News - 3rd June 2021

Change for the good

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When Kelly saw an ad in the local paper for parkrun she was in the process of change. For decades she had been using drugs, had no friends, no life and didn’t know where to begin.

 

After first addressing her addiction and seeking help she then started to look for things to do for herself. Running seemed to fit the bill.

 

13 months after registering I turned up to my first event at St Peters, not knowing if I could even run 5km. 24:24 was my time, was that okay? I had no idea but knew I wanted to do it again.

 

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I’d been isolated for so long I found it incredibly hard to talk to people, volunteer or go for coffee but I persisted.

 

The only way through my fear and discomfort was to do the things!

 

So I volunteered. I went for coffee. I kept running, met people and made friends.

 

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One day there was talk of going for a run longer than the 5km parkruns I’d become used to. Did I want to go to Canberra to run 10km? OF COURSE I DID! Then it was Tassie, then somewhere else and I’m still travelling to go for a run.

 

There weren’t many parkruns in Sydney when I started so a fellow parkrunner and I started the process of finding a suitable space that could be a new parkrun. After 18 months we received council approval and a confirmation email from parkrun HQ with a launch date! It was pretty exciting!

 

There are many favourite moments and stories to tell but seeing our Cooks River parkrun community each week is easily the best.

 

I’ve run lots

I’ve volunteered lots

I’ve made friends

I’ve travelled

I’ve surprised myself

But what I love most is the community I’m connected to.

 

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Running keeps me mentally and physically fit and I don’t often speak about my past addiction or recovery from drugs outside my support network but in sharing this, it may help someone else.

 

It is an integral part of my path to finding Running and parkrun and this wider community which I love and am very grateful to be a part of.

 

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My first parkrun was in January 2013, since then I’ve completed 274 parkrun in 57 different locations, volunteered 374 times and my PB is 21:51 at St Peters!

 

Kelly

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