Updated: Mar 30, 2018
You might have noticed a lot of my paintings have an active theme about them. Kickboxing, biking, swimming. Have just finished a golfing commission.
I love that point of impact, the movement involved in a physical activity. I also love being active.
But I don't kickbox for the benefits to my body, much more for its effects on my mind.
Not long after the birth of our second child, my husband returned home with a present. Not a bunch of flowers or a box of chocolates or even a diamond ring, but a running machine.
The lack of sleep and physical exhaustion of being a mum had taken its toll on my mood. And he could tell I needed more than a superficial fix.
Basically, my babies had limited my fitness opportunities and he knew I'm not me if I can't exercise. So from then on, after settling the kids for the night, I would switch on the baby monitor and run for my life. It sorted me out, got me back to where I needed to be to take on the tasks before me effectively. And as well as fulfilling my mum duties with a much more positive mindset, I got in training for a half marathon.
Coming from a biking background, I got into running in my 20s and have become hooked on kickboxing in my later years. The fitness passion may have changed over time but the common factor throughout is that, for me, fitness is like eating, sleeping and breathing.
It is not something I do because I feel I should, but because I know I must. It is one of my basic requirements to function. For my wellbeing, it is where I have always turned.
Dealing with stress, clearing my head and helping me think, making me feel alive, boosting my sense of self, and giving me the confidence and drive to attack the challenge. Of course, it makes me fit and strong too, but that is almost just a wonderful side effect.
If I don't set aside time for my fitness I notice straightaway. I get lethargic, ratty, frustrated, unmotivated and start comfort eating. Some people are willing to exist like this permanently but if I want to make the best of every day and operate at my optimum level, kickboxing and running are as fundamental to my existence as the air I breathe.
I love life. Life is too precious to me not to live it fully.