Heidi PriebeA lot of Thought Catalog articles have spoken to me over the years, but the first Thought Catalog author I ever became truly hooked on was Ryan O’Connell. In the early days of TC, I admired Ryan’s work because it was honest and funny and able to expose these incredibly deep truths about life…

via I’m 25 Years Old And I Think I’m Finally Learning How To Be Happy — Thought Catalog

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In the last 6 months I’ve tried to gear my self up to start running again. In some cases not bothered at all. And then one Saturday morning I didn’t have to start work until 11am and decided to try my local parkrun. I do try run in this park but I know the hills and give up quite quickly. Leeds has some amazing parks but it also has lots of hills in places. My local park being one of them. So when I decided to take on this run, I aimed just to finish it. I did by doing some running then walking and running again, encouraging others on the hills to keep going. My first one at this park was the first of this year and I surprised myself when I completed it in a time of 36 mins 21 seconds. Now my quickest time at Roundhay and my first was 34 mins 48 seconds. So anything below 40 mins is a bonus for me.

Then last week The last one of my 36th year I completed my local parkrun this time in 35 mins 47 seconds. Now this one will hold a place in my heart. Simply because I was allowed to help set up, and because of the wonderful people who volunteer to allow others to exercise. Parkrun is run by volunteers. I do it and I love seeing others achieve milestones however big or small. Plus you’re always welcome. This time though apart from helping set up, I struggled on the second to last lap and as I reached the hill jogging a man on the corner shouted ‘come on you’re doing well, you’ve got some power there!’. Now that’s stuck with me and when I did complete everyone was saying well done. That’s the thing with Parkrun, it’s like a big family and everyone is so happy to see everyone else achieve something.

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Today I ran the 5k at the top of Leeds, where for me it all started. Mainly because of a friend and because it was a good place to catch up with her. I started in 2014 just taking photos then it lead to marshalling and finish tokens. Such a privilege. So I wanted to see it from the other side. I held at the back to go steady, managed 3/4 of the first lap before I had to walk then kept trying to push myself, which probably was a bad idea.

Again I saw some amazing people do some wonderful things. People of all ages, size, abilities giving it their all to do a 5k on a soggy Saturday morning.  When I got to the second off last lap it felt like a zombie film, the fog was descending and I was waiting for someone to pop out of the trees at some point it was that spooky. On the start of my last lap I got past the finish line and then started walking again for two fast runners to come out of no where and start shouting ‘come on you can do it, last bit’ and I just replied ‘I can’t it’s to hard’. So they egged me on to start jogging. This I found to hard so both guys told me to slow it down even further and keep moving. They then went off to find others to motivate them. I carried on until I found I hit a hilly bit and stopped again until I got to the corner and slowly jogged in. Boy did it hurt. But I can’t thank everyone enough for their help and support.

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We live in such a busy world these days and yet a simple thing as using our feet, brings so many people together. After Parkrun everyone meets in a local cafe to catch up and sort tokens. It’s such a lovely atmosphere. I happened to stand up and look around and just saw so much warmth. A lovely lady started talking to me, she told me she was 77 and said her husband told her to come down this morning even though she didn’t feel like it. I told her she did the right thing. the best place if you’re not feeling grand is surrounded by loving people. I told her it does me the world of good and it doesn’t matter what time you get as long as she’s doing it. She thanked me for this and then went off to chat to some others.

So you see, some things don’t have to cost the earth to make us feel better. We just need to get out and give something a try, however much we don’t feel like doing something. I must remember that on Tuesday when I want to sleep in instead of trying a run in the park.

Thank you for reading

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xxx

200 parkruns and counting

Try something new on a Saturday morning. You can meet some amazing people

StripeyAnne's Blog

200parkrun parkrun #200 for me, #50 for my mate Jill (on the ground, recovering) 

There’s a little piece of a Leeds park that has a little piece of me. Well when I say of me, I mean a few millimetres of rubber from my running shoes, along with a bit of scraped skin and quite a lot of my heart.

It’s just under five years ago that I trotted along to Hyde Park, that’s the Green Lungs of Leeds park, not the London pretender of the same name, and joined 270 others who had got out of bed on a Saturday morning to run the 5km parkrun.

