I like to move it, move it

by bellsie rowe

Actually I don't. I'm not a natural sportswoman and my wobbly parts speak for me.

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About six years ago I started running, using the Couch to 5k programme. It worked a treat and I went on to run a couple of 10k races. Then my bendy body protested, my natural laziness kicked in, and slowly I stopped.

I have started the Couch to 5k again - this time accompanied by my mum - and we thrill at how our stamina and fitness have improved. Okay, so I still run like an asthmatic hippo, but every little counts.

When in hospital 18 months ago, I was introduced to Nordic Walking, or pole dancing as my father insists on calling it. I love it - going as fast as I can and pushing myself when things are hard. When I got home I bought myself some poles (for under 20€) and have been doing it on and off since.

We live on the plain and cycling is a joy. I'm not a mad cyclist (well, I suppose I am mad and a cyclist, but you know what I mean) but we try to get some kilometres under our belts (or should that be helmets?).

Why am I telling you all this? It has become an essential part of my self-care. When the voices are loud and incessant, the urges to self-harm overwhelming, or the depression pinning me to my bed, nothing does me more good than getting outside in the fresh air and moving my body.

I have had a difficult relationship with my body over the last five years or so. I have scarred it, hated it and felt totally detached from it. Doing this sport has given me a way of reconnecting with my body and learning to appreciate (and dare I say it, love) it.

Truly, deeply and madly,

Bellsie