Last year, I went from couch potato to crossing the finish line of a half marathon in four months. I noticed some pretty dramatic changes. Sure, I lost some weight and was generally much fitter, but I was also much happier, more focused and very determined – and it was spilling over into every aspect of my life. I just felt great. I wanted everyone to have that feeling.
I got the first Team Bangs on the Run together and we ran the Paris Half Marathon. Interest in what we were doing grew. I just got the Second Team Bangs on the Run team together, ready to start training for Run to the Beat in September and it has become somewhat of a personal mission of mine to get more women to run. Check out my hopes, goals and dreams for a Team Bangs on the Run Nation in the manifesto below.
We Do Not Watch the Scales
Women have been brainwashed for years about weight, shape and size. The moment you make exercise NOT about that and ALL about how you feel, is the moment the change starts to happen. The focus should be on health and fitness not size and weight.
We Channel Our Inner Badass
I feel like a superhero when I run. I want every woman to have that feeling. Feel the fresh air beat against your face, let your body move freely, even if it’s sluggish, you’re moving and you’re moving forward. Visualise greatness, finish lines and goals as you run – negativity cannot penetrate your superhero shield when you hit the streets.
We are Not Vanity Runners
We actually run and put in miles. All that gentle jogging in a velour tracksuit while your hair stays perfect and you gossip about the neighbours is for the birds. Move your ass! Running ain’t pretty. We sweat, our hair’s a mess, our makeup runs. On Team Bangs, it’s all about knowing that to hit your goals, you might have to take it to the ugly, but most importantly, it’s about not caring about that and going hard anyway. You can be pretty on rest days.
We Don’t Make Excuses
You’ll never regret going for a run, you’ll always regret not going. So you can sit there and make all the excuses in the world about why you can’t get out there, then complain about why you’re not happy, why you’re not fit, why you’re unfocused – you can go ahead and do that, have at it. But on Team Bangs? Round these parts, we don’t talk about it, we BE about it. The hardest part is getting out the door – the rest is a victory.
We Don’t Drop Out
There are too many running as a metaphor for life type quotes, but training for a race, be it 5K, 10K, half or full marathon is about setting a goal and sticking to it. It’s about seeing something through to the end no matter how hard it gets. It requires focus, determination and being your best – and if you haven’t quite found your best yet, it’s about not stopping til you do. But quitting? Quite simply, not an option.
We Focus on Us, Our Bodies and the Feeling
So often, women don’t run or work out because they’re scared of what others will say. They don’t want people to see them when they run, they don’t want their flabby bits on show in lycra, they don’t want to hear an offhand comment from a drunken fool. Suck. It. Up! Who cares how you look? It’s about how you feel. Your inner badass can mentally kick everyone’s ass en route. Your only job is to keep your eyes front and put one foot in front of the other. You’re making yourself healthy. You’re making yourself badass. If others have something negative to say about that, it’s only because your focus and determination makes them look bad. Your running is about YOU.
It’s my hope that I can encourage more women to run and embrace the positive changes that take place in their lives when they do. It’s time we started viewing our bodies differently. Stopped caring about pounds and inches and started focusing on the overall feeling of fit and healthy.