This Girl Can in Reading

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Sitting at my desk yesterday afternoon, staring longingly at a Kinder chocolate snack bar, I decided to cancel my gym class after work.

I’d started work at 7.15am, I was feeling sluggish and who would really care if I missed one tiny spinning session?

Then ‘This Girl Can‘ popped into my head.

The previous night I attended a fantastic event at Electric Hairdressing in Reading, run by Get Berkshire Active, called Reading Girls Can.

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It was inspired by, and based around the national This Girl Can campaign, which aims to celebrate active women around the country, and inspire others to give fitness a try. It doesn’t matter what size or shape you are, or what type of fitness you might want to do, it’s all about just getting out there, embracing your inner Sweaty Betty, and giving it a go.

I’d seen the Reading Girls Can event advertised on Facebook and rallied round my friends for a bit of a girly night. It was a free event so I figured we could just see what it was like. When we turned up, we weren’t exactly sure what to expect but Kirsty from Get Berkshire Active welcomed us in and invited us to help ourselves to juice and snacks.

As other ladies arrived the girls from Electric got to work with some summer styles, giving each guest a chance to have their hair done, and sharing tips on how we could recreate it at home. My hairdresser went for a slicked-back pony look on me, not something I’d normally wear, but well, it turns out I can totally work my inner Kim Khardasian when I need to!

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The rest of our group had their hair braided, and there were some really lovely styles, perfect for the hot weather we’re having at the moment.

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There’s something about getting your hair styled by someone else which feels like a real treat, so it was nice to start the evening feeling a bit pampered!

After we’d all had a bit of hair work, Kirsty introduced us to two This Girl Can ambassadors – Lou and Nicky – who were so inspiring. Lou won a competition last year which was looking for a complete running novice to train up and run the London Marathon. She shared her story, and showed us her medal (amazing!), and it was so inspiring to hear how she set set herself a goal, and with a lot of hard work and determination, managed to exceed her own expectations.

Lou and Nicky with Kirsty

Lou and Nicky with Kirsty

Nicky is an open water swimmer and told us how she was never a sporty person at school but a few years ago she discovered open water swimming and has become hooked. Again, totally inspiring to hear someone talk about their sport in such a passionate way.

We then heard from two ladies who spoke about the Park Run, a weekly free 5K run which takes place all over the country. It inspired me to get my running shoes on, and on the next spare Saturday I have, I will be joining the other runners, come rain or shine. (Maybe just the shine, I’m only human!).

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The next part of the evening was a yoga taster run by Kim of Kalm and Kind Yoga, which is based on the outskirts of Reading and around West Berkshire. I’ve always fancied giving yoga a go, and the taster session definitely made me more determined to find a full class to go to. We did a few different yoga postures, and Kim spoke about letting yourself unwind and relax.

She also ran a mindfulness session at the end of the event, which focused on being in the moment, and trying to concentrate on the thing in front of you (in our case a Lindt choc!), rather than all the noise we have in our daily lives. It was so refreshing just to stop and breathe.

I really feel like I took a lot away from the event, as well as having a lovely catch up with friends, and it’s left me feeling inspired to be more active, and less hectic.

So sitting at my desk, I decided not to cancel my gym class. I went spinning and it was hot and sweaty (even my arms were sweating!!), but it felt really good and I’m so glad I went.

(Although I definitely did also eat the chocolate snack bar too. We can’t always be perfect right?!).

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