Running Mums Australia is made up of fantastic mums who all have a story of why they came to love running. This is just one of those stories. Meet Nicole Weber. She is a passionate mum who overcame some major hurdles to run. She shares her story with us……..
I was your classic kid who was not at all into sport. It wasn’t part of our family culture to participate in organised physical activity – we lived on farms and were far too busy doing ‘proper work’ to be aimlessly running about or chasing a ball. I’ve always been vertically challenged and pretty unco, so I wasn’t a red hot favourite when it came to picking teams for sports, and it didn’t really bother me. I preferred to have my nose in a book, or reluctantly play the outfield positions to avoid any chance of having to chase or catch a ball.
Fastforward a bunch of years, and I found myself in my late twenties, pretty bored with the gyms I spasmodically attended to try to get some value from the membership fees I paid, and I discovered that if you sneak out of the house very early in the morning for a walk or bike ride (preferably before sun up), it’s possible to get some exercise in and enjoy a pretty spectacular sunrise, without a spouse and two demanding boys hanging from your limbs. This started my love affair with activity, but i was a mere flirtation. At that time I was regularly riding my flat bar road bike and running very short distances, and I’m talking less than 2km’s.
In 2008 I had a major life upheaval. You know the kind I’m talking about; the kind that turns your world inside out and upside down. I’m sure many of you can relate. Part of what my friends and I loosley term ‘The Debacle’ resulted in me sustaining some pretty serious leg injuries that meant the only physical activity I was getting was rehab. So I did what any sensible gal does in this situation. A year later I decided to join the local Triathlon club. I was only doing short course (half tri) events, but for this shrimpy, limpy, unco gal (did I mention I’m not a great ocean swimmer?) it was BIG.
A couple of years on, a good friend asked me to join her a couple of times a week for a walk and a short run. We started to challenge ourselves and build up our distances. Our first ‘proper’ run was 4km, and we were pretty proud. We then set ourselves a goal to run the 10km at the Gold Coast Marathon in 2012. We slowly built up our distance, adding a half a kilometer each week until we ran 8.5km before the event. We ran the Gold Coast together, surprising ourselves with how easy it felt. This event got me well and truly hooked. We did events closer to home, but nothing was quite as satisfying as that heaving crowd, cheering you (and your 10,000 new running buddies) on. Strangers actually held signs saying ‘Go random stranger, GO!’. We then decided to aim for the half marathon in 2013. Unfortunately my running buddy had some really poor health in early 2013, so couldn’t join me for the run. Although it felt lonely running without her, I was so terribly proud of my determination – I ran the whole distance and was on a high for weeks.
I don’t always enjoy running, but I enjoy what it means in my life. I run because I can. I am alive. I am healthy. I am determined. I am brave. I can grit my teeth and push through, even when a very loud and annoying voice in my head says ‘what the hell were you thinking?’. I love my body more because I run, not because it meets some unrealistic version of beauty but because it doesn’t let me down, even when I am in pain and injured. My body and my mind have done amazing things, and I run to honour it.