My name is Ruth Stanley; I’m 41 and live in Leicestershire. I’ve always been reasonably active, and have participated in a number of sporting events over the years, such as The Great North Run and London Marathon. But, as I’ve got older these have got fewer and less intense. Recurring shin splints put a stop on any distance running, and 5 years ago I took up kick boxing and instantly loved it.
I achieved my Second Dan Black Belt two years ago, and a boxing friend asked me if I’d help her to train for her Second Dan grading in April 2017. I enjoy the training so I said ‘yes’ and we worked out a schedule to increase her strength, stamina and technique.
I find it difficult saying no to things and I’ve always liked a challenge. So when I saw my neighbouring village, was holding a Duathlon (5Km run, 18Km cycle, 5Km run) event to raise money for their local school, three weeks before the boxing exam I thought it would be a good opportunity to increase my fitness and compliment the kick boxing training. But working out 6 days a week was starting to take its toll, and I was beginning to feel lousy.
After every boxing session, I found that I needed to ice some part of my body, as I was coming home with a new ache or pain. I was constantly tired and my legs felt like lead. I put it down to getting older and carried on regardless, determined to keep up with the schedule for both events and get my friend through her boxing exam, I bought a number of joint support bandages and just kept patching myself up while trying to fit some running and cycling into the week for the Duathlon.
I met up with some friends and had a general whinge about feeling run down and tired all the time. One asked me what I was doing, and when I told her she thought I wasn’t getting enough protein or essential vitamins. She gave me a Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein (https://www.health-interlink.com/garden-of-life-raw-protein-vanilla-758g.html) supplement to try, and said I should be taking it before and after training. So for all my kick boxing sessions I made up a shake, and had about half before and after each workout.
Almost immediately I noticed I wasn’t icing anymore when I got home, and my aches and pains had stopped. I’d still get bruised from the odd big punch, but I didn’t need time off to recover, and I could train again the next day without having to hold back, or strap myself up with support bandages.
Feeling fitter also kept me going for the running and cycling training. I’d seen a specialist about my shin splints who prescribed new trainers, orthotics, and slow progress but I was able to run at least twice a week and increase my speed and distance without any shin pain and I got up to a distance of 10 miles really quickly.
I completed the Duathlon on the 19th of March, and loved it. My first multi-discipline event but I don’t think it will be my last. I wasn’t in first place, but I’d completed it well inside my target time and after a swim to stretch out, I was boxing the following day.
I’ve got the boxing exam in April, and I’m looking forward to training hard and being fighting fit for it.