Alexa

I’d heard about the London Classics competition where you do the London marathon, a 100-mile bike ride around London and a 2-mile swim in the Serpentine in Hyde Park. The beauty of it is that you can do it at any time and not all in one year, I had already completed the London marathon in 2005 so I thought I’d complete it and set myself a sporting challenge!

The only sticking point was I was very busy with my job and having time with my family, it was very difficult to train and get ready for the events. The sensible thing would be to train and make sure I could do it, before I get there on the day but who has got time for that? I was already spending too much time working round the clock and getting into lots of trouble with my family, getting up at 10pm after falling asleep putting the kids to bed and going back onto my laptop to work. I just didn’t have that much spare time. I came to the realisation that even though I couldn’t prepare or train, I had signed up and I am not someone to not follow through. So, I thought, ’I’ll just do them and forget the training!” Once I had resigned myself to that and I knew what I had to do, it wasn’t hanging over me anymore.

I stayed at a friend’s house the night before and I slept on a yoga mat on the floor, I woke up feeling stiff as a board but at least I was close to the start line.

I did the bike ride fine, I like to bike ride anyway, it gave me a different focus outside of work and to do something that was physical, is good for the mind and the spirit and rejuvenates you. I was really pleased to be doing something that didn’t involve my laptop! When I was on my bike, I felt that this is what life is about, using my body and I found it empowering and euphoric!

First job done!

The next was a swim in the serpentine, I had one swimming lesson the week before, I thought I should learn to do front crawl, otherwise it might take a really long time. The swimming lesson in Portland Harbour reaffirmed I was not going to be doing the race in front crawl! But it was my birthday and I was able to do the swim in 1 hour 45 mins; I got it done and it was a feeling of greatness, life is about setting yourself new challenges and conquering them. I can always look back on last year and know it was a year of achievement and I raised some money for the Shelter, the Homeless charity.

It is very easy to say: ‘now is not the right time’ or ‘I don’t have time for training’ and if I was being rational, I wouldn’t have done the races either! But, if you are determined you can put your mind over matter and appreciate our healthy bodies. Lucky for me I was able to turn up and just do it. It has motivated me to up my activity levels and be more active on a regular basis.