Choose Life and Live It!

Choose Life and Live It!

Through leading a healthier lifestyle you too can create new exciting ways of living…..

Do you ever sit in front of the TV feeling just slightly envious of who or what you’re watching?  Whether it’s a travel programme, reality show, big sports event or team challenge, sometimes it’s hard not to feel a bit irritated by the fact it’s those you’re watching having all the fun living the dream, rather than yourself!

Added to that if it’s some ‘celebrity’ being sent on yet another one of life’s experiences for our ‘pleasure’, then it can all start to feel slightly one-sided.

Granted, we can’t all become Olympic Athletes, and most of us don’t have a talent suited to TV, but then let’s face it, nor do some currently appearing on our screens either, yet we can look at how we live our lives, choose to do more, try something new, or perhaps do things differently. 

My revelation came after listening to my partner and friends planning their next ‘big adventure’ – I think it was Marathon Des Sables at the time (5 x back to back marathons across the Sahara carrying all kit and supplies) or the Himalayan 100 Miler – a race through mountains and villages being treated like celebs and sporting gods along the way.  Get the picture?

So, after my usual week of juggling work, family routines and endless chores; listening to endless chat about other’s amazing activities didn’t exactly make my situation seem thrilling. The things they discussed, I’d merely watched on TV.  And whilst envy was the wrong word (since I married my partner knowing what he was like) I did start to question what my life was all about, and where it was heading.

And so, what did I do?  Rather than spoil my partner’s passion for ultra challenges, I decided to join him!  It was going to be a long journey, but I was determined to do it in some shape or form.  Ok so I had a Military background, and knew I had the strength of character to achieve my goal, but more importantly, I just wanted to feel healthier and fitter and through this lead a more exciting life again myself.  I wanted to have something beyond my day to day existence, which, being a parent I do find incredibly fulfilling, but I also think it’s good for any individual to have an identity and be valued for themselves too.  I guess for me that meant seeking the type of fitness levels I used to have when I was younger, before my career, the demands of young children, caring for an elderly parent, having a partner who worked away from home and running a household all took priority. 

For me, pushing a heavy double buggy about, meant gradually becoming fitter and stronger.  I started eating healthier food; gave up weekday wine and I read about fitness and how to train.  If the weather was bad, I wrapped the children up in even more layers and went for an even longer walk, gradually finding that I could do more and more.  Feeling so much better, my stressful lifestyle situation became something I could cope with, because I was combining it alongside what became my outlet for fulfilment: Exercise and all that it brings.

I didn’t exactly enter the London Marathon or swim the Channel but I did soon enter a 10k as my first challenge.  In fact, it didn’t go to plan, but I learnt from it, picked myself up, got myself off medication for palpitations (most probably caused by stress) and carried on with my goal.  And the result?  Well that was a few years ago now, but gradually I started to love my new healthier lifestyle so much, I decided to try to inspire others to do the same.

Now I train and advise others professionally.  And having completed Olympic distance Triathlons, half marathons, off road gruelling races in the depths of winter, and re-igniting my passion to play team sports again, I can honestly say that my life has become a lot more exciting and a lot more rewarding as a result.  Last week I bid for a charity place to climb Mount Everest with Prince Harry and wounded Service men and women – all to raise money for War Veterans.  Ok I didn’t win the place, and whilst I may not be entering Iron Man this year, there are numerous other events and activities that I’m really excited about taking part in. Some I’ll do on my own, others, such as Dragon Boat Racing is with a team of some amazing people who’ve inspired me along the way and whom I, in return, have helped to lead a healthier lifestyle.  So whatever you do, believe that you too can get out there.  You too can be the one to change what you do and go for it.

Annie Jacks

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