operation move walk

Towards the end of 2012 I was feeling pretty old and worn out and I didn’t like it. I had just given birth to baby #3 and been through a decade of motherhood where I was very low on my list of priorities. I had been taking care of my family but not taking care of myself and it was catching up with me. Not only was I in bad shape physically but also my mental health was pretty poor. I was getting fed up with feeling so weak and waking up with aches and pains every morning. I also realised that if I want to be capable of taking care of my family in the future I needed to look after myself. So it was time to do something about it!

Previous attempts to exercise regularly have failed. I have joined gyms and classes and that usually lasts about a month or two before I just can’t be bothered going. I would also set big goals only to fail to reach them and give up or more often than not end up injured. I decided I needed to do things a little differently this time – start slowly and try and build regular exercise into a habit. This is where Operation Move came in. I’d been reading Kate’s blog, Kate Says Stuff, and her Operation Move posts. Her approach appealed to me. No rules about how or when you had to move – just commit to moving a certain number of minutes each month, find something that works for you and don’t worry what anyone else is doing. So I decided to join in.

I started off walking because that is something I could do easily with my baby. My plan was to get out at least 3 times a week and it didn’t matter how far or how fast. That was working well for a while and then I started wanting to track my progress and get a bit more “serious”. I downloaded a free app and monitored my distance and pace so I could see if I was improving. And I did improve. I got faster and was able to walk further but the biggest change for me was that I began to manage my anxiety better. I’m sure my entire family were grateful for that 😉

So I kept walking… I was determined that I wasn’t a runner though! I kept reading things from other Operation Move members about running but thought nope, not me, I’m not a runner. It wasn’t even the thought that I couldn’t do it – it just seemed like an awful lot of hard work!

After a bit more Operation Move reading I started to get intrigued about the “runner’s high” and feelings of strength that Kate and other runners were posting about. I started to wonder if maybe I could run and actually enjoy it. At the beginning of October 2013 I bought myself a second hand treadmill and started a C25K program. I have taken it slowly and repeated sessions where I have needed to; I have been supported and encouraged by the Operation Move members and on the 15th Dec 2012 I ran for 20 mins and 2.3km nonstop!

I would have to say the best decision I made in 2013 was to join Operation Move. I totally credit this team for my running progress but also, and maybe more importantly, for showing me how to believe in myself again.


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Zoey Dowling

Written by: operationmove

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  1. <3 <3 so inspiring, regular walking/running really does help with mental health doesn't it. Operation Move is such n inspirational bunch, so happy to have found it :D Looking forward to photos of you as you cross the line in January!

  2. Love this, Rach! So many similarities to my year, where would we be without OpMove!? I can't wait to see your finishing photos!!

  3. Zoey Dowling

    Your are such an inspiration Rach! I'm so glad you're feeling better, it's amazing what a walk/run can do for the mind. I'll be cheering you on in January!!

  4. Zoey Dowling

    It's so great to read your story Rach and know that for a few hours a week you are putting yourself first and everyone wins. You are a runner now! The world is your oyster!

  5. Rachel your story is very moving and I congratulate you on your approach, walking/running can have an amazing impact on your life, keep it up!!! and Lee is right the world is your oyster, it doesn't matter how far or how long it takes but the fact that you are feeling so great as opposed to how you felt is awesome!!!! You go girl:) Amazing stuff we are all here to support one another:)

  6. Zoey Dowling

    Wahooo Rach awesome read and such a beautiful inspiring story. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Merry Christmas to you all, hope 2014 brings you much health & happiness

  8. Zoey Dowling

    Thank you everyone! x It's kind of ironic that this was published the week that I have been so busy with the kids and preparing for Christmas there's been very little in the way of moving! The difference is now I know I will be back into it in a day or two whereas previously I would throw in the towel. With all your support I've had such a change in how I view myself this year and I am looking forward to what next year brings! Merry Christmas!

  9. Moving really does do wonders for mental health. OpMove is great, simply because there is no pressure "to perform" there is only encouragement and motivation (and a little of the old HTFU when needed ;-) Loved your story, and heres to onwards and upwards in 2014, theres no stopping you now...you're a RUNNER!

    • Zoey Dowling

      Thanks Lyndell :D I haven't had a chance to get out as much as I'd like this week and it shows! I have my resolution run event on the 12th Jan though so that will give me a boost.

  10. I have been feeling exactly the same of late. Baby #2 was supposed to follow my healthy, drama-free pregnancy so I could get back to my previous fitness level with a lot more ease than after gaining 40kgs with Baby #1! Instead, I had chronic morning sickness until the day I got gastro, and delivered my son six weeks early. I'd gained hardly any weight at all, but four months later I've suffered a few illnesses that have left me weak, unfit, and with very little energy to get up and go. I'm really hoping to turn things around this year for myself - having two children two years apart in age has meant that I haven't been able to focus on myself at all, and it shows! Operation Move is a part of this, but not the whole. The whole has to come from a deep desire for things to be different from how they are now, and I'm definitely feeling it now!

    • Zoey Dowling

      Gosh I can't imagine how horrible gastro would be when pregnant Beatrix! It's bad enough when you aren't. Here's to 2014 and getting things turned around :D