Many of you will have seen the new campaign This Girl Can from Sport England – if you haven’t then take a look
This Girl Can celebrates the women who are doing their thing no matter how well they do it, how they look or even how sweaty they get. They’re here to inspire us to wiggle, jiggle, move and prove that judgement is a barrier that can be overcome. It’s a celebration of active women.
At last a fitness campaign featuring real women. Women who jiggle when they run, women who sweat and pull weird faces when they workout, women who puff and pant and look anything but glamorous when they are doing their thing. Women like me!
I love this campaign and everything about it and it seems to have captured the attention of many women that I know. Despite The Guardian trying to find something negative where there really isn’t (you can read the article here and then a brilliant rant about it from adventurer and fellow blogger Laraine Wyn Jones here) every other girl and woman I’ve heard speak about this has done so positively.
Much is made in The Guardian article of the use of the word ‘girl’. Apparently this will put off ‘older women’ and mean that the campaign won’t appeal to them. Well, I’m 41 and can tell you that just yesterday someone called me ‘girl’ and I had absolutely no issue with it whatsoever – in fact I quite like it, it makes me feel young. And if it’s good enough for The Golden Girls who are significantly older then, enough said!
This Girl Can has struck a particular chord with me in the week that it was launched. In this last week the two fitness videos that I recorded with Julia back in December have been featured in her Challenge XXX workout and people from across the world have been working out with me!
The feedback has been lovely with people saying that they’ve learned a lot about lifting weights from watching the sessions or that they’ve been inspired to pick up heavier weights and really dig in, which is just fantastic.
I’ve got to admit that watching the upper body video back for the first time was a bit uncomfortable – it’s pretty difficult to disguise the layer of fat on my belly when I’m in a push up position and there was one move right at the end of the session that I really struggled with – I could barely move at all.
But then someone on Julia’s site said that it was exactly that which appealed to them so much. The video is honest, it shows me, a women with a less than ‘perfect’ figure, who is strong in some moves (I did somewhere in the region of 75 push ups on my toes in that session), struggling with others but just getting on with it to the best of her ability and not worrying about what other people think.
That’s real fitness, that’s real life and I think the essence of This Girl Can.
And if this girl can, then so can you.