08 03 2015
In honour of International Women’s Day, these are just some of the things I’d like my daughter, and all other little girls, to know about life:
- Always be yourself
People will try to label you and fit you into all sorts of boxes. Sometimes you will want nothing more than just to fit in and be like everyone else but to be truly happy, you must always listen to your heart and do what feels right for you, not what others say is right. Never start believing the labels people give you, for they will only limit you and make you unhappy. Continue to live with an open mind and an open heart and believe that everything is possible. Believe in magic, always have fun and never listen to people who tell you what you should and shouldn’t believe in because you are perfectly able to make up your own mind.
- Ignore all limitations and focus on opportunities
Because you are a girl, some people will tell you that your life will be hard. You can choose to believe that but I’d hope that you choose to see the world as full of possibilities; a world where you can do, be and get whatever you want if you choose to believe so. Be completely oblivious to the limitations you hear people talking about and just do what you want to do and believe that there are no limitations you can’t overcome. Ignore all the rules, have dessert before dinner and wear opaque tights in July; spend your savings on a round the world trip, not on a house deposit and take the job that makes you happy today, not the one that looks good on your CV in few years’ time. And remember that you know you’re doing something special that’s worth doing when people start saying things like ‘you can’t do that… but what about your career…, you’re too old….’
- Never get attached to material things
Material things are fun; you should always enjoy them and never feel guilty for having them. Life is short so shop ‘till you drop and have fun. However, if you need things to make you happy or if you think having things makes you in any way better than some people (or not having something makes you less worthy than others), life is always going to be hard, you’ll never have enough and you’ll certainly never be truly happy because – quite frankly – you’ll be a spoilt brat! You must find happiness inside, be truly grateful for everything you have, always give with an open heart and do not hold on to things. The more you give, the more you get and the less importance you place on material things, the more you’ll have.
- Your most important goal in life is to be happy
The goal in life is not to get a degree, not to get (what the society would call) a good job, not to get married, have kids or anything others will tell you, but to do what makes you happy. What is the point in life if you’re not happy? What is the point in working if it doesn’t make you happy?
Do not make sensible choices; never be realistic. Don’t study what people say is important or what leads to a good career, study what you are truly interested in and remember that formal education is totally overrated; your whole life is an education and the world around you is your best teacher, go explore it. And know that you can always change your mind, you can have many careers and it’s never too late to change directions.
- Never sacrifice your happiness for anyone
Because you’re a woman, you might be led to believe that you need to make sacrifices in relationships. There are times when you have to compromise but you should never ever sacrifice your happiness.
Always put your happiness first, if you don’t do it, no one else will. Never excuse a partner’s behaviour with ‘that’s just the way men are’ or any other nonsense you’ll hear countless women say almost daily. Know that you deserve better – every woman does – and you have every right to ask for it. Make no apologies for wanting to be treated with nothing but respect and always respect yourself enough to walk away from those who do not respect you, no matter who they are or how hard it is.
- Do not be a victim
There will be times when it is very tempting to blame others for your misery and become a victim of your circumstances. There is no situation that cannot be turned into a positive, no situation where you cannot claim your power back, take responsibility and change things, start again. To not be a victim means you sometimes have to make difficult decision. Never let fear stop you, embrace the difficult times and know that it is through these times that we grow stronger and after every struggle you reach a new level of happiness that you did not even know existed.
- Love yourself
Above everything else, you must always continue to love yourself totally unconditionally, like you do now. There will be times when you’ll find it hard to love yourself but always remember inside you’re still that little four year old girl who is so happy she skips everywhere, who looks in the mirror and declares ‘I look gorgeous’, who is proud of her big belly and loves to sing loudly. Never forget that little girl and never let anyone tell you you’re nothing less than perfect and worthy of all the love and good in the world. When you love yourself, unconditionally like a little child does, all the above will be much easier.
28 12 2014
Many people wonder why you need a ‘learn to run’ course and I guess I can see why you might think that if you’re a seasoned runner. Sometimes I wonder if there’d be a better term than a learn to run course for Running Made Easy because it is so much more. What people get out of it is not just fitness and learning how to run, in fact, that is not the most important outcome at all, they gain far more.
The majority of our participants are women who feel desperately unfit and unable to do any sports of exercise. They often feel that they are ‘bad’ at physical activities and might have tried many classes but failed to get fit. Many have also had some very negative experiences in various classes or activities. Most are absolutely petrified coming to their first class (but I guarantee they all leave feeling happy and good about themselves). Some of my private clients are so nervous coming to their first session with me that they actually get sick with nerves.
When I first started Run with Tina, I started with the idea of just getting people up and running, getting them to do their first 5k, kind of like the famous couch to 5k programme. This worked really well but quite soon I realized that there was so much more to this. People got SO much more out of it. My approach is different from traditional fitness classes. My main concern is that everyone feels good about themselves, absolutely everyone, must leave the class feeling good about themselves. This is the one thing I, or none of our instructors, would never ever compromise on.
