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I tried Parkrun not long ago. It’s been on my radar for a while but I’ve had a lot of resistance as well. Exercise is not one of my loves. I hated sport in school. Sports days were the source of huge amounts of distress. Exercise was something like taking medicine, good for you, will make you feel better, but yuk! Yesterday, my friend and trainer, Claire Samana from Tailored Health, messaged me. “I’m going to do Park Run tomorrow, want to come?”. My instant reaction was yes, immediately followed by no. I don’t know where to go, I don’t know what to expect, what if I’m not fit enough to keep up with her (I’m not!), it’s too early, can I fit it in around my other Saturday morning commitments. 

In the last few years, I’ve changed my perspective around exercise. I often try to use the word movement instead. How can I choose to move today? Can I park the car further away? Can I put on a silly song and dance with my kids. Intentional exercise is something I schedule, I plan and I book and I do it with people I like. I don’t do as much as I “should” or as much as I know would make me feel better overall, but it’s no longer something that I resist or object to. There are so many ‘shoulds’ in our world, when we change our perspective take the self-criticism out of it, let our friends push us out of our comfort zone, it can feel really good. 

Today there were people of all shapes, sizes, ages and fitness levels. The volunteers are welcoming, inclusive and supportive. I don’t know that I’ll go every week but identifying with the pillars of lifestyle medicine, today, I’ve ticked off something in both the movement and connection pillars.