'I've only started exercising recently. Sometimes I'll say 'oh I won't go today, I don't feel like it' and Sarah will say 'come on mum', and I'll make the effort. I'm starting to get better at that." So says 56-year-old Grainne Rowe, mother of Ireland soccer international Sarah Rowe.
Sarah is ambassador for 'Not Proving Just Moving', an initiative put together by 20x20 and supported by Lidl Moves, which aims to get women - of all ages, shapes, sizes, abilities and backgrounds - moving, and recognising the benefits in terms of mental health and happiness that come with exercise.
The campaign launches today with an online platform including a quick questionnaire that leads to a suggested activity (walking, jogging, cycling, yoga, home workout and dancing), and supports around how to get started, and, crucially, keep going. The resources section includes video instructions, advice and routines along with expert tips.
Grainne, who has three daughters - Sarah is the youngest - is one of the campaign's first converts. "I was always an active type," she says. "I'd do gardening, I worked three days a week as a nurse, I ran the house, I was never the type of person to sit around and do nothing. But making the conscious effort of going out for a walk probably didn't come as naturally. When the girls were younger, I used to go for a walk with friends, but life took over. I was busy; my husband was working away a lot, I was dropping to and from matches. I didn't have time; you put yourself last.
"And now, I'm aware, getting older, that I need to put more effort into it and treat exercise as part of my life. At this stage of my life I have time again - I recently retired - but I have to push myself a bit. It doesn't come automatically to me. But I am determined to stick with it."
All three of Grainne's daughters are sporty and, she says, "they're pushing me to it. I'm walking, and I have a new stationary exercise bike and I use that. I am enjoying it. But I need to keep working at it. I want to lose weight as well. As you start to get older, after the menopause, you start to put on weight. I wouldn't ever have put weight on, only in the last five years. But I'm inclined to go up a stone and down a stone, depending on the time of year. And I'd be conscious of that now.
"I want to keep at a certain weight. Walking is helping that; I have to lose another half a stone I'd say."
And is she feeling other benefits? "I am. I probably sleep a little better, I'm feeling more energetic, I eat better. Mentally - I'm more enthusiastic and motivated to do other things."
These are exactly the kinds of benefits that have made Sarah so passionate in her role as ambassador.
"Your physical wellbeing is important, of course," she says, "but even more important is your mental health - the way you feel after exercise. I'm very passionate about the topic. Your mind will play tricks on you and say 'oh no, you can't do this…' Exercise is one of those things that you dread doing - but if you do, you find you enjoy it, and you really enjoy the aftermath feeling."
Over the last couple of years Sarah, who also played Gaelic football for Mayo and Australian Rules for Collingwood, has been studying NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), hypnosis and life coaching, as part of her passion for the psychology of achievement and motivation.
"A lot begins with habit changing - how can we start small, and reach where you want to go? It's all about little changes, walking before you can run. It's not about comparing yourself to others, it's about finding out what works for you."
Changing the way we think about exercise is crucial, Sarah says.
"Instead of thinking 'I'm going to go for a run and it's going to be really hard…' think 'I'm going for a run with one of the girls and we're going to have a chat along the way and we're going for coffee after' or 'I'm going to walk and listen to a podcast, or ring a friend'.
"It's about changing the focus of what you're doing when you're exercising in order to change the way you think about exercise. Instead of thinking about it as hard and something you dread, think of it in a self-care kind of way.
"It's about minding yourself. Exercise is a big part of looking after yourself from the inside out."
Sarah is all about the idea of starting small. Very small, if needs be.
"Put on your runners and take out the bins. If that's what exercise looks like to you, that's okay. And once the runners are on, you might just end up walking to the end of your road one week, and the next week you might do a lap of the block or the estate.
"It's not about setting up unrealistic goals for yourself. It's not saying 'I'm going to run six days a week…' Tell yourself you'll do something every day, but that it will be something you enjoy; everyone can find some sort of physical activity they enjoy."
Sarah is all about looking at 'exercise' in a different way - not as something formal, like running, playing football or hockey, doing gymnastics.
"There are loads of ways you can approach exercise," she says. "20x20 understands that physical activity doesn't have to come in the form of traditional sports - it's the simple enjoyment of getting out for an evening walk, a swim in the sea, an evening dance around the kitchen with your kids, a cycle, gardening. There are so many things that will get you out and about, and will really impact the way you feel."
As a child, Sarah played "soccer, Gaelic football, basketball, athletics, gymnastics - whatever came my way. Since I was 11 or 12, it has been the norm for me to go training regularly. I don't know any different."
Because of this, "if I don't train for a week or two, I feel it affects my mood straight away. So, if I've taken a few days off training because my body needs a rest, I'll still go out for a walk. It clears my head, and I need it for that."
And no, she doesn't look forward to vigorous physical sessions any more than the rest of us do.
"I don't enjoy vigorous exercise," she laughs. "I enjoy afterwards and I know that it's worth it, and I know how much it impacts me mentally and physically. Doing it means I'll have a better day afterwards, and I'll be able to give more to others."
Because that is a big part of what this comes down to: "If I do this for myself - exercise - I can give so much more to others," Sarah says. "I'm in the right headspace to listen, to learn. I can give more to my family and friends and career, it's a win for them as well.
"I really do believe that when it comes to exercise, you're one decision away from a different life. It will change your life in so many ways, because it affects you that much mentally."
This is also why she is determined to encourage her mother to stay with the daily exercise habit. In one sense, it's simply giving back the dedication Grainne showed when Sarah was younger.
"If you see children who have achieved at sport, there is also 100pc commitment from their parents as well," Grainne says, rightly.
By which she means the endless driving to and from matches and training, washing kit, sacrificing personal time to ensure your child is able to attend matches around the country.
What would she say to another woman reading this piece, who might have small children and be in the place Grainne was when her daughters were younger?
"I'd tell her to try to put a certain amount of time aside for her. It's very important. It's also very difficult, when you're a mother."
So, will she stick with daily exercise? "I will. I'm going in the right direction, " Grainne says. "I've no choice with these girls around me."
'Lidl Moves' is a new exercise programme and microsite created to support the 'No Proving. Just Moving' chapter of the 20x20 campaign. lidl.ie/20x20