Life Sparkles ✨

It’s been a while!

It must be 2014 since I last visited the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market. With no longer working in the city centre and being a full time carer for my parents, going out and about just didn’t happen. The market was cancelled last year due to Covid 19 and the various lockdown restrictions. Earlier in the month himself was able to take a break from his role as carer for his Mom and we went out and about. It felt like normal life and that in itself felt strange.

City Centre Vibes

I haven’t been to the city centre since June 2019 and it has changed a lot since then. There is a lot of construction taking place, some of which is in preparation of the Commonwealth Games taking place next year. The Christmas market is smaller than usual this year because of construction and also in order to limit numbers to try to prevent spread of Covid infection.

The garlic bread with cheese was huge, double the size that I remember from past years. Delicious! The Gulwein with amaretto shot tasted so good. Himself had his hot chocolate. The city was quiet, very quiet for a lunch time. Perhaps a lot of people are working remotely and also with our infection rates currently so high, people may be hesitant to venture into the city. We both felt a lack of atmosphere. Unusually warm for November it didn’t have that cold Winter feel. It was lunchtime so we didn’t experience the magic of the sparkling lights at night. However, we both felt that the reason for our lack of atmosphere wasn’t the market or the weather, it was because life has changed so drastically for us both since the last time we were there together. We enjoyed our trip out, it was lovely to spend some quality time together, to be out and about in our city but the magic of yesteryear was missing.

It was a lovely day out into the city. We talked about how the city was evolving and how our parents used to talk to us about what the city was like when they first moved here and the changes they had seen. It’s amazing the changes that have taken place in our lifetime and how something’s have actually reverted back to what was in place when our parents were younger. In Birmingham there are now trams and more tramlines being fitted in order to connect various city centre main areas. I remember my Dad laughing when I told him a few years ago about trams coming to the city and he told me that there were trams running through the city when he first arrived here and he seen the lines being taken up and main roads being laid in their place. So our cities evolve, change and yet history repeats itself in a modern form.

Nativity Scene

I was delighted to see the Nativity scene in a more prominent place. There were a few years, back when I worked in the city, that the nativity appeared to be pushed to the outside of the market area where not many people would pass by. That made me sad, after all it is Christ that is the reason for Christmas and whatever our beliefs, and for a multicultural, vibrant in differences city such as Birmingham, I don’t believe such an important aspect of Christmas should be pushed to the back of a bustling Christmas festival area. We should not be ashamed of our nativity scenes. Embracing each others cultures, backgrounds and festivals will only make us more connected and accepting of each other. And really that’s what it’s all about.

With love and sparkles xxx

The Music Sparkle ✨🎶

Recording Day

Here we go…

Well, recording day was supposed to have taken place last Monday but I had one of those weeks were I was not feeling 100%. Started off as a head cold which then became a bit of a fever with a sore throat. Monday morning, recording day, I could barely speak, never mind sing so I had to postpone and reschedule for today. Fingers crossed. As last week progressed, I had aches, then headaches, nauseous tummy and more headaches. Thankfully not all on the same day. I rarely get ill so I’m hoping that now it’s behind me, that’s it for a long time to come. I did my lateral flow tests every two days, always negative so definitely not Covid. I did wonder where I picked this up from as I really don’t go to many places or see many people and any people I had seen have not been ill in any way? Life is strange.

I was disappointed at first that I had had to reschedule my recording day. I have been working on the songs I was due to record for over a year and had been rehearsing singing them for weeks. Making sure the timing was spot on, checking how I wanted to sing the song, where to emphasise the drama, the hurt, the pain and the release. However, once I had made the decision that I just wasn’t able to sing and therefore would be unable to give the songs 100% the disappointment left me. Everything happens for a reason so I’m thinking that I must be due to sing better than ever when I get behind the microphone today.

