Se7en’s Blog: Finding Your Inner Smile and Feeling Invincible

Se7en’s Blog: Finding Your Inner Smile and Feeling Invincible

Between writing my last post and this one a birthday slid by, it was a big one… gasp. And between the last birthday and this one everything has changed. A year ago I would never have thought I could run/walk 5km in a Parkrun every week, a year ago I could not have swam two or three kilometres a week and a year ago I could not have dreamed I would ever get up at 5am and head for the gym with enthusiasm, every day.

When I woke up at the start of this year, my days consisted of figuring out how to get through them, how to avoid difficulties like flights of stairs and how to get the most done for the least energy spent. I also realised it was going to have to be a get up and move, or collapse on the couch for evermore kind of year. I made a choice to get up and move… and I have to say, while I always enjoyed exercise and feeling great, it had been so long since I had worked out properly, taking time off to have more than half a dozen kids, can do that to you… that I thought I would never be able to move again. In fact, I was quite terrified that even with my very best efforts that I would not be able to do any of it. I thought I had crossed the line of no return and that that was it.

Going Past the Point of no Return

I was wrong of course, there is no point of no return… and when my first gym class required me to walk around the track and I thought “they can’t expect me to walk all that way…” to oh my goodness, “I am going to have to walk all that way.” Now I run around the track, it isn’t easy, but I can run around the track… I am getting there. I am getting to the point where I really could run 5km all the way. I don’t think words can explain how fantastic it is to run around a track that less than a year ago left me completely breathless and hoping the ground would swallow me up before I was asked to do that again. I am not running at speed, and I am passed by nearly everyone else on the track, but I am doing it and I love being able to run again.


Before I began, I thought I was fine. I was cheerful, worked hard and got a lot done. But I totally wasn’t… somewhere along the line I had lost my inner smile, you know that thing that makes you undefinably you and that makes you smile from the inside out. I forgot that I loved working out, because I was always avoiding it… I was just too tired. I knew I had to make some changes and drastic changes. When I was asked to blog my journey for Sport Science, I knew this was my chance. I have to say that while I wasn’t sure that I could do it, I have been totally blown away by what I can do… I never expected to to be able to work out like I do now, ever again… and honestly I feel like this is just the start, I know I can do more.

You Have to Make the Decision to Just Start

At first, I told myself that I would work out and I would go the distance, but I had to do it gently without getting injured along the way and without undue agony. Because a setback would stop me in my tracks. I was going to roll with it and see just how far I could go… if the peak of my fitness was once around the track I would take it. I would just start. Well after my first workouts I knew I had to step back even further… and I would have to get right out of my comfort zone and start being genuinely kind to myself. This isn’t about self-care and me time, and getting a new hairdo. I was exhausted and running on empty and I could not have got any fitter than I was, which was completely unfit, if I didn’t get some proper rest. So while my body was getting back into the gym and a biokineticist was putting me through my paces, I was learning how to sleep properly again.


I know it sounds crazy, but I was literally too tired to breathe, let alone exercise. Why did I not hear, until I did a sleep study at the Sport Science Institute, just how important sleep was. Anyway to this end… I decided I would leave the workouts to the experts and would get to gym, while I just worked on sleeping better. I had to learn to recognise that, when I was tired, I could actually get some sleep, just recognise it. I gave myself opportunities to sleep properly as long as I was working out properly… sleep was my golden ticket. From better sleep habits, naturally better eating habits unfolded… it is all connected, so when I started to feel better I was quite prepared to do anything to keep that going.

On Being the Champion of the World

Now I feel more energetic, more enthusiastic and more alive than I have in years. I have conversations with folk and I don’t worry that I might nod off in a pause. I feel like an athlete, even though when I go past the mirror it is still looks like the same old me. I have to get past that, because it is not about what I think I look like, it is all about how I feel. This is huge folks. I haven’t been swimming for years. Really years. I didn’t want to walk from the change room to the pool in front of an entire gym. About a month ago, in a long overdue closet declutter, I tried out my costume thinking it couldn’t possibly fit and I could pass it on, only it did and I had no excuse not to give swimming another try. I am not bikini ready (like never!) but I can certainly walk from the change room to the pool and have a fantastic swim… I get out of the pool and honestly I don’t care how I look, because I feel so great. Invincible. I nearly lost that, I nearly gave that all up, because I was worried about how I looked… I am sure I am not the only one out there that feels like that. I had to get moving, to feel so much better, to not worry too much about how I look, to get that invincible feeling that carries me through the day and helps me cope with whatever the day happens to spring upon me.

Being your personal best, doesn’t really make you the champion of the world, or even make you look like the champion of the world… but being your personal best does mean that at the end of a workout you feel like the champion of the world.

Find your inner smile with SSISA’s Healthy Weight Programme

Develop the skills needed for a healthy lifestyle, not just for the short-term, but for the REST OF YOUR LIFE! Find out more about the SSISA Healthy Weight Programme:

Healthy Weight Programme

Previous Posts in this Series, From the Start.


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