Linda Compton was approaching her fifties when she decided to come along to her first parkrun.
Linda explains how she went from being THAT kid at school who hated running, to the verge of joining the parkrun 50 club.
I first came to parkrun because, while I had already lost quite a bit of weight from better eating and more exercise, I was struggling to lose the extra 4 or 5 kgs I wanted to drop.
Someone suggested that running could be a good option. RUNNING!!! I had never been a runner in my life. In fact, I could honestly say I hated running. I was THAT kid at school who was trying every excuse under the sun to get out of it. But… I thought I would give it a go.
I was really determined to lose a few more kgs before our trip to Africa last year. So at 49 years of age, I did my first 5 kilometre run – well now I call it a run, it was more of a walk/jog/run, but I did. And from then, it was still a walk/jog/run for the first 7 or 8 weeks, but I kept coming back for more.
With thanks to the energy and enthusiasm of Liz Henry and her organising team of amazing volunteers at Invercargill parkrun, the support of fellow parkrunners all on their own journeys, judging no-one for their own choices or goals along the way, and my own determination, I eventually learnt to run the whole distance!
By the third or fourth month I was achieving under 30 minutes each time. Never could I have imagined I would get hooked and I would now be one run away from my 50th, 5 kilometre parkrun.
I have to say thank you to everyone at Invercargill parkrun – you are all heroes to so many of us for volunteering your time every weekend and for encouraging us to reach our goals no matter how small or how long it takes us. I will keep doing parkrun and I will encourage as many others as I can to join me.
To my fellow Parkrunners – don’t give up, keep trying to reach your goal and well done just for turning up each week – you are already a winner.
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