by Christine Allen
Despite having been an avid Man U fan throughout my childhood and a promising midfielder for the local soccer team, like many girls before and after, when I hit my teenage years, sport and fitness fell by the wayside.
Whether it was due to a lack of motivation or a heightened sense of self awareness, regrettably, I didn’t look back for 14 years. Then in 2016, I experienced anxiety along with low mood and like an old friend, sport and exercise was there to lift me above it.
I began by tentatively joining a gym and making it a priority to attend after work, noticing the difference in my mood and energy levels following a 60 minute session.
Realising however that something was missing, I then became involved in the meetup.com group ‘LGBT girls health and fitness.’
Set up at the end of 2016 by upcoming triathlon participant Karina Murray, the group is aimed at ‘LGBT women in the Dublin area who have an interest in any aspect of health and fitness including nutrition, sports and mental-wellbeing.’
As part of my involvement I looked into becoming an event host, and found myself brainstorming meet up ideas which included attending upcoming GAA/Camogie matches and various fitness classes.
This new chapter began with a spin class in SpinZone on the Long Mile Road. SpinZone Indoor Cycling / Spinning is run by Goldstone Fitness, in a state of the art Spinzone Neon Spin Studio. For those who aren’t familiar, Spinning involves cycling on a stationary bike against various levels of resistance in different cycling positions. Apart from a slight wobble on the climb, when I found it hard to maintain the standing position for the allotted 60 seconds, the class passed off without incident, the time passing much quicker than I had anticipated.
What I rediscovered that morning was the highly motivating and engaging aspect of partaking in a fitness activity with others. A shared sympathetic look, the swishing of legs as we pedaled in unison, the congratulatory applause as the class came to an end; it all led to the creation of a feel good atmosphere that I doubt could be replicated through exercise in isolation.
Having made new friends and reconnected with a part of myself that was dormant for a long time, it is safe to say that I am delighted to have discovered my love for sport and fitness once again.
I have also begun training in mixed martial arts, and having felt the beneficial effects that results from striking a bag or pads, both in terms of stress release and body shape, I have scheduled a Boxfit class for April, with Beginners Aerobics, Power Boxing, Core Yoga and Pilates soon to follow.
As the weather picks up, I also hope to schedule a variety of sporting events that we can attend as a group, while also bringing fitness to the outdoors with a variety of adventurous activities.
>Having experienced the fulfilment and happiness that both team sports and fitness activities/challenges bring, both myself and Karina are passionate about young women picking up their involvement once again in both sports and fitness, and welcome new members.
We are very open to new ideas for events/team activities, and would love you to join us!
It’s never too late to get back to something you once loved.