Women of parkrun
Sometimes after you have become a mother, it can feel like you have lost a part of yourself. You are grateful that you have gained so much, but there can be a part of you that feels like you have lost your identity; or that it has been replaced with a new identity as a mother. This is a wonderful new role in your life; however, in the dramatic adaption to motherhood it is important not to lose sight of your own health and well-being.
Before I had children, I was a runner. Not of Olympic standard, but a casual ‘jogger.’ I usually ran alone with headphones to motivate myself, but after having children my running fell by the wayside. It was replaced with sleepless nights, a lack of energy and being consumed with my children’s well-being 100% of the time. These were all normal transitions into motherhood but one day, I woke up and decided it was time to do something for myself again. I attempted going back to running alone but it didn’t work for me any longer. It felt lonely. Then one morning after a terrible night’s sleep, I discovered parkrun (yes, it is a lower case ‘p’ for all the grammar supercats out there). Not only did I become a part of this running community but I also started volunteering. The physical exercise and the incredible sense of personal satisfaction I got from volunteering changed my life.
Every Saturday morning, parkrun is happening not far from where you live. It’s a free, 5km timed event held in suburbs across the country. These events are open to everyone and are safe and easy to participate part in. There are currently 270 parkrun events around Australia with at least one new parkrun commencing every week. It is run completely by volunteers and these events are led by Event Directors.
The Sunshine Coast parkrun locations are Golden Beach, Brightwater, Kawana, Nambour, Town Of Seaside and Noosa. Something unique to the Sunshine Coast events, are that the Event Directors are primarily WOMEN. Women who are wives, partners, sisters, daughters, aunts and mothers. These are women who work full-time and part-time: whether that be in or outside the home.
But for all of their differences, these women have one thing in common; very early, every Saturday morning, they are marking out the courses of parkrun. They are organising volunteers, checking and re-checking stopwatches, ensuring that the parkrun paths are safe to run and welcoming old and new members. All of this before most of us have had our morning coffee.