I completed a few modules on the music tech course I’m doing. I also love researching law of attraction and law of abundance. There appears to be so much online to read about these spiritual laws and of course you have to be careful what you are reading and who has written it. I love people who are just glowing with energy and positive vibes when they are telling their stories. The ones who aren’t trying to sell you the impossible or sell you masterclasses. No, the ones who are speaking from the heart, telling their own story. I enjoy those a lot. I do believe that in a way I am manifesting my dream life in singing although I know that I am working very hard behind the scenes to make it happen, I am making it happen. I wonder too if somehow I manifested the strange week of various ailments but not actually fully coming down with a cold/flu/sinus infection. Did I talk myself into having a bad throat? I know the previous week I had often voiced ‘all I need is to get a cold now and I won’t be able to record’. Hmmm, I wonder.

But first, Coffee

Have a fabulous Monday and a wonderful week ahead.

With love and sparkles xxx

Travel Sparkles ✨

A Surprise Getaway

Time to board.

During a Houseparty video call my cousin said ‘Dawn, the flights are £9.99 each way, book and come out for a week’. So I did! I admit I was apprehensive about travelling even though restrictions had been lifted. I decided that if I didn’t go for it, I would keep putting it off and end up never going back out there. I completed the relevant forms, downloaded apps, booked flights and packed my cabin bag. I was ready for off.

Restrictions were in place at Birmingham Airport and people complied. All documentation was checked, I had a row to myself on the plane and mask wearing was mandatory. All documentation was checked at Arrecife, Lanzarote’s airport and the bus company had provided individual taxi’s rather than the usual mini bus to Costa Teguise. Oh how good it felt to feel the warmth of the Spanish September sunshine. We took so much for granted before the pandemic. We could choose to go away for a trip, research the trip, book and go. It’s a very different story now with the various rules and regulations and I felt very lucky to actually be in Lanzarote after such a long time.

It’s so lovely to wake up everyday to beautiful sunshine, to know there was nothing to do but relax, stroll, swim and enjoy the day. After the previous few months dealing with and healing from burnout, this week away arrived at just the right time.

We walked every day, we swam and I was so pleased with myself. I went from four lengths of the pool to fourteen. Although we had our treats, especially some delicious cocktails and ice creams, I didn’t gain any weight, what a result!!! I can only put it down to the exercise. So much easier to go out for a long walk in the sunshine than the cold and pouring rain. Note to self – must push myself to exercise more over the Winter.

Summer clothes were bought and worn. Lockdown weight gain had ensured my usual Summer wardrobe no longer fitted me (a definite note to self – fit into your clothes for next Summer). There was something so healing and gentle about having the week with my cousin in Lanzarote. Regular readers of my blog will know I love Spain and all things Spanish. I was so happy out there. There’s something very therapeutic about being away from home. I can’t worry or stress about anything because I’m not there to deal with it and that thought somehow completely relaxes me.

Back home and feeling empowered to follow my dreams. My cousin is wise and when I am caught up in my head with all the things I am doing, want to do, need to do, hope to do and yet nothing is getting done because of demands on time. Talking things through with her helped as she forced me to see the obvious way forward which I hadn’t been able to see as I was trying to do everything with no real organisation which isn’t really like me at all. Anyway, since the week away I am far more organised, I have implemented a more structured approach to my week and what I’m doing. No-one can make things happen but me. I am definitely emerging from the hard times and leaving some things and some people behind. Life evolves, time evolves, people evolve. We learn lessons and we teach lessons. Sometimes we need the break from the day to day to put life into perspective, take an outside view and move forwards.

Self belief is a must, whatever it is, we can do it. Take the first step and go for it.

