The shape I'm in - Louise McSharry

RTÉ’s Louise McSharry is about to hit a personal best. 

This weekend she’s running 10K in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Dublin half marathon. While training for the event, she ran 5K three times a week, sometimes while pushing her 10-month-old son in his buggy.

It was a steep learning curve for the 2fm presenter. “I never ran before. I’ve had an exercise regime at times in my life, but certainly nothing consistent,” she says.

“This running has been a real challenge. It’s something that I’d like to keep up but maybe under slightly less pressure — not working towards a specific event. I wouldn’t call it pleasure. But it’s free and it’s good for me. And I’ve accepted that one must exercise, unfortunately.”

However, with a young baby and a demanding job in the mix, time for exercise is often in short supply. “It’s definitely more difficult because I have Sam. Sometimes I sneak out from work for an hour’s run”.

As a first-time mum, she’s had to make a lot of changes. “Motherhood is definitely a shock to the system. I don’t know if I have adjusted yet. I still feel I’m in a transition,” she says.

“I think the biggest challenge is not having any time to myself. I used to have a lot of, like a lot of, time on my own. Now I have none. But it’s also my responsibility to try and work in a bit of that time into my life. I haven’t quite managed that yet but, hopefully, I’ll get there.”

In 2014, following a series of medical tests, she was told she had Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system. She went public about her disease, showing grit and grace in equal measure.

The treatment was gruellling but successful, and she went on to marry her long-term partner, Gordon Spierin, almost a year to the day after she was diagnosed.

“I’m happy to close the chapter but I’ll never really leave it behind,” she says.

It’s one of the reasons why she’s supporting the Irish Cancer Society’s Walks for Night Nurses’ for the second year running.

“Both of my biological parents died as a result of cancer. My dad was nursed at home by my biological mom who was a nurse — certainly, night nursing would have been a huge help to them.

“I know just how crucial those services are, and they literally won’t happen unless the Irish Cancer Society is able to raise the funds that they need to provide those services,” she says.

She’s glad the Phoenix Park event is happening after her 10K run. Boot’s Night Walks for Night Nurses’ takes place from August 11 to 25.

To join Boots staff in the Phoenix Park on August 18, register at www.nightwalkfornightnurses.eventbrite.co.uk.

What shape are you in?

Definitely human shape.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

My husband is a great cook and usually makes a batch of something healthy at the start of the week, meaning I always have a good dinner, despite working evenings. It would be easy to fall into bad habits there, but he keeps me on the straight and narrow.

What are your guiltiest pleasures?

I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. Pleasure is pleasure and I have nothing to be ashamed of!

Some people would probably feel guilty about my love of trashy reality television though.

What would keep you awake at night?

Very little. I’m so tired all the time since I had a baby, I’m doing well if I make it to bed, to be honest.

How do you relax?

Before I had a baby I used to love reading in bed. These days a long shower and time to properly do my hair and make-up does it for me.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Dolly Parton, Miss Piggy, the girls from Haim, and Adele.

What’s your favourite smell?

Coconut. It makes me feel like I’m on holidays.

What would you like to change about your appearance?

I don’t like to think about my appearance in those terms. It is what it is. Time spent wishing it was different isn’t well spent in my opinion.

When is the last time you cried?

This morning. My baby is going through a particularly bad bout of teething so we had a little weep together.

What traits do you least like in others?

Falseness. I find it very hard to be comfortable with people if I don’t feel like they’re being themselves.

What traits do you least like about yourself?

I’m really bad at replying to emails.

I say, ‘You need time to reply to this properly’, and the next thing I know it’s three weeks later and I still haven’t got back to the person.

Do you pray?

No.

What would cheer up your day?

A nap!


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