A Beginner's Tale by Anne Stott

Get off the sofa, go outside where it’s just above freezing, wear very little clothing and run / walk around Ealing for 4km

Had someone said that to me 5 months ago, I would have laughed, very politely. 

Fast forward to May 2016. I now absolutely love my 2 to 3 runs per week. OK, I don’t have great aspirations, and am happy to stick to slow 5ks, but it’s a heck of a lot more than I was doing.  And, what gave me the encouragement and inspired me to think I could actually do it? The Ealing Eagles Beginners Programme.  
 
It was a quirky little piece posted on one of the local Facebook forums by Wei Hei Kipling that caught my attention. It was reassuring, full of optimism and it got me thinking: “could I really run 5km, a whole 5km?” So I signed up. 

 Completing Gunnersbury parkrun

Completing Gunnersbury parkrun

Wednesday 6th January 2016, 1830 and we were off, and so it went on for the next 6 weeks starting gently and building up.  Each week, I could run just that bit further and guess what? I could run and chat at the same time, I didn’t have to run fast or get out of my comfort zone. People encouraged me, made me laugh along the way, and had faith in my abilities, even if I didn’t have them myself. I met new friends, both beginners and Ealing Eagles volunteers. The tail runners got to know me well!

 Getting my Beginners Programme certificate

Getting my Beginners Programme certificate

I have since volunteered at the Ealing Eagles 10k and the atmosphere and camaraderie is astounding. I am a convert to running, and as one lady said to me at the end of a run; “you probably won’t be thanking yourself for doing this now, but you will be later in life”.
 
Anne - Ex Couch Potato and proud Ealing Eagle