When I first started out there was one blogger that I couldn't (and still can't) get enough of. Of course, that is the wonderful Diet Girl, also know as Shauna. If you've not heard of this blogging bombshell - then where the hell have you been?! This girl practically wrote the book on blogging. She is funny, intelligent, inspirational. I could go on but I'll hang fire for now.
As I gorged myself on her blogs, sneaking time at work everyday to read my way through her archives, I couldn't believe that someone could put down on paper (screen?) some of the thoughts that were in my head. It was like she was inside there with all the crazy! She wrote sense and I felt like she was writing just for me. As I read more I began to daydream that one day she would read my blog and come back for more. Eventually we would meet up. She would like me. I would like her. We'd be FRIENDS!
But how could this be possible? I didn't even know where she lived. Was it in the UK? Hold on a minute. Hold the fricking phone... it suddenly dawned on me (after reading more of her older posts) she lived in Scotland! Hoots man! I live in Scotland! Maybe it wasn't such a crazy thought after all. Maybe I could
I had talked about Shauna to quite a few people. I mean, this girl is thoughtful, intelligent, hilarious, ginger (I do love a ginge) and just a lovely person. I found her story compelling, and they way she conveys the every woman struggle and I couldn't help but tell the people close to me about her and her blog. One person I told was my best friend, who happens to be a beauty/lifestyle journalist. She wanted to do a story using Shauna as a case study and the next thing I know, the two of them were chatting on the phone. I was green with envy. In fact I was seething with jealousy. Now, I am litttle muddled with the details here (it was a few years ago!) but I think my friend told Shauna about me and Shauna had either already seen my blog or went on to take a peek. The excitement! Before I knew it my friend had arranged for us all to meet up! I couldn't believe it! One moment I was reading her blog, the next we were stuffing our faces with cakes at the Balmoral Hotel!
Since that day I've been very lucky to count Shauna as a friend. We've lifted weights together, we've got drunk together, we've moaned together, we've pondered the trials of life together, we've pretended to go to the gym but really just ditched it for a chinwag together. She's cooked for me, she's cheered me on at the finish line when I ran a half marathon, she's been a shoulder to cry on when relationships have hit the rocks, she's signed her book for me with a witty and tres drole inscription that only she and I will get.
Between her crazy schedule and my weekend antics we don't see that much of each other but I know that if I ever blog about feeling upset or down she'll be in touch just to check I'm okay. I think that's the sign of a real friend; someone who is there for you no matter when or where even if it's been weeks or months since you've been in touch.
So yeah, my mate Shauna is a published author. Tell me you have read her book? Check it! But did you know that she is also the co-founder of an incredible online running course, Up and Running? Shauna and running coach Julia have been helping women all over the world to ditch the running fear and embrace the love that comes with striding out into the great outdoors. With their knowledge, support and unrelenting enthusiasm they offer training guides for 5k and 10k runs, a support forum and a blog all to keep their runners motivated and moving.
I've been blown away with the project and more importantly with Shauna's unrelenting drive to make a difference to so many women. However, I didn't actually ever give any thought to taking part myself. I've always been such a lone wolf when it comes to exercising that it just didn't cross my mind but recently I've been thinking I could do with some more structure with my exercising. I really like having a goal or at least a very set routine and this faffing about with the same gym workout and the odd run here and there isn't really working. A few days ago I tweeted that my 4k run really should have been a 6k and I needed to up my game. Then whaddya know, there tweets Shauna suggesting I give the Up and Running 10k course a bash. I won't lie, I did hesitate for a moment but then I thought, don't be a total arse candle, go for it! The woman knows her shizzle - so crack on!
And so with much delight I have just noticed the welcome email has but moment ago dropped into my inbox! I am very excited and feeling motivated and inspired - and that's before I've read one word of official advice and really know what lies in store.
Do you see why I need this woman in my life?