What madness was this? Running around a park at the start of the weekend in the cold and wet, with a bunch of strangers when I could be reading the Guardian, drinking coffee and chewing on croissants? Noel was away and I…

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Feeling lucky -random thoughts

This popped up on Facebook Memories. It made me cry. I didn’t realise how scary things were over a year ago. I’ve still got the vision board, but now I’ve got a diary and I write down what I’m grateful for each day. There’s still loads I want to do and like in 2015 and 2016, if help is needed I will ask.

Hello from me to you

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Get on up When you’re down, baby,
Take a good look around.
I know it’s not much, But it’s okay.
We’ll Keep on movin’ on anyway

-Keep on movin’ -Five

2015 was an interesting year. It turns out that I wasn’t going crazy like I first thought. Turns out I have a vitamin D deficiency i.e. lack of sunlight. That topped with what felt like on/off depression and stress in a busy time of work had made me react/feel un-human/zombie is the only way I can describe it, not normal. After someone mentioned it after my memory did get worse, I went to the Doctor and had a blood test. Turns out he was testing for all sorts of things and thank fully I’m not diabetic or any other serious condition, I just don’t get enough sun. I now have a 3 month course of vitamin d supplements to take…

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Top 5 running bits of 2016

and here’s my inspiration. If it wasn’t for this lovely lady I wouldn’t have found the magic of parkrun

LOTS MORE PLEASE!

2016 has been a great year of running, with a number of firsts for me. It used to always be about getting faster and bashing out the same events, but this year has been much more varied. I’ve done 2 trail half marathons, which I’ve decided I like because no-one expects you to run up a steep, woody incline when it’s been raining for 3 days and nobody cares if you’re 20 minutes slower than your last race. I’ve spent more Summer Sunday mornings running in the woods (or walking if we’re lost) with mates, then finding a cafe for enormous cake, and not giving a crap how far we’ve gone. And thanks to training for a marathon, I’ve done more adventurous long distances, only to find I can’t go anywhere without seeing at least 3 runners I know.

However, here’s my top 5 running moments of 2016, inspired by

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Run Helen Run: 2017

Well, I did it. I managed to kick myself out the house and do about 24 minutes of exercise. I decided yesterday, today would be the day I would start getting back into running. I sat and planned the days I would run and then I downloaded an app. It was couch to 5k. What I didn’t realise was that it was actually a podcast and it had the voice of Jo Whiley instructing you on how long to walk for and how long to run for. She has such a soothing voice. So I went to the local park and started walking. I did a five minute brisk walk and then 60 seconds run, this alternated between that and 90 seconds break with a brisk walk. In total I did 8 minutes running and also got to take in some amazing views. The sun was creating some amazing affects through the trees

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The one thing I forgot about the park was that its on a giant slope. So when it came to a few of the runs it was on the incline. But someone how I talked myself into going slow and somehow got to the top. Yes it was cold, and I forgot my knee support, again and yes I perhaps should have wrapped up a bit better but I enjoyed it. I can’t wait to do the next session. perhaps join in a few parkruns, but we shall see. It’s a start.

me

I’m also trying to follow the lead of others and charging myself everytime I’m out. I was thinking 50p for every 20 minutes. I do so much emotional spending on silly things when really if I tried doing this I get time to think and time to try work things out. I could save loads of money and put it towards the running events or new running gear. However it maybe a few IOU’s to start with but we’ll see how we go, but if next time I fancy a pasty or junk food I will try to think twice and put the money in the jar.

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Amazing what you can do with a jar from IKEA and some sharpie pens

If anyone has any tips please let me know.

Thank you for reading.

xxx

The Keys To Success: Letting Go Of Fear

Lauryn Nwaeze

Lesson 1: Letting Go Of Fear

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Welcome back! This is the first lesson of my “The Keys To Success” series. The blog was created to encourage people to address and solve the issues in their lives that are affecting their well-being mentally, emotionally and spiritually, in order to walk into 2017 with a renewed confidence and perspective by sharing the lessons I have learnt over the past few years. Lessons which I believe we should all take before achieving our success this New Year.

