Representing Working Mums

When you meet Elenor for the first time, you can’t help but notice her healthy glow and happy smile, something she puts down to her new love of cycling and running with friends and colleagues.

It all started back in 2018 when Elenor took part in the Little Miracles Virtual Challenge to raise money for a charity close to her heart that supports new mums with a baby in SCBU. She set a challenge of riding 150 miles in a month and after achieving her goal, realised that she enjoyed cycling far more than she ever imagined.

So much so, that Elenor carried on cycling and racked up an incredible 1,554 miles over the year and raised £330 for the charity. The following year her son got involved too with a 25 mile target which he smashed and raised £343.

After moving closer to town, Elenor realised she missed her long cycle commute to and from St Mary that enabled her to clear away the stresses of the day and allow her to arrive home feeling refreshed and able to be more present with her children. The Little Miracles Challenge give her the kickstart she needed.

At the same time, Elenor realised she needed to move more and started doing yoga classes at lunchtime twice a week as well as short 15 minute sessions at home and made a commitment to eat a little healthier. But, having been well and truly bitten by the cycling bug, Elenor knew she needed to find a way to incorporate more long cycle rides into her week.

Having young children meant that evening rides would take away too much family time, so instead opted for early on Saturdays or Sundays and was often back home before the children were even awake! Feeling the fresh air on her face and enjoying Jersey’s beautiful scenery gave Elenor a huge sense of gratitude and appreciation for island life.

Some of Elenor’s favourite rides include the east coast via Jersey Zoo and St Catherine’s, or Waterworks valley up to Sorel point. The change in scenery between all the different routes in Jersey keep it interesting and enjoyable, especially through the different seasons.

As if cycling and yoga wasn’t enough, Elenor was inspired to start running by her colleague Sam who dabbles in a bit of ultra-running and whom she credits with giving her ‘a kick up the bum’! She never intends to run at that level, but incorporating a 5k run into a weekend when short on time for a bike ride gives her more options to do some exercise.

Sam started the running club at Elenor’s active workplace, Fairway Group, where she took part in her first Couch to 5K programme (and loved that too!). Now helping to take new runners through the programme, Elenor really is not just a fantastic role model to her young children, but an inspiration to those around her. Friends have commented on her different attitude to life now, saying that she just appears so much ‘happier in herself’. Of course, weight loss is always a bonus but it’s the emotional health and well-being benefits that make such a difference to Elenor’s life, and to those around her.

Investing in her well-being through regular exercise has also brought about other benefits – like being fitter for bi-annual family ski holidays where she no longer feels exhausted on the slopes and genuinely enjoys the whole experience! 

Elenor’s latest achievement is completing her first 5k Parkrun in February 2020 and is planning on using this as a stepping stone to completing other local short distance running challenges such as the Durrell Dash. Another big dream would be to cycle 150 miles along Hadrian’s Wall from West to East, starting close to where she was born.

If you’re reading this and wondering how you can possibly fit exercise into your busy lifestyle, or dream of being fitter and healthier but have no idea where to start, here Elenor shares her top tips…

Elenor’s Top Tips

  • Have an objective. Start with something that really means a lot to you, like raising money for a charity you’re passionate about through a physical challenge. 
  • Take time to consider all the benefits of more frequent exercise to you personally – e.g. more mental clarity, better focus, more relaxed and less stressed, setting an example to your children… 
  • Start by incorporating exercise into your daily commute – swap the car for a bike or park further away from work so you can walk further to the office.  
  • Take advantage of initiatives in your workplace or classes in your area to fit in lunchtime runs, yoga classes or spinning classes. (Or simply go for a walk!) 
  • It’s easy to say ‘I don’t have time’ – I did it for years! But in reality we can always find a way if we really want to. Start small, find something you love and build it up from there.  Even if it’s only 5 minutes. 
  • Find a healthy balance. While I’m lucky to work for an incredibly active company who perceive fitness and health as a vital part of business performance, we do also have plenty of social events that include Friday drinks and frequent cake!  

Get moving!

If you’ve been inspired by Elenor’s story and want to get more active, here are some useful links:

Jersey Parkrun

The Waterfront Jersey Junior Parkrun

HSBC Breeze Jersey (Cycling)

Cycle 4 Jersey (greener travel)

Couch to 5K

Durrell Dash

Or see our collection of Exercise at Home videos