With love and sparkles xxx

Life Sparkles ✨

Energy

My mental energy appears to be through the roof at the moment. It must be all the rest and sleep I have been getting. I have thoughts and ideas coming to me about my music, my blog, my website, the garden, you get the drift. It’s all very positive and I’m loving the flow of ideas. I’m writing things down in my many notes books (you’ll remember I wrote a post on my obsession with notebooks and lists). Messages I receive from people about my music page, or a motivational quote I have posted, increase the sparkle. I’ve been told that the motivational posts are infectious and give people a real lift in the mornings. I’m so happy about this, somehow if I have helped someone have a good start to the day, it feels great. I love motivational posts. I do have a fairly sarcastic humour at times so I’m always careful about what I post. I don’t want to upset anyone yet you have to be free to be yourself. Isn’t that what social media is about? Freedom of expression. I will post very different things on FB, Twitter and Instagram. They have very different audiences indeed. I get a lot more interaction on Instagram than anywhere else. I’ve even started learning how to use TikTok. It appears to be the place to be for singers and musicians. It’s all good, my brain is active and learning and I keep getting ideas, ideas and more ideas.

Ideas and more Ideas.

After the success of the three FB lives earlier this year, I appear to have lost my momentum and I have become a queen of procrastination. So I have all this mental energy, all these ideas and I make notes, research, investigate and yet I’m not making things happen. The confidence has taken a knock and I have no idea why. The burnout tiredness hasn’t helped in one way and yet in another, the peace, quietness and reflection has me now full of this wonderful energy. So why I am not putting things into action? I can’t answer that. I don’t know why I have this fear of putting myself out there again and singing out. There is nothing to stop me, I have the equipment, I have the backing tracks and song lyrics and I have a voice yet I’m finding excuses not to do it. I’m encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone, take the leap of faith and make it happen and here I am finding myself back on the edges of my comfort zone, not making it happen.

Woman on a Mission

My physical tiredness is at last starting to ease so I have absolutely no excuse for not getting things done with my music. I have my new laptop now and I can recommence the Women In Music Tech course and learn how to use Ableton so that I can eventually record, mix and release my own music. I’m working with my guitar tutor on four songs I have written with a view to recording them in October. I have songs already recorded that I can release when I sort out the music aggregation so you see, I have it all in hand. Yes, in hand but not out there. I need to take a huge piece of my own advice and just go with it.

Getting out of my own way.

Yes I need to get out of my way and make things happen, it’s down to me and I can do this!!!

With love and sparkles xxx

Life Sparkles ✨

Stepping Back

Well, it has been a total revelation to me, the amount of time I was spending messaging people, catching up with people, checking in with people, doorstep visits to people…you get the drift. I was spending a lot of time making sure other people were ok, how they were coping with various issues in their lives, did they need anything collected, the list goes on. I am a people person, I am happy to chat away, get to know people and help people if I can. The various lockdowns and restrictions have caused a lot of anxiety for people. We have all kept in touch virtually, thank God for the internet!! But until I was told by the Dr to take a step back from everything and look after myself, I had no idea exactly how much time everyday I was spending looking out for others and putting myself last.

You do you!

At first I felt very guilty stepping back but I was so tired out, it was all I could do to get up, shower and start my day. For someone usually so full of energy and on the go this was a tremendous change to the daily routine. I realised quickly that I didn’t need to check up on people daily, or even every other day, or even weekly. They were getting on very nicely without my input. Almost all of them have family members or other friends around them to call on. I have to be honest, some didn’t even notice I hadn’t been in touch. I had taken it upon myself to be there for friends, neighbours, friends of my parents and acquaintances and was happy to be there when needed. In the process I had worn myself out. Releasing myself from some contacts was difficult as I had become someone to let out all their woes to and no matter how hard I tried to turn a negative into a positive, they would turn it into a more negative conversation. I found this particularly draining but I did put myself first and step back from the situation. By trying to help some people, you actually end up adding to their issues as they keep talking about it and then you end up feeling awful too. It’s a fine balance I think between being there for someone and knowing when to step back so you are not drawn into their story. Lessons have been learned.

Be kind to yourself.

I also realised that some contacts weren’t happy with the reduction in contact not because they had anything wrong with them or needed help but because they no longer had access to me or what I was doing. Another revelation! People are nosey, who knew!!! I’ve always been a bit of an open book. My Dad often said to me that I didn’t need to tell certain people everything and not all those who pretend to be friends actually are friends. How right he was. I’ve always known this of course yet by stepping back to look after myself I was surprised that some contacts just wanted news. Honestly, I really don’t have that exciting a life…but I’m working on it!

