Sunday, June 30, 2013

Why Are They Running?.... Amy: Gold Coast Marathon

Just a few days to go - what a weekend coming up! Another of our runners who seems to keenly return year after year is Felicity's step-mum, Amy. This year Amy has stepped up to take on the full 42.2km marathon for the first time and has this to share with us about why she is doing it:

I have been running for a 3 years now and can safely and proudly say I love it (some may say I might be a little addicted to the sport). When I tell someone, especially a non-runner, what I did that morning in preparation for the marathon this is what they hear: My alarm goes off in the morning, I roll out of bed, get myself into my running gear, lace up my shoes and head out the door. I reach my half way point and turn around to head home or complete my circuit and come home. Sure I probably worked up a sweat or might have some sore legs at some point but I am fit so surely I can get it done. Right?
What really goes on:
I am reluctantly woken by my alarm clock at 4am, convince myself to get out of bed, get rugged up in compression tights, singlet, top, jacket, socks, sneakers, head band, hat, arm band, gloves, earphones, stocked fuel belt, set my phone running app on to track pace/distance/time etc and head out in the freezing (sometimes pouring rain) dark of the morning and clock up 30+ kilometres. Over those kms I track my pace and time in fuel Gels and sips of water from my drink bottle to help keep me going. Most of these long runs seem to end in a slow, chaffed shuffle up my driveway to my front door to quickly stretch out my screaming tight and tired muscles before having a warm shower then waking my sleeping hubby and kids ready to have breakfast and start a normal day of school and work. When said this way, I agree, it sounds like a horrible way to start the day but after the initial groan at the early alarm (I am NOT a morning person) every step is a step closer to a new goal. A step closer to reaching an aim. A step closer to a personal best. Every single run, wether it's a tough one or not, I come home proud of myself!

Felicity has been working in her Son-Rise Program for 7 years now. On a daily basis Felicity needs to take on all the day-to-day tasks you and I do like dress herself: Choose an outfit, take off your PJ's, maybe have a shower, dress yourself. You do this every day so surely you can just get it done. Right?
What really goes on:
Wakes up, gets out of bed in a dark disorienting space, makes her way to her bedroom door, bangs on the door until someone seems to appear and open the door. Walks to bathroom and uses the toilet. Depending on what PJ's Felicity is wearing she can undress herself but buttons are tricky. Have an adult choose an outfit for the day. Concentrate on every muscle in her body to balance herself while an adult helps her into her clothes one item at a time. Felicity, like a small child, would happily not wear warm enough clothing for the winters weather so it is up to us to be sure she has socks on her feet or a jumper on. Wait for someone to then brush her hair and tie it back to be out of her face. It sounds like a slow and tough start to the day but every single morning no matter how early she woke or how rushed we may be, Felicity will always give you a smile for helping her and doing what she wants. She is now one step closer to doing this for herself. One step understanding the process better.
Training for and running a race, especially a long distance one, is very similar to helping Felicity with her challenges in life. You need to be persistent to be successful. You need to take the bad with the good. You need to learn from yourself & others to move forward. You need to show up wanting it. You need to allow rest days. You need to be proud of achievements and goals reached, celebrate them, no matter how small and then set new ones.... This is what I find myself thinking about ALLOT when I am out running and what I will have in my head and heart Sunday as I tick of the kms until the finish line.
Sure, a marathon is a HUGE milestone and effort. For someone to complete the 42.2kms even just once in their life time is commendable and beleive me when I say I don't think I will be able to wipe the smile off my face for days and days afterwards but for Felicity every day is a a HUGE effort, with hundreds of tiny little milestones reached, and she does it with a smile on her face!!

What a way to look at it! Run Amy, Run - we will be cheering loudly for you from the sidelines!!!!!
Support Felicity through sponsoring Amy's marathon run HERE!!

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