I have joined various classes over the past few years but none come close to being as special as Run with Tina – a Running Made Easy participant‘
I noticed that because of this, through the 8 weeks that people spent with me, the transformation in them was so much bigger than just their fitness. Of course they got fitter in the process but the best thing was that they get more confident, happier, livelier, more positive… I could see they started walking taller, talking about more positive things, they’d get new jobs, dates, opportunities…. Previously stressed and insecure people started radiating happiness and confidence.
I originally wanted to do this course so that I would have a convenient way to lose weight and now I do, but what I never expected was how much it would seep into other areas of my life! I find myself more confident, more focused and definitely much calmer and happier than I was 8 weeks ago. – Heather
As I realised how this course could help people feel better about themselves in so many ways I developed some materials to support this (people get these through weekly emails, talks from their instructors or sometimes handouts). In 2015 it’s my mission to add to these materials as I really believe that this transformation, learning to be a bit happier with yourself, is the best thing you can get out of Running Made Easy, it is what makes our classes so popular and different to others and it is also what makes it easy for you to keep up your new lifestyle. I also believe that this is what women really need right now!
I have suffered from terrible anxiety for a long time. One the 19th August I began Running Made Easy Online. Today I had an MRI. I am terrified of MRIs. But thanks to my confidence that I have found through your programmes, I was able to go through with it. The work you do is fantastic. Not just for women’s physical health but for mental health as well. – Jo
This is why so many of our participants credit us for changing their lives (or starting them on that path) and why our courses are so popular. This is why I want to work hard to reach more and more women because knowing the difference my course makes in the lives of so many women is not only inspirational and motivating for me, but it also makes me feel like I have to keep on doing this, for those women.
Here’s to a good 2015 x
(you can find our 2015 schedule for classes in Dublin, London and online here)
09 10 2014
These are just some transformations I’ve observed in my Running Made Easy clients.
1. Strengthens your self-belief giving you courage to face other challenges.
If you’re like most people who don’t exercise, you are a bit scared of running, possibly terrified. You probably think you’d never be able to do it, it is scary. However, once you find the courage to take the first steps, get started, you will find that (with the right approach and support) you can do it – anyone can do it, there is no reason why you couldn’t do it – you’ll start realizing that many of your other fears are also unnecessary and you’ll be brave enough to face them, one small step at a time. You realise that you can achieve what ever you set your mind to!
2. Transforms your body
A lot of people want to start running in order to lose weight and yes, you will lose weight as long as you change your diet as well, but the true transformation is in how your body feels. Even if you don’t lose the weight, very soon after taking up running, your body will start feeling stronger, moving is becoming easier every day and you feel energized. There’s absolutely no better feeling that feeling strong, you’ll love it and you’ll love your new strong body, regardless of its size.
3. Improves your health
Exercise is essential for long term health and running is one of the best exercises for health, you only have to run a few times a week for 30 minutes (though you better start with a combo of walking and running) to get the benefits. Your risk of many serious diseases such as cancers, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis is lowered and your immune system will strengthen which means you won’t be catching colds as easily.
4. Improves your mental health
Running releases endorphins, which means it makes you feel happy! If you’re feeling down, there’s nothing better than a little run outdoors (it has been proven that running outdoors, or even just walking outdoors, is much more beneficial to your mental health than exercising indoors). Running is also a great way to release stress and even let go of anger or other negative feelings.
5. Changes your outlook in life
Runners tend be very positive people. Maybe it’s because of the above – running is a great way of letting off some steam. It is hard to feel nothing but positive after a run! When you first take up running, you will really notice the effect on your general outlook in life. I’ve seen many people go from being stressed and negative, perhaps feeling stuck, to more laid back, positive people who look forward to the future.
6. Changes your whole lifestyle
One of the greatest things I’ve noticed with my beginners is that running opens a door to a whole new lifestyle. People might come to me wanting to just start exercising, start running, but very soon they become naturally interested making other lifestyle changes too, such as eating healthier, sleeping better, learning to handle stress better, cutting back on your drinking etc. Their focus also tends to shift from being purely focused on weight loss, to being more interested in being healthy and feeling good.
7. Enriches your social life
Through running, you’ll meet new people and make new friends. You might not want to do that right now, but very soon you’ll realize that you’re not the only beginner, there are hundreds of people like you and it is great to connect, whether it’s through social media or in real life, and share experiences and support each others. Very soon, you might want to meet your friend for a run rather than a pint!
8. You will have new found respect for yourself
Once you reach that goal, or even when you find the courage to take the first steps, you will be so proud of yourself! You have achieved something you never thought was possible and you’ve done it all by yourself – no one else can get those miles in for you. Reaching your target means that you have put the work in, you have been consistent and you have prioritized yourself, made some time for yourself and for that reason, you will feel extremely proud of yourself.
Our next Running Made Easy Online starts Monday 13th October – get up and get running now, you won’t regret it! And you can do it, I promise!