe, would be a true sign of strength.

So that’s my goal.

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Early Morning Running

I openly admit it: I am a fair-weather runner. I love running, but I am a rather a diva about the weather. To lure me out of the gym, I need it to be not too cold, not too windy and not raining.

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Are You Benchmarking?

**Trigger warning – this blog contains references to sexual violence.

Estimated statistics suggest 1 in 3 women are survivors of physical or sexual harm in their lifetime, including sexual harassment, sexual abuse, sexual assault and rape. In the past 24 hours, you

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The Smell of Smoke

This blog is dedicated to the children who survived the Grenfell Tower block fire

in London, on 14th June, 2017.

 

* Trigger warning – may be difficult for anyone who has experienced a fire.

Waking up to news of

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Civility (Google it)

When I think about “social media”, the word “social” stands out – defined as “relating to society”, with synonyms including “communal”, “collective”, “group”, and “civil”. Lately, there seems to be a vast amount of social media activity which is anything but civil.

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The Morning After

*Names have been changed for anonymity.

Trigger warning – contains references to rape.

“I warn Toby*, I tell him ‘You make sure, before you do anything with a girl, that she’s definitely into it!’ – you hear so many stories where girls change

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Who’s that trip-trapping over my bridge?

Read to daily as a little girl, some stories stick in my memory. I had a Ladybird version of Three Billy Goats Gruff. I remember wondering as a child why they were called “Billy” goats? Were all goats boys? Was “Gruff” their surname?

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“Brace! Brace!”

***Triggering content – this piece includes non-explicit references to abuse/violence.

Definition of trauma triggers.

Definition of trigger warning.

If you have ever flown, you will be familiar with the phrase “Brace! Brace!” which pilots announce to prepare passengers for

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Let’s Stop “Slut-Shaming”

*All names have been changed.

I was at a conference recently, “Speaking Out to End Sexual Violence.” During discussion, a delegate used the term “slut-shaming” which sounded very jarring. Having not heard it used for a little while, I began thinking about it.

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Where the blame lies.

*Trigger warning – this post contains references to rape, please consider your well-being before reading.

After previewing Listen to Your Selfie, I watched it again with our children, always interested in their feedback on resources. Near the end, the young girl hesitates as

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