Let’s face it – neither of us would be where we are now without the most important women in our lives – and we probably wouldn’t have the same attitudes towards health and wellbeing that we do without our mothers playing the laundry lady/taxi driver/#1 supporter/ role that they do!
So, on this rainy Mothering Sunday, when neither of us actually have the fortune to be with them, we’d like to celebrate the top women in our lives and what makes them so freakin’ awesome
Katie: My mum has put up with a lot. She’s driven me to netball games and races, watched in the rain, watched in the sun, watched in the cold, washed my kit (!), listened to my complaining and disappointments when I’ve sat on the bench, cheered my wins and PBs, told me to get my act together, tried to stop me getting injured, brought me ice packs when I am……(basically she does everything) She is probably my number 1 fan and this is just one of the MANY things I am grateful to her for. There aren’t enough words in the world to write why she is amazing, so I’m going to focus mainly on her influence on my lifestyle and sporting career.
I genuinely don’t think I would be as keen on fitness, health and activity if I didn’t have a role model like her – yes we’ve both had our ups and downs along the way but if I can be anywhere near as healthy and active as she as (at her age har har) then I would consider that an incredible achievement. Friends often joke that a Ferguson family holiday is most people’s idea of hell…..but keeping fit and active is something that as a family we all love, appreciate and want to do together. I don’t think I’d be running on holiday if I had a mother who wanted to lie on the beach all day every day. Each to their own of course, and if that’s what you want to do then that’s fine, but the fact we are so much on the same page means I’ve always got that encouragement, that enthusiasm, that drive to get up and active that it makes it so much easier.
Every time I go home (i.e. every errr 2 or 3 weeks – because i genuinely LOVE my family and spending time with them) we usually go running, or one of us is racing and the other is watching, or we both race and my sister holds the bags. I’ve paced her to parkrun PBs, she’s accompanied me on the last few dragging miles of marathon training long runs, she cycled up Mt Ventoux on a full-suss MTB where her disk brakes were dragging (aka extreme resistance training, nutter), for her 21st (teehee) birthday we held a surprise Zumba party, she wants birthday weekends away mountain biking in the Alps, she spends every Sunday morning out cycling with my dad and ‘the lads’, she spends her Saturday afternoons at the side of a rugby pitch cheering on my dad, she does PT sessions, wildman circuit training, running club, tennis, running cycling and running clubs at school to get children involved at a young age…..the list goes on and on! The reason I’m not with her today is because she’s currently skiing in Chamonix…..point proven.
I will leave you with a little image gallery to celebrate my AWESOMELY CRAY CRAY MOTHER who continues to inspire and impress me every day (sorry mum but I had to add in the one with the stripy shorts because I think they will eventually come back into fashion) (ps she jumped a plane once on a horse. When I tried it I didn’t even get that far round the course and she then had to deal with me being unable to get off the sofa for 4 days and be at my beck and call)
Kate: My parents are a pair of mad hatters, the most supportive people a daughter could ask for and have the patience of particularly virtuous saints. They’ve always embraced my eccentricities (which seems only fair, given in all likelihood they are derived from my upbringing anyway), actively encouraged me to embark on crazy adventures and spent hours and hours talking me through my hang-ups, heartbreaks and life plans. For all of these things I will be eternally grateful to both of them, but today, given it is Mothers’ Day, I’ve been thinking mostly about my Mother and her influence on my outlook on fitness, health and wellbeing. So here’s to you Mamma Jane, your eternally positive outlook on life and your latent savage competitive streak.
In much the same way as Katie’s mum, my mother has spent a significant proportion of her time ferrying me and my three siblings around to various activities and groups over the years – I met one of my best friends Harry at a Touch Rugby tournament when I was ten years old; she always likes to remind me that she only spoke to me that day because my mum was there giving out jaffa cakes and orange squash… so, I have a lifelong friendship to thank my mother for as well.
As a child, I went to dancing lessons, the girl guides, played football and spent a lot of time frolicking in the fields where I lived, all of which were facilitated/paid for/encouraged by my parents. I was a pretty active child, I was never skinny per se, but the food my mum put on the table was honest-to-god wholesome fare and Fridays were after-school-sweet-treat days and I was a healthy and happy child. And so, the first time I encountered a problem with my weight my mum was a huge support in the way that only a mother could. After I left school at 17, I embarked upon an internship in London. Living away from home for the first time, working in an office environment and not having the self-awareness to eat anything other than pizza and ice-cream saw me gain a lot of weight over the course of the eight-month stint. My mum, being the diplomatic and pragmatic person that she is, dropped enough subtle hints, soaked in enough brutal honesty, to inspire me to get off my a*se without impacting my self-confidence. She coaxed me out of the house on hikes, to yoga lessons and on bike-rides and by the time I went to university I looked and felt a million times better and was ready to take on the world. Without her help, god knows what sort of shy, retiring, chubby fresher I would have been.
About 15 years ago my mum set about training to become a Yoga instructor, having taken up the practice herself a few years previously and enjoying significant benefits. Today she runs a successful Yoga business, teaching on average six classes a week, with a focus on rehabilitation and gaining and maintaining mobility in her older clients. Whenever I head home for a few days I go to as many of her classes as I can and am still flabbergasted that she can demonstrate and talk though the postures, keep an eye on the class and not break a sweat, whilst I grunt and groan in agony, feel my heart-rate go through the roof and feel drips of perspiration dribble down my nose. It’s both infuriating and awe inspiring. You go girl!
Finally there’s the rowing. My parents took up coastal rowing a few years ago as something fun to do together and an excuse to spend more time on the water, given they live just up the road from a beautiful Welsh beach. Now, I am a competitive person (just ask Katie – I spend a lot of time screeching on rugby pitches…), but I always assumed I took after my father in this regard. It wasn’t until I witnessed my mum race in a Celtic Longboat for the first time that I realised she’s got one helluva competitive streak in her and we are scarily alike when faced with a competitive situation! My parents have always encouraged ‘taking part’ and I’ve never once felt like I’d let them down if I didn’t win something, but equally I’m grateful to them for always encouraging in us kids a competitive mind-set. Is there really any point in doing anything if you’re not going to give it everything you’ve got? The only time I’ve ever questioned this mind-set is when we are all at the pub as a family watching the rugby – having six green-clad Irish rugby fans screaming blue murder at a television set is probably fairly terrifying…