Getting to know….Mandy Morgan
I was never sporty at school, preferring to avoid PE whenever possible, shouting from the sidelines at Sports Day (wearing the tie of your favourite boy of course, or if you were lucky, your boyfriend)! The closest I ever came to being part of a school sports team was handing out the oranges at the half time!
When I was in my 20s I started Aerobics, Step, all the usual classes, then I got into tennis and at one time swimming daily. However I always fancied being a ‘runner’ and so during my 30s tried various ways to get started, on my own, with a trainer but with no success! It was a lot harder than it looked and so boring!!
Then about 12 years ago a friend suggested that I went along to their club SE Fitness one Wednesday morning. Twelve years ago there were no beginners groups or C25K to help you begin slowly and build your confidence and stamina. Instead my first run was a warm 4 miler with Sally Ellis! I could barely breathe. My lungs felt like they would burst, my legs were screaming at me and Sally’s words of encouragement were ringing in my ear, “If you talked less you could run faster!”
But I loved it and left determined to get better. I began to attend 2 and then 3 sessions a week (the third session was the one that really helped me improve). The thing I loved was the constant chatter from the leader distracting me from my aches and pains. Eventually I achieved my goal. I was a runner an best of all a runner who could run and talk!!
In fact I was so enthusiastic I persuaded my daughters Jess and Beth to join and they are both leaders now too. They also share my love of chatting!
This talent was spotted by Sally and I was asked if I’d like to become a leader myself. I jumped at the chance. I loved the idea of helping other runners, either achieve their goal or just to enjoy their run and natter!
I have continued to do this with various groups for the past 10 years of predominately injury free running ….until last October. As those who know me and run with me will know (sorry I’ve become an injury bore) my running has been sporadic and curtailed by an unexplained injury that has left me angry, sad, having FOMO, not to mention gaining weight 🙁 .
I have often felt disheartened but Helyn has been supportive and kept reminding me that it’s possible to rekindle my stamina and find my mojo once again.
With this in mind I have decided when I return from holiday with rested legs I am going to lead Couch to 5K. I want to help others build their strength and use the group as a tool to rebuild my own strength and confidence too. I know first hand how frustrating and daunting it can be to start anew or to start again for many ‘lapsed’ runners and this can put you off returning to SE Fitness. I would love it, if anyone reading my story who is in this position, please come along to one of our C25K sessions and let’s help each other find our mojo and fall in love with running all over again!
I may have lost some strength in my legs but my jaw works just fine so I can still provide plenty of chat to keep us going!
Note: C25K starts Monday 2nd September. Mandy will be leading our Saturday morning Couch to 5K group at 9.00am. Other C25K session times are:
- Mondays 9.30 and 18.30
- Wednesdays 9.30 and 18.30
- Fridays 9.30
- Saturdays 9.00