I think that when rebuilding your core foundations from the ground up you have to really dig deep and face what you’re dealing with internally. I decided that “Letting Go Of Fear” should be the first lesson I address in this series as I believe that fear definitely plays a monumental role in the destruction of a person’s self esteem and prosperity in life.

As mentioned…

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What I have learnt through running every(ish) day of Advent

Sally Xerri-Brooks

15698077_10154178862241762_7681385810596230776_nAt the end of November I read a fantastic article in the rather fabulous Standard Issue by Sophie Scott, a woman who started ‘Advent running’ on 1st December a few years back – at least a mile a day – and never stopped. What struck me was her ordinariness. She wasn’t one of those lycra-clad serious running types (apologies if you’re one of those…) she was like me!

So, on 1st December I set myself a challenge to run 26.2 miles during December. I am *not* a sportswoman by any stretch of the imagination. This, for me, was a genuine challenge.

Here is what I learnt through the 16 runs and 26.4 miles I ran:

1. The pain the day after the first run was surprisingly bad. I had some Reiki that day, and the practitioner asked where it hurt. I responded: “everywhere”.

2. After the third day, the pain…

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And that’s it for another year

Unless of course like me you still have family to visit in the next few days or if you’re a fan of Santa Claus the Movie like me, you’ll know of the the little joke of Christmas two

B.Z.: A sequel. That’s it. We’ll bring it out on March 25, and we’ll call it… Christmas 2! 

Only kidding!

So 2016 is drawing to a close. Everything we bought as presents will now be half price and everyone will go mad in the sales tomorrow and buy more stuff. (bah humbug) That won’t be me. For the first time in 17 years of working I will be working myself tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to it to. Mainly because this is the first Christmas where I haven’t been so tired to enjoy it because of the mad rush of retail. It’s a different sort of knackered, partly from being drunk and then walking over 8 miles today and that doesn’t include the hour of so running round like a loon with a beagle in front.

It’s funny how things work out. I was thinking that, this morning I would catch up on sleep and rest before I went to my friend’s for my Christmas Dinner. But yesterday lead to a different chain of events. Starting with unexpectedly being able to buy some cider from a post office and taking them home and getting drunk really quickly and then sending everyone messages.

It turns out there’s a Christmas tradition of running a 5k at Parkrun on Christmas morning. It’s classed as a light run yet still over 200 people turned up to do at a wet  but warm Hyde Park.

After a chat with a friend I decided I would go up this morning and help out. Still feeling the effects of the alcohol it took me longer to walk up there, nearly an hour instead of 45 mins. Crazy! Anyway I met a lovely friend who had an addition to his own dogs and I offered to help look after him. I loved every minute of it. Dogs are so funny. Apparently this Bassett hound who was called Buddy and was best friends with Daisy the black Labrador and boy was it crazy.

Covered in mud 😀

Have you ever played those games as a kid where a ball was attached to a string/rope which was attached to a hoop you put your leg through, and you swung it round while hopping over it? That was me with two dogs running round in circles.

In the middle of all this running round business, I had a moment when the dogs were sharing a branching and having a good chomp. Destroyed it in seconds but they were happy. I turned round and saw most of the runners had come in and were grabbing food and coffee. I just thought how amazing this is. How each week a group of people get up early in the morning, regardless of weather and run/walk/jog a 5k route around the park. I felt so blessed to see this, that such a little thing like exercise can create something big.

So after handing back Buddy, after we nearly took a table out and then receiving  lots of hugs from friends and well wishes I headed home to get changed ready to head to my friend’s for lunch.

Christmas is so much about retail that it starts earlier and earlier each year. Piling the pressure on people to buy each other gifts. This year I saw the other side of it as I was able to spend more time in town. Wow was it crazy! so many people, long queues and angry people. You would think things were going out of fashion.

And every year I swear I am going to start saving early, and every year it never happens. This time because I was out of work for a time. Now everything is back on track and I’m taking things steady. Next year is more about health and fitness. Not just mine but relationships, my bank account, the house (I want to spruce it up a bit, new curtains perhaps a lick of paint). I also want to do some more travelling, so I need to start planning and I’ve so far started well apart form a few hiccups.

