After years of trying out every fitness regime going, you name it, I’ve tried it … basketball, tennis, yoga, pilates, gym, bootcamps, personal trainer … even zumba (love zumba), I took up jogging when I turned 40. A long time ago now and yes, I was a bit late to the game but hey, better late than never and the Couch to 5k system worked for me.

I never planned to run marathons or anything. My knees were already a bit dodgy from a lot of high impact sports as a young one but I participated in plenty of 5km and 10km runs and loved them, loved the atmosphere and the nervous excitement just as the run is about to start.

I loved how complete strangers cheered me on from the sidelines as I gasped like this could be my last breath. You could probably see my big red face glowing from outer space! I loved the craic with my fellow race-goers as we lovingly egged each other on. (I was usually half-way down the back so not a serious threat to anyone.)

There’s also the joy of being outdoors in all weather. I was living in Ireland then so that mostly meant rain with a small chance of sunshine on any given day of the year.

Sure, it could be fecking freezing and pretty miserable starting off but the adrenaline buzz when you’ve done it is second to none. There isn’t room in your head to think about the ‘other stuff’ in your life.

You’re either simply trying to make it to the next tree without stopping (or before I keel over) or maybe wanting to beat your personal best. My main motivation was getting that buzz and feeling of personal achievement when I was finished.

And then there’s the nature bit! I was lucky to live right next to the biggest park in Europe, the stunning Phoenix Park in Dublin. My back garden, as my friend Ann calls it. There were endless possibilities for my route. Unfortunately, there was always a hill involved! I live in France now and the beautiful Côte d’Azur coastline is my new ‘back garden’.

Being in nature is a form of meditation. It’s easy to be grateful when you mindfully breathe in fresh air, stand in grass or simply open your window and notice the clouds passing by. A soothing balm for your soul.

Sadly, my creaking knees aren’t up to a run anymore but you don’t have to be running, jogging or skipping through meadows to be mindful. Simply get outside and put one foot in front of the other, walk every day and breathe in positivity and breathe out negativity. Fill up with enough gratitude to keep you going until your next fix.
With sad news of more restrictions in place all over the world this week, it might feel harder to motivate yourself but trust me, being mindful and feeling gratitude for even the teeniest, tiniest things in your day will go some way to help you cope a little better, perhaps sleep better or feel more productive in your day.

Bon weekend á tous,
Rosie 🌹