I grew up in the West Country living between the moors and sea so moving to London really hit me hard. After living a rather sedentary life there where I worked as a nurse for many years, moving to Scotland and being able to get out hill walking (and bagging my first Munro!) has been a great way to improve my fitness and restart my love of the outdoors. Packing up the van, grabbing the dogs and heading to remote beautiful places is possibly one of the best feelings you can have.
When lockdown and furlough happened I was at a loose end, mentally and physically. Helen suggested the 1000km challenge through work and I decided to go for it with a combination of running and walking. Getting outside daily for exercise whether it be a 10k dog walk or a 4k run is a great way to improve your mental health. Sometimes I have to give myself an imaginary kick to make myself go out but once I’m out I love it.
I have been running pretty much every day for the last three months using an app to get me up to 5km. It’s been a struggle as I have a knee injury which flares up occasionally but I’ve been determined and with daily yoga to help, I’ve finally cracked it. I also have a rowing machine which I am using to build up strength in my shoulder after suffering nerve damage over a year ago.
I have recently started a HIIT challenge every morning to improve my strength and keep my fitness up now that I am back at work full time. This ranges from 2-4 12 minute daily videos. I am actually enjoying the challenge and seeing the change in my strength and ability to complete the exercises each day. Mountain climbers no longer give me the fear. Also appreciated is some much needed inch loss!
Some of my ‘active’ goals now that our travel restrictions have finally been lifted are to climb more Munros and some hills in our local area. I also hope to finish a 5k race I am entered in this autumn in a good time. Maybe even complete a 10k! I am also considering getting a bike for next spring to explore more of the forest trails. As I haven’t been on one for over 20 years it should be interesting.
Being in a middle of a pandemic with quarantine lockdown restrictions makes you realise that a lot of the day to day mundane things really aren’t that important. Taking time to appreciate the beauty of your surroundings and having quality time to yourself really helps your well being and mental health.
Thank you Vikky for sharing your story about trying new activities and overcoming injury. All images are copyright to Vikky, unless otherwise stated. If you would like to join the movement and share your own "active vet" story head over to our submission page here.