At 62 years of age a lot of people would consider it’s time to take it easy and get the knitting needles out!! My son rang me and said there was a running programme starting at the Swimming Pool, Ballymena but I needed to sign up NOW - I did so and on Tuesday 13th January2015 a very nervous me arrived at the Swimming Pool for 6.30pm start. The fee was £10 and the programme lasted for nine weeks. I felt that I would give it a go and if I couldn’t cope well it was no big deal.
My first impressions were good - the people looked normal and made the effort to be welcoming. After the initial apprehension each week I looked forward to meeting my buddies on a Tuesday night. The leaders were great, some nights we were pushed further than we wanted to be but never did I feel left out or discouraged. As time progressed I changed from “I can’t Run to “I’ll try to Run” and finally “I can Run”. I must say that the Cosy Sofa programme is excellent. Starting froma point where one hasn’t run to being able to run for 30 minutes (hopefully fast enough to clock up 5k) in nine weeks encouraged week in week out by leaders is tremendous. At the end of the nine weeks we all met in Montgomery’s for our “graduation” and official Ballymena Runners Tee-shirt.
Would I do it again, yes. After a year I have slowly progressed “enjoying” Monday night training, the Ecos Parkrun on a Saturday morning, a relay of a marathon, 5K and 10K races. What I enjoy most is the friendships I have made and the encouragement received from one and all, even when I feel I’m struggling. Ballymena Runners has a great bunch of people who are committed, dedicated, encouraging and friendly - I hope they never lose this attitude towards others.
In closing I’m so thankful to be part of a Club that is interested in encouraging members no matter how fast or slow they run.