Emotional and Social Wellbeing
One of the things I love about WWWUK is its positive promotion of not only physical but psychological, emotional and social wellbeing. Training outdoors offers us a much needed boost to the system which is vital given that our modern lives are spent mostly indoors at the office or in our cars; the opportunity to get outside into a more natural environment with trees, grass, birds and sunshine definitely lifts my mood. Even on the dark, rainy days there’s something liberating about rolling around in the mud and not giving a damn! Outdoor training with others offers us all the opportunity to truly live in the moment, forget our inhibitions and rediscover some of that unconscious fun we had playing as children, especially when we play games like crab walk tag. Ok, it might be hard work at times but it’s worth it.
Like many people, I have struggled with psychological issues and am actively managing a lifelong anxiety condition (but that’s another story!) My journey with WWWUK, first as a client but now as a trainer, has helped me to improve my own sense of wellbeing and care for myself and taught me valuable lessons about how to support others. I used to suffer from low self esteem and low confidence and hated group activities or social occasions. One of my clients was initially incredibly uncomfortable in a group setting, something I could relate to but, gradually, after one-to-one training and a gradual introduction to group sessions, she no longer hesitates to come along. She evidently feels more comfortable about her own abilities and comfortable with others in the group and gets stuck in to everything. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind me saying that she has even volunteered that she would like to try out rock climbing! Some people are naturally more able to throw themselves into things without giving it a second thought but for people, like my client, we can provide that bit of support and encouragement. A more senior, retired lady for whom English is a second language recently joined my classes and, even though we sometimes struggle with communication and she is not yet able to do a lot of the moves as prescribed, she loves taking part. Tug-o-War is her favourite and she is strong. The sessions offer her the chance to get out of the house and interact with others and practise her English. Otherwise, she would be spending a lot of time in front of the television in social isolation. Everyone starts in a different place and it’s my job, as a trainer, to ensure that everyone’s individual journey and reason for attending is managed within the context of a group setting. It’s not just about training/physical progress but also noticing and supporting these other aspects of wellbeing. If we don’t think we have the necessary skills, we will refer out to enlist the help of other professionals.
Long standing clients of WWWUK all value the social aspect of training together, taking part in events together and socialising together. This tradition is alive and well in Chislehurst. Emma, my first WWWUK client in Chislehurst, was quick to suggest a post training trip to the cafe and as other #chischicks have come on board, post training trips to the cafe are a regular weekly occurrence. We still haven’t be going for a year yet in Chislehurst and it is as if many of my clients have know each other for decades. We’re currently planning our second attempt at a local pub quiz. I’m off on my summer hols shortly and my longstanding regulars have even discussed the possibility of arranging to meet up and train together whilst I’m away. I am genuinely hoping that some of my #chischicks do meet up and train together whilst I’m on my hols because this would be an amazingly powerful outcome of the journey they’ve been on so far from being tentative beginners to now competent individuals keen to come together on their own terms and train. Suzie built my confidence and empowered me to go on to do what I do now, I would love that to carry over into me now supporting others to empower themselves.