I was told 'no one cares that you've gone for a run'...Now, I manage my own running coaching business.
I never ran for other people, always for myself. It gives me a sense of purpose, escape, and pride. I used to post the odd picture on social media largely to hold myself accountable.
Sadly, women can sometimes put each other down. Water-cooler gossip the next day at work had me overhear two others scrolling through my Instagram feed, one rolling her eyes: "no one CARES when people go for a run."
It upset me. But, if I've been taught one thing in life, it's that things might not happen for a reason, but you can create a reason out of everything. And there was also my own running mantra: just. Keep. Showing. Up.
And so I did. I grew in confidence. I got picked for team races. I started to win the occasional race as well. And then, a nervous message in the background of my social media reached out to me: 'Cat, could you coach me to a 5km?'
It was this question which made me sign up for coaching courses and part-time study. This led to coaching at a local club, and then a Norwich football club outreach programme, and then an Army team. And now - growing my own coaching company, Changing Paces. Keep showing up, because in the background, you NEVER know who you're inspiring.
Last year I coached 403 individuals. But its not about numbers for me. I was involved in 403 individual journeys, from one-off sessions, to group sessions, to year-long marathon programmes. And I want everyone to know: yes, yes I DO care that you've gone for a run. Because whatever your pace, whatever your distance, anyone who has had the confidence to put the judgement aside and just go for it inspires me so much.