GTC athlete of the month: Susan Cameron

Susan enjoys a canicross event.

GTC’s 500th member was named as Susan Cameron. We decided to be nosey and find out more about our new club member.

Susan is a primary school teacher.  Although she has just joined the club, she has been involved with GTC from a distance for many years.

Susan, who is married to long-standing club member Billy Cameron, says: “More than a decade ago we got to know the club when we took our then young children to swimming sessions.

“It was before there was a junior section and they went along to the Sunday night Western Baths sessions. I wasn’t actually brave enough to join Billy and our children but I recognised the benefits of the club.”

Some 12 years later and Susan has decided to take the plunge and join the club. She says: “I’ve known for a long time that it’s a fantastic club. Billy and our children have taken part in many training sessions, informal cycling sessions and training camps.

“Billy and Tom, our son, both became Level 1 coaches through the club, too.

“I managed to vicariously pick up on the benefits of the club for a long time but now I feel I want to improve my own fitness and I know I’ll get help, guidance and encouragement from coaches and members.

“I really don’t see myself as an athlete at all. Becoming the 500th member has made my tentative emergence into proper fitness a bit public and created a wee bit of a pressure but maybe that’s what I need. I’m not sure!

“I’ve entered the Alpe d’Huez Duathlon next July. I’m doing it as a personal challenge, rather than as a competitive event. I know I’m going to need to have a focused training plan to be able to do it and enjoy it and that is where the club will really help I think.”

Susan enjoys running with her friends.

A life-long enjoyment of sport

When she was at school, Susan played in the volleyball and netball teams. She has since taken part in many 10ks and half-marathons and also finished a couple of novice triathlons.

She said: “Even when I was young I realised that exercise was a great way to make you happy. However, my motivation to exercise has never been about competition. In fact, a competitive atmosphere is something that I find quite intimidating.

“I use exercise as a way to give my brain a break from all the thinking it has had to do.

“When I became a mum for the first time, I started running. It’s a thing I can do with no preparation and when it suits me. I can go with friends and enjoy a catch up chat, or I can go alone and just flow.

“I did once train more specifically for a half-marathon with the aim of running under two hours. I did achieve this and I think this is the most competitive ­– with myself –­ I have ever been.

“All of my life, I’ve felt the ‘high’ that people talk about after I have been for a run or played a game with friends. I love being outside and I am a big believer in how exercise and fresh air affect your wellbeing.”

Susan’s favourite sports

Susan most enjoys running and cycling. She says: “I like being outside and the feeling of the exercise high, as I have said before, as well as knowing that I’m doing myself some good.

“I’m not a fan of swimming and I’m not making any big claims or predictions about that at the moment. Joining the club and starting to go to some of the sessions is a big step for me.”

Susan takes part in a cyclocross event.

Susan’s goals for 2019

Susan is aiming to follow a training plan for the Alpe d’Huez duathlon. She says: “I think I will get some help in making a plan, maybe from a personal trainer.

“I know I need to add in strength training and other elements so I just need to improve my knowledge of what’s to be done.

“I actually laughed out loud when I was told I was to be ‘athlete of the month’.

“At age the of 50, I know ridiculously little of the details of how to be an actual athlete. I think I probably never joined the club before because I know my motivation is different from so many other members, who are extremely fit and have excellent sporting achievements under their belts.

“I feel a bit of a fraud because I just want to do it to have good mental health and be a bit fit.

“My aspirations in sport and being part of the club are to be able exercise outdoors into my very old age and to spend time with like-minded friends.”

Susan’s top tip for GTC newcomers

Don’t be intimidated by thinking you’re not good enough to join the club, or that you have to be super competitive. Just do it anyway. It’s taken me a very long time to take my own advice but I’m glad I’ve taken a step forward.

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