In running I found me, a beast and a sisterhood. By Jayde Coutts

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Some of us shyly say ‘oh no I don’t run, I jog’. At what point is the transition? Speed? Distance? As far as I’m concerned it’s sweat and tears!!!!

So, Hi I’m Jayde and its official…… I am a Running Mum. 3 years ago I was pregnant and about to give birth to my second child, my longed for daughter. 12 days after her birth my world was rocked, I watched my Dad pass away slowly, sadly and painfully from cancer. He held my daughter once before he passed, he was only 51.

Even though I have a super supportive husband, I was lost in a haze of grief, night feeds and chasing my 2 year old son around the house. The point here is…. I was lost. Physically and emotionally, my health, my whole self, lost. Sure, I could paint a smile on, I was a good mother, I went back to work as a part time teacher, and on the surface I was there but inside a part of me was missing.

My weight ballooned and my health suffered. After a health scare of my own, I woke up and thought this is not me. Where is my energy?, where is my health? but more importantly where am ‘I’?. Things had to change. So I started pounding the pavement and researching clean eating but I couldn’t do this alone. One day I got the courage and blurted all my feelings out in a private Facebook message to some of my closet friends. I put it all out there, I want my body back after having kids, I want to gain control, I want to get fit, I want to love myself, I want my clothes to fit and most importantly I want my health!

I was nervous putting it out there, I was embarrassed and scared I had actually admitted I was overweight and unhealthy, but my Mummy friends agreed, they wanted this too. We vowed to support each other, pick each other up when we were down and spur each other on. That day the Lady Lucks were formed, Fitsporation was our goal and my life was changed. So one foot went in front of the other. Slowly and painfully at first. I hit the pavement striving to get to 5k’s. It was hard, I didn’t think I would ever get there, 3.5k’s was a struggle.

One foot in front of the other I got there finally 5k’s!!!! (Mandatory selfie sent to my Lady Lucks). Some of my Mummy friends however were further along in their running journey and I was starting to compare myself. When I was starting to get down about my times one said ‘Don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 20’. That stuck with me…. this was my first chapter.

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At that point my inner runner was born: This is my race. This little voice started saying ‘you can do better’, ‘go on you’ve got more in the tank’. Again slowly but surely my times got quicker and every step of the way I was posting red face selfies to the girls. Slowly and surely the kilo’s dropped too. Then the hic-up every runner has at some time, pain! Pain and swelling! Noooooo! I had just discovered my inner runner. After some ultra sounds, crutches and strapping for a few weeks (Achilles bursitis: I admit it, I felt pretty sporty having a sporting injury). I learnt another lesson: Invest in shoes! So I went and spent more money on 1 pair of shoes than I think I had spent on all of my shoes in the last 3 years and that was the start of ‘run shopping’.

Those shoes kind of broke the seal to run spending and in my mind now it’s okay to purchase expensive things for running because it’s important and I need it. Also I had my Lady Lucks there to back me up on buying the expensive bra, shorts, tights etc. Right the injury hurdle was over, lesson learnt: new shoes, supportive messages from my ladies and now back to training. Many many more days and weeks spent trying to crack the SUB 30 5k. You know when you just have one of those runs where everything clicks… the wind was right, the clothes were right, my injury was healed, 5K SUB 30 PB BABY!!!! I was elated (super celebratory selfie sent to the girls).

Right now my inner runner is saying ‘next challenge…10k?’ and even though, in my head I’m now at chapter 3, still not chapter 20 but far from chapter 1, ‘Can I do a 10k?? No I will never get there, I will never be able to run that distance’. One foot in front of another, with a Lady Luck in my ear telling me ‘it’s your head, get your head right, stop this negative self-talk’. More pounding the pavement. Runs with a pram, runs without, increasing my runs by .5k, 1k. Every week slowly and surely I’m getting there, the kilos are coming off and my running is getting easier because of it. I had a mental shift at that point…. I was excited I was losing weight because it was making my running easier not because my clothes were getting loose though that was a bonus. I was finally finding me.

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I had found running was mediation to me. Pounding, rhythmic feet and blasting music in my ears, type of mediation. Hurdle number 2: A Blow out on the pram!!!! 2 wheels down!!! In one week I completely lacerated 2 tyres and ruined a rim (again feeling pretty sporty that this has happened but a bit devastated for my pram). My expensive pram was stuffed!!!! How am I going to run without a pram? Not wanting to invest in an expensive pram as my daughter is 3. I started trawling Gumtree…..and the ‘Beast’ was born. I bought this $20 pram that looked like it had 4 in-destructible tyres. Best thing I ever did. This thing is ugly but my daughter is so comfy in it and we are all now one mega running unit. Now I have the ‘beast’ I smashed the 10k distance.

I decided on my non ‘beast’ runs I was going to push for a SUB 60. After more pavement pounding SUB 60 was achieved and much celebrated through selfie taking. Now my weekly running distance was increased, the weight had fallen off and I was back!!!! People were starting to notice, asking me what was my secret? I happily and simply reply ‘Running!’ Every part of me is healthy, I surprise myself with how fit and strong I feel. Running 4-5 times a week now, I never thought I would get to where I am today and every part of my life is better because of my running. Running gives me time to process thoughts on life, Dad and many other day to day things, and I get some hilarious comments when running with the ‘beast’. Usually it’s because my daughter is sitting in this monstrosity of a pram wearing sunglasses and some form of a tutu. Today I even got a round of applause from a stranger.

In running I have found my happy place, lost 15 kilos, and I have been lucky enough to be able to share my journey with my wonderful Mummy Sisterhood. I’m so proud of how far I have come and even though those dreadful before photos exist, they don’t embarrass me anymore. These are my chapters, this is my journey and that was me, that’s what happens when you forget yourself. So what’s the next chapter…I’m halfway through my training for a half marathon. I never thought I would EVER run a half but I never thought I would ever run 5k or 10k or SUB anything and I did all that!!!! And I know I have my special group of Lady Lucks to support me  (oh and a shout out to my husband, who saw me typing this and wanted me to share how he is very supportive and a widow to my running lol).

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2 responses to “In running I found me, a beast and a sisterhood. By Jayde Coutts

  1. Thanks for sharing your story, I found it really inspirational.

    I’m new to running, I’m 45 with 2 gorgeous girls (6 & 3). Today I just ran my first 5km SUB 30 🙂 and I was thinking how will I ever do a 10km run??? You have shown me that it is possible… I just need to shift my thinking… and TRAIN! 🙂

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