Member Bio – Holly

In Bisexual Awareness Week 2019, we bring you our latest bio. This one is written by Holly, one of our bisexual members, and an enthusiastic eater of cake.

“My running ability as I entered 2019 had recently edged from ‘couldn’t run a bath’ to ‘could probably run for the bus’. I had a mediocre Race for Life, a just-about-not-terrible Great North Run and a handful of parkruns to my credit, but I had no real motivation to go out and start running regularly due to a combination of anxiety that I’d drop dead alone on the roadside and good old fashioned bone-idleness. On New Year’s Day, with the sort of mindless optimism that accompanies having been overfed and drunk for most of the previous week, I decided I could probably get rid of both of those obstacles by joining a running club. Decision made, I messaged Newcastle Frontrunners on Facebook asking if they’d be willing to accommodate me.

Frontrunners appealed to me not only for its infamous attitude to running as an excuse to carb-load on obscene amounts of cake, but for its inclusive nature as Newcastle’s LGBT+ running club. At the time I was an ‘open-secret’ bisexual – married to a man, had never ‘come out’, but had a look in my eyes when looking at Margot Robbie that definitely wasn’t just admiration. It’s an unfortunate fact that biphobia is common even in the LGBT+ community; too often we’re seen as either too gay or not enough, depending on who’s accusing. I therefore went along to my first club meeting not just wondering if I was a good enough runner, but if I was a good enough LGBT+ member.

Happily, I wasn’t tested on either of these things, and I enjoyed my first ‘rainbow run’ immensely. It was encouraging to be recommended to join the orange group, which made me feel I wouldn’t be the newbie dragging the rest of the group down, and I left feeling accomplished, healthy and that I might actually fit in with the ‘proper runners’. I’ve been a member of the club for 9 months now and that feeling gets stronger and stronger after every session.

The variety of sessions and club trips is excellent, and mean running and training are always interesting. Having a couple of non-serious but nevertheless annoying health conditions means that a lot of the time I feel that my body is working against me, but training with the club has helped me appreciate what I can do and how much I can improve – even if I still can’t plank to save my life! We’re also socially an amazingly friendly bunch – our Pride party and trip to Glasgow have been some of the highlights of my year (although we’re a lot better at running than we are at ceilidh dancing!) Becoming more involved in the LGBT+ community through the club led to me recently ‘coming out’ officially, which felt more liberating than I ever expected it would. I feel very lucky that three fantastic communities I’m part of – LGBT+, running, and Newcastle, one of which I entered by birth, the others by choice – can intersect in such a positive, fun and supportive way.

I’d recommend that anyone who’d like to improve their running, get fitter and healthier, or even just pick up a new hobby and meet people come along to one of our trial sessions and see what we can do for you. If nothing else, you won’t leave hungry!”