Sport England are introducing what they describe as a ‘ground-breaking new campaign.’ A celebration of women getting active which they are calling This Girl Can.
The statistics behind the campaign show that fewer women take part in sport than men, and that 75% of women aged 14-40 in England were wanting to exercise more.
The sad truth is that many women are missing out on sport and exercise due to fear of judgement, the fear that they won’t be good enough or how they look.
The campaign looks to tackle these issues and promote the resounding message that ‘This girl can’ regardless of shape, size and ability. Getting more women into sport and exercising for their health.
The campaign will be launched in the new year. You can find out more about it here.
So what does this have to do with me?
The campaign has really struck a chord with me, about a month or so back I was the girl that couldn’t.
After some challenging times I had needed some time to kick back, my fitness routine was a major casualty and combined with comfort eating I loaded
a little way too much junk in my trunk.
It was obvious I needed to get back to the gym, for reasons of health, fitness, vanity and indeed sanity!
A simple solution, but not so easily executed. The thought of going back was ghastly, so many negative thoughts crowding my mind:
Would my gym kit still fit? Ok so gym wear is pretty forgiving but a Lycra clad muffin top is far from tasty.
Would everyone look at me judging the fact that I’d clearly had a summer going off the rails?
How unfit can you become in a couple of months?
Will I have forgotten what to do?
How the hell am I going to get off this sofa?
Worrying about it however achieves nothing, sometimes you’ve just got to suck it up, squeeze in the gym kit and get stuck in.
For me classes are the answer, I need the structure, the loud music, the shared energy of a room full of people with a common goal and somebody to yell at me when they know I can work harder.
The first class back was as Expected, I rocked up feeling incredibly self conscious yet determined, greeted by friends and acquaintances alike with a ‘Wow! Haven’t seen you in a while!’ Ground swallow me whole please.
My fitness levels had naturally taken a battering. My saving grace the fact that I’m an outdoorsy girl who does a lot of walking meant that I’d retained some (teeny tiny) degree of fitness. I’m not ashamed to say I took a lot of low impact options that day.
A few weeks later and I’m thankfully in a fitness routine once more, my fitness levels are climbing and I’ve managed to lose a little over half a stone. My children have found it difficult to suddenly lose me to the gym in the evenings and it has been really hard to go at times. I just have to remind myself that I’m a much more patient and better person when I’ve taken my frustrations of the day out at the gym. It’s also great for them to have an active role model to hopefully inspire them to follow a healthy lifestyle when they are older. Let’s face it, ‘Mummy works out’ is so much better than ‘Mummy likes chocolate’ (I do still like chocolate of course!) 😉
Hopefully with the support of the campaign and positive influences many more women will discover that they can access sport and fitness, in a way that suits them and break down those barriers which are currently holding them back.
This girl can, can you?