I ran for life… Not mine, but for the lives of those who suffer depression and anxiety for a non-profit called Beyond Blue (something dear to my heart, as a once- depression sufferer). Frankly, that was not set out to be the original intentions. In fact, signing up for the City2Surf was never something that had crossed my mind. Having lived in Australia for the past 15 years, this is the first time that I attended the race and the first time that I had run so far in my life. And so, I am honoured that I made it and ran for good cause.
10 days ago, my cousin-in-law, Ana, reached out to ask whether we could hang out over the weekend that she was in town from Canberra. It was the City2Surf weekend.
“Why don’t you get Ana to do the City2Surf with you?” Willie asked. “No. Who are gonna look after the kids?” I snapped, almost suggesting that he was not appreciative of the fact that I was stuck at home with the kids while he ran the City2Surf.
Either ways, I proposed it to Anna. I knew she would be into it as I have seen her done the Tough Mudder and the Colour Run in the past. From there, I guess, the rest is history.
The next thing I knew, we were signed up to for the Orange start line, which were for the ‘walkers’, the dress-up people, mum with prams and just those who weren’t racing it. We did that as a backup in case we couldn’t leave my kids anywhere and would have to take them along with us.
On Sunday 9th August, Ana and I found ourselves pumped in the crowds of College Street, bobbing to the music blasting through the street in a glorious, beautiful morning. We were very excited after having to deal with a morning of logistics planning and dropping my boys off respectively at two different locations. We were just glad to be there and to spend time with one another in this event. It was the first time for us both! And a little while since we had hung out together.
We had agreed to run and walk together because never in my mind could I have imagined running it. But God had a different plan for me.
As soon as we passed the start line, my body was pumped with adrenaline which took me from College Street down to Rushcutters bay through Double Bay, into Rosebay (4km mark)… Here, Ana and I decided to part ways as my body seemed to want to continue running. And so I continued to jog and jog and jog, up Heartbreak Hill, past Vaucluse and up to Dover Heights… I’m pretty sure that I was jogging up the steep hills but I do wonder whether onlookers just saw me taking long strides and moving my hands looking like I was jogging but not really. But one thing was for sure, I heard them cheering on, “Come on, love! Keep going. You can do it!” And that kept me going and going and going until I reached the 10km mark.
From there, I knew I would be able to make it because it was mostly downhill. My knees were buckling and my calves a were starting to hurt. But I made ‘I can do it’ my mantra and I turned to savouring everything that morning: God’s creation, the ocean, the blue skies, the breeze, the sun my great health, my family, my husband who was already at the finish line….I do think though that when the body reaches delirium, it often kicks into ‘appreciation’ mode.
I know… I believe that God gave me the power and strength to get through it. I had not trained for it. I had not prepared myself mentally for it. But my body coped.
The last 1km was really a stretch. And really deceiving. I kept thinking I was close to the finish line but it never seem to come. Finally, I saw it. The red blow up finish line. And I made it.
It was the longest run I had done in my life… I ran for my life, I did. 14km!
We enjoyed a little gathering at the after party of Willie’s friend’s by Bondi Beach. And called it a