Hi, I’m Kate
I’m bookish, sarcastic, cynical, know-it-all, sullen, bossy, awkward, plain graceless and I’ve never had a good hair day in my life. Sometimes I’m contented, optimistic or possibly even compassionate. I labour under the impression that I’m a sparkling wit.
Those are my good points
I’m clumsy, have two left feet (both of them flat) and I have no hand-eye coordination. I stopped taking part in organised sport as soon as the school no longer had any right to force me to do it and I’ll soon be celebrating 50 years of avoiding team sport altogether.
In my thirties, I gave up smoking and took up overeating. In my forties, I started moving around occasionally. In my fifties, I stopped drinking and started to try to get outside more.
All the while, I felt lazy and weak. My inner monologue was all about my weight, my body shape, my hair, my teeth, my clumsiness, my lack of grace. Every waking hour filled with a background hum of low level self-criticism (or off-the-scale high level self-criticism, if I caught sight of myself in a mirror or a photo).
I was getting bouts of depression, paranoia and anxiety as my hormones started to shift towards perimenopause. I had developed a deep fear of joint pain and could no longer fasten bras behind my back.
I felt my health and fitness were getting away from me. I didn’t know where to start to get them back and I felt completely overwhelmed.
The only thing that made me feel better was going for a walk. But the effect was only temporary. Afterwards, I’d go straight back to beer, crisps, sofa and tv and the feeling that I couldn’t do anything about my own fitness. There was no path forward, just rinse and repeat.
Eventually, I got so scared at the thought of not being able to tie my own shoelaces in old age that I just had to start having a say in my own health and fitness.
I started to research how to go about it.
I soon realised that nearly all resources about selfcare are dripping in diet culture and promote an ideal that we all have an ideal we can live up to and that we can hack our way to it. For example, when I googled “fitness for beginners”, I was faced with pages and pages of workouts resistance (complicated), mixed with lists of life hacks for building an exercise habit (simplistic) and humblebrags by glowing journalists and celebrities who were neither flabby nor unfit in the first place (patronising). As for all the “slow down the aging process stuff, don’t get me started.
I finally found one resource I could relate to - the NHS C25K programme - and followed it from beginning to end. I was my first ever physical achievement!
From there, I ended up joining a running school and running a 10km event. It felt like a proper chapter in a fitness journey.
I wrote about both for a running blog and realised that instead of only looking for resources that don’t exist I could help to provide them. More than that, I realised I wanted to encourage other people to play a starring role in their own health and fitness.
Trying to help felt a lot more constructive than just comparing myself to people lucky enough to be born with even features, clear skin and a sense of balance and feeling the gap widening as I got older.. I More constructive, too, than constantly criticizing myself for not being even-featured, clear-skinned or graceful.
I’m no dietician, personal trainer or medical expert; I’m just an ordinary person hoping to create a safe place for you all to come and learn and teach, to rest, recover and share. To get the reassurance you need to do the work on your health.
So come on in, make yourself at home and let’s all start starring in our own stories.