Hows it going? I don’t know about you but 3 days of summery weather on the weekend and quite frankly I’m digging out the flip flops and have pretty much convinced myself that summer is HERE!
I love, love, LOVE this time of year. A couple of days here and there with the sun on your skin, some much needed vitamin D, a few freckles start to appear and suddenly all those memories of summer creep back in, getting me all excited for events work, light evenings exploring the mountains and being outdoors as much as physically possible!
Yes, its now pissing it down (again) and there’ll probably be snow on the Moelwyns in April, but a girl can dream.
Aaanyway, following on from February’s inspirational blog I decided to head a bit closer to home for March’s edition (before the month went and ran away with me) – and seeing as it was Mother’s Day on Sunday, I decided to go with my very own motivational mother.
This year she’s going to be turning 70 years old (don’t worry, I asked permission to reveal the number!) and she never stops being a huge motivation to me. People ALWAYS comment on how young she looks and I think part of that is because of how young she feels – in the last few years she’s cycled 100km through the night to raise money for charity, discovered mountain biking, climbed up waterfalls and crawled through underground caves, skied down the hill AFTER breaking her pelvis (OUCH!) and then gone on to get back on the skis the next year without batting an eyelid.
So, what does keeping fit look like when you’re 69?
Cycling when possible, lots of gardening…walking into the village and doing my little exercises for aches and pains that you gave me (Cerys: Correct answer!)
A few years ago I did a 100km bike ride around London at night in the dark to raise money for Women vs Cancer – I got involved with it through Slimming World actually. One of the women there decided to do it and she coaxed some of the rest of us into it. 3 of us from SW did it in the end. I like cycling and I thought, well it’s going to be mostly flat, not a lot of hills down there, so I thought it would be quite a nice challenge…and it was exciting really doing it at night!
Growing up in Edinburgh, what was your relationship like with sport?
Primary school age we were just out in the street the whole time, skipping, playing hide & seek, running…lots of natural exercise really. At secondary school I did lots of walking with my best friend who lived outside of Edinburgh in the countryside; horse riding and a lot of swimming – galas and things. I used to swim at Portobello open air pool – Sean Connery was a life guard and I remember my Dad expecting me to remember when him and me were told off for having a glass bottle in the pool by Sean Connery…I was only 4!
But at school I could have learnt to ski. A lot of the school went skiing with us being up in Scotland, but my best friend Vicki and I just did our own thing really. There were opportunities, but I wasn’t interested. We just liked to be out in the countryside walking.
And at the moment how are you feeling about your health & fitness?
I don’t think I’m at my fittest (having just come back from holiday!) At my age you can’t expect to be 100%. You have aches and pains. In my 20s because I was active and walking a lot, I think we weren’t really bothered about eating so much. But as you get older, you have a family and put on weight, but then I lost 2 stone with Slimming World about 4 years ago and certainly feel better and healthier
What kind of sports do you get excited about now then?
Skiing. When I worked in civil service in Edinburgh one of the guys there was a leader in the Boys Brigade and had skiing qualifications so he got a group of us to go up to Hill End, the dry ski slope in Edinburgh. A group of us started going in the evenings learning to ski and I stuck with it. I’ve always loved the winter & the snow.
But then you can’t do that all year round. I do like cycling. About 5 or 6 years ago, I tried mountain biking for the first time. Loved it. It was hard work cycling up the hills but I really liked it- I wasn’t scared of trying it, but found it was a bit scary on the bumpy bits and going round tight corners – it’s completely foreign to me.
When it comes to your eating, you’ve been going to Slimming World for a while now. How has that benefited your lifestyle?
They teach you better habits regarding food – how to eat sensibly. It’s not a diet; it’s a way of living really. And losing weight and being slimmer is a fantastic feeling. There’s nothing worse than feeling like I’m feeling now cos I’ve just been on holiday – really bloated you know and if you feel better about yourself then you’re more inclined to get out and do some exercise – it’s a cycle. It’s a really good class that I go to. You make friends and have a bit of fun and you learn from each other as well.
But everybody’s the same – if you feel like eating a box of chocolates you do it and feel rubbish afterwards and its right back on the plan tomorrow!
Any advice for people really struggling with their weight and fitness?
Personally, I think it is a good idea to join a class but you have to have the right attitude. You have to look at it not as a diet like you’re going to do this for 6 months and lose a couple of stone then go back to old habits… Join a class, one you’re happy with and can enjoy, go every week and stay in the class cos that’s when you get encouraged to carry on. It’s really important to stay and listen to other people. Cos sometimes I’ve gone and I’ve had a bad week and even if you put on weight you sit there and you listen to other people and you think ‘Yeh we’re all in the same boat, we’ve all got problems’, and you come out thinking ‘Im back on it’. It’s about making little habit changes.
And has anything set you back as you’ve aged?
I broke my pelvis. (Cue cursing about ‘that stupid woman’ who skied into her) That set me back at the time and I had to do nothing for 6 weeks. I had a bone scan and they discovered I’ve got Osteopenia which can be reversed so I’ve tablets and things for that. But it didn’t put me off skiing cos I went skiing the next yea,r didn’t I? It didn’t put me off. Aches and pains do make you feel old really, but nothing you can do about it. Its better than the alternative!
I’d say to anyone that thinks they’re too old, that it’s just a state of mind isn’t it, age? It’s just a number. Have a go, whatever age you are. You’re never too old.
So there you are – you’re never too old. Wise words. And they must be true cos my mum said it, and mums never lie…!