Alongside fitness, one of my big passions is tattoos.
I now have 7 pieces of work, my most recent and largest being a carousel horse on my thigh by the fantastic Jody Dawber.
I’d been following Jody’s work on Instagram for some time, admiring her feminine take on old-school tattoos. I’ve always loved colourful, traditional style tattoos with girly touches like bows, flowers and hearts. When Jody announced she was moving from Liverpool to my local tattoo studio in Essex, I was straight on the phone to book an appointment!
It’s been about 4 years since my last tattoo, as I like to research, plan and chose the right artist and studio. I felt ready for a big piece and chose my thigh as the placement. Horses symbolise strength and power and I’m certainly proud of the strength in these legs! I also love the vintage, nostalgic feel of fairground horses.
The tattoo took around 4 hours (Jody works quick)! It was quite sore towards the end and I was relived when she finished the final touches!
During the healing process, it is important to keep the area clean, moisturised and dry. Avoiding submerging the tattoo in water is crucial, which means putting swimming on hold for at least 3 weeks. It’s not ideal when I usually train in the pool twice a week, but I’d like my carousel horse to look vibrant and beautiful so it’s worth skipping sessions for a while!
I’ve also taken a week off from running and cycling to avoid aggravating the area while it’s sore and tender. As the tattoo heals, the top layers of skin flake and peel away- it’s best to let this process happen naturally and avoid picking/scratching at the scabs. Sounds gross, but picking at the tattoo can pull the ink out of the skin and result in the tattoo looking patchy and faded. It can also lead to infection- not good!
For someone active like myself, it’s not easy to take time away from training. Letting the body rest and repair is essential, in the same way that you would recover from an illness or injury. I probably could have carried on running if the tattoo had been smaller and on my upper body, but given the placement and the large size, I couldn’t really run immediately after!
I’ve been using Bepanthen (nappy rash ointment) as recommended by the tattoo shop to moisturize and soothe the tattooed area. It’s healing nicely so far, although it is incredibly itchy.
Do you have any tattoos? How was the healing process?