Whenever I told people I was in the gym 3 or 4 mornings a week by 8am I felt a little bit like I was showing off. Gym, then home to put in a day’s work, prepare a well-balanced evening meal for my family of five, get the washing on and be ready for the school run by 3pm. I felt like a supermum. Yes, I can do it all!
Then, ‘our Pat’ who basically runs my gym in Horwich, near Bolton, told me and my gym buddy about an early morning class she thought we should we would like. It was great fun and attended by a good bunch of people. And it started at 6.30am! I am a morning person, but for me the idea of getting up at 6am, leaving the house by ten past, picking up my friend and then sweating in a gym to some 90s house music while the rest of the sane world was asleep seemed insane.
However, I took up Pat's challenge and for the past 5 weeks I have been doing just this. Each Thursday morning I sneak out of the house bleary-eyed and arrive at the gym for 6.25. ‘Our Pat’ sets up 15 pieces of equipment then urges "It’s just one minute on each one girls, now work ‘ard & get a shift on!" There we are, about 15 of us, half asleep, performing lunges, sit ups, hula-hooping, skipping, lifting medicine balls and all other unimaginably painful activities. So why the heck do we do it?
Well, let me tell you, I have never laughed so much! There are fifteen woman; all ages, all sizes, giggling, sweating, smiling, sweating, singing, sweating, dancing and yes, even more sweating. I can’t wait to get up, to have a laugh with my ladies and hear ‘our Pat’ shout, ‘c’mon ladies, get a sweat on yer, it’s only a minute’.
It’s the perfect start and sets me up mentally and physically for the day with a big smile! I come home for 7.30am while the kids are still stirring and I can crack on, ready to face anything!
Having something that challenges you to push yourself encourages a positive mind-set. It can develop motivation, improve physical and emotional well-being, give you a social outlet and help develop resilience, ticking lots of 'happiness boxes' all in one go!
Sometimes we turn ideas down before we've even given them a go. It may be something that sounds a bit too much like hard work, or we think we can’t fit it in. However, giving something different a go and challenging yourself can have amazing benefits for your self-esteem and personal growth.
As ‘our Pat’ says....it’s only a minute, but it can be a positive change. So challenge yourself to try something new. Some top tips when trying something new or getting others to are: