Over the last 12 months I have had the pleasure of the company of many gorgeous women over in the RMA community. Through this journey I have watched our membership grow from a few hundred to over 5000 women, all runners, all mums and all chasing their running dreams. So what makes these women want to join our network and what keeps them running?
Every day I get more and more requests from women wanting to join our network. Sometimes I just sit there in disbelief that this has really happened….that we have this network of amazing women in such a short span of time. People ask me, well what IS Running Mums Australia and what is it’s purpose? Why do they come?
I guess if I was to put it into words it would be ‘community’, like-mindedness, encouragement, validation, equipping, comradery, inspiration, friendship…..
As a mum, especially when a new mum, life can take a turn that most of us never saw coming. We go from our careers to being at home with children that can’t hold a conversation with us. We feel alone, isolated and well probably a little heavier than before we had children and this can lead to all sorts of bad feelings such as depression. Being part of the RMA community means that we can regain some of ‘ourselves’ again. Running is not about the kids. It is not about whats for dinner, it isn’t about the husband and it most certainly isn’t about the kids homework. It is about US and how WE feel and yes, it may be a little selfish but it is OUR goals and OUR challenges and OUR desires that we place on ourselves and it feels GREAT when we get out there and hit the pavement.
For the career mums among us it is about leaving behind the workplace and feeling the fresh air in our hair. About chasing PBs and pace records instead of profit margins and budgets.
Being in RMA is about being able to get onto facebook and share our success in a forum of 5000 women who totally get where we are coming from when we say that we had a crappy run or that we finally reached our goal. It far outweighs the nothingness that we may get from our families and friends when we share that goal with them. Because some people just don’t get it. But RMA do. We choose to be there because we love running and we want to inspire and encourage each other to do better at it.
Its not about competition either. There are some amazingly talented athletes in our community. There are also some amazing women who have just started out on their running journey. Each of them wants the same thing. Connection. Inspiration. Validation. From one’s sub 3 hour marathon to one’s first 5k, each woman shares their thoughts and feelings in RMA for the same reasons. To feel like ‘someone gets it’. And they do. And they commend each other and their efforts regardless of experience.
As women we are social creatures and we nurture and we have concern for one another, and thats what I have seen among our community. Women who turn up to marathons with no shoes and some stranger from our community offers them a pair to wear, women who give their race dreams up due to injury to another woman to have a go in their place. Women who can’t wait to turn up to a race because they know that they won’t be alone because there is bound to be another RMA runner there. They feel connected. Understood and not alone.
This is what women (runners) want. This is what we are all about.