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Mid Suffolk

Claire from Stowmarket

IBD didn't stop me! Run this life!

Activity: Running and Gym

I have always enjoyed keeping fit and have tried a range of sports and have always run as a form of keeping fit and relaxation. I also played and coached football.
In 2012 as I was training for the Olympic park run I became ill and after numerous tests was diagnosed with chronic ulcerative colitis. I had to have emergency surgery to remove my colon. After 2 major surgeries and 4 minor procedures I now have a permanent ileostomy.
Being able to go to the gym, run, keep fit and be active with my daughter was my goal through all my illness.
I am now fitter and stronger than I have been for many years, I'm not fast but love being able to run with my daughter (age 8) and be active with my family.. we have been snorkelling, done high ropes together, run in the Olympic stadium, done race for life and colour runs. I am proud of my scars and sport has helped me to accept them, my ostomy and myself ! This girl can !

Stephanie from Stowmarket

My children are watching I shall never quit

Activity: Rugby, running and just started boxing

As a single mum of two ... exercise is my break and something we enjoy together!
I run every Sunday morning, pushing my nearly 2 year old in a buggy and my 5 year old runs with me. I encourage my parents to join in. Once we've run the 2km I run an extra 2 with out the children with my older sister.
I play rugby, train Wednesday evenings, we have games on Sundays our team got promoted this season. People always say things like your to small to play rugby, you'll break like a twig ... I love proving them wrong. My sister and I play on the same team.
We have recently taken up boxing we have only attended 3 sessions so far but I love it, another adrenaline rush, it's a killer too!
I go to the gym in the mornings if I'm not at work.
Fitness is my life choice and I absolutely love it!

Claire from Stowmarket

Barriers were made to be broken!

Activity: All gym activities

I have Crohns, arthritis & asthma. Being active eases my symptoms & builds muscle to strengthen me. I also survived domestic violence & sport gives me confidence. I think I'm proof that barriers are made to be broken! Make life better for yourself!

Georgina from Stowmarket

When you think you can't do one more ... do just one more

Activity: HIIT, Running, cross fit

Throughout my life I never considered myself to be the sporty type and always felt overwhelmed and uncomfortable in the gyms environment.
I started training with one of my best friends as a PT then she started The HIIT team shortly after and I have never looked back. I fell in love with the short bursts of effort, the fact that it's you against you doing your best, and the community. Everyone support each other in a way only a fit family can.
My training has been vital to managing a stomach condition, and bouts of low mood and social anxiety. I have been training for 3 years and this January started a new location of The HIIT Team in Stowmarket to share my experience and help promote a healthy lifestyle without the expensive monthly commitments and a supportive HIITFam community to anyone that wants to join!

Joanne from Stowmarket

Exercise means extra fries

Activity: Running

I am the girl who dreaded PE at school, who hated sports day and never exercised. I truly couldn't understand the need for it!
It wasn't until after the birth of my 3rd I decided out of the blue I wanted to get fit and joined a beginners group at my local running club. I could barely run around the track when we started and in less than a year I am running 10k. I didn't stay with the running club but I go out with a friend and I can honestly say that I finally enjoy it and just love the buzz you get afterwards. Sometimes it is hard to get out and do it around child commitments but I try to go twice a week and have signed up for my first running event next month!
For anyone wondering whether running is for them I would really encourage them to give it a go, its amazing how quickly you see results in your ability and that alone keeps you wanting to do more!

Juliet from Wyverstone

Dream, Believe, Achieve

Activity: Running, Martial Arts, Cycling, Gym, Swimming

I struggled with sport at school hated almost every minute of it, the pain of being ridiculed and not being picked by the others girls filled me with dread! After having my children i struggled with the baby weight and starting running with a friend within a year I was taking part in a half marathon but during became injured. So I switched to Zumba and rather than watching my son at martial arts took it up. 6 years on I'm now a black belt. I've become addicted to giving things ago encouraging my boys and others along the way. I'm now taking swimming lessons in an attempt to do a triathlon. Swimming is not a strong point and taking the plunge to trend lessons at 43 was difficult but I'm there and doing it!

