My name is Lucy @_mother_of_one_ and in September 2019 I launch the Rainbow Running & Yoga Club in Hertford. A running, yoga and most importantly cake club for women who have experienced baby loss and infertility.
Trying to become a mum has without a doubt been the hardest and most challenging thing I have ever done. At times it felt as though I was climbing backwards up a mountain with superglue on the bottom of my feet and I often wondered if we would ever make it to the top and get to bring home our baby.
After spending the past five years riding the emotional roller-coaster of trying to have a baby, experiencing the darkness of infertility, baby loss and IVF I am incredibly grateful to now be the mother of one beautiful rainbow, however the path to get to this point and the subsequent losses since our daughters arrival left me feeling incredibly isolated in my feelings and emotions and struggling to find others who truly understood how I felt. My self-confidence and self-worth were on the floor and I felt as though I had lost myself along the way.
I initially started running to lose the weight gained during my pregnancies and fertility treatments but quickly I found that through running I gained so much more than I lost. I found a new appreciation for my body and what it could do, after years of berating my body for "failing" to do what others seemingly do so naturally this was much needed. I found a sense of peace whilst running, I was so busy concentrating on where I was running to next and how long was left that my mind got a chance to switch of. I would return home feeling elated at my achievements and with the rush of endorphins (something I never truly believed in until I started running). I set my self the goal of getting to 5K and whilst doing so my sister sent me a link for the Tommy's London Landmarks Half Marathon in March 2020 and suggested I joined, I initially said no, there's no way I can do that but then I thought what have I got to lose, I've already faced much more terrifying situations. So I quickly signed up and was given a place, in the same week I signed up for a "fun" 5K run in the dark and a more serious 10K.
I thought if I could find running this beneficial to my mental well-being then maybe I could help others too, I also didn't want other women to feel isolated and alone like I had so the idea for the Rainbow Running Club was formed.
The idea being that we meet and go for a run, although running isn't essential as I want all women to be able to come along regardless of their fitness abilities. The nightmares of school PE lessons still lives with me so I make sure that everyone feels comfortable and go at the speed that feels right for them, some women walk, some jog, some run, some do all three but no one is ever made to feel as though they need to go faster or that they are being left behind. We then go for a well-earned slice or two of cake. I've found that although everyone is understandably very nervous when they arrive (myself included) being outside and exercising together quickly breaks down the barriers and with relative ease everyone soon starts chatting (being outside helps to provide things to talk about naturally) so by the time we get to the cake part the conversations are flowing freely. It always feels very special to see women sharing their stories and experiences with each other and it always feels very uplifting to witness the friendships and connections being made. It's also incredibly heart breaking to realise just how many women are affected by baby loss and infertility something that has really been highlighted to me over the past few months.
I am not a fitness or fertility expert but I am a mother who has felt the longing and fear that I might never get to bring home a child of our own. I have felt the darkness of loss and the grief that never leaves and have felt incredibly alone. Please know that you do not need to feel alone in this. Yes this isn't a "club" any of us would wish to be a part of but if it is somewhere you now find yourself then please know it is a "club" filled with amazing women who will support you and uplift you on your darkest days, women who will never tell you "to just" anything. Where you will always feel valued and as though you have the most amazing cheerleaders behind you. A "club" where friendships are quickly forged out of a mutual understanding of what it truly means to be a part of a club that none of us would wish anyone to be a part of. Welcome to the #rainbowrunningtribe
I hope that you can join us soon. Click here to find our latest events.