From Joanna's Walking Spa break to walking a half marathon!
27th October 2009
Joanna and Debbie met earlier this year at Ragdale Hall in Leicestershire where Debbie and her Mum had booked to take part in one of our Walking Spa Breaks
. Whilst they were looking forward to the relaxing, indulgent Spa treatments and to some much deserved time together, Debbie did not anticipate just quite how impactful the walking part of her break would be ... she is currently training to walk a half marathon!
"I didn't really have any expectations around the break but I had imagined going out for a few country walks, getting some fresh air and relaxing by the pool. I couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised! From the first evening when Joanna gave a talk and introduced herself and her team, I was really looking forward to finding out more. Over the next few days we learned her unique walking technique - it takes a bit of practice to unlearn something that you’ve been doing all your life (!) but after some tentative "first steps" bouncing on the balls of my feet and trying hard to incorporate Joanna's principles, things started to fall into place."
Prior to the Walking Spa Break, Debbie had dabbled with running outdoors and the gym but found it hard to motivate herself. "By the end of the break, we all looked so relaxed and happy and we were walking 'well' too. It gave me a whole new perspective on how I exercised and each morning I'd get up 15 minutes early for work just to go for a walk. Soon this increased to a 30-40 minute walk. Without the 'dread factor' I'd had with going for a jog, I was really enjoying it."
Debbie's step count increased a lot which, being office based was a great improvement - over doubling to eachieve 7,500 - 10,000 steps a day! She then joined us at one of our Walk Time Trials
. "Not only did we walk in a beautiful setting, but it was also a great opportunity to meet new people and get hints and tips from Joanna and her team. Walking has really improved my fitness levels, so much so that I managed to knock 5 minutes off my first Time Trial when I did the second one a month later. My focus has been on fitness as opposed to weight loss and yet I've noticed that my shape is changing because of the technique and I'’m feeling much more toned around my midriff and abs."
Having met a new friend, Mary, at the Time Trial, Debbie and Mary have decided to walk a half marathon together and are now in training, following my Walk Half programme which guides you through targets and prepares you for the walk ahead! Deborah also recently attended a second exclusive Walking Spa Break
at Ragdale Hall where I film clients so that they can see themselves in action and perfect their technique. "Watching the film was really useful for me, despite some trepidation! Joanna's passion, energy and enthusiasm are infectious and have certainly rubbed off on me. The walking has given me a whole new approach to exercising and keeping myself fit and I love it. I'm already looking forward to November's Time Trial and my half marathon walk!"
I'm really happy that Debbie has found a way to exercise that really suits her day to day life. One of my main aims in all the programmes that I develop is to make exercise realistic for individuals. I love the fact that she has learnt a skill which she'll have for the rest of her life, that through walking she has also made friends and that she's about to embark on something totally new with her half marathon. I can't WAIT to find out how it goes and working along side her to help guide and encourage her in the meantime is an absolute pleasure, knowing how fulfilled she and Mary will feel once they cross the finish line. I wish you all the luck in the world and I'm with you every step of the way!