And what The Matildas have to do with it
It’s about finding what feels good for you
This Girl Can Week is a week where This Girl Can supporters provide free or low-cost opportunities for women to try new activities. And this year’s message is simple – it’s about moving in ways that work for you.
You don’t have to run a marathon or spend hours at the gym. You could go for a walk around the block or kick a soccer ball with your kids in the park.
All that matters is that you find a way to experience the joy of movement – for your physical and mental health.
We asked two This Girl Can – Victoria ambassadors how they find ways to feel good (and a bit about The Matildas)
How the Matildas have changed things
Can you share with us what excites you the most about This Girl Can Week? Especially considering the momentum we’ve seen in women’s sports recently?
Courtney: After seeing the trajectory of the stats in women’s sport absolutely going through the roof with media, knowing the Matildas final is the number one rated sporting event ever. My phone personally has been ringing since then.
I don’t know how to bend it like Beckham, but I’m loving the energy I’m seeing off the back of the World Cup and the AFLW.
For This Girl Can Week I’m hosting several Lawn Bowls events, which are encouraging people to bring a friend. So many of us who are involved in sport take the messaging or intention of a program for granted.
It can be easy to forget the social anxiety people experience when they are new to a gym – so encouraging people to come with someone else is key.
How did it feel witnessing the nation rallying behind the Matildas? Can you tell us about the impact it had on you personally and on inspiring your daughter in sports?
Miranda: I love that it’s normalising women’s sport. The magic of the Matildas was seen in our lounge rooms, in schools and in the community at large. One of the most heartening moments for me has been seeing boys playing football in the yard and calling each other the names of female players.
Suddenly it seems like there’s an equal playing field and sport isn’t being segregated to a certain gender or a type of person. The progress in this space is super inspirational and super encouraging and it feels like my daughter will walk into a different world than we walked into.
The juggle and balancing time apart from the kids with active time together
As a busy mum how do you find juggling the balance between looking after your beautiful daughter, Riley, and getting active?
Miranda: It’s hard, it’s very, very hard. I’m really lucky to have a supportive husband who understands my commitment to Roller Derby. Outside of that I think making it non-negotiable is important because it’s like self-care – for me, it’s a place where I don’t have to be anyone else – I’m not a mum, I’m not a partner, I’m not in my day job – I’m just me.
The other part to it, is about doing things together. Riley has got to the level where we can put our skates on and really slowly head down the path together. So, it’s quality time and getting all the physical and mental health benefits that come from doing exercise.
If you look at top level Roller Derby, it’s a high impact, quite athletic sport and it takes six to nine months before you’re allowed to play at that level but it can be intimidating if you don’t know that training starts with teaching you how to stop and fall and how you’ve got to celebrate your successes along the way. It’s also a sport that’s about not comparing yourself to others and we focus a lot on that message and coaching because we know that first step is the hardest barrier to overcome.
How the workplace can make a difference
What are your top tips for women who are struggling to fit exercise into their day?
Courtney: I think if the workplace can become accommodating with incorporating exercise into the workday – that’s huge. One thing we’ve been doing is taking virtual meetings on a walk, the person whoever is chairing will stay at home so they aren’t navigating footpaths while trying to take notes but everyone else in the meeting will go for a walk, even if it’s just the first twenty minutes. This means people don’t then have to find that time which can be hard when you have to commute home, cook dinner and do all your other life tasks.
The other suggestions are the small bits of movement you can incorporate into your daily routine, things like:
- Parking 500 metres away when you go to the shops (that adds a 1km walk to your day without trying)
- Or walking to the café further away when you get your morning coffee
If you just do that little something it makes you feel so much mentally better.
This Girl Can Week
This Girl Can Week is about doing things that will make you feel good. It’s about giving something new a go or adding that extra little bit of movement into your week and of course, celebrating your wins along the way. As Courtney and Miranda have shown, carving out time for movement is important. Because, when you feel good, people in your life benefit from it too!