Honour Yourself.

The huge positives of the stepping back is that I found I had lots of time to do me things. I caught up with housework which I know can be mundane but I actually enjoy it. Finding Mrs Hinch has been amazing for cleaning hacks. I caught up with outstanding administration which had been sat there awaiting action. I sat back and strummed my guitar and wrote some songs. I researched and ordered my new laptop for my music course so that I can download and learn how to use Ableton (Digital Audio Software) go me!! I got out in the garden when the weather allowed and pottered about out there. I was careful not to overload myself with a heavy ‘To Do’ list. If I was tired, I slept. I am so happy to report that apart from still being physically tired, mentally the stress, overwhelm and constant feeling of needing to do something, has gone. I feel so at peace, relaxed and open again. I have fully understood now how important it is to look after yourself especially as we get older. All the time I was spending on other things and other people was preventing me from doing what I wanted to do, because I just didn’t have time. This epiphany has been very welcome indeed. Life has changed so much in the past two years for me and yet it is only now that I am emerging and seeing my life as my life. It’s time for me to do what I want to do. I can still be there for people, help people and support people, I just need to remember to put my boundaries in place and look after me first. As the saying goes, you can’t pour from a empty cup.

Self Care Matters

With love and sparkles xxx

Life Sparkles ✨

Birthdays

A beautiful hot, sunny month of July, well mostly hot and sunny, and it was my birthday month and it feels like I celebrated my birthday for most of the month. Perhaps we have all gone a little celebration crazy after all the lockdown birthday’s of the past year or so. I have to say I am so lucky and so blessed that I have such lovely people around me who wanted to meet up, celebrate, talk, laugh, cry and generally re-connect. I have kept my social circle quite small especially as I am supporting himself with his Mom. I don’t want to take any risks with her health. I have my stock of lateral flow tests and anytime I see anyone, I take a test a few days later to protect anyone I may see as well as myself. So far so good, all negative.

Because of my extreme tiredness, all social dates were very well spaced out which is probably why I feel I was celebrating all month long. There was birthday cakes, prosecco, pizza, barbecue’s, prosecco, beautiful cards and gifts, more prosecco…you get the picture. It was just wonderful, all of it, absolutely wonderful and I loved every second and felt very loved by everyone involved in giving me such a fabulous birthday. I am so grateful and blessed, the sparkle was in full sparkle mode.

These are just a few photo’s of my celebrations on various days. The birthday, in the pink manicure, the beautiful blue skies and sunset. Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of my five cousins who spoiled me so much as they aren’t on social media at all so I haven’t posted my snaps with them. I probably do enough social media for all of them!

Needless to say, additional weight was gained during this glorious month of celebration and I enjoyed every single mouthful. My clothes are bursting at the seams post lockdown and birthday so time to get my act together regarding goodies and exercise and let’s get this sparkle show back on the road again.

Here we go again!

With love and sparkles xxx

Life Sparkles ✨

Burnout

The weekend after our quick trip to Broad Haven I was tired. This was no normal tiredness, it was completely debilitating tiredness. Having a shower meant sitting down afterwards for at least twenty minutes to get some energy back. This was unknown tiredness for me. Only five days earlier I had been uphill and down dale on a very long coastal walk. Weeks earlier I was out every other day for a thirty minute run. Now a shower was wearing me out? This tiredness continued into the following week along with irritation with music. MUSIC!!!! Music was irritating me!!! I had little or no interest in anything, I didn’t even go online – a sure sign I wasn’t right if I hadn’t made a trip to Instagram! I was that tired I couldn’t travel to himself to support him in looking after his Mom. This was tiredness on a whole other level.

The world kept turning and I got off for a while.

