I had a bit of a “moment” at the gym earlier this week.

I was on the stationary bike (the sitting down one as normal bikes are SO UNCOMFORTABLE). It was an attempt to stick to my promise to do more cardio and earn those 500 points on my TomTom watch more often.  I was sweaty and rank and some sweat dropped off my eyebrow into my actual eye, and I realised that I LOVED it.

Not the actual sweat dropping in my eye, that was rank and stung a bit. And not the bike, definitely not the bike, I still hate cardio machines, they are boring. But that feeling. That feeling that I was working hard. Hard enough that I would have to kill anyone who tried to make me engage in conversation and hard enough to make sweat drop into my eyes.

At about the same time I remembered a moment many (many) years before when I was at university. I was in the Gym that I think I belonged to for about a month before I gave up, on a cross trainer or step machine or some such thing, and one of the gym trainers came over and started talking to me, and I was embarrassed because I was out of breath and sweaty.

I was embarrassed to be sweaty. In a GYM.

I’m trying to figure out when it was that I learned to love sweaty. When I started to give no shits about people seeing me in my sweaty lycra and whether they judged me or not.

I think it was more recently than you’d imagine. Not long before I started this blog in 2012 I remember still being embarrassed when little shits kids would shout stuff when they saw me running. After I started this blog I remember going for a run around a park once on a stupidly hot sunny day and being horrified when I saw my red sweaty face when I got into the car. Horrified that people might have seen me in public like that.

It wasn’t that long ago that I pretty much always put my make up on before I went for a run, even if that was literally all I was doing that day. Just in case someone saw me.

This weeks realisation that I LOVED being a sweaty mess felt liberating.

It goes alongside not caring whether I look cute in my workout kit, as long as it makes me feel awesome.

It’s a feeling I wish I could have discovered earlier.

It’s a feeling I really wish I could give to more women who are apparently STILL scared to get sweaty for fear of being seen as unfeminine.

However, I feel like there is a change in the air.

The Womens Roller Derby World Cup was shown on the BBC Sports app this month. The Women’s Football World Cup was shown on TV in 2017 and the Women’s Six Nations Rugby can be watched on TV too (But only if you have Sky Sports, booo!).

Recently I read the news about a study that had found the “ideal” female physique was now to be muscular and toned (Lets not get started on that word though, maybe another day!), rather than just skinny. It’s sad that women’s appearance is still the main concern, and we still want skinny, apparently we always want skinny, but still, it feels like a step in the right direction.

I find it really exciting to think that maybe, just maybe, a new generation of women won’t have to wait till they’re in their 30s to discover that getting fit doesn’t just involve doing workout DVDs in the privacy of their own home. That there can be a joy in learning new things, a joy just in the activity itself, and a liberating joy in being sweaty.

 ♣ Shock Absorber Kit c/o JD Williams ♣