My husband Rick is paraplegic and I’m his wife & sole carer. When I gave up work to look after Rick it didn’t take long for the weight to pile on & for the second time in my life became obese weighing at 110kg. It was in March 2017 that Rick had other medical conditions diagnosed & this had forced me to look at our health & lifestyle. His diagnosis had become the reason I began a mission to get fit & healthy as there was no turning back.
We’re both on pensions and I started looking at gyms as there isn’t a lot of exercise options available for someone in a wheelchair & we wanted to do something together but everything was too expensive! We had to do something & fast! I started to recall the couple of years in 2010/11 that I was a member of a jogging club in Bankstown & started searching my local Campbelltown jogging club to then find Campbelltown parkrun & at zero cost! I thought I was seeing things, zero cost?! What made it better for a large woman like me was it catered for anyone of any fitness level. I remembered in those couple of years of my old jogging club the friendly encouraging people & knew that the parkrun is what I needed to keep motivated.
I remember the first day I was nervous and was relieved to see people of all ages, shapes, sizes and the running people were as friendly as I had remembered. When we were at the starting line my old adrenaline just hit me! My heart was pounding! I was doing ok with a combined power walk & shuffle/jog & even managed to get lost at the turning point where someone had to run up to turn me around. I ended up doing a 54:45 that day. I just thought, I’m better than this & from then on I was on a mission. This mission was to get as fit as I was in 2011 where I ran 5km in 30:01.
While listening to my body, I started doing 5km runs at home & ran down hills at first then gradually increased to running on the flat bits. Eventually & very gradually I started running uphills. It helps that my run at home starts at the bottom of a steep hill & I just used the side streets as finishing points until I managed to go all the way up that hill. So by doing this I had improved little by little each week & the kilo’s fell off helped with sensible dieting and I had lost 50kg’s along the way.
Early this year I was speaking to an experienced running friend at Campbelltown parkrun who gave me some advice. If I wanted to improve my 5km runs, start running some slow easy 10km runs & the 5km won’t seem as hard. So in January I did just that! I even joined Campbelltown Jogging Club this year & have met some wonderful people.
I’ve learnt a lot along the way, watching, listening & learning from the experienced runners. I’ve been picking up tips on the internet about the types of exercises, stretches & speed work that runners should do & I pay attention to them.
There are just so many inspiring, encouraging people who run with injuries, that are big, small, young & old that go to the parkrun & I couldn’t of got this far without them or without the support of my husband Rick.
Finally, after chipping away at my PB’s & running about 35-40km per week, I’ve made the sub 30! It’s been one year & one week after I joined Campbelltown parkrun and today I ran 29:07! I’m absolutely wrapped! It’s the fastest I’ve ever run!
I don’t know what happens from here on but all I know is that I’m so inspired by our seniors & always have been. I want to be fit like them when I’m their age. I want to be able to look after my husband so we are independent for as long as physically possible.
I’ve never looked back since I stumbled across Campbelltown parkrun & we’ve met the most amazing people who have literally changed our lives.
Le parkrun de Victoria à Kitchener, Ontario, a célébré son 25e parkrun la fin de semaine dernière, et il continue d’accueillir de nouveaux visages! Les bases de notre parkrun ont toujours été et continuent d’être deux familles qui participent chaque semaine et font de parkrun une partie de leur rituel familial hebdomadaire – la famille Mabifa…
Victoria parkrun in Kitchener, Ontario celebrated its 25th parkrun this last weekend and is continuing to welcome new faces – but today we meet a couple of families who have made parkrun part of their weekly routine. Mainstays of our parkrun have been, and continue to be, two families who participate every week and…