For Antoinette McGough parkrun was the springboard for making some big, positive changes in her life. Now a member of the team at Gorey parkrun, she tells us her parkrun story.
Having been through an extremely stressful time, I’d moved, with my husband from Dublin to Wexford. I initially hated the place. We were living in an isolated rural area outside Gorey. I was having a really bad time, not happy at all.
On New Year’s Day 2019 I realised I was feeling rubbish.
That day I made a decision to change my life for good. I spent a while trying to figure out how to do it. Finally, I got brave enough to join a gym and started some basic exercises.
Slowly I found I had more energy and enthusiasm to get out.
In February, the gym started a couch to 5k programme and I decided I liked the sound of that so I joined up. I struggled through it and the instructor advised us to find a 5k to aim for to finish the course.
I went online to find a 5k to take part in. By chance I found Gorey parkrun and I decided that would be my goal. I was now invigorated and felt ready to tackle a 5k.
I went along to the Gorey parkrun and walked the 5k in the first week. The second and third weeks I walked a bit and ran a bit. Gradually over the following weeks I was able to run the full 5k. I was so delighted to be able to run it.
Every week the Run Director would invite everyone to join them for tea in a local cafe after the parkrun. Every week for about 4 weeks I got as far as the door of the cafe but never went in. I didn’t think I could just walk up to a table of strangers and just join in. Then, one week I pushed myself through the door and went in. I got a lovely welcome.
Turns out these parkrun folks were really nice. For the next few weeks I joined them every week. Then I volunteered to help with the parkrun and got to know some of the great people involved, both the parkrunners and volunteers are all really friendly and supportive.
I ended up joining a running club in the area and made some friends there too.
Through a parkrun friend I got involved with the local Special Olympics Club and I now volunteer with them too.
Since January 2019 my life has transformed. I have made friends in Gorey and am now finally settled in my home. I volunteer with parkrun and Special Olympics so am able to give something back to my community. I’m looking forward to when lockdown ends and we can get back to all these activities.
I have also weight and am at the fittest, most healthy and happiest I have ever been in my 50 years.
I am happy to say I have transformed my life and it all really started with me finding parkrun.
We are delighted to see so many of you have been taking part in (not)parkrun recently. While we are hoping we can see each of you again at your local parkrun soon, we spoke with some parkrunners who have been taking part in (not)parkrun, to find out how it has helped them during these difficult…
Irish Sign Language is Deirdre Byrne-Dunne’s native language, she was looking for a new hobby that her and her husband could do together when a friend suggested parkrun. My name is Deirdre Byrne-Dunne (A6108396). I am deaf and Irish Sign Language is my native language. I have seven children, two are deaf, and I…