This month is ‘Movement May’ at CUK, and over the last few weeks, some of our shoreside colleagues have been sharing their stories. If you missed last week’s post, click here to hear from Chris Martin, ServiceNow Administrator about his love of cycling, and find out how you could win a Decathlon voucher – just by cycling to the office!

This week, Nicole Dawson, Wellbeing Coordinator, tells us more about her challenge to ‘run 1 mile a day in May’ and the benefits of moving more.

I have always been active and was a keen runner, having completed the Great South Run in 2012, however, a calf injury a few years ago put a stop to my running and I continued to walk to keep fit.

In April 2022 my Dad died and I used walking as a great therapy to see friends and just take time out to reflect and grieve. Very sadly in January 2023 my brother died of bowel cancer and again I used walking as my way to cope with this and process the loss to our family.  About the same time my brother was diagnosed, Dame Deborah James was highlighting her diagnosis and journey with us all on social media, and the Bowelbabe fund was created.  

I was keen to find something to motivate me to keep moving and stay fit and I saw a post on Cancer Research UK, calling for supporters to run a mile a day for 31 days in May for the Bowelbabe fund. This was very close to my heart and felt like a great challenge to get me moving, whilst remembering my brother.

So, on a very wet day in April I signed up and waited for my t-shirt to come through the post!  I thought ‘this won’t be that difficult – just a mile a day’ however, I hadn’t really run for two years and needed to fit this in around work, family life, two teenagers and a crazy chocolate Labrador! But… as quoted by Dame Deborah and printed on my running t shirt:

“Take risks, have no regrets and always, always have rebellious hope.”

My t-shirt arrived and I popped it on the side contemplating and thinking I didn’t need to worry about it until May, but suddenly 1 May came around! I’ve ran every day since then and am now on day 21!  I run with the dog, on my own while listening to music, or run down to the gym (and a friend brings me home).  The first mile was tough and wasn’t pretty. It took 14 minutes, but I am now down to 12-minute miles! It isn’t easy to squeeze it in the day but I am really starting to feel the benefit of moving every day.  My calf pain isn’t so bad either – I always incorporate my run into a walk so I am warming up and warming down pre and post the run. 

I don’t expect everyone to be able to do what I am doing, but even if you can join the OH team for one of our ‘Walking Wednesdays’ it would be great to see you and hopefully you will see the benefits of moving more too!

Walking Wednesdays!
Join us for a 3km/5,000 step walk around Southampton walls and back to Carnival House. Our next walks will be on 29 May, 12 June and 26 June. Meet us in reception to walk down together. We look forward to seeing you there!

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  1. Mai-Liss Green on

    Congratulations Nicole. That is an amazing achievement and so inspiring, your dad and brother would be so proud. I have recently taken up running too and I know how hard it is! 🙂

  2. Amazing – always a mantra for me is a mile is a mile irrespective of how long it takes to get there ❤️

  3. Inspiring Nicole, well done, keep it up! I forced myself out for a walk at lunchtime today and definitely felt all the better for it!

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