Halema was a very active person, but after developing drug resistant tuberculosis and having two children she became sedentary. She explained, ‘my body had a really, really bad impact from it. It affected my lungs.’
Being fit and healthy has always been important to Halema. She explained that ‘as the years have gone on, I kept kind of waking up at three o’clock in the morning saying, “I want to be thin again and I want to be healthy” and I’d kind of run around the room at three in the morning.’
Having young children and a busy routine, she knew this wasn’t sustainable. So, when one day she saw some ladies running round Trittiford Mill Park ‘with this lovely bright purple t-shirt’ saying Run Birmingham, she wanted to get involved.
‘You can see women of all kinds of ages, backgrounds, different kind of body types. And they were all so motivated. And you could see this really lovely camaraderie between them. And I really wanted to be a part of it.’
Halema’s friend passed on Taz’s, the group’s run leader’s, contact details and he got in touch straight away to invite her into the running group. Halema and her daughter Jas joined the ladies social running group at Trittiford Mill Pool on Friday mornings at 9am. The sessions are currently taking place in groups of up to 6 people, following the latest coronavirus guidelines.
At first, Halema felt a bit reluctant, but she explained ‘when I’m doing it, I do definitely have a sense of pride. I like people to see me doing it. And at the end, it’s a big sense of achievement.’ She’s spurred on by Taz’s ‘boundless energy’ and the other fantastic ladies who are part of the group. They enjoy observing the nature, the seasons, and chatting to the local people and walkers at the park.
Halema says that she’s not a natural runner and her knees hurt sometimes, but she’s been amazed by what her body can achieve. She didn’t realise she could do a 5k run or a 10k walk without any bother.
‘My body is a fantastic machine, and I can push myself a bit further every time. I thought I was going to be a very wheezy, breathless, kind of sweaty mess. But actually, by the end of it, I’m glistening and I’m glowing.’
Since joining the group and taking part in regular runs, she has seen lots of benefits for her health and wellbeing. ‘I’m in a better mood. Definitely. I sleep better. I eat better.’
We have restarted our running activities in groups of up to 6 people. There are lots of group sessions all over the city, such as the Oaklands Recreation Ground Social Running Group who meet on Tuesdays and Fridays at 9am. Visit the Facebook group to find out more and get involved.