I have never been an exercise person, there was a little while when I was about 11 or 12 when I did a little sport and run a bit but this was mainly to help me lose weight. I think I always had a “have to” mind set when it comes to exercise, I never wanted to do it but if I did it was because I HAD to and not because I wanted to. That’s why it never lasted.
Since I started losing weight I felt the need to exercise and I even started a few times but it never lasted, there was always some reason or the other, from my knees having a hard time or it’s not the right exercise routine for me, etc. Now my circumstances is not the same as most other people’s, we all are different, I can’t join a gym like most (there’s a few personal reasons why) and sadly I can’t go walking around our neighborhood alone. Our neighborhood is not a safe place to be out alone especially for a woman and although I would love to go walking or running (one day) I just can’t risk it.
But I kept on feeling this need to do something. One day I saw a page that was liked by a friend “Springs Parkrun” the page said. Now Springs is a town next to our town but they are so close to each other that it could have been one town. I went on the page to have a look and here was my answer! It was a 5 km parkrun in a safe environment among other people and the bonus, it was less than a 10 minute drive from my home. I immediately messaged the page admin to esquire if a person are allowed to walk the 5 km, I was definitely not going to run it. A friendly lady very promptly answered me back and told me I’m more than welcome and they would love having me. This made me very happy, I just like friendly people…don’t you?
That evening I asked the girls if they would like to join me and they said “YES”. So on the 23rd of September we did our first parkrun/walk. I was a little bit scared because I didn’t know if I would be able to go through with it and once we started I was worried that I might not be able to finish or even WORSE that I would collapse or something. But I proved myself wrong and I was able to finish, I finished in 1h16m and by the end I was dead tired, had a massive headache and close to the end had a terrible dizzy spell. The rest of that Saturday I was like the “walking dead” and my legs hurt for days afterwards. But by Monday I couldn’t wait for Saturday to come so I could do it again.
2nd Parkrun day came and before we left home we each had a block of homemade chocolate (mainly coconut oil) and I added a quarter teaspoon pink Himalayan salt to my water bottle and that sorted out the headache and dizzy spell. I felt better than the first run and this time my sister joined us and I was so very proud of her for finishing her first parkrun. And I was hooked, I was not planning on missing any parkrun days (if I could help it) and it became the highlight of my week.
During the week before our 3rd parkrun it was raining a lot but I told Sam “I’ll do it in the rain and mud but I’m not skipping parkrun day”. That Saturday it was cold and gloomy but we got up early and we went, luckily the clouds cleared up and it was a pretty lovely morning. The 4th parkrun Bianca missed out on as she was ill and starting her final grade 12 exams the Monday, once again my sister joined us and she brought along her hubby and we all finished our 5 km walk 😉
I know that exercise is good for you and all that and walking is one of the best things for anyone but you know what it’s even better for my mental well being. In Afrikaans we have a word that describes it perfectly “gemoed”, I just can’t get the right English word to equal it. I feel at peace, sunburned and like I’m getting recharged for the week ahead, I somehow just feel “lighter”. This has been so good for me and the girls as well, even though we have to give up our “sleeping late” day and get up early 😉
Parkrun is done all over the world and anyone can join in and the bonus, it’s for free. Here is the South African Parkrun link and the International Parkrun like. Check it out and join in. Oh, have a mentioned how friendly all the people are 😉
Like they say every Saturday before we start “You can run it, walk it or crawl it as long as you enjoy it” 😉
Follow my journey on my Facebook page, LCHF Fanatics 😉