Sarah Louise first came along to Boxted Runners in February 2018 having heard about our new “Absolute Beginners” running sessions.

Inspired by her sister Charlene, who was awarded Boxted Runners “Most Improved” runner at the first Boxted Runners award presentations,  Sarah Louise reluctantly decided to give running a try too and see what all the fuss was about!

Feeling very nervous about her very first session having had zero running experience and conscious that she hadn’t exercised in such a long time, she laced up her trainers and dragged herself along to her very first session. Sarah Louise told us that she really, honestly didn’t believe that she would ever be able to run for 1 minute let alone 5km! She just thought “that’s what everyone else did, not me!”

Determined to give it a go though she made it through the very first session of our 10 week “Absolute beginners running course” to find it went really well, better than expected and despite the fact that she felt absolutely exhausted and completely done in afterwards, she felt super pleased with herself that she had managed to run continuously for a whole 1 minute without stopping!

Having really struggled previously with her own fitness, which was practically non-existent, Sarah Louise felt she had a real lack of motivation to do anything. Coming along to Boxted Runners that day was a huge turning point for Sarah Louise and she recalls how everyone was “so welcoming” and “non-judgemental” plus the amount of support and the much needed motivation she received was overwhelming. Sarah Louise shortly started running in addition to the club sessions with the other absolute beginner runners and Sarah went on to tell us, “We all became really great friends and a great support for one another” “We are all a big part of Boxted Runners now and it’s such a lovely group of people to run with”.

With the amount of will power Sarah Louise has displayed, there’s no surprise that she successfully completed her 5k distance at the end of the 10 weeks with everyone else, even though deep down she really didn’t think she would achieve this. Sarah wanted to tell us about how running has had such a positive impact on her mental and physical health and that being part of Boxted Runners has “hugely changed her life”.

Feeling much more confident and having the motivation to go out and do something good for herself has given her a new lease of life and now Sarah Louise feels very committed to helping inspire other people to do exactly the same.

Sarah Louise told us that she definitely has a “love hate relationship” with running and she still finds it hard but that’s the reason she keeps going, to see how far she can push herself;

“Running makes me feel really good, it gives me a buzz and I feel much better about myself afterwards, I have definitely got the ‘running bug!’ and I’m itching to go out all the time!”

Sarah Louise added that it hasn’t just had a positive influence on her own life, but it’s also had a positive influence on her 2 children too. Previously, not being able to participate in activities such as football and other park games with them due to her low fitness level.  Sarah now actively participates with them in their activities and not only that, she has also introduced running to them too and now frequently runs with them inspiring her children to be just like mum! I hear they are loving it too!

Sarah Louise now runs every other day, her new found love of running has taken her to a new place in her life. A great place. Her distances are getting longer and longer as she gets stronger and her pure grit and determination has led her to losing an incredible 4 stone in weight. A Truly amazing achievement, not bad when you’re doing something you enjoy too!

There is so much to admire about Sarah Louise, in addition to her incredible weight loss and significant improvements in her fitness and mental health. Having set some of her own personal running goals in June this year, just 3 months after joining the club she participated in her very first race at the Nayland 5k. Afterwards she said  “I would never have been able to do this without the support of all of my friends at Boxted Runners, encouraging and supporting me all the way.”  What an amazing achievement in such a short period of time!

The future is definitely bright for Sarah Louise and with some clear goals in sight, she is determined to run a sub 40 5k and a sub 60 10k next year but her biggest long term goal is to be able to run her first Half marathon at some point over the next 18 months. We absolutely believe you will achieve all of these goals Sarah Louise!

Finally, I asked Sarah Louise what she would say to anyone who is feeling like she used to feel, lacking in self-confidence and having no energy or motivation to do anything, she replied; “Just get off your bum and do it, just go for it! It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done, If I can do it anyone can do it, I have never been a fitness person ever but somehow with the help and support at Boxted Runners, I’ve fallen in love with running and maybe you will too if you just give it a go!”

Sarah Louise, I can’t begin to tell you how proud we are of you at Boxted Runners. You are such an inspiration to yourself and others. Your determination and strength to succeed as a person, a mum and a runner is second to none. We are so pleased you are part of our Boxted Runners family and we all look forward to running many more happy miles together with you!