When it was suggested by the only fitness fanatic in our office (Jenny) that we join together to raise money for Kairos we were all keen. However, when Jenny explained that it was a sponsored run, the initial excitement quickly turned into FEAR. Jenny aside, the farthest the rest of us run is to Greggs around the corner so making it 5k around Coventry was going to be a challenge. Despite this, our commitment to the cause (supporting women involved in or at risk of sex working and/ or sexual exploitation) meant that we were ready to get off the sofa, haul ourselves into unworn exercise gear and start training.
Yesterday was the first outing for #TeamKairos. Challenge 1 was finding each other at the Memorial Park. I tried to get out of the session by hiding in a different car park to the others but was quickly tracked down by Lucia (gutted). Sarah, Kairos volunteer, started the session with a warm up. This consisted of a range of moves that I have never seen before being enthusiastically demonstrated by Sarah. Whether they are in the personal trainer book of tricks or not, they got my heart racing at a pace that felt strangely unfamiliar.
We could put it off no longer and so the running began. Lucia and I took the ‘hands in the pockets’ approach to the run; which is a strategy I believe all professionals adopt on cold April afternoons. As our feet pounded the ground, puffing and panting began. This was shortly followed by a communal, “should we walk now?” – we did not want to deviate from our training plan which stated that we were not to run for more than 1 minute! After a few laps of the park (we managed 1 but it felt like 100) we collapsed in a pile of sweat, blood and tears.
The warm-down was equally as interesting as the warm-up. We all cast out minds back to our school PE sessions and attempted to recreate the moves of our youth. That’s when we spotted our saviour……the professionals. Yes, the army had heard that we were in serious danger of pulling a muscle or two and had popped along to show us how it’s done. The British Military Fitness guys gave us some tips and hints on how to train for such a strenuous fitness challenge and even posed for a pic:
Bottom left: These feet are made for running…Bottom right: Getting some fitness tips from British Military Fitness
Amazingly, Lucia, Sarah and I all lived to tell the tale of the first #TeamKairos training event. Now that they have both got their breath back, this is what they had to say about the experience:
“Hi I’m Lucia, Project Manager and fitness procrastinator. I’m running the Coventry Fun Run because I’m passionate about Kairos WWT and the support we offer to Coventry women. I’m also running this year because it will be a challenge for me, and I witness every day the challenges our service-users face in their struggle for survival and for change. I’m running not because it will be easy, but because I know it’s worth it and that too is what we hope for our service-user in their everyday battles.
Week 1: I look across the park; our training ground. It’s bitterly cold and the winds are howling around the car. Whose idea was this again (oh yeah…mine…). I’m out of puff by the end of the warm-up and suddenly feeling the force of the task ahead. I’m grateful for my colleagues whose very presence means I can’t get right back in my car and give up. I am reminded again of our services and just how meaningful it is to have someone by your side, rallying you on when the task ahead feels so difficult…”
Sarah, had this to say, “huff….puff….can we walk now”. Unfortunately the initial training session has traumatised Sarah so much that this is all she has been uttering since our first foot step on the road to fitness and fundraising.
Our training sessions will be weekly so tune in next week for another instalment of #TeamKairos ….. from couch to 5k in two months???! If you would like to help us on our way, please sponsor us at The Big Give by clicking on this link.
Emma, Project Worker