How building a stronger body can strengthen your outlook
Like many other single mother across the globe, my child inspires me. I want to show him as he gets older that pain is a natural part of life but to tackle it effectively one can’t have strong thoughts in a weak body. I look forward to the evening time when instead of watching the television, we’re outside on the lawn cartwheeling or he is laughing with delight on my back as I lunge across the lawn. I smile broadly when I’m dripping in sweat after 15 minutes of ‘Insanity’ and he shouts ‘Faster Mummy faster!’ Maybe one day he’ll follow in his dad’s shoes by becoming a fantastic footballer and I can help coach him instead….’Faster Manahsi faster!’
There are so many single mums out there struggling to make ends meet trying to provide the best for their kids balancing professional careers and often neglecting themselves in the process. It is estimated that 60% of households in Barbados are run by single women. I try as much as possible to document my journey on Facebook throughout the competition and when mums message to say they started back exercising and eating better, I feel like a million dollars! It may mean getting out of bed at 4:30am when the kids are sleeping. It may take wearing one pair of shoes to afford a quality protein shake. Yet it is doable if you want it bad enough.
Somewhere along the way in our upbringing, a tiny seed of self-doubt takes root and causes many of us to belittle our ability to be the greatest we can be. Exercise and taking care of our bodies is one of the best ways to remedy this problem. Chrissie Wellington, 2011 winner of the Ironman competition said ‘During the race you have two voices, one in one ear saying, “This is really hugely painful and you should pull to the side now.” And there’s another voice saying, “Never give up. Never ever give up,” and they are the words written on my wristband. And that’s the voice I listened to.’ Whether I win this competition or place last is irrelevant to me, it’s the journey that matters the most and not giving up when the going gets tough.