The Collective is all about community, so in this series, we introduce you to some of the incredible members who are representing for the gyal dem and learning to live their best lives through health and fitness. Meet Niesha – a schools coordinator who joined the Collective in 2019. She’ll also be an official pacer at Hackney Half Marathon in May.
Why do you run?
As a child I used to love running, but mostly track; 200 meters was my race at school! Then there was a long gap of only ever running for the bus in my late teens and early 20s! Several years later, I re-connected with my love of running and set myself the goal of completing five 10km races across one year. To this day, I’m not sure how I came up with this goal, but I gave it a go, and I achieved it!! There were lots of highs, lows and a few injuries along the way but it felt good to be back doing something I enjoyed.
I joined the Fly Girl Collective a year later, and it’s been great to be part of a running community, meet some incredible and inspirational women, and build on my running goals.
Running for me is a great way to get outside, explore, clear my head, inspire others to get their running shoes on. And when running with others, it’s a lovely way to meet new people and learn about things that don’t pop up in your day to day life.
What’s your favourite song(s) to run to?
I love running to Beyonce! Her songs can definitely get me moving on those tougher runs or taking on those steep hills. I’ve also just started running to podcasts, and they are perfect for those long runs. My favourites at the moment are The Reggie Yates Podcast and This City with Clara
What was your first running faux pas?
Not stretching! I’d often get home from a run and then crash out on the sofa. I soon learnt (the hard way!) the importance of post run stretching, and recovery. So now I get home, stretch, foam roll and ice my knees!
What other sports or fitness activities do you love?
I did a lot of dancing when I was growing up, so when I can, I like to get back in the studio and do a ballet class. But mostly when I’m not running, I like to spin, or do a HIIT classes at my local gym.
What’s your favourite or dream destination to run in the world?
This is a tricky one! I love travelling, and having the option to put on my trainers and explore wherever I am in the world by going for a run is always pretty fun and exciting. And it’s a good way to explore with a bit of a twist from your normal tour guide.
If you could go on a run with anyone, who would it be?
I’d love to go on a run with Dina Asher-Smith. There is no way I’d be able to keep up with her, but she’s been a huge inspiration on my running journey so far!
And finally, what’s a life lesson running has taught you?
Running has taught me to be more patient. Like many people, I started running thinking that I’d achieve everything straight away. But time and patience has enabled me to reach and maintain my running goals, reduce injury and enjoy the journey.