After a week I spoke with the lovely Doctor who had looked after my parents, he knew me well and it meant I didn’t have to tell my history as he already knew it. He arranged for a whole raft of blood tests as it has been quite some years since I had been to see a Dr. I explained that my Vitiligo appeared to have increased significantly. I had been told I was very pale when in fact it was the Vitiligo spreading on my face. All blood tests were fine which is great. So what was causing this tiredness? The Dr felt burnout was to blame. The double trauma of losing both parents so close together and having to re-start life, to then have lockdown’s and to commence caring for someone else would, he felt, take it’s toll mentally and physically. Alongside this I am trying to get my music career going, support a number of other people with various issues they are suffering, doorstep visits to people who needed support, plus the day to day house and garden maintenance and trying to keep up with phone calls, emails and messages. I was overwhelmed with everything, I was getting nothing done for myself and my body had spoken. Enough was enough.

You don’t have to do everything.

So, the plan of action is to slow right down and concentrate on priorities. As the Dr said, real life happens and we have to keep going up to a point. I put himself, his Mom and me and my work as the priorities and everything else can wait. I have slowed right down on everything else. We find it so hard to say no don’t we? As things are opening up I had more and more people asking for lunch dates, coffee dates, call in for a drink. I’m very lucky to be blessed with so many people who want to see me but I’m not ready to return to what used to be. The last eighteen months has been a revaluation of life, not just for me I know, it has affected all of us. I have rarely put myself first and maybe it is time I did. I found that I was spending so much time on other things I wasn’t getting the things done that I really needed to and that was overwhelming me. This has been hard for me as I am always so full of energy and on the go. I haven’t experienced debilitating tiredness like this since 2019 and the loss of my parents. The difference this time is that I go to bed and sleep almost immediately and straight through until morning and wake up shattered.

Let it go…

Taking time out for me has been a revelation. I caught up on outstanding admin and emails – oh what a feeling! I started to do a few tasks within the house and garden and that felt good, as you know I love getting out in the garden. It was my birthday in July and I had some lovely celebrations with my cousins and close friends (post to follow). I have listened to podcasts, read my book, had a manicure, made some headway in my songwriting and planning my business. I feel in control of me again and that feels so good. I am no longer overwhelmed and I am learning to put me first for a change. Himself said to me recently that it’s my time and I have to use it for what I want to do and not what anyone else wants or expects me to do. That resonated with me. I spent so many years not thinking of me at all, or doing anything that I wanted to do because I was a full time carer, I’m just not used to putting me first. I have no regrets at being a carer, I am at peace that I did everything I could. Now is my time. I don’t know how much time I have so perhaps I will be kinder to myself from now on.

Resetting my boundaries.

Taking things slower is helping. I’m still tired but nothing like I was a month ago. There are things I can do to help my body repair. Healthy diet, build up my exercise again, listen to my body and not push myself, rest when I need to. I’m thinking of documenting my journey back to full energy as it may help somebody going through a similar thing. I know from various messages I received that my blog posts as a carer helped. It helps me to write it down too and in a way, as I have lockdown weight and more to get rid of, makes me accountable too. Life can be tough and we are very hard on ourselves. We can’t fix everyone, we can’t support everyone, we can’t be there for everyone but we must be there for ourself. We can’t help anyone unless we are replenishing our own soul.

Rest Yourself.

With love and sparkles xxx

Travel Sparkles ✨

A Quick Trip

We had booked to go to Ibiza last Summer. I love that beautiful White isle. Like everyone else on the planet, plans were rescheduled due to lockdown. We re-booked for June of this year and once again with all the uncertainty surrounding international travel, PCR tests, quarantining etc, the holiday has been rescheduled to June 2022. Fingers crossed. Here I would like to thank TUI for their flexibility, speed of access to speak to someone to rearrange holidays and also for their communication throughout the pandemic so far. Regular updates were received with details of government guidelines, foreign regulations and what to do if you had a holiday booked with them. Well done TUI.

Anyway, we were lucky enough to be offered a little cottage in Broad Haven, Pembrokeshire in Wales for a few days. As himself had cover for that period to look after his Mom anyway, we decided to drive down for quick trip. I was very excited. It’s a long time since I packed up a car and set off for a holiday. We were up and on the road by 6:45 am and although it’s a four hour drive from Birmingham, it was a pleasant trip, no holds ups!!

