kim ingle

GUEST BLOG- SALLY KETTLE ON NOT TAKING HER BODY FOR GRANTED

Adventurer, speaker, event host, television presenter, and author of ‘Sally’s Odd at Sea’, Sally is the first woman to row the Atlantic Ocean twice from East to West and is also an activ-ambassador:

It’s marathon season, and with it comes the obligation to participate, feel guilty for not participating or overcome that guilt by going to cheer on a loved one as they sweat and cringe round the 26.2mile course. Well luckily my sister and her husband decided to compete in the Paris marathon a couple of weekends ago. So off on the Eurostar we went for a couple of days avec banner and croissant!

As a three-time London marathon finisher I can safely say I had absolutely no desire to run alongside my sister and it wasn’t because race day turned into an unexpected heat-wave. Temperatures sourced to an almost unbearable 25deg. With little wind and barely any shade, 10% of the runners didn’t complete and the rest of them finished well over their predicted times, with sunburn or, like my sister, mild heatstroke. I didn’t want to do it because I’d been there and done that. I’d trained through long dark winters, chased finishing times and had the blisters to prove it. It doesn’t help that I’m also 5 months pregnant!

I’d never say never again, but it did leave me questioning why I wouldn’t want to run a marathon again. I do like running, and I actually remember a couple of minutes during training when I actually loved running! It was a trip to the cemetery at Montmartre that got me thinking – it’s very easy to take your body and it’s ability to do things for granted.

As we mooched round the mausoleums I realised that you’re a long time dead! I also realised that you’re a long time old! If you’re reading this blog it’s likely I’m preaching to the converted, but when I’m feeling demotivated, (which has been a lot recently), I do try to remind myself that there will be a time when my body can’t physically do the things I want it to, and like I said, I will be a long time dead!

Admittedly I’ve made the most of my abilities. I’ll never be an athlete, but I’ve always participated in sport and exercise. Many people don’t. As my pregnancy months pass I’ve found it increasingly difficult to do the exercise I’d like to do. But I feel that way because I exercised in the first place, so I know what I’m missing. Some people don’t.

I really hope that marathons, like London, Paris, New York, continue to inspire people to run, dress up as bananas, get a little fitter and maybe raise money for charity. And even if I never drag my post-baby body around 42km of bi-pedal torture, then I do make a promise to never take that body for granted. Who’s with me?!

For daily dose on inspiration from Sally,visit her website or follow her on twitter @sallykettle

Sally and her sister after a run together last year