Ellie Pimm used the time during lockdown last year to get active. Connecting with her local parkrun through social media and logging (not)parkruns set her up to confidently join her first parkrun full of enthusiasm.
For a long time, I was envious of people running for fun… how could anyone possibly enjoy running?! I’d heard about parkrun a few times and thought the concept was brilliant, but even getting started seemed impossible to me. Then 2020 happened.
Alone in my Melbourne apartment, working from home during lockdowns, I wanted to find a way to keep active. With nothing else to do and no excuses left, I started “running” up and down the hallway. Sometimes I’d have a chuckle to myself as I went, thinking the neighbours downstairs must be wondering what on earth I could be up to!
As I listened to a Couch to 5km podcast, I started progressing from the early short bursts of jogging and felt ready to venture outside. I also found the Instagram account for my local parkrun. When I saw they were keeping the community connected with live baking challenges, I knew for sure these were my kind of people and I wanted to join them for a parkrun one day.
Eventually, with lots of encouragement from friends and despite an injury setback, I started hitting the 5km mark when I went out for a jog. I contacted the team for some help to log a (not)parkrun and was touched when they followed up with a message of congratulations after I successfully submitted my first time.
When restrictions finally lifted I was pumped to go to my first parkrun, something I never dreamed I could do a year before. I thought about thirty people might show up, but instead there were over 380 of us, from all different walks of life.
As the starting time approached, I had no anxiety about what was ahead. It was clear my speed truly didn’t matter and even if I needed to walk there would be plenty of others doing the same. I couldn’t stop smiling as we set off, seeing the faster runners leading the way and hearing the volunteers cheering us on as we went around the course. It turns out running really can be fun.
If you’ve been thinking about giving it a try, come to parkrun!
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