Broad Haven is a small seaside resort with a huge, beautiful sandy beach. There are a couple of pubs/restaurants, a supermarket and one or two beach shops and that’s about it. It’s a busy little resort, plenty of room and we found everywhere to be covid secure following all the various guidelines in place.

We visited St David’s which is the smallest city in the UK. There are a lot of small independent shops and fresh food delicatessens alongside some of the more usual high street shops but no large stores. The Bench had been recommended to us for ice cream and we weren’t disappointed. Two scoops of home made deliciousness the size of your head. We didn’t need lunch that day! St David’s Cathedral was wonderful. I love to wander around reading about the history of a place, everywhere has a story.

The following day the weather was amazing. Blue sky, slight breeze and not too hot so we looked at the map and decided to walk the coastal path to Newgale Beach and back. It’s been a very long time since either of us done any walking like this, I’d say at least six, perhaps seven years. Walking boots were on and away we went. I was so proud of myself. I’m usually huffing and puffing on the uphill climbs and whereas yes, himself would have to wait for me at the top, I definitely wasn’t as slow as I have been in the past. I put this down to the Lucy Wyndham-Read workouts and that I was going out running for thirty minutes every other day.

The above is Broad Haven beach as we were leaving for the walk, the coastal path and a view back to Broad Haven. It felt so good to be by the sea.

As all good coastal paths do, there was a lot of uphill and down dell. This path is extremely well maintained, well signposted, clean and tidy and no very close to the edge paths. In some areas they have had to change the path a little due to erosion and it’s a popular path, we met quite a few people of varying abilities strolling along.

Newgale beach is beautiful, another pure sand large beach. However it was a lot further away than we thought it was. So after another huge ice cream for lunch at 4pm and a half hour rest we commenced the walk back. To say I was tired was an understatement. By the time we reached Broad Haven I ached all over and couldn’t even speak. Imagine that, me not able to chat!!! It was however a fabulous day walking. My phone thought I had climbed 98 flights of stairs and calculated we had walked 18 miles. We think going by the maps and google, it was more like 13 miles, but even so, that’s good going especially for me. We started the walk at 11.10 am and staggered back to Broad Haven close to 8.30 pm. Himself had a very quiet evening…

The day following the mega walk we were homeward bound and another four hours in the car probably wasn’t the best for aching legs. I was barely able to walk the day after we got home. It was a lovely break away from the routine though, so good to discover an area we’ve not visited and have good food, fresh air and the sea breeze. Something I’ve not done for a very long time is Trip Advisor reviews, neither has anyone else I expect. So I will review the various places we visited for meals and yes of course I have pictures.

A couple of sunset pictures from the night we arrived in Broad Haven and also the Prince of Wales Bridge which we crossed on our travels. It’s very impressive.

With love and sparkles xxx

Life Sparkles ✨

Comfort and Perspective

Is it just me or does anyone else find themselves changing as they get older? I don’t mean in looks or body shape but in what makes you comfortable. I have discovered that I see things from a different perspective and I’m not sure if that’s a new me breaking through with the value of life experience or if this is part of the old me breaking through once more. Perhaps it is a little of both. As my caring journey unfolded it was very much that I didn’t really exist as the priority was my parents. My life was completely on hold and I have no issue with that at all. It was a requirement of the role I was carrying out in looking after them. It’s taking a little time and now I feel bits of the old me coming back and also the lessons that life has taught and continues to teach me as my life progresses.

I think too that the various lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic has also changed my perspective on life and perhaps this too is because the pandemic arrived quite quickly after my parents passed away so it was a continuous transition. I’ve written in earlier blog posts that I found the lockdown healing and therapeutic and I know that I am very lucky in that as for a lot of people the lockdown was soul destroying, isolating and disruptive to their lives. Maybe because I hadn’t been out of the house very much during the caring years, I was used to a type of home lockdown and I was able to adapt better than a lot of people.

