• Lizzie Astin

How My Struggle Became My Fight


My body is processing the grief because I don’t know how to rationalise it, a chest infection followed by a head cold, not devastating illness, just enough to make you feel a little bit shit. My body feels heavy, I have chest pains that are physical, no wonder they call it a broken heart.

I decided to give myself a goal after Mum died and run a half marathon in under 2 hours. Exercise has always been my sanctuary, in the gym, with my headphones and lycra on I am just me, I feel free. I hired a running coach, she is brilliant, and she pushes me, actually, I take that back, I want to live up to her high standards, I want to complete what she knows I am capable of, so I push myself, harder than I have ever pushed myself before. Every session is harder than the one before, I feel angry at times, that it is so hard, that my body is punishing me somehow for not being good enough. It hurts but I never want to give up, I dedicate running to my Mum, to the journey she went through, my pain makes me stronger, she was the strongest woman I knew.

Building a business has always been hard work, but when your mission is bigger than you, it’s not painful, believing so strongly in your message and in your work drives you. But, now it feels hard, I give so much of myself to clients and I truly believe in my programme so why am I afraid to put myself out there? Why am I afraid that I will not succeed? I have never been afraid of hard work but I feed off results, I need constant validation that I am getting it right and changing the direction of my business has meant sales are slower. My work is more valuable, but the quick wins are not in my reach, I have to dig deeper, I don’t seem to have it in me.

My partner has supported me in a way that I wish for anyone going through this. He has been there every step of the way, allows me to talk about it, allows me to weep on his shoulder, never complains about another make up coated t-shirt. But we have our challenges. He is also an entrepreneur and has never been able to support me financially. I am the bread winner, I pay for everything, and I don’t want to anymore, I want him to support me. The weight of financial responsibility is too heavy on my shoulders but his vision for our future is more compelling than the alternative.

I am so driven by certainty and yet I have none in my life, I have lost certainty in myself. But I won’t resort to a pick me up and I won’t give up, because I know, that I am stronger than that, I know that I have the resources, I am just tired. Day by day I do the things that I know will bring me the happiness I crave, I work on my business, I work on myself, I work on my relationship and I just keep fighting. I prefer the word fight to struggle, it has an end, you can win a fight, a struggle seems more permanent.

I just keep looking to Mum for answers, she didn’t have them all but I learnt this about myself, what drives me, what keeps me going is this; ‘I want to inspire women to be the woman that my Mum never believed it was possible for her to be’, and every time I want to quit, I step up and I remember what I am fighting for.


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