hereI am so thrilled to be working with This Girl Can I can’t even tell you. It is an amazing campaign. A campaign to encourage and help women overcome the fear of judgement that is stopping so many of us joining in. It is funded by the National Lottery and has been developed by Sport England to encourage more women to be active.
The reason I jumped (active!) at the chance to work with them is because if you have been following me for a while you will know my whole thing is to have time for yourself and look after yourself. This Girl Can fits so well with what I am all about. I am sure you are aware that even science says exercising makes you feel good and releases endorphins. This Girl Can “celebrates women who are doing their thing no matter how they look or how sweaty they get” (@thisgirlcan – Instagram).
I was invited to a This Girl Can swimming session at my local pool- Mote Park Leisure Centre in Maidstone. I was a little nervous to wear a swimming costume but the fact that it was all ladies and I got my 3 mates along made me feel better. As well as a generous helping of Fake Tan (obvs). The website for the class said come however you like- even wear a t-shirt if you would feel more comfortable, so I was happy there would be no judgement. There were over 30 gorgeous women, of all ages, shapes and sizes there- but they had one thing in common- massive smiles.
Now, normally on a Wednesday night, after putting the kids to bed I would curl up on the sofa- usually with a glass of wine in one hand and a slab of chocolate in the other. I deserve it after a long day. But this Wednesday, here I was at the pool in my cossie with 3 of my best girls. And it was exceptional fun. We got to have a catch up and a gossip whilst getting changed, which is a rare thing these days with kids and work and life in general making it harder for us to meet up. We had a laugh doing some lengths and some competiveness crept in. The ladies running the session were friendly, fun and welcoming. They had spare quids for the lockers and 20ps for the hairdryers. It felt positive, active and motivating and I would recommend anyone to find their local This Girl Can sessions and go along. If you are local to Kent and Maidstone in particular I would really advise coming to this session.
After some lengths, set at your own pace, we entered the smaller pool for some aqua aerobics. The music blared. Great tunes that we were singing along to. We laughed at our lack of strength with the dumbbells and admired the other ladies who were SO good at it and able to pump those weights in the water. We will get there in a few weeks with some practice! We felt the burn in our legs, arms, and bottoms and patted ourselves on the back for doing something other than sitting on the sofa on a cold Wednesday evening. After the aerobics, high on the fun of it, we mucked about with an inflatable ball for ten minutes doing our own version of water volleyball. We didn’t want to get out! One hour wasn’t enough! The instructor informed us there is another aerobics class before this session and we could do both if we wanted. I literally went, in the space of an hour, from doing little to zero exercise, to wanting to attend two classes on the same evening! It gave me a buzz I wasn’t expecting and I wanted more. After we dragged ourselves out there was a room with tea, coffee, drinks for us (all included in the £2 charge- yes £2- it’s not for profit). More catching up, more gossiping what MORE could you possibly want?
So next Wednesday, you will find me in the pool again, with or without my friends (although I think they are up for it too). I am telling anyone who brushes past me about this fantastic session and getting more of my friends and family on board. I have found an exercise class that was exactly what I was looking for. And it de-stressed me far better than the choc and wine usually does. This isn’t just about swimming or losing weight or getting fit (although those things would be a bonus!); this is about being kind to yourself and doing something for you. This Girl Definitely Can.
You can find out more about This Girl Can here
And More about the session I attended here