They say the menopause is a taboo subject, but I am happy to talk about it, and like to talk to other women about it. There is a lot of fear around hitting the menopause, as if that's it, your life as a woman is over. The myth I heard and believed was that over a few months, a year, I would suddenly transform into an unsexy, unattractive woman, grey and exhausted. So, I guess with all that I felt scared. Would I never wear high heels again? Not dance? Have fun? Was it all over for me? NO! For me it was an absolute liberation. I was lucky enough to have my children and I didn't want any more. Working mother, two children, a dog and a cat? That was enough for me.

Livvy and Chrissie

Livvy and Chrissie

I had always suffered from terrible periods, and they could knock me out sometimes for up to two weeks in a month. So, when I had the menopause in my late 40s, I was actually relieved. No, more than relieved! No more doubling over cramps white-faced!

It took a while to realise that my body was saying 'that's enough of that, here's the new phase in your life, no more periods'. I should have had a party to celebrate. My daughter was still fairly young and I had always thought of the menopause as something that happened in your late 50s. It wasn't all plain-sailing. Yes, I did suffer from hot flushes. I'd go bright red and use so much deodorant, and keep a spare shirt with me. I carried a little fan I bought in Spain - they were a difficult few months. I was lucky it was only a few months. A friend recommended I went for some acupuncture to a woman who specialised in 'Women's Issues', which I did and it really helped. I also started to take Chinese herbs and they helped cool me down as well. I learnt that certain spicy foods made me hot and my love of coffee had to go! Glad to say, it's fine now.

I started to listen to what my body was telling me, to take a rest, to do exercise. I started to do Tai Chi and build up my stamina, mental attitude and felixibility. That sluggy, exhausted feeling I had started to go and I had more strength and more vitality. I exercise every day now. OK, on a bad day it's for 10 minutes, but I make sure I do it. I eat a lot of vegetables and fish - all this gives me great energy. I can honestly say the menopause taught me to listen to my body and not ignore it, but respect the messages it's telling me.

When my daughter left home recently to go to university, it was another liberating time. Not because I don't love or miss her, but because at last I was free from the restraints of childcare. Although I was a working mum with a very strong work ethic, the juggling of family life, meals on the table, homework and my own work was a life I knew and loved. When she left it was like a freedom I had forgotten - we do forget, don't we!? I could eat when I wanted, meet friends when I fancied or choose to work until I was ready to stop. This is an amazing time. I feel braver, riskier, and care less about what people think.

I loved working with the athletes for Sport Relief. Iwan Thomas taught me how he focuses on how to start a race and get the speed up at the starting line. I really got into the energy of it and wanted to win! I got a bit carried away and thought I was in with a chance. What? Against an Olympian? Dream on! But I did actually run a lot faster than I thought I could and really surprised myself.

Playing rugby with Jonathan Davies was hilarious and hard work! He got me to go from lying down on the starting line to jumping up and tackling him - I thought I was fit, then I realised I could certainly get a lot fitter.

As for Sharron Davies... That woman is still an Amazonian! So strong... She can pull herself up on high bars so easily, and she's a great laugh!

These top athletes train so hard and have so much determination to get where they are. I'm never ever going to be an Olympian, it's a bit like wishing I had longer legs, but it did inspire me to push myself a bit harder. We can all do it and surprise ourselves with what we can achieve, and of course get fitter and stay healthier in the process.