Updated: Jun 3, 2020
Hmmm. So it seems there is nothing quite like the backdrop of a global pandemic to launch a new idea. What a time to say yes, let's Move Happy everyone! Let's celebrate what our bodies can do! Just as we are feeling acutely aware of our own physical vulnerabilities, and also the gaping inequalities and injustices across our society. We might actually feel like we don't want to celebrate at all.
But this idea was in the planning some time ago, and within everything going on, some things remain unchanged. One of those things is my commitment to seeing women feel strong, empowered and at the top of their game with the help of exercise. If we can support each other to find the time to look after ourselves in this way, then we will be far better equipped to look after those around us, do what needs to be done in a time of such intense and unprecedented change, and put our mind, body and voice towards a better tomorrow.
So in the midst of it all, and when everything might feel completely beyond our control, I am resolutely here with a reminder that positive action is still possible, and it doesn't have to be huge. It can start small, and it can even start now.
Take a second to consider the body in which you're sat reading this. If it helps, think about what it has allowed you to do over your life, rather than how it looks.
Most of us are lucky as our bodies do pretty much whatever we ask of them, all day and every day. They allow us to work, travel, play, run around after the family. They might even tolerate the odd naughty yet enjoyable overindulgence, if and when we get the chance. Significantly but perhaps on less of a day to day basis, our bodies may have also enabled us to climb a mountain, participate in some crazy extreme sport, birth and maybe breastfeed a child, or even run a marathon (and yes, I do think these activities do belong in a similar category). They may have supported us through some major physical, emotional, and even traumatic life events. And yet here we are, still standing.
When we really consider it, our bodies are I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E. The product of millions of years of adaptation. They keep us going, we can’t do without them, and we need to hang on to the ones we’ve got for an entire lifetime.
Now consider why, if we recognise that it is only through our body that we experience life - good times and bad - do we expend a huge amount of energy either ignoring it or hating on it?
Too often these days we look at our body as something negative, something that always needs to change, or something that holds us back. And when we train or work out, it can sometimes feel like we are doing it to punish our bodies for not being exactly what we want them to be, or because we feel we've over indulged somewhere. Furthermore, our ever-busy lifestyles see us rushing around trying to accomplish so much – even during a global pandemic and a national lockdown - that we rarely give our mind or our body a break. Over time we have become too practised - and I include myself in this - at overriding any signals they send us that we need to slow down and take a moment. But just some small shifts can make a difference.
With Move Happy I want to help reset this mindset and attitude as part of our overall health and fitness, listening to our bodies and moving them when and how it feels right to do so. Right now, this has got to be about taking care of our mental health as well as the physical. By definition, our mental health is our own emotional and spiritual resilience which enables us to enjoy life but importantly to also survive any pain, disappointment and sadness that comes our way. At the moment, this could not be more relevant.
So in the classes and programmes, yes we will work, and yes we will sweat. But it is also about finding some space and calm, and a kindness towards ourselves. We will do it TOGETHER, with group support and the idea we can LOVE being inside of our own skin. We keep it simple, happy, and human. And if we get this attitude right, I believe any more specific and perhaps aesthetic fitness goals will naturally follow more easily and quickly.
So if you think you might want in, just take 2 minutes to sign up to my mailing list. I promise to send you all the info as soon as I have it on class times and dates and introductory offers.
Lockdown, even with its relative easing, has made things a little unknown when it comes to exactly when and how I can kick off in full (the childcare is a big factor!) My plan is to trial and gradually grow the schedule, some classes online and some socially distanced group classes in the leafy outdoors around Maidenhead.
But essentially please do sign up and stay in touch! Because I really think we could all use a bit more happy right now.