Those words are so etched in my mind even after all these years.
Some mean boy at primary school laughing at me, a chubby 8 year old running in the school athletics carnival. Worse, the seeing the Assistant Principal (and yeah I am going to name and shame you old man!) Mr O'Neil laughing too. Oh the shame of it! I don't remember the boy's name, but I certainly remember my tears burning down my cheeks, red hot with humiliation. My athletic prowess never really improved from there. I tried netball but that was a bit of a fizzer due to "mean girls" factor. Little Athletics bombed out too. Even my own father couldn't hide his embarrassment as I galloped awkwardly through a running race a minute after the gun went off ( they really should tell newbies about the starters pistol). Then in grade 6 came the dreaded cross country - I came last out of the whole school. Again, as I crossed the finish line, aching with a stitch in my side there was Mr O'Neils' mirth in my face.
So running is not something I ever considered doing. In fact exercise and me have never really embraced. I have probably been scared of the potential humiliation. After having my third baby, some years ago, I started playing netball and played for 5 years but there is always a mean girl isn't there? Sure enough, my team, due to players coming and going was eventually taken over by mean girls and that was the end of that. Watching the "mean girl" factor weed out the chubbier mums, I finally snapped - I just don't take that crap anymore so I told the main mean girl off and walked off the court.
About a year ago I started seeing a Personal Trainer and boy it has helped my confidence. One day we were training in the park and I got there a tad early and she was still with a client. I joked I would warm up on the "treadmill" and off I jogged around the footy oval.
One lap I ran, then two laps - it was incredible! I was running! It wasn't killing me! Inside me was this little girl singing " look at me!! I am running!!!
Look at me!
I CAN run!"
Yes, fatty was running.
I felt strong, I felt powerful.
Over the next few weeks I built up to 4 laps, then 5 , then 6 and then I was really sick of running in circles. But then it occurred to me, on my bucket list, which is FULL of crazy shit - I had included run a Fun Run.
Yes! I was going to run a fun run!
Immediately I searched for Fun Runs - I found the MS Fun Run 5km or 10 km. 10km?! Be serious. One of my oldest and dearest friends has MS so this was the one!
|Mr G and me waiting for the race to begin. I was so worried I wouldn't finish it.|
|Checking out the starting point|
In June this year I ran a 5km Fun Run. It was raining and muddy. I had to stop a few times. I finished in 38.4 minutes. I raised $600 for MS . I have never been so proud of myself ever.
|I did it!|