The Power of Belief

The Power of Belief: Jo Fenton

Look who’s back on the blog, today. It’s friend and author, Jo Fenton. I knew she went running, but how did it begin and why was belief involved? Here, she explains.

Thank you for having me on your blog today, Miriam.

When I was at school, I was unable to run. I would get ridiculously out of breath, and be coughing for the next 2 days. After 2 attempts at cross-country, my doctor provided me with a sick note that lasted me to the end of my school days, and psychologically for the next 25 years!

Then somewhere in my early 40s, I saw an article about exercise induced asthma. I realised this might be the cause of my inability to run, but did nothing about it at that point. I still believed I wasn’t a runner.

Two years later, in 2015, I came across another article. This one was about Couch to 5k, the incredible program that gets people who can’t run at all to be able to run a full 5000 metres.

On the strength of this, I went along to my GP, a fabulous lady, who provided me with an inhaler, a peak flow meter, a diary, and the encouragement to go for it. Next day, on the way to my writing group, I stopped off at a running shop, had my gait analysed, and bought my first pair of running shoes!

The next morning, 15 minutes after using my inhaler for the first time, I did run 1 of the first week of the program. Running for 1 minute, then walking for a minute and a half, on repeat for a total of twenty minutes. It was a struggle, but I was hugely impressed that I could run that far without the coughing and breathlessness that had previously accompanied any running attempts.

I gradually built up through the program to complete the 30 minutes of running solidly. In itself this was a huge achievement, but being somewhat on the slow side, I only managed to run 3km in this time. I had another 3 weeks left until I was due to run the Race For Life, and I was determined to run the whole way. I kept building up, and on the day, I ran the full 5km without stopping or walking. I was so proud of myself.

I’ve since then run several 10km races (a few without stopping, and many more using the jeffing technique (a mixture of running and walking). I’ve also done a half marathon, and hope to repeat the experience this coming September.

Running has totally changed my life. I’m still slow, but I’ve made loads of friends, joined a fabulous running group called the Prestwich Plodders, and I have recently completed my Leadership in Running Fitness with England Athletics.

My GP and the Couch to 5k program inspired me with the belief that I could become a runner, and I will be forever grateful for that.

Oh, well done, Jo! (But don’t tell my husband about this.)

Author bio:
Jo Fenton grew up in Hertfordshire, UK. She devoured books from an early age, particularly enjoying adventure books, school stories and fantasy. She wanted to be a scientist from aged six after being given a wonderful book titled “Science Can Be Fun”. At eleven, she discovered Agatha Christie and Georgette Heyer, and now has an eclectic and much loved book collection cluttering her home office.

Jo combines an exciting career in Clinical Research with an equally exciting but very different career as a writer of psychological thrillers.

When not working, she runs (very slowly), hikes, and chats to lots of people. She lives in Manchester with her husband, youngest son, a Corgi, two hamsters and a tankful of tropical fish. She is an active and enthusiastic member of two writing groups and a reading group.

Social Media Links

Please check out my blog.

Please also join me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest, where I talk about running, hiking and writing in fairly equal measures.

My books are available from Amazon:

The Abbey Series

The Brotherhood

The Refuge

The Becky White Thriller Series




Next week’s post in this series will be from Jennifer Gilmour. If you know Jennifer, you’ll know she’s been through a lot in her life. How did she extricate herself from abuse?

Remember, belief doesn’t have to be connected to writing, and these posts don’t even have to be about true stories. If you want to take part, do let me know via Contact above or social media.