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I came to running later in life after battling the menopause. It was a time when I was in a very bad place. Emotionally, I was suffering with horrible menopause symptoms since having a bad hysterectomy in 2012, so the effects were more emotional than physical. I therefore decided to have a go at running and found that what it did for me emotionally and mentally was the best thing ever! Running stopped a lot of my mind chatter and the anxiety that I was suffering as part of the menopause.
I completed my first marathon in 2017 at age 53. It did amazing things for me as person. I found it quite addictive, especially the whole finish line feeling. When I got back after the race, I thought to myself that I was not going to give this up, so I carried on running and my goal today is to complete all six Abbott WMM.
Running got me through a really bad part of my life, and it has also introduced me to some amazing people. However, the bigger picture and my message is that I really want to show women who are going through the menopause that we don’t have to limit ourselves to what society thinks that we should be doing. A couple of years ago on my 58th birthday, I shared a picture of my Nana (as I called her) on her 58th birthday. It really stuck with me how we used to perceive people at that age. I really wanted to change the transition of people thinking that just because we are getting older means that we need to be knitting or gardening. I love being able to inspire people and encourage a positive outlook on ageing by showing women that it’s not just because we get to a certain age that we can’t wear what we want; a skinny pair of jeans or even run a marathon.
Running is always going to be the start of my next journey. It’s my passion and I want to continually challenge myself and test my boundaries, to show other people that this is what we can still be achieving during and after the menopause. Hopefully when I cross the finish line in Boston and complete all of my WMM, I’ll show all of the women around me who’ve had challenges, whether that’s with their health, relationships or menopause that they can come out the other side too!
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