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Jane's Story

From Couch to 5k

I’m a 56-year-old woman. I have never done much exercise and frankly I am unfit and overweight. I have been part of OneSmallStep for just over a year now and I’m finally ready to take my own OneSmallStep by giving the Couch to 5K app a try.

I agreed to write this blog in support of all the ladies and men in Devon who think they don’t have time or the fitness levels to exercise regularly.

My job is mostly home-based so I’ve always felt the usual advice about walking to work or getting off the bus a stop early doesn’t apply to me. I have a busy life and spend a lot of time in my car. I do a lot of driving, visiting my children and family in various parts of the country, which anyone in Devon knows usually means a long drive!

I woke up this morning and decided that today is the day. I have been following OneSmallStep posts on Facebook and signed up to the OneSmallStep wellness app, Rally, to access tips and support. What was different today? Today is the 10th anniversary of my mum’s near fatal heart attack. She was 56, the same age as me. Ironically, she was on her way to the gym when she collapsed with a heart attack and nearly died. I suddenly thought that could be me.

I downloaded the Couch to 5k app from Public Health England and chose Sarah Millican to be my coach. She’s a comedian, has a quirky voice and is an older lady. I’m put off by fit young things telling me what to do next! I also really like the idea that Couch to 5k is free and I can go at my own pace.

So off I went. I don’t have any fancy running equipment, just an old pair of trainers, some tatty leggings and one of my husband’s t-shirts to hide the lumps and bumps. I decided to run near my house to start, just in case I needed to get back home either from exhaustion or embarrassment. I started running and guess what, no one stared or laughed. In fact, I was so busy following the instructions that I had finished my day one run before I knew it.

I won’t lie, it was really tough for me at first and I’m not sure what I did could be classed as running. Perhaps it was more of a light jog? Anyway, I’m amazed I actually ran at all. I’m exhausted, breathless and sweaty, but I did it!

I took OneSmallStep and completed day one, week one. Thankfully, the advice is to have a day’s rest between runs, so I intend to follow that advice and will be having a go at day two on Friday.

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