How running inspired Lucy to launch the Rainbow Running (and cake) Club to support baby loss and infertility

My name is Lucy and in September 2019 I launch the Rainbow Running Club, a running and, most importantly, a cake club for women who have experienced baby loss or infertility

After spending the past five years riding the emotional rollercoaster 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.

But the path to get to this point and the subsequent losses since our daughter’s arrival left me feeling incredibly isolated emotionally 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. I realised quickly 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 while 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 myself the goal of getting to 5K and while doing so my sister sent me a link for the Tommy’s London Landmarks Half Marathon in March next year and suggested I signed up. I initially said no, but soon changed my mind and was given a place and continued running training by entering shorter fun runs.

I started to think, ‘if I could find running this beneficial to my mental wellbeing 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. We then go for a well-earned slice or two of cake.

Initially, I thought if we had two or three ladies coming along to our first few runs we would be doing well, my friend and I set about planning the places we would like to run (one Sunday a month) and I put together a website and Instagram page and went live. The response I received was incredible from the start, the number of women who have contacted me and shared their stories with me has been incredibly humbling. To think that I felt so alone when in fact it couldn’t be further from the truth, infertility and baby loss affect millions of people throughout the world and so many of us feel the same, we feel alone and isolated and in need of the support of others who get us.

On our first run in Hertford in September, more than 20 women turned up, which was just wonderful and so very brave. I found that although everyone was understandably very nervous when they arrived (myself included) being outside and exercising together quickly breaks down the barriers and with relative ease everyone soon starts chatting and 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 heartbreaking 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.

Soon I was receiving emails from women across the country asking for me to arrange runs near them and if they could set up runs in their area. It quickly became apparent that one run a month wasn’t going to be enough, as I want to try to reach everybody who contacts me and help if I can. We now have two runs a month planned right up until early next year throughout the UK.

Earlier this month we launched our Rainbow yoga evenings as we felt yoga complimented the running perfectly and the whole ethos of practicing yoga fits perfectly with what we are doing. We have our first retreat weekend planned for March 2020, which will include running and yoga, and of course lots of cake. With lots of other events being planned too for next year, so I’m hoping that even if the thought of running doesn’t appeal to you that perhaps through the other events you will find something of interest.

To find out more about the events we have planned or to register your interest in joining the Rainbow Running Club please visit our website at www.rainbowrunningclub.co.uk, my Instagram page, _mother_of_one_ or email me at rainbowrunningclub@outlook.com

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