Posted on September 17, 2021 by Jenny Cromack

This month we want to say a huge congratulations to our Member of the Month….drum roll please…..Cath Hayden. Cath has been one of Jenny’s personal training clients for over 12 years and has recently taken part in the Great North Run, this achievement definitely deserves the Member of the Month status! (Please note, the achievement is for doing the Great North Run, not for being Jenny’s PT client for 12 years although some would say that does deserve a medal!)

Let’s find out what Cath has to say…

How long have you been training with motive8? I started personal training with Jenny a couple of years before she opened the motive8 studio, so about `12 years.

What was your inspiration for doing the Great North Run?
One of my good friends and colleagues was diagnosed with leukaemia in December 2019. She bore the diagnosis and the really taxing treatment, uncertainty over an adequate response and then the need for a bone marrow transplant with the most extraordinary courage and positive outlook. She suffered a nasty rejection type reaction to the transplant which meant she couldn’t swallow for weeks because of mouth ulcers on top of feeling exhausted, anaemic, nauseous etc. She never ONCE complained or gave any sign of feeling sorry for herself.

Whilst she was in hospital isolated because of suppressed immunity following chemo (during covid as well) she was provided with a static bike to do some form of exercise and have something physical to focus on. After her transplant in July 2020 she proceeded to cycle the equivalent distance on her static bike that her bone marrow travelled from Tel Aviv to Leeds (before the first birthday of the transplant in July 2021) and in so doing, raised over £18,000, and got fit!

I never thought I could run more than 10k in one go. Then I thought if she can do all this, I ought to see whether I could run a half marathon after all…. and anyway, a half marathon is just a trot in the park for Jenny…. so maybe…. if I put my mind to it, I could challenge myself and maybe raise a bit of money for someone else to have a static bike in their time of need….

What did you do to prepare for the Great North Run? I spent a year thinking about whether to do it or not after it was cancelled in 2020…. then realised I couldn’t NOT try, having said I might….

With some guidance from Jenny, I built up my distances gradually, running twice a week rather than once or none. I didn’t stress about pace at all, it wasn’t a competition for me against any one, or the clock, just against the tarmac… If I ever did it again, I’d have to beat my time though…

How did it feel to complete the 13.1 miles? It felt really great. It definitely felt harder than any training run  because the maximum I’d ever run previously in one go was 18.5k but physically I’ve been remarkably OK. The conditions were good and my fluid and fuel strategies seemed to pay off. I enjoyed it more than I really thought I would. I had not hyped it up and was actually just praying I could get round! I wouldn’t have wanted to go round again but I wasn’t ready to collapse at the end. I didn’t walk any of it. I just plodded and didn’t bother about people overtaking. I was just in my own little bubble.

What would your one piece of advice be to someone who wanted to get started on their fitness journey? Stop thinking, stand up and do it. If you don’t you’ll get stiff and weak (and probably overweight) as you get older and you don’t have to feel old before your time! You have to go and get life… it doesn’t come and find you.

Why do you enjoy training with motive8 & Jenny? Some weeks, without the date in my diary and the commitment to Jenny, I wouldn’t bother going to a gym to work out on my own. I love what we do because Jenny motivates me, but is also forgiving of my weaknesses and my failings – which are many (and not all cheese-related!!!) Jenny never makes me feel that I could do better or that she is disappointed (sometimes I think she must be…!!) She is kind, always trying to help and professional in what she does and how she does it. I have learned lots through personal training with Jenny

I am also in awe of Jenny’s own fitness and the physical challenges she takes on.

Jenny’s comments:

I’ve known Cath for many years and can honestly say I think she has cancelled about 4 sessions in that time! Regardless of what day she has had, she turns up, week in-week out for her personal training session and always works hard in her sessions! Completing a half marathon is a huge achievement on it’s own, but Cath has a mega busy job, works long hours and has a busy family life too, so stepping up her training to train for the Great North Run was a big deal for Cath and makes completing the Great North Run an even more amazing achievement. Well done Cath!