She was one of over 67 million people to pass through London Bridge Station in an average year while just a few miles away Kings Cross Station is clocking up footfall numbers of 47 million! Train ticket prices have consistently risen, and in 2003 the Congestion Charge was introduced to limit the colossal number of cars that would enter Central London.
My first degree was in Ocean Science, my second in Marine Science and Socio-Economics, so it’s safe to say that my mind is never too far away from the sea and environmental matters.
When I left university I spent some time thinking about what I wanted from a career. During this time, I was given some advice about planning my future which I will treasure forever. Professor Anthony Finkelstein said to me,
“Think about what you want your everyday life to be like, how do you want to get to work, what do you want to wear for work, what kind of people do you most like to be around… then find something that will enable you to achieve the greatest number of these things.”
Taking this advice led me to pursuing the role of Fitness and Training Manager at Reebok UK, and ultimately being able to run to my meetings instead of spending my days as part of that crowd at London Bridge.
In preparation for our CrossFit Games Open I had six locations to get to and a very tight schedule but, having mapped out the locations, I realised that I was going to end up spending the entire day on the tube/buses/in cabs. So I looked at the distances between each gym, and established that none was greater than 3-4 miles. My decision was made: I was going to run.
By running I could be outside all day, eat a lot (re-fuelling is important) and see some new parts of London I’d never seen before… I turned my mind to thinking of it as an adventure!
Here are some things I learned whilst running a half-marathon through London:
- Runners don’t tend to acknowledge or smile at one another. As a die-hard CrossFitter I found this weird… but smiled at people anyway.
- Running with a backpack changes everything!!!
- Running is always better than the tube at rush hour.
- Google Maps gives great turn-by-turn directions but use the cycle function if you’re running.
- There is a lot of water and green space in London… much more than I previously realised.
- Cheesecake is excellent for re-fuelling post exercise (*may not be scientifically reliable).
The biggest lesson I learned was how positive others were about the experience. I wanted to avoid the congestion of the big city and search out green spaces but what I achieved was more mental clarity, a great workout and zero emissions! Wins all around.