There is a lot of pressure on women these days and whilst I also feel pressure it’s in a different way from most other women.
Many women’s pressures come from social media. How many posts have you seen depicting the perfect story? People will only show you what they want you to see, when the reality is normally very different. I don’t let social media dictate how I feel about myself and I offer the same advice to my daughter. If you let these pressures in, then you can easily become someone you are not. It's so important to love and be yourself for who you are.
When I am not running with Team Kerr I am the mother and carer of a gorgeous young man with complex needs. My pressures are rarely understood from those not in the same situation as me and can be difficult to explain.
The reality of caring for someone with complex needs means that you have very little ‘me’ time and it is easy to neglect yourself, so the pressures that I feel are the ones that I put on myself, such as trying to be the best mother I can as well as making sure that Aaron has all of his needs met.
In 2011 though, after years of being strong and in control, I hit the wall and suddenly found myself struggling to cope. It was during this time that I discovered running, this as well as medication and counselling was my salvation to getting my old self back. It was a long recovery, with a few setbacks along the way, but I am now proud to say that I am the fittest that I have ever been, I no longer need any medication and I have regained some of my lost confidence.
I still lead a very stressful and demanding life, but I have learnt different techniques to help me cope with the everyday.
When my bad days come I take time to think about my Great Grandmother Florence, an incredibly inspiring lady who became a war widow at the young age of 36. My Great Grandfather, William (37) was tragically killed on the battlefields of France during World War One, leaving Florence to raise 7 young children on her own in the most difficult of times. With no social services back then, she took in sewing to help support her family, but with no electricity, she did it all by firelight.
Florence and women like her are those who inspire me and that I look up to. I am so immensely proud to be her Great Granddaughter and I sincerely hope that I have inherited some of her strengths.
When out running with Team Kerr and things get tough, I draw on the difficult times that I have experienced and overcome throughout the years and this helps to push me on.
from Co. Down, Northern Ireland