I'm a mum of two daughters, (15 yo and 8 yo), both amazing young ladies but in their awesomeness comes the challenges as they work out who they are and fight against their mum, who is of course the most old-fashioned and boring mum that ever was born. The age of 15 for a girl these days is very different to those I faced (in the olden days and in black and white according to my youngest) and I do struggle to understand the importance of 'on fleek' eyebrows (look at me I'm down with the kids) and why it costs extra to buy jeans with holes in the knees. And for my youngest I am beyond caring why I need to know the different evolving stages of a Pokemon and mega-evolving Pokemon.
In addition to the grey-hair inducing arguments (who would win a battle between a Jiggly Puff and Iron Man?) I have a full time job. I am very lucky to have flexible working so can flex my hours but it's still full time and I usually end up working a bit more, and often additional travel is needed.
In addition I do all the cooking in the house and sadly lacking amounts of housework.
That is my back story that brought me to here and to show to anyone reading this I am a real person. Life isn't always smiley pictures in the paper and looking ecstatic. In fact before this story started I have to admit that I was lost a little. I knew I was lucky. I loved my life, I loved my kids and felt proud every day when I looked at them, I knew I was great at my job, I loved my husband more than I did when I met him. But I had lost me. Somewhere along the way I felt the fierce, argumentative red-head who followed her passions and dreams had been lost. If I thought back I couldn't have told you the last time I felt proud of me, of something that I had achieved for me.
Ironically this whole journey didn't even start for me. A glimmer of the fiery person I once was appeared when I found out my step-mum of 32 years had been diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer. I had to do something. I had to fight. She had to fight the cancer but I had to do something alongside her fight for good.
Believe me when you haven't really exercised for 18 years and hate what you see in the mirror and even climbing the stairs is a challenge, you know doing the Race for Life is going to be a tough journey. But in some way that pain made me feel I was alongside her in her treatment.
Cut a long story short, I did the race - it was the muddy one with extra mud thrown in for good measure! I found running and I found Parkrun - I'll tell you more about that bit some other time. But what I did find was pride. Pride in me that I had said I would do something and I did it. And the more I did the more I wanted to do.
Now don't get me wrong the reflection in the mirror isn't massively different, weight isn't dropping off me like some American Big Loser programme, but despite the reflection not looking different, how I see her is different - I look at her and I see pride. I see achievement. I see me. I see that fire and fight and I know I have found me again.
And the best bit of all? I get to share it with other people and hopefully go someway to show that even a small change can have giant ripple effects on your life.
I love sharing my story and my journey of transformation throughout 2017. Thanks for reading.