Monday, 2 April 2012

Lou Lou Chats with 'The Grit Doctor' a.k.a Ruth Field

Today's 'Lou Lou Chats' feature is slightly off-topic for my blog, but I really wanted to share it with my readers. I recently agreed to take part in the Welsh 3 Peaks Challenge, to raise funds for a local children's hospice, Ty Hafan . The challenge involves climbing the three highest mountains in Wales in under 15 hours! It is fair to say that my fitness levels are not quite at their peak, therefore I knew that if I am going to complete the 3 Peaks, I am going to have to put in some serious fitness work beforehand. A number of my friends on Twitter had been raving about a book which had motivated them to get off their backsides and start running. I was intrigued, so decided to buy it. It was definitely a wise purchase on my part. The book in question? 'Run Fat Bitch Run' by Ruth Field. In the book, Ruth, and her alter-ego 'The Grit Doctor' provide no-nonsense advice that was just what I needed to get up off the sofa and start running. I have started running 3/4 times a week, and am really enjoying it. If you had told me a few months ago that I would be enjoying getting up an hour earlier to run 5k before work, I would not have believed you. I am definitely not a natural 'morning person' and running in public was not in my natural comfort zone. But I have surprised myself by how much I am enjoying it. As I have found the book really motivating, I was delighted when Ruth agreed to answer some questions for my blog.

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Describe your attitude to fitness in three words. 

Essential.  Empowering. Invigorating.

Please tell us more about yourself.   

I'm a mother of twins who runs.

Why did you decide to write the book? 

My pregnancy hormones were raging and I was trying to persuade my husband to take up running and so the book was born!

How is the book different from other fitness books?  

It has a sense of humour.

Do you have any pet peeves about the fitness industry?   

It has become overly complicated and the emphasis is too much on spending money and looking to other people/trainers/classes which can take responsibility away from the individual trying to get fit.

Is running really for everyone? 

I think so - as generalisations go - but there are always going to be exceptions and there is no one perfect exercise.

What has running done for you? 

It really helps me live my life much more effectively.

What do you see as the main benefit of running? 

I'm convinced it makes me happier which is huge.

Have there been any particular highlights for you since the book was published? 

Getting requests like this, signing books, hearing inspiring stories from readers who have taken it all on.  The whole experience has been a pleasure and continues to be so, I just had an email saying I'm number 1 again in Ireland which has put an enormous smile on my face.

What has been your favourite review of the book?   

Oh that’s difficult to say, I have enjoyed them all.  I loved that Emma Thompson read it and approved as I've always really admired her and I really thought Helen Rumbelow did a brilliant job serialising it in The Times just before it came out.

Have you had any negative feedback to the book? What was your response?

Very little actually, I have been surprised as I thought more people would take offence to the title. Each time there has been some negative feedback I try to see it from their point of view, accept the criticism and then try to find some common ground.  Everyone is allowed to express their opinion and I welcome any debate.

You are always very active on Twitter, responding to your readers. Was this a conscious decision from the start, or just something that happened over time?   

My editor and the team at Little,Brown who are so professional were very encouraging about using social media, and taught me how to use it as I was hopeless, but to be honest I've just really enjoyed hearing from people and responding to them has been a joy and very inspiring for me.

Where is your favourite place to go running?  

Highgate Woods at the moment.

If you could run anywhere, where would it be?   

Barefoot on a beach at sunrise in South Africa's Nature's Valley.

What next for the ‘Grit Doctor’?   

Another book or two!

What is your top tip for motivation? 

Don’t think about motivation too much.  I rarely 'feel' like running.  Get into good habits and you no longer need motivating in order to practise them regularly.

What motivates you? 

Everything I get out of running. 

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You can find Ruth on Twitter as @gritdoctor or on her blog .

Have you read the book? What did you think?

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