Time to bite the bul­let

Hard slog ex­pected and ac­cepted on health jour­ney re­porter Jo McKen­zie-McLean has taken on one of the big­gest chal­lenges in her life — to com­pete in the North­burn Sta­tion 50km moun­tain run in March next year. This is the first in a se­ries of col­umns foll

Central Otago Mirror - - SPORT -

Iam in a rut. I drink too much, eat too much and the only ex­er­cise I get, aside from play­ing with my two chil­dren when I’m not work­ing full­time, is run­ning to the fridge for the wine bot­tle. That is about to change. Dra­mat­i­cally. I have ac­cepted a chal­lenge, that right now seems lu­di­crously im­pos­si­ble, to com­pete in the North­burn Sta­tion 50km moun­tain run in March next year.

A few weeks ago, event or­gan­iser Terry Davis, in ca­hoots with NRG’s Chantel Knox, put this crazy idea to me.

The tim­ing was serendip­i­tous. I was feel­ing par­tic­u­larly low af­ter hav­ing been at my cousin’s wed­ding, and while get­ting dressed I was forced to lie flat on a bed, with my hus­band’s knee in my back as he did up the zip­per telling me to suck it in.

About a week prior I un­tagged my­self from a Face­book photo an old univer­sity friend had posted of me with her and an­other uni friend. It’s the first time I have ever done that. I was mor­ti­fied I had let my­self get so over­weight and washe­d­out look­ing. I hardly recog­nised that per­son in the photo.

The re­al­ity is, as it is for many women I’m guess­ing, I have two young chil­dren (18 months and nearly 4) and about seven months ago I re­turned to work full­time. It’s a busy life be­ing a mum, work­ing long hours, cook­ing, clean­ing . . . I won’t carry on. I’m not try­ing to milk sym­pa­thy be­cause I’m lucky I get a lot of help from my hus­band and fam­ily. I’m just say­ing time for me to look af­ter my­self has dropped to the bot­tom of the pri­or­ity list.

I haven’t ac­cepted this chal­lenge just to lose weight though, (how­ever, that’s hope­fully go­ing to be a spin-off). It’s about get­ting back into a healthy, ac­tive life­style, gain­ing con­fi­dence and prov­ing to my­self, and to read­ers, that some­one like me, of aver­age (prob­a­bly be­low aver­age) abil­ity, can set a tough goal and achieve it. I ba­si­cally need an en­ergy kick, and Cen­tral Otago of­fers ad­ven­ture op­por­tu­ni­ties on a plat­ter to men, women and chil­dren of all abil­i­ties.

It’s go­ing to be an up­hill bat­tle (lit­er­ally and metaphor­i­cally) but one I’m ex­cited about. I’ll be writ­ing about my jour­ney in reg­u­lar col­umns, as well as a blog on stuff.co.nz/south­land-times/

I would ap­pre­ci­ate any feed­back, tips or sug­ges­tions, to go along­side train­ing I’ll be do­ing with Terry and Chantel.

I’m not sure who has the big­ger chal­lenge on their hands. Them or me ◗ Fol­low me on twit­ter @jo­mac­macjourno?

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