Running straight to the barre!

This week has been a hectic one filled with short runs squeezed in around rehearsals, work and snow and ice!

When the Neurology Consultant first mentioned to me that I may  with MS, my family read a lot of information by both the MS Trust and MS Society (I had asked them to read for me as I didn’t want to panic myself before an official diagnosis). One of the repeated messages was that having good core strength is very helpful for those with the condition (as well as everyone else). 

I have never had good core strength, I am naturally as clumsy as anything and I will often walk in to things or tripping over things. Try standing on one leg with your eyes closed. Give yourself plenty of space mind. I did it and I would be swaying like a tree blowing in the wind, so I decided to look into how I can improve it. Now I am the first to admit that I am more inclined to exercise with a competitive edge (particularly if it’s against myself) but I thought I would take a look at the Pilates and Yoga classes near me. 

A couple of years earlier we had been to a dance class based on the Chicago musical for Beth’s Hen Do, it was great fun and the instructor taught it in an easy to understand and friendly. When looking at the list of classes I discovered Ballet Bod at the same dance studio, Freelance Dance in West Jesmond. So I went along to give it a go. 


Turns out Ballet Bod is a great class, 45 minutes filled with exercises based on small movements often used in ballet. The class is a combination of floor and barre exercises. When I first turned up for the class, I naively thought, well this is going to be easy, a nice relax for 45minutes. It was highly enjoyable, I laughed at myself so much throughout the class at everything I was getting wrong but it was deceptively tough. It’s the best class I have ever been to for toning and it complimented my more aerobic exercise perfectly. My core strength has gone from strength to strength each week (if you pardon the pun). I thoroughly recommend it if you have a similar class near to you. 

Two years later I found myself running from work to the class. Passing beautiful lit trees surrounding a church on the way.

I am pleased to report it meant I got anothet mile inti my run bank! Then after I finished my first Ballet Bod class after Christmas, I headed home running again. It was blowing a gale, so I felt like I was taking one step forward and four steps back! 

Now you remember I said I was clumsy? Half way home I could hear something flapping behind me. I thought it was a runner trying to overtake me so I turned to check I wasn’t in their way. Cue panic as I realised my coat and bra were flapping in the wind for all the passing drivers to see. My bag had become unzipped with the running – this was definitely a running technique that I need more practise at! 

After rezipping the offending rucksack and scooting around in a few circles, I felt confident that nothing was gone for good so I was back on my merry way. When I got home slightly wind beaten and shame faced, I’d run a further 2 miles so that was a total of 3 miles that night or 4.8km!

The next evening, as soon as I got home from work Paul encouraged me to sneak a short and fast run in before rehearsal. As he headed out for a long run, I got into a quick pace into the dark. He was, of course totally right, I felt great after I’d run the 2 miles and the snow and ice came the next two days which meant unfortunately I was unable to complete any more runs this week as I had planned to. 

Unfortunately I rewarded Paul with my next big faux pas of the week (remember clumsy!) after I finished on stage at rehearsal two messages on my phone revealed that I had inadvertently locked Paul out of the house, where he had to wait in the freezing cold to be rescued by his Dad and he was now waiting still in his running clothes for me to pick him up from his Dad’s. Oops! 

Thank you to Claire and Frank for joining me on my runs this blustery week, your support helped me get out and stay out on these dark nights! With your support I have now run 48.2km, that’s only 951.8kms to go!

If you haven’t joined my support team yet. Find out how you can help me support the MS Trust here!


One thought on “Running straight to the barre!

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