This girl can!

A year ago the UK Government launched This Girl Can. Showing real people doing real exercise and getting hot and sweaty as a result of it. The video is ninety seconds of awesome. Showing women of all shapes, sizes, ages and colours running, swimming, boxing, enjoying Zumba (I think, never done a class, so am guessing) amongst other sports and classes. (I wish some of the women in the video had better sports bras though; you need to look after your puppies ladies!)

The straplines are great:

  • “I jiggle therefore I am”
  • “Damn right I’m hot”
  • “Sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox”

Last year passed so quickly, when they were discussing on Woman’s Hour this morning how the initiative was going after a year, I nearly dropped my cup of tea – a year ago? I can remember the discussion on the program last year when everyone was so excited about it. The flurry of tweets with the video going round, the hashtag. The Government were trying to carry on the momentum from the 2012 Olympics, reminding people that getting moving immediately after Christmas is hard work and to keep your resolutions takes hard work and commitment.

At work we’ve a hideous poster that has been put up all over the building, reminding us that only 8% of people who make resolutions keep them. Along with this picture:


I know it’s a staged stock photo, but it is reactions like this that put people off walking into a gym.

  • It is feeling the weight of judgement from others upon your shoulders that make people think ‘It’s too hard, I can’t do it’.
  • It’s worrying about if you have the right clothes, because your outfit has to match to exercise according to the adverts, and you need the snazziest trainers.
  • It’s walking into a shop to buy new clothes or shoes, being confronted by tiny clothes, sold to you by uninterested teenagers, that again can put it into the ‘too hard basket’ to get going.

There are 101 reasons not to get started, but there is only one reason to start – because you want to. You want to. No-one else is pressuring you, or making you do something you don’t want to do. For example, someone I used to know wanted to go line dancing, my idea of hell, but I got taken anyway. Her arm was in a sling, to ensure she was on time, she had to yell ‘Clap!’ See? Hell.

You need to find what makes you tick, fits in with you and your life, otherwise you won’t do it. It’s that simple. While I wanted to exercise over Christmas, I wasn’t well enough. I was still on antibiotics when I got back to the office. So I started exercising again last week. I was back at work and it also gave me a routine to plug my sessions in and around. That it was the New Year was a moot point, as the only promise I’ve made to myself this year is to read at least 52 books.

And yet, while I’ve not watched Outlander, (it’s not showing anywhere on any TV streaming service I can find here) I found myself signing up for My Peak Challenge this morning. The event itself is in May this year and I’m wondering what to do for my challenge. I’ve booked my place on the Run4Kids 16km run in March, I’ve got an 8km run (if it is on in QLD) for Mother’s Day in May. So what should I do? This is the official blurb:

From setting personal health and fitness goals to learning new skills (fancy getting creative in the kitchen, in the yard or at the dance hall, anyone?) to taking up a new hobby or interest (ever tried your hand at baking your grandma’s recipes, knitting, meditating or bending like a pretzel at a yoga group?) while raising money for an incredibly deserving charity – the choice of the challenge is YOURS!

I’ll have a think and let you know where you can (if you want to) donate soon.

One thought on “This girl can!

  1. Loved the This Girl Can campaign it you’re right, posters like that definitely don’t help people feel they can go to their local gym & not feel self conscious. Good for you highlighting! :)


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