How Annette Lloyd became the Pocket Rocket
Ask anyone at Wild Fit what they think of Annette Lloyd and they’d describe her as being an inspiration - I’ve heard it many times. When I overheard Annette telling some of our new members about how she started out I thought it was such a great message for people to hear, especially for those just starting out, and also for those who might think it’s ‘too late’ to start getting fit and strong.
You wouldn’t know it to look at her - or to watch her train - but Annette only started exercising in her mid fifties. And just like everyone else does, she said that at first it felt hard and wondered if she’d be able to keep it up. Annette’s intention was to, ‘tone up a bit and improve my core strength,’ but one day accidentally turned up to a cardio class and had to run around the whole oval. She said it nearly killed her - but it was the first step towards what has ended up being an inspiring history of running.
When asked what it was that made her start running Annette says, ‘I loved the fact that I was doing something that I never in my wildest dreams thought I could do, it was an amazing feeling as I began to get fitter and run longer distances without dying!’ And the positive benefits she got from running expanded not just to the exercise itself but poured into her every day life, ‘I love the energy I have to do all the things I love doing. When Geoff (Annette’s husband) and I travel we love to explore gorges and waterfalls, and because of training we are fit and strong enough to go all day and really get to enjoy seeing our beautiful outback country.’
In the last twenty years Annette has done over twenty events including five marathons, numerous half marathons and 10km runs, plus Oxfam’s gruelling 100km overnight hike. This year Annette had planned to do a run in Queensland on her way back from their annual outback adventure, but due to isolation those plans got put on hold. Ordinarily Annette and Geoff leave the group for about five months over winter and go exploring the wilderness, but this year they had to do the opposite - isolation! Annette says, ‘I did struggle in the first lockdown but Sharon made sure I got my act together. When the second lockdown happened I knew I had to do something to get through and running was my obvious choice. I started running four times a week (in addition to doing online Wild Fit sessions), but found it was a bit much on my knees, so I listened to my body and cut back to three days a week. Getting out helped to clear my head and gave me something to enjoy, and I also improved my 5km running time.’
When you see Annette training it’s a true inspiration, but she built that strength, endurance and fitness up from where everyone else does, from the bottom. She started out where we all have to, just by taking the first few steps and doing it to be fit and healthy. For anyone starting out Annette suggests, ‘take it easy, listen to your body and just enjoy being out in the fresh air, the company of your fellow comrades and enjoy being active.’ It’s such a simple concept and when you put it that way it sounds pretty do-able, right!? It’s that attitude that got Annette to where she is today, with a framed collection of her medals adorning her wall and a strong healthy body that allows her the freedom to do the things she loves like trekking the outback, gardening, and of course - running!