Running. A single word that conjures up feelings of exhilaration, peacefulness, strength… or perhaps, dread, exhaustion, wide eyed confusion? For a few years, I had a New Year’s resolution to “become a runner” – why? Not only did I want to be healthier, but for years I had tried running and always failed. I’d try go on a couple of runs, get puffed out, and start walking the rest of the way, head hung in defeat. Don’t get me wrong, walking is great, but running was something I really wanted to be able to do.
So in November 2014, just after we started Omika, I was thinking about my next New Year’s resolutions and was horrified at the thought of putting “become a runner” on the list AGAIN. So I got a head start, using a free app called C25K, and within a few months, I was running 5km without stopping. This, for me, was a great achievement. I am officially, a runner.
One person that inspires me to run, is Aussie Naomi Ellis, widely known for her blog, Seven Cherubs, inspiring women worldwide as she not only raises seven children but also lives a fulfilling life after overcoming significant challenges. Naomi shares with us a bit about her running journey.
Naomi, why did you start running?
I started running to help my mental health. I had reached a stage in my life where I needed to do something that would mentally challenge myself and at the same time help improve my physical health. Running was the perfect fit for achieving both of those goals.
How did you become a runner?
I have never been a runner. In fact, I have hated running all of my life. To begin my running journey I wrote out small baby step goals and worked on achieving them each week. I actually started by walking laps in my back yard and then moved onto running outside. I then started the Couch to 5km running program and also signed up to the ‘Learn to Run’ course with Operation Move. Those two programs gave me the confidence and skills to become a runner. It has changed my life!
Music has also played an important role in helping me to run. I would reward myself with new songs to run to as I reached my goals. That was a better, healthier option than food as a reward!
What do you love most about running?
Now that I have been running for over a year, I love that running helps me feel stronger, healthier and for the first time in a long time…fit! I have also been able to meet many other wonderful inspiring women because I started running. It is hard work but the benefits have been wonderful! I love being outside in nature and enjoy running early so I can see the sun come up in the morning.
What are the top three changes you have seen in your life because you became a runner?
The top three changes would have to be with my body, I have lost a lot of weight from running, with stress relief, as it is my time out to relax and to think about how my life is going and with my energy levels, I have a lot more energy than I have ever had before!
What advice do you have for girls and women who would like to become a runner?
If you have been thinking about wanting to start running, don’t wait for everything to be just right or to have a fitter, energetic body…start now! Don’t put off running, do something for yourself today, for your health in the future and start slowly. It doesn’t matter how fast or how long you run, it only matters that you are out there giving it a go!
Lastly, if you could give your fifteen year old self some advice, what would you tell her?
I am sure that my 15 year old self would die laughing if I told her that after having seven children you will start running and actually enjoy it! I guess I would tell her to not to worry about what others think so much and to just enjoy each day that was before you. Life will turn out very differently than you planned and you will be so grateful for the lessons you have learned. The future is way more fun and rewarding than you could ever imagine!
Thank you for sharing this fulfilling part of your life with us! Keep up the running Naomi! You can follow Naomi’s running journey on Instagram @sevencherubs.