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Calli McMillan - The Active Mindset

Aged just 28 Calli McMillan has already undergone serious surgery on her foot. For many the pain and issues that arose from it would cause them to give up on being active but Calli had other ideas and now exercise is a key part of what makes her happy. 

In my spare time I love…

going to exhibitions, museums, nights out with my friends and watching plays and ballet performances. Living in London I’m really lucky because there are so many things to do.

Life is all about…

finding a balance between work, having fun and looking after your wellbeing. I’m a PA in a consultancy firm which can be a stressful job at the best of times.

That’s why…

I started exercising so much. I was always active as a child - I did ballet, I did tennis - but it was only really after moving to London that it became a very integral part of my life. I found that I was working all the time and when I wasn’t working I was going out and socialising. I found myself getting really tired and stressed.

So I decided to…

start running because it’s free and all you have to do is put on your gear and go. It completely changed my life. I just love that time to myself, I feel I can escape the world and any pressures. At the same time I feel a lot stronger and healthier as a result.

When running I feel…

free. As long as it’s one of those days when you don’t feel like you’re battling yourself the whole way round. There’s something so special about just putting on your gym kit, your trainers, switching on your favourite music and just running. I love music and I find the best time for me to listen to a brand new album is on a run. It heightens the experience of taking in the sights and the smells. I love that time to myself. It feels precious.

When I was young…

I did ballet for 15 years. This led to an over developed heel bone and weakened achilles tendon from all the point work. In the end I had to have an operation on my foot which upset joints and ligaments.

I naively went into surgery...

thinking that was the cure. I knew little about the aftercare or recovery time. The recovery process was a lot slower than I expected. I couldn’t run for a whole year. I thought I wouldn’t be able to run again which was really upsetting. I slowly got back into exercise with yoga and as I became stronger I got back into running.

Not being able to exercise is…

really really, really frustrating. I was surprised how much it affected me day to day. I didn’t realise how much value I placed on walking. I couldn’t walk to work anymore or even one extra bus stop for a little daily exercise. I enjoyed taking that time for myself. And with running the freedom I felt was taken away. I felt stuck, I was trapped in my house, transport was really difficult. I had to rely really heavily on other people and I didn’t have that time to myself mentally. I would feel stressed.

The surgery caused…

this misalignment and as a result my knee now hurts. It is probably because I never really strengthened my achilles or muscles like my glutes and back of my thighs. My knee now gets swollen when exercising, especially after high intensity workouts or long runs.


I discovered Flexiseq when…

I saw a post on Twitter and thought I’d look into it a bit more. The main draw for me was that it was drug-free. I have never liked the idea of taking pills and medication because it’s easy to block how your body actually feels. I don’t like the thought of all these chemicals in my body either. So I thought I’d give it a go.

The first time I used Flexiseq....

the instant effect was that it was very cool and soothing. It’s meant to take a while to get working but it felt so relaxing that I felt instantly more confident. Now I use it every day and night and I find that the pain has diminished so much I can go on long runs. I feel so much more confident about my running. It’s nice after a run to get home and not experience the pain and trouble with my knee swelling up.

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