Clare’s Story

3 years ago I was unfortunate enough to experience burnout at work, my confidence was at rock bottom and I knew something had to give regarding my health. I felt I had to find a class which would help distract me from my worries and also help me to release some of the frustration I felt.

I looked for a local Boxercise class and was lucky enough to come across Michelle’s class, it took a lot of courage for me to go, I had visions of being stuck in a stuffy and humourless class and felt elated when I left the class and realised I was very wrong. Michelle’s classes are welcoming, but hard work! The music carries you away and the support form the whole group keeps you going throughout the class.

Within a year of joining the class, I had lost 1.5 stone, completed a 1/2 marathon and was the fittest I had been in my adult life. I’d also made new friends locally, learnt to be more disciplined, and to learn to think long term about myself and my health. I have fallen off of the wagon a couple of times, but that’s ok and I have always felt very comfortable about sharing that with Michelle and the class.

Running outdoors in the fresh air offers so many benefits which I want to empower my sisters with.

Vitamin D from the sun is limited over the winter months.  The sunshine makes your bones strong and keeps your immune system strong, boosting productivity, helping to lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease and death from cardiovascular disease.

Running improves blood pressure, HDL (good) cholesterol, and blood sugar sensitivity. Burns calories, Strengthens your joints and reduces stress because you need to be super alert while doing it.

Running boosts confidence because you are physically doing something tough, something you might not have thought possible a month (or six) before.

Running helps you go to sleep faster and improves sleep quality

I encourage women to learn the basics of running as part of their regular training.  I organise weekly training jogs, which include a warm up and a stretch.  The run / jog are for beginners.  I teach the important art of breathing and running, including the feet and body positioning, another important technique. More advanced runners are encouraged to lead the group.  I ensure anyone anxious arise cared for ensuring that I am nearby to encourage them as necessary.  After a 20 minute jog, which can include uphill runs, basic boxing training is carried out to music.  Music plays an important part of the weekly sessions.   Within the 1.5 hour session the group trains at an outdoor gym which giving you and introduction to safely using weights.  The session consists of light circuits, followed by a cool down stretch. 

I encourage a coffee or juice after the workout to catch up with the group.  Of major importance to me is the bond between the sisters in the class.  Many have commented on the friendly atmosphere and benefits of support from the other members.  Having a laugh and not taking ourselves too seriously is very important.  

Running gives a sense of freedom from mental issues, helping you focus on your breath and your form.  There is nothing more invigorating than working out, in the natural elements outdoors.  There is an indescribable sense of achievement from running. 

Many clients tell me  “I hate running”.  After training with me for a month I have  received so many positive testimonials from my clients about how amazing they feel since starting.  A number of clients now run from work a few times a week. One client completed a half marathon, and many now run regularly on their own.

At first I was very dubious about attending a running club and wouldn’t commit – running for an hour and a half – that’s way too much I thought !!😳. But with some persuasion from Michelle and knowing that it the exercise is good for me, I pushed myself to go. I’m glad a did.

It’s not full running for an hour and a half. There is a warm up and cool down and static toning exercises. The running or jogging element (about 30 to 45 mins) is at your own pace (your personal best) with achievable goals and interspersed with walking to regulate your breathing. Michelle is very encouraging and great at giving you technique tips to get the best out of your exercise. Being outdoors is great especially in sunny weather. You feel kind of free from your worries and it’s lovely to reward yourself by lying on the grass looking up at the blue sky at the end of the session.

Afterwards I was in pain of course. But it’s a good pain – the pain you get from toning muscles and bringing them alive. The mental well-being effects are there also.

I still don’t particularly like jogging but I do find it much more enjoyable doing it in a group of friendly, like minded women with a motivational and encouraging trainer.

The best way to start a sunday! The session is challenging but welcoming, being open and friendly for all abilities. It’s also a bit of a work out, a stretch and a social. I don’t feel any competition between the other sisters but only a positive and supportive energy all round. I’m feeling much more confident about my running and fitness, after only two weeks.

Thank you Michelle for bringing together this inspiring group.

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