Running hasn’t changed my life but being part of RMA definitely has.
Before kids, I loved running, but ran in my lunch break in the city or on the local roads on the weekend by myself, hardly with anyone else. I worked towards running the whole way in the City 2 Surf without stopping. 14km seemed such a long way, especially with no way of measuring how far my training sessions were. I was so pleased to achieve that goal. That was 15 years ago.
Then I had 3 kids and being a busy parent and working part time, I lost motivation to run.
I started running again 3 years ago when my youngest went to preschool. A friend who I knew through mother’s group had started running and worked towards their lifelong dream of running the New York Marathon. I thought, wow, maybe I can start running again, and I heard about RMA and joined the Facebook group. It was fantastic to be motivated by others who were starting out, some who had been running for a while and giving tips and encouragement to each other.
Being part of RMA also gave me the confidence to have goals to work towards, and from a base of running after one year, I trained to run my first half marathon. We were planning a family holiday to the US and I saw a Star Wars themed weekend happened to be on the week we were visiting. I tried to sign up for 10km and when I saw it was sold out, I thought maybe I can run the half marathon. I had 3 months to train. It was the best experience and I was hooked.
Seeing so many RMA travelling to events to run also gave me the confidence to know it was ok to take time out away from my family to run and have time to do something for myself. My family would be ok. So I entered the Gold Coast Half Marathon, hoping I would meet some RMA there. I went along by myself and saw how encouraging Nicole and all the other runners were to both other RMA and everyone on the course. It was the best atmosphere! And I met up with another RMA who lives close to me in Sydney.
They invited me to be part of a group of local running mums who meet up any time of the day, any day of the week to RUN. They are the most supportive and inclusive bunch of women I have EVER met, and in the last 12 months I have had so much fun and entered so many events as a result of their encouragement.
I’ve also just been listening to Ana Croger on the Easy Thrills podcast. When Ana said that the best thing about running is the adventures and memories you make with people on these running adventures really resonated with me and pretty much sums up how RMA has changed my life.
Since last year I have run several 20km+ trails with the local girls, often up before day break, and even left my family at the last minute on a Saturday afternoon to do repeats of the dreaded Neverest hill to help out the girls with a team relay event. Ana also talked about how knowing other women are out there on the trails helps you feel safe. I absolutely agree with this, as I have lived in my house on the Northern Beaches of Sydney for 20 years this year and this is the first time I have explored the trails right on my door step. I am loving it!
I participated in Coastrek 60km in March with some friends who aren’t all part of RMA and they were blown away by my RMA friends coming down to walk with me and support me on the course. Two running mums even waited for us for an hour as it got dark to bring us hot chips at around 53kms!
Thank you RMA for all you have done to connect Mums and foster a love of running and supporting each other in our journey.
I am so looking forward to many adventures along the road and trails with my running friends over the next few years.