This past two years for me has been a period of ongoing evaluation. It’s very difficult when life changes suddenly and life as you knew it just stops. I know that I found my strength and independence from within. I realised that I had been taught to be that way by my parents and family. It’s now that I feel I am emerging and although I am the same I’m also very different. I know that doesn’t make sense and yet it does. My core values remain the same; honesty, trust, love, truth, kindness and laughter. I also realise that I need to be a little more selfish with my time. This is now my time. I have no real commitments a I did before so it’s down to me to make my choices and spend my time wisely. None of us know how long we have here.

Love this.

I have stepped away from toxic and negative people so that I have peace in my life. Social media has been wonderful for connecting me to some wonderful people. Authors, musicians, poets, dancers, artists and beautiful, kind hearted, warm kindred spirits. People who support you, who you support and cheer on. Deep conversations are held as are lighthearted chats about shows on TV or Netflix. It’s all good and it’s all happy. There is no pressure, no arguments, just pleasure.

People make life beautiful.

I spend time with himself and help to care of his Mom. I see my cousins and a couple of very close friends and I’m happy with that. My perspective as the social butterfly that I was pre carer role has completely changed and I’m comfortable with that. Maybe because I am getting older and have experienced various life lessons, I truly understand about the little things meaning so much. I know that this is my time to push my comfort zone, work hard and follow my passion. I am comfortable with that thought even though somedays it’s scares me so much. I know deep down I will love it.

Exactly!

Be comfortable in your life but keep pushing that comfort zone to experience all you can. Look at things from a different perspective, you just don’t know what you may find. Life is for living so make sure you live every single day. Be a little selfish with your time and do what sets your soul on fire.

With love and sparkles xxx

Life Sparkles ✨

Running, Again

Yes and once again, the mood attacked me to start running again. You may remember I shocked everyone who knew me, none more so than my parents and himself, that I completed Couch to 5K (C25K) in 2016 and also completed the 5K Race for Life for Cancer Research in a very respectable 38 minutes and then I didn’t run again. Until last year. As lockdown descended three of my cousins and myself started C25K, completed it and then continued to go running until around September when the weather really changed. We are fair-weather runners.

During the Winter I kept fit by going for walks and working out with Lucy Wyndham Read https://www.lwrfitness.com/ Great workouts, all abilities and various lengths of workouts. I really enjoy doing my Lucy’s. This year I decided once again to download the C25K app and get running. The thought of the longer runs filled me with dread. Positive thinking I thought, you’ve done this before, you can do it again. The positive thought was also the negative one, I was going to have to do the long runs again. I have to say though, I felt stronger and fitter this year working my way through the nine weeks and was just delighted with myself that I completed the training.

Like a complete beetroot when I get home after the thirty minutes, I ache and I feel great for getting out there and doing it. Like walking, your mind wanders, your thought process is clear, solutions to issues are mulled over and for me, thoughts on what I want to do and what I need to do to manifest my life and my dreams. Most times I was up and out in the morning for the training and now the runs. It’s quieter and I can feel a tad self conscious as I’m not fast at all, just steady. A few times I went out mid evening once the rush hour had passed. On a beautiful evening or an early morning, the sheer exhilaration that I’m out running, getting fitter and helping my body just feels so good.

I used the NHS C25K app https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/get-running-with-couch-to-5k/ and I’m now using the NHS C25K Stepping Stones podcast https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/couch-to-5k-plus-running-podcasts/ which is for graduates of the C25K training plan. You do need to build up week by week and not go straight to the longer runs or you do run the risk of hurting yourself. I’m hoping that I can keep the running up this time. I have a love/hate relationship with running. I hate getting out of the door to do it and love it when I’m in my stride and that feel good factor when in return.

In other news, I did the shopping…well there was a special offer at the supermarket and you know all those memes we see that say “I run because I love chocolate, pizza and wine”, yep, that’s me.

With love and sparkles xxx