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Jill Lawson

Date of Birth: 26.11.63

Where do you live? Norwich

Throughout my life, I have been passionate about sport, health and fitness and thrive on being active and outdoors! Over the years I have participated in many sports including swimming, netball, tennis and even took up bouldering (climbing) at the age of 52!

However, Zumba is my true love! You get a whole-body workout as it targets and tones so many different muscle groups. Not only is it great for your aerobic fitness (it really raises your heart rate!) but it reduces stress as you forget your worries and troubles for an hour while you dance away to great music! It improves coordination too as your arms and legs are often doing different things but most of all, it is fun and makes you happy (releases endorphins which leave you feeling positive) and let's face it, the more fun you have, the more you will want to continue!

Formerly a research scientist, I became a teaching assistant when my boys were growing up as the hours/holidays fitted in better, but a couple of years ago when they had both left home, I found myself with significantly more time on my hands and needed a new mission! I wanted to offer my time, help and support to allow others to have the same physical opportunities and experiences that I'd had and through a physio friend, I found out about an amazing group! So I am now a dedicated volunteer and director at Able2B CIC where we develop services to help people with a disability to optimize their aerobic fitness and muscle strength in a fun way. Being involved with these inspirational and dedicated people has been a privilege. Our team of coaches and volunteers motivate, challenge and encourage individuals to really push themselves to their limits and week on week, the improvements they see in their stamina, ability, self-belief and self-esteem are huge. It's so amazing and humbling to witness such determination and 'never give up' mentality. Classes always have such a great atmosphere, sense of team spirit and fun!

Why did you want to get involved in This Girl Can in Norfolk Campaign?

I wanted to get involved in This Girl Can in Norfolk because I know how important sport/exercise is to me and something that I rely for my wellbeing, resilience, positivity, fitness, sociability, happiness and mental strength. So I want to encourage, inspire and share my belief in others so that they can realise and achieve this for themselves too.
My biggest inspiration comes from the people I help at Able2B. Despite having been through so much adversity in life, these amazing adults and children remain determined, motivated, positive and always have a smile on their faces! It's fair to say that working with them has taught me so much and has become my passion and the highlight of my week…..I love it!!

What are your top 3 tips of getting/staying active?

  • Try to get involved in group exercise which is beneficial in so many ways; it keeps you motivated, focused, builds confidence, allows opportunities for socializing but most of all, it is FUN!!
  • Try to incorporate routines for being active in your daily schedule eg. walk/cycle rather than go in the car if you can, use the stairs not the lift, stand on one leg while cleaning your teeth, do a bit of kitchen dancing!
  • Try to foster a Growth Mindset. I believe that skills and abilities can be developed over time through dedication, hard work, learning from mistakes and never giving up!