December 3, 2014
I had THE most exciting day yesterday, a day which has made me realise just how far this blog and our awesome community of plus size runners have come in the past 12 months.
The day started off quite normal really, I dropped Rose to nursery at 8am and was at my computer by about twenty past dealing with a few glitches from the Countdown to Xmas challenge that launched on Monday…it is going well (who mentioned chocolate??) even if we are already moaning about aching muscles, and then I spent some time looking back at the year, in particular the number of races I did…it is amazing what you can pack into a year if you really set your mind to it.
I stopped for a quick bite for lunch, and then typed up a speech I am delivering next week called “Why I use the F word in business” for an audience of female business leaders looking at some of the lessons I have learnt about being authentic…then I looked at the time and thought yikes I’d better get a shifty on and get ready.
I was off to the ball.
No not really, but it felt a bit like that. I had in fact been invited to afternoon tea at The Houses of Parliament, for those of you not familiar with the UK’s political set up…this is the iconic building where most of the decisions get made…you know the one full of old men on benches, with that big clock called Ben? Well its actually the bell thats called Ben but hey ho!!
So I donned a posh frock, straightened my hair and jumped on the tube to Westminister, not before leaving a little message on our facebook page asking for you guys to wish me luck
I was a little nervous if truth be told, the event was an attempt to bring together all of the influencial individuals and organisations that exist in the running world, plus some key figures from the world of media and business to see how we can collectively get more people running more often in 2015
And just to clarify, this is about getting new people running…not the normal kind of runner that would happily do more given the chance. this is in part about tackling the obesity and inactivity crisis we are facing. So you can kinda see why I was invited. It didn’t stop me feeling a bit anxious, but once we got inside I was put at ease after spoting a few familiar faces, I also got to meet loads of key individuals that I know of, or have spoken to virtually, so it was good to put faces to names and finally meet people.
I failed spectacularly as a blogger and didn’t take a single photograph, but I was far too busy, making sure I spoke to as many people as possible. It was great touching base with Tim Williams from parkrun and Marathon Talk, and catching up with Nick Rusling CEO of Human Race Group…he is actually responsible for getting me running in a round about way, I was managing volunteers for the London Triathlon back in 2005 and I mentioned to Nick “I’d quite like to do a triathlon one day” and before I knew it I was lining up in a XXL wetsuit with about 10,000 proper athletes.
The room was buzzing with people that just clearly love the sport of running, I spoke to the NHS, and Race for Life and a guy project manageing the 2017 athletics chamionships and I even got to have a detailed conversation with Nike about the work I do, and they in turn told me about something they are launching next year which sounds very exciting.
A very funny exchange took place between myself and a guy from Athletics Weekly, now remember one of their editors made a daft comment about “joggers not being real runners” a few months ago, to which I took great offense (in true pantomime fashion of course) but all was forgiven, and it looks like I might be pulling a team of fat runners together for next years London Marathon to raise money for the Ron Pickering Trust thanks to Athletics Weekly…which is a real turnaround for the books.
After a few speeches about the importance of this work, and another hours worth of networking, we were literally kicked out…I hadn’t even had a cup of tea of a dinky sandwich…I was too busy gassing and handing out my business cards to those that asked for them.
I left the event absolutely buzzing.
2015 is going to be a very significant year for womens sport, there are so many exciting things in the pipeline…not just stuff I am doing, but just you wait and see….come the spring you are not going to be able to move without seeing something that suggests you should and could takeup a new sport.
The other exciting thing that happened yesterday, is when I got home and finally checked my emails, I had a message from my graphic designers who have finished the initial logo design for The Clubhouse, the virtual running club for plus sized runners which launches early next year….I am over the moon with the way it looks and I simply can’t wait for it to go live.
So I will leave you with this thought, from an old african proverb.
If you want to run fast you run alone, if you want to run far you run together
I couldn’t have done any of this without you guys….so keep pushing me, keep inspiring me and I promise I will keep on doing what I do…next step Oprah lol
Over and out