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This Girl Can! - October 2020

I am so proud to say I am a This Girl Can Suffolk Ambassador. This Girl Can is a Sport England campaign funded by the National Lottery.

The campaign which first launched in 2015 works to inspire and empower women to participate in sport and physical activity, regardless of their shape, size or ability.

Fear of judgement, lacking confidence, not having enough time - there are a whole host of practical and emotional barriers that prevent many women and girls from being more active. This Girl Can reminds women and girls that there is no 'right way' of getting active - if it gets your heart rate up, it counts! So whether it's cycling to work, literally running the school run, or getting muddy in the park, This Girl Can aims to celebrate all of the amazing ways that women manage to fit exercise into their busy lives.

I have never been very sporty but in 2019 I signed up for the Simplyhealth Great East Run Outreach Programme and completed the Great East Run.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns I have also taken up stand up paddle boarding which I love and have been paddling in the rivers and seas of Suffolk. I have continued this through the autumn and winter. I have inspired a lot of my friends through my photos to try my board and take it up themselves. I paddle on the River Deben or the lagoon at Shingle Street, or at Ramsholt.

Sport/fitness has been crucial for my mental health during the pandemic. I was made redundant during lockdown and now have a new full time job for the University of Suffolk, which I love. But working full time and having three children plus three dogs means I don't get much time to myself. I love paddle boarding because it is me time, no one can reach me and I can just drift away and be calm and serene.

I moved to Hollesley, near Woodbridge, around a year ago and am lucky enough to live near the forest and beach. My friends and I regularly go for 6-mile walks at 6am, running together to the beach and catch up as well as exercise. I love getting outside now, especially long walks and hikes, and do it every day. We see deer and lots of nature near us. We are climbing Mount Snowdon together this year! I've also started yoga which has helped me with my core and balance for paddle boarding. I love how I can enjoy these activities with my friends. I also love walking the dogs with my children and husband.

I grew up in Suffolk and there are so many different places to love and explore, that you can discover. Keep following my blog and I will introduce you to all my favourite spots to enjoy being outdoors in!

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