So here we are at the end of another year – how did that happen?
I usually get a bit reflective at this time of year and I’m not going to lie, I won’t be sad to get to the end of this one.
On a personal level, this year has been full of disappointment and unfulfilled dreams but I’m still here to fight another day and am looking forward to finding out what 2013 has in store.
My Tigers, on the other hand, have had a fantastic year and I’m so proud to have played a part in their development. I don’t want to single anyone out as they’re all amazing but I’m going to tell you a story about Heather.
Heather and I have been friends for almost 30 years and she won’t mind me telling you, she would find any excuse to dodge PE at school and her dislike of exercise continued into her adult life.
Last year, however, she piped up at one girls’ night: “I’m going to run a 5K next year”. We all laughed. Well, in March this year Heather signed up to my beginners walk / jog programme and if I’m honest, I wasn’t 100 per cent confident she would last the course.
But Heather has been one of the most committed of all the groups, missing very few sessions, and she saw the fruits of her efforts when she won our Christmas Handicap 5K race in a time of under forty minutes.
Heather’s husband joined my advanced group to see what all the fuss is about and has now signed up to his first marathon.
This is just one example of how running has enriched someone’s life, and I could give you plenty more as my groups grow bigger and better by the week. I have really enjoyed working with people from all walks of life and it brings me great joy to watch them progress and become runners.
Each has their own personal goal and reason for running and it’s my job to help them achieve that.
As for me, who knows what next year will bring.
Things might have to take a slightly different angle but I will keep you posted.
This year’s challenges have only made me more determined to succeed; and my Tigers keep me motivated whenever I start to feel down.
One thing is for sure; while runs come to an end, being a runner doesn’t.
Bring on 2013, my Tigers and I are going to kick your ass!
•Toni McIntosh is a former international runner, a personal trainer and massage therapist.
To find out more about her running groups just give her a call on the number below.