I was the tubby kid who hated exercise. I once explained to my 4th grade teacher I did not see the need for PE. I even forged my Mum’s signature on a note excusing me from sport in high school. Did I get out of sport? Nope. Did my Mum get called to the school office? Yes!
I did enjoy netball and softball, but my casual job as a checkout chick soon replaced my Saturday sport days, and an interest in videos and junk food soon saw me doing very little exercise at all.
Even as an RN, I used to joke that the only way I would run was if someone was chasing me! Flash forward a few years, following the birth of my second child, when I decided to give running a go. I ran sporadically, but still managed to complete my first fun run. My first 10km race was a mix of running flat out, then walking while I caught my breath. I weighed about 18kgs more than I should and finished in a time of 1 hour and 23 minutes. My Mum and Dad were there to see me cross the line, and the look of pride in my Dad’s eyes made me burst with pride.
Despite my first attempt, life got busy and running fell by the wayside. Five years and a third baby later, with my 40th birthday 12 months away, I decided to give it another try. I started with 1km, then 2km, then 3km and so on. I ran the local Park run with my first 5km sitting somewhere at about 38 minutes. Over the course of 6 months, I lost about 13kgs and shaved 7 minutes off my 5km time. I took part in my first Stampede (10kms), RAW (6kms) and Running Scared (8kms) events, and 2 Colour Runs.
Running had become addictive. I lived it, talked about it all the time (to anyone, I didn’t care), dreamed about it when I couldn’t run. I ran on Christmas and New Years Days! I soon found allies in a couple of girlfriends at work who knew the benefits and enjoyed the challenges of running as much as I did. I used running to thrash out my problems, solve all the world’s issues, and formulate lists in my mind. Then I found Running Mums Australia.
In RMA, I found a forum of like-minded women who inspire me every day by rising to the challenges of life as a Wife, Mum, single-Mum, carer. So much so, that 5 years later I ran in my first Sydney Harbour 10kms and shaved 16 minutes off that very first 10km time all those years ago.
My longest distance to date is 19km as I train for my first half-marathon. Me! Training for a half-marathon!!! That will be this year. Next year, my first marathon? Yep, I think so.
But all along the way, there are very special people, who have encouraged me, applauded me. People, like my Husband Steven and my parents, who have enabled me to get out and go for a run. People like my girlfriends, who have helped me hurdle mental barriers and cheered me on. But mostly my kids, who are completely without judgement and never once scoffed at my goals or suggested I couldn’t do it.
Boy, I ‘d love to catch up with my PE teachers and let them know I didn’t turn out too bad after all.