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I stayed at home all day Sunday instead of going out for my 16-mile run. I promised my clients I’d write an article about dealing with races being canceled and postponed.

But I haven’t been able to write about running.

It seemed so meaningless compared to some of the other things going on in the world, but as one of my dear friend and grief coach Dipti Solanki said in a Facebook Live earlier, “grief is grief and we must listen to and honour those feelings”

Running saved my life. Sport gave me a way of managing my mental health. It gave me a purpose. It gave me community, and over the weekend I found myself pushing those worries and concerns to the back of my mind, thinking there are other things to focus on right now.

I had gone quiet…when my ladies needed me to say something more than ever.

I did a free webinar last Thursday on “How to be a leader in your own life” but so much has happened since then…and I realised late on Monday night…that being a leader wasn’t enough, surviving wasn’t enough.

We need to be able to thrive.

When I set up this blog 10 years ago, I can remember thinking I don’t just want this to be about surviving in a world where I don’t fit in, I don’t want it to just be a place we moan about not finding clothes to fit, or coming last again in a race…I wanted it to be somewhere uplifting, where we could talk about challenging ourselves, finding solutions, somewhere we could thrive by being ourselves.

I don’t know how I will feel having 3-6 months of no running, whether we have to self isolate or not, many of us won’t be able to run as much or even at all…my community is filled with nurses, and carers, and mums, and freelancers, and zero hour contact folks, and people who run major community projects, and teachers and….I could go on.

Women put themselves to the bottom of the pile a lot of the time, and in challenging times this is likely to be true for women all over the world.

So how do we make sure we stay active, how do we make sure we take care of our bodies and our minds, and keep our spirits up?

Late on Monday night I came up with an idea, an idea which could solve 3 major interconnected problems (as I see it)

  1. How to keep my women active and sane during the next 3-6 months
  2. How to keep my fitness professional friends in paid employments
  3. How to pay my mortgage (I do have some other income to help with this)

What if I could get tried and tested fitness professionals to serve my community? What if I could create a full service of virtual fitness classes delivered straight to your mobile phone or laptop? What if I could come in once a week with a mindset challenge?

What if we could make working out at home fun, and a priority, and also not something only posh, slim women with gorgeous homes do? So free of judgement and shame for the washing in the background, the kids/dogs/husband being in the shot or even our sweaty bodies being seen by others.

And so I put it to the ladies in my online community last night and they loved it…they are happy to pay £5 a month (or whatever they can afford as and when they can) to make sure it is funded well (ie paying my VA to facilitate it and the coaches an hourly rate)

I present Thrive Indoors.

A bespoke inclusive fitness and well-being service for the too fat to run community. With workouts, workshops, resources and access to support so we can Thrive Indoors. (and outdoors if we can)

I love the name. One of my longest-standing clients Jo Wheeler came up with it. Yes, we don’t just want to survive, we want to thrive…while we are spending more time than ever inside.

So you in?

I am busy behind the scenes getting everything scheduled. We will launch it on the 1st April, with a full schedule for the month. I am also pulling together a virtual summit to kick things off.

I am so relieved to be able to do something practical, and that so many people want to support this initiative. Please consider getting involved. Think of it as an investment in your current and future self, and the long term future of the fitness industry.

Love Always

Julie

Check out our page over at www.ko-fi.com/toofattorun please donate £5 per month to ensure this important service can get off the ground and continue for as long as it is needed.

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