Occasionally we are blessed to have little reminders of why we do what we do. A week ago we had the honour and privilege of being part of Alicia's journey and she has been kind enough to allow us to re-blog it. Please pop on over to her blog and give her some love.
"In the last month, I have taken a major turn in my life and decided that I want to get into fitness and watch my diet… I know that you’ve probably read that a million times in print and you’re probably sat there rolling your eyes, if you are I don’t blame you, I’d be the same BUT trust me when I say that for once I am taking it seriously.
About a week ago I got tagged in a photo on Instagram, if you know me you will know that nothing pleases me more than seeing that I am tagged in a photo. The amazing Carly from Project hot bitch had tagged me as I’d met her at Be:Fit London.
I was meant to go with my friend but she couldn’t make it and I was so nervous that I was going to pull out and not go BUT with after my boyfriend packed me onto the tube with my pink rucksack filled with snacks and water off I went. I sat on the tube to Highbury with butterflies in my tummy and a mind full of “what ifs”, I was so tempted to get off the tube and head home but I’ve done that all my life and this was something that I didn’t want to run away from. I wanted to go and prove myself wrong. I got the 271 and the heavy doubt was laying heavy on my chest and I wanted to cross over and head home but again, something stopped me.
As I approached the trendy Shoreditch Park and saw how hard Esmee was working the group before us, I felt that worry that I felt back in my secondary school days when we saw the teacher plug in the tape recorder for the dreaded Bleep test. I was the 3rd one there, the amazing Finola and Laura were sat looking fierce in the afternoon sun and they immediately included me as I sat with my rucksack between my legs. They told me how they did Rumble at 1rebel and Laura does up to six classes a week at Barry’s Bootcamp. I was in awe but not intimidated. They made me feel welcome and even when I said I was petrified of what was to come, they told me that I was there to have fun and that they’d keep an eye on me and that they’d get me through it.
I went to a girl’s school you see, it was a nightmare and I hated it so much that on my last day, when most people were sobbing and getting their shirts signed, I was walking away with my best friends declaring that we’d never go back through those gates unless it was to get our results and we never did. So knowing that I was going to spend an afternoon with a group of women made me feel like I was flying back to those PE lessons where nobody would pick me, where they’d whisper behind my back and call me fat and telling me that I wouldn’t get a boyfriend as boys didn’t like fat girls. I couldn’t have been more wrong!
Let me just tell you, what happened next made me not only realise that sometimes you can push yourself beyond every single barrier that put in front of yourself BUT sometimes a squad of women who are there to pull you through even the hardest point you can achieve anything you fucking want to!
Esmee got us all into a circle and made us introduce ourselves as we’d need to support each other later on in the afternoon. She told us all that we’d probably think we weren’t going to make it through at one point in the workout BUT when we hit that point, she wanted us to find our inner child and think about us at six years old in the playground and nobody would speak or play with us and then think about what we’d say to them!
To be honest, I don’t remember much about the first 20 minutes of the class, I just remember how my chest was hurting from the running and jumping over these little hurdles. I don’t think I’ve jumped over anything since I was in year 6 and had to jump over a bamboo stick in my school hall. I fell over and Esmee just said up you get and that’s exactly what I did, I dug deep…well I thought I had. I was running out of breath a fair bit but everybody was saying “come on Alicia” and that gave me the energy and the push to get through the running.
This next bit is like a film and I want you to stay with me with it because it will make you see that sometimes people can be fantastic and women can indeed move mountains and the entire world.
So, we had to do two sets of sprints which wasn’t my favourite and then bear crawls. Bear Crawls are a horrible and if you don’t know what they are, basically you have to bend at your waist and put your hands on the floor and move yourself forward whilst in that position. I am almost six feet tall so that was already a petrifying prospect nut throw in the fact that I am the weight that I am made it seem so unfeasible that I thought I’d sit that bit out. BOY WAS I WRONG!
So the bear crawls started and I was already running on empty. I did about 3 seconds of them and I just thought NOPE…Esmee wasn’t having any of it and was like…come on…you’ve got this. I did one length and as I turned round to come back, the tears started, I don’t know where they came from.
I looked to my left and Esmee was next to me as tears streamed down my face and said to me “something is holding you back, telling you that you can’t do this…what is it? For all the people who have told you that you can’t do it…prove them wrong” and that gave me the strength to do a little bit more and then I looked to my right and there was Melissa, down next to me…. telling me that I could do it… and asked me why I was doing it and said that there were 10 girls who said they were coming but hadn’t come.
She bear-crawled with me whilst I cried and her words were like an invisible had pushing me towards the line, everybody was cheering and saying that I was strong and suddenly, I had a group of girls who I had met before, come and do my last lap with me… all down on their hands bear crawling across Shoreditch Park with nothing but words of encouragement and praise and let me tell you something dear reader, I sobbed, I sobbed for a few reasons.
As I got to the end Melissas daughter River gave me the biggest hug and said well done. Such a sweet and poignant moment
I cried because I had people believe in me, people who would get down in the dirt and crawl with somebody that they hadn’t met before because they wanted to raise them up and push them through their barriers.
I cried because I felt like I was grieving for the girl that was left out at school, who didn’t get asked out by boys, who ate to hide her true feelings. I cried because with every tear that cascaded down my cheek I was saying Goodbye to the Liss that had taken over my life.
I cried at the finish line because I finally finished something even though my head was so full of negative thoughts that I could feel them on my skin but they didn’t stop me.
I felt like an Olympian winning a gold medal.
As we all crossed the last line, I knew that I was going to finally going to get this weight off, I’m going to get into fitness properly even if I have to plough all my money into 1rebel and Kobox and I have a new fit fam behind me supporting me, telling me not to give up and well every last tear, every drop of sweat was worth it.
To all the fantastic women who bear-crawled with me yesterday, you will never understand how much I appreciated it and I can’t wait to attend the next event.
I realised, as Fempower says, I am enough!!"
Want to get involved? We are running The Color Run on 12th June, come and join us!