Kate lives in the UK and Kerry lives in Uganda. Both women cherish moving their bodies to create resilience to stress in their lives.

Kerry

Weekends are my worst time for anxiety/feeling like a dick/feeling lonely/feeling useless.  African dance class starts at 9am on Saturday morning. For 2 hours with 25 other gym goers I shake my booty, stretch my arms, jump to the ceiling, hold hands with numerous different people in a communal ring, do the Uptown Funk routine, run around like a kid in time with the dance hall classic and get stretched by a really fit instructor.  By the time we finish, I’m knackered, hungry, shared numerous smiles and have that righteous inner smirk that translates in my ego to ‘You’ve been nice to yourself, you’ve done something, now its OK if you want to eat cake/watch 10 episodes of Columbo/chill by the pool. My gym in Uganda is really social, we have a whattsapp group, people notice if you’re not there, its a bit like having a local pub where people know your name.  The people who attend are skinny, fat, obese, male, female, kids, 60+ but they ALL shake their ass like their in a dance competition.  Body image is cultural different here anyway – all sizes are celebrated, sexy and everybody dances.  On Saturday mornings I make a physical contact with people which in my head confirms my existence.  I concentrate on my body and not on my ego. I push myself to sweat and enjoy that Im not in control of sweating!  I listen to upbeat music with upbeat lyrics and move in time with the instructor and 25 other people which makes me feel like im part of something and that i am doing something right because 25 other people are doing it.  My instructor has started me on weights, last week i lifted 21kg, I never thought I would be able to lift anything, he pushes me to go further every week. Oh, maybe I can do it?

Kerry's Half Marathon
Kerry’s Half Marathon

Kate

I find exercise particularly helpful when I am having a busy week, its a great opportunity to unwind, stretch my body, remove areas of tension, gives me a new headspace of relaxation/calm and  is a complete break from work. Love all types of exercise especially when its outdoors and by the sea/in the sea – this is the best kind!
Love that I feel strong and capable when exercising, my energy is increased whether I do just 10 minutes of exercising or 2 hour bike ride, I feel more focused after exercising and sleep better too.
I’m in a routine of working out regularly each week and this helps me get into and maintain other healthy routines in my life.
I have been trying new exercises this year including skiing, hula-hooping and my next venture is a 6 week static trapeze course. Exercise is my reliable go-to when I either need a boost of energy or to lift my mood or to relax after a busy day.
Kate and I toured Brittany on our bikes in 2014
Kate and I toured Brittany on our bikes in 2014

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