News - 11th May 2022
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Maria Amos’ new normal leads to parkrun and volunteering

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A snowboarding accident five years ago changed everything for Maria Amos.

 

And while it’s changed how she lives, she loves that she can stay involved with parkrun.

 

At the time of her accident she was an active gym-goer, a runner training for her first marathon and she had an abundance of energy.

 

Despite recovering physically, a concussion – one of many she’d already experienced – has meant she’s had to reassess what she can give her energy to.

 

“I’ve got to pick myself up and carry on,” she says.

 

“I’d run my first half marathon the day before my snowboarding accident. I broke my ribs and didn’t realise I’d had a concussion too until after the ribs had settled.”

 

“I was getting double vision, I was tired and cranky and it got progressively worse.”

 

“I had to give up contact sports – I played touch – and I can’t mountain bike anymore. I also developed chronic fatigue.”

 

Maria-Amos-Puarenga

 

Somewhere along the road to recovery Maria heard about parkrun so she went to her local event to see what it was all about.

 

“I love seeing people like myself, and families, getting out there and doing something. It’s not full of gym bunnies.”

 

“I went to a boot camp and everyone there looked like fitness models and I felt out of place.”

 

“parkrun isn’t like that.”

 

Maria’s learned that if she runs in the morning it can take the rest of the day for her brain to recover.

 

“I usually exercise and then go straight to bed so it’s hard for me to run at parkrun. It used to take me four or five days to recover but now I can recover within 24 hours.”

 

“If I’m going to run at parkrun then it has to be a day when I have nothing else on. I teach crafts some Saturdays so those days I can’t run.”

 

“And that’s why I volunteer. I think I’ve volunteered more than I’ve run. I just really like it.”

 

Maria loves volunteering so much that when she was on holiday in Wanaka and visited the parkrun there, she stepped in to wear a hi-vis when she realised they were short.

 

“I like that parkrun is for everybody. You see all walks of life.”

 

“I like being a marshal. I yell good morning to everyone and lots of encouragement. I also like tail walking.”

 

Maria is now stepping up to be a Run Director.

 

“They asked me if I would do it. I was a little bit nervous about it but everyone is really nice.”

 

“My concussion has given me a new normal. I can still be at parkrun and I love that.”

 

Maria’s goal this year is to join the v25 club and wear the aubergine shirt.

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