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Lets believe in magic. Lets believe in oursleves

We all also need to believe a little in ourselves and ask for help when we need it, how ever small the ask is. I’m learning that lesson. I have learnt so much in the last few months. Never did I think I could learn new skills so quickly or the amount of support I have if I just ask.  So like the Queen said in her speech today lets pull together, lets learn from 2016 and make 2017 a better year.

‘When people face a challenge they sometimes talk about taking a deep breath to find courage or strength. In fact, the word ‘inspire’ literally means ‘to breathe in’. But even with the inspiration of others, it’s understandable that we sometimes think the world’s problems are so big that we can do little to help. On our own, we cannot end wars or wipe out injustice, but the cumulative impact of thousands of small acts of goodness can be bigger than we imagine.’

Taken from The Queen’s Speech 2016

And remember in 2017….

 ‘If you give extra kisses, you get bigger hugs.’

-Santa Claus the Movie

Thank you for reading

xxx

2016 in review

Wow, next week is Christmas!!! Where did that come from??? 2016 has been a very unusual year. Lots of celebrity deaths, some have come as quite a shock to the world. In my case loss of friendships, jobs, but gained lots of knowledge through various lessons.

I’m ending 2016 on a high, or I feel I am. Although I have had to give up book club, something I love and treasure, have tried to look after myself, to better myself, I’ve made mistakes elsewhere. But I’ve learned so much and have gained some things/memories I never thought possible.

I ran the Leeds 10k in a fantastic time, I raised more money then I could dream of and the support was just amazing. I have entry into the great north run next year and that sets me on another adventure. Also I will be running again, something I should never have stopped doing but let life and self talk get in the way.

The one lesson I will take from this, is its ok to ask for help. As much as I felt ashamed sometimes and as much as I worried people would lose patience with me, everyone pulled out all the stops for me and I felt so humbled. I felt proud to be me and to be a part of something. Especially the Parkrun family. I can’t thank them enough. And to know they will be there at a drop of an email or just to visit on a Saturday morning and know I’m welcome, has meant so much to me.

Then there’s my small group of friends. How they have let me chat and cry, how they have helped with my homework in cases, the support is incredible, and they have become more like family to me. And then there is my family, what a tower of strength they have been along with Milo, even if he did go on hunger strike when I looked after him, he’s always pleased to see me and loves to go out for walks any time of the day. I always miss him when I leave Mum’s to come back home, mainly because it’s so quiet when I return.

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So as we leave another year behind us, I’ve started doing something to remind myself of the positive things. I started a gratitude jar at the beginning of the year and didn’t get very far with it. I’ve now started writing down in a notebook, 10 positive things or 10 things I’m grateful for that have happened during the day. It’s tough and sometimes I use really simple things, but I think it works, here is what I have so far:

Gratitude List so far:

16/12/16- 10 things I’m grateful for today.

1. The market in town having Christmas jumpers.
2. Getting the last penguin jumper.
3. Having heating anf hot water.
4. Not having a physical disability.
5. Ability to learn new things.
6. Colleague buying me some chips.
7. Able to watch murder she wrote
8. Having a Saturday off to meet mum
9. Catching the connection in town to home.
10. Clean bed to crawl into

17/12/16 -10 things I’m grateful for:

1.Jane doing a surprise visit.
2. spending the day with family.
3. Having a treat day as Jane called it.
4. Good weather
5. Having a Saturday off.
6. Not working in retail at this time of year.
7. Finding a little cafe off a side street and having fish finger sandwich. (very good food)
8. finding to boxsets of Murder she wrote for a very good price.
9. Ability to sign up for the Leeds 10k 😀
10. my house

19/12/16 – 10 things I’m grateful for:

1.Milo
2. Amazing training day
3. Meeting people in the same boat as me.
4. realising everything is ok.
5. Being able to talk to Mum on the phone.
6 Being able to fill my fridge with food.
7. Being able to wash my clothes in my own machine
8. finishing work early and doing some shopping
9. Chance to give a present as a thank you for the help, and seeing their delight in receiving it.
10. Sitting in my PJ’S at 6pm eating a microwave curry. (6mins to heat up tea)

And what a difference a year makes………

2015 review

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Thank you for reading.

xxxx