Sarah from Eye

Activity: Running, Cycling, Swimming

My goodness.. where do I start,
I first started running/circuit training when i was 36,slightly overweight after child birth. I couldn't run 500M without stopping. But slowly with help from others and thinking that i perhaps could do it i blinking well did... 14 years later I have ran loads of races ( i always remember my first though) even the London marathon. Just over a year ago i purchased a racer and I have just completed 100M Cyclathon...and my 1st Triathlon after learning to swim this year(cant believe i actually got my face in the water and didn't worry what i looked like without make-up on!) I have got my friend though a 10k race after having a hip replacement. I have ran beginners running courses at a club. The whole exercise thing not only makes you look good, it helps you to meet new friends and ultimately helps your self -esteem. I would love to help more people.

Sarah from Stowmarket

Activity: Running and Gym (weights, cardio and classes)

Finding my 'running legs' helped me achieve my 5 and 1/2 stone weight loss - going from a serial couch potato to completing two half marathons (and numerous 5k's and 10k's in between). Knowing that I needed to lose weight, afraid of stepping in to a gym and worried I'd be laughed at pounding the pavements, campaigns such as 'This Girl Can' gave me the courage to lace up my trainers, stick headphones in my ears and just go for it. I'm now a member of the gym also and can regularly be seen in the free weights section, on a spin bike or pounding a boxing bag! I encourage all women to take part in some form of physical activity or sport, it's hugely beneficial to your mental state too - definitely the best form of therapy!

Brenda from Stowmarket

Be unique Be yourself

Activity: Roller Derby and Cycling

I'm 42 years old and have 2 boys.
So my age was a big factor when starting out in Roller Derby 5 years ago, as I wasn't the youngest or fittest. Met loads of friends who accepted me for me! Also I cycle that gives me freedom .

Jo from Elmswell

Believe and Achieve

Activity: Running, Cycling and Swimming.

My passion is endurance running, from 5K to marathons – marathons being my favourite, and have completed 9 of those. I have recently taken part in my first triathlon - a half iron man distance that I loved.


I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001 not long after having my 2nd child. Once recovered from that, I took part in my first Race For Life, I wanted to give something back. But I was shocked at how hard I found those 3 miles, so I joined my local running club and have never looked back. The following year I went back to Race For Life and came 4th!! A few years later I qualified as a UK Athletics Coach In Running Fitness - I was so passionate about running that I wanted to be able to help other people take it up. In 2011 I was diagnosed again with breast cancer. Running had made me stronger to face the treatment that I went through, both physically and mentally. My outlook on life has changed since becoming a runner/swimmer/cyclist; my eating has become more healthy along with my mental well being. My sports are "Me Time" away from the hectic world of being a working Mum and Wife, allowing me to chose goals that I strive for and achieve.

Gemma from Elmswell

You think girls are not strong, think again!

Activity: Roller Derby

I play Roller Derby, a full contact team sport on skates, training four times per week. I play to let off steam and be part of an awesome and diverse group of women, testing my mental toughness and physical strength to the limit! I began when I moved to the area to care for my husband, being treated for cancer. When he passed away I was very alone and isolated. Derby has given me so much confidence, I am team captain and provide a strong and resilient role model. I believe all women should be brave and know they can do anything, no matter their shape or size. I am a teacher and was told with my job I wouldn't have time for sport. I proved them wrong and thrived, whilst doing my training and practice, you make time for things that bring you happiness. I have shown ThisGirlCan videos to my students, feedback is very positive, inspiring the next generation. Whilst skating I broke my ankle, but have bounced back from injury to be stronger than ever, nothing should hold you back from your dreams. I see myself as an ambassador for women in sport, no excuses!

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