So far 2015 has been a strange year. I started the year just getting over an injury and generally fed up with running. I gave it up for a bit and focused on gaining strength in my body.

Unlike previous injuries and times off from running, I didn’t just replace one cardio for another. I truly focused on strength training: deadlifts, squats, press ups, core work etc. Since January my body has become stronger and I’m back running without issue. This is the longest stretch of consistent running I’ve ever done without picking up an injury. I can see and feel that my legs are stronger. I find myself wanting to look like Jessica Ennis-Hill rather than a Victoria Secret’s model (which let’s be honest could never happen!).

Jessica Ennis-Hill


Jessica is strong and her body just exudes that strength and determination. She’s a true role model. Strength in the body takes hard work and I’m happy to continue to put that in if it means I can run happy and healthy.

But it’s not just my body that’s getting stronger. As a person I’m realising how strong I am. I never thought I would be almost 27 and back, in some ways, at square one. Ben and me splitting up crushed me. My world crumbled around me and I was lost. I had, and still do have, a great sadness inside me and if I think too much about what could have been, should have been, and the reasons why…well it’s hard. But my life isn’t over.

These past few months have shown me parts of myself that I didn’t realise were there. I can be alone and not be lonely. I can be alone and be happy. It’s made me realise that I am a whole person and I don’t need someone else to “complete” me. I’m not ‘Ben-bashing’ here because I don’t regret the time we had together – we have so many fantastic memories and we grew as people together. We enriched each other’s lives and I’ll always be thankful for him and the time we did have. There will be no bunny boiling here. There is no drama.

I’m also not going to be burning my bra or singing Beyoncé songs to the moonlight about how I “don’t need no man”. But likewise I shan’t be watching endless Sex and the City episodes and desperately waiting for that special “Mr Right” to come along and sweep me off my feet and “complete” me.

No. I’m OK as I am right now. I know what makes me happy and I make sure every week I find that happiness. It might be silly things like having a lovely walk with Alfie on my own, or going out for dinner with friends, running a race, or eating cake (hell yes!), but I’ve realised that happiness isn’t that hard to find.

Obviously this isn’t how I thought my life would go, don’t get me wrong. University, career, marriage, possibly kids…I had my ducks set in order. But life happens and you just have to roll with it. I still don’t entirely know how my future will pan out, but I do know I will find happiness along the way.

dance_in_the_rain And because this made me chuckle:

Donut relationship status

How do you find happiness?

Where do you get your strength from?

Who’s your role model?

13 Replies to “Strength”

  1. That relationship status photo is EXCELLENT!! Haha!
    This is such a beautifully written post Anna, I can just feel your strength and determination shining through.
    So often when I look at my life even now at just 23 it’s not exactly how I’d imagined, or rather what I feel I ‘should’ be doing but it’s me and I’m muddling through and that’s okay! Each day I learn to put less pressure on myself, it’s not always easy but it’s progress. Progress beats perfection every time.
    And body wise, I’m all about the CrossFit girls when it comes to role models in that sense. To me, strength = beauty. But also I know that that’s MY ideal, for others it may be yogis or dancers or whatever, and that difference is kind of magical too 🙂
    Pip {Cherries & Chisme} recently posted…One Colourful BathMy Profile

  2. I love this post…the tone, the content…everything.

    Trust me, wherever you are in life you will always be streets ahead of me. The thought of turning 30 terrifies me but at this point I can’t keep on subjecting myself to the judgement of others/society regarding where I ‘should’ be in terms of career, relationships etc. Nuts to what other people think. I do wish I could have been of more help to you recently; that I could have given some truly reassuring advice, but I’m utterly clueless when it comes to relationships and I just didn’t know what to say.

    I don’t recall ever wanting to look like a VS model: I wanted to look like (and run like) Paula Radcliffe from the age of seven and that desire never waned…although that’s about as likely as me having the physique of a VS model. I’m nothing if not unrealistic in my goals 😉

    Honestly, happiness and strength come from self-assurance. As long as your life choices don’t hurt anyone else, then what does it matter if you’re single or married; if you have five kids or none? If people want to be competitive or judgmental then that’s their prerogative, but as a society I think we need to take our nose out of other people’s business and realize that there is no universal standard when it comes to happiness and success. What’s the point in earning tonnes of money, for example, if your job makes you miserable and stressed 24/7? Impressing others is no reason to do anything. Competing with others is futile, and that’s something I really, really need to work on myself. I think that using negative experiences to better ourselves, as you have done, is an indicator of true resilience – strength comes in many forms, and you honestly have all of them covered.
    Jess @ One Step Closer recently posted…Melmerby 10K ~ 45:35My Profile

    1. I do think that being 30 is different nowadays than to what it used to be, if that makes sense. People are moving out later, going to university which delays starting their career etc. I don’t feel too panicked just yet 😉
      I think you’re absolutely right. It really doesn’t matter what other people think – and to be honest, all those I care about are there to support me, not judge me and that’s all that matters at the end of the day.
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…Ready to go and an epic failMy Profile

  3. Great post Anna, your strength and happiness at being yourself really shines through!
    My last relationship was almost 10 years long and when it ended I felt like I was a half-person, that I’d only existed before with that person. I felt such grief and loss. Like you, I don’t regret that relationship one bit but learning to love myself and time to myself was such a revelation (and certainly helped me in my next relationship).
    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Claire @ Flake and Cake recently posted…From flu to a fluff monsterMy Profile

  4. Sounds like you are doing so well Anna, and learning a lot about yourself along the way. I’ve been with my other half for almost 12 years, but I am a very independent person, and a bit of an introvert I guess, I actually from time to time need to spend time alone- hence the long distance running haha!
    Lauren (@PoweredbyPB) recently posted…Don’t forget to look upMy Profile

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