Transformation Series: Laura Kemp’s Story

Around 18  months ago I was a completely different person.

Over the years I had gotten lost amongst all the pressures of life. I had no self confidence or belief in myself and my capabilities. I found myself in a really dark place mentally, and hit rock bottom. My job sucked, my physical health wasn’t great, I felt like I was being pulled from every direction and not giving anything my best – even motherhood – and that wasn’t acceptable to me. 

I found myself emailing a coach whom I had seen on tv one night. His name is Jessie Pavelka. I poured my heart out into a long email and hit send. I never expected him to even see it, he must get thousands of emails a day right? The next morning I woke up at 6am to get ready for work and an email pinged through. It was from his business partner, Jill. 

She offered me the chance of a lifetime: to attend Jessie’s retreat the next weekend. I attended and my life changed from that day forward.

Over the past 18 months, I have completely overhauled my life in ways I never thought I could. I took part in filming a short online series documenting my journey, which included the most grueling commando training sessions in the pouring rain.

I was filmed crying my eyes out on mountain tops at 5am, but I kept going. I kept training. I realized that I had to try running. I never thought I was physically built for it, always believing it wasn’t a sport for girls like me. Naturally I didn’t start off gently. My first session was repeated hill sprints. It nearly broke me. I sobbed by the side of the road but kept going, kept pushing myself. My first race was booked that night, a 10k winter OCR. A lot of people thought I was insane. It made me even more determined to do it. I had to show myself that I was capable. Fast forward 18 months and I have now completed 4 races. I’ve brought home 4 medals and feel very proud of myself. I also quit my job back in January and now run an online lifestyle clothing brand – Gobbycow – and I’m also a podcaster “Gobbycow Official”. Life could not be better and I finally feel like I’m following my true passions. I feel alive again and that is something you cannot put a price on.

I run an average 30km per week. I couldn’t tell you my pace, my cadence etc. None of that matters to me. I put my headphones in, tie up my laces and head out the door. It’s just one foot in front of the other and getting out of my head and into my body. That was something Jessie said to me repeatedly on our regular video calls and it has stuck with me ever since. I realize not everyone will get the chance I did. I did however get the chance because I took a risk. I put myself out there. I could have been shot down in flames.

If you think you can do better, then do better. You are more than capable and when all is said and done… You are worth the time it takes. 

TTC: What is one tip you wish you could tell every beginner runner? 

Laura: “Don’t ever let someone else’s opinion of you define your capabilities” – I said that at the very start of my journey and I now live by that statement.

TTC: What keeps you going when you really want to stop?

Laura: You didn’t think in a million years you could get this far – so keep going and see how far you are capable of going.

TTC: Tell us about one of your best runs ever. 

Laura: My most recent run was my furthest distance at 15km. I never thought I could manage that distance but i did.

Read Jane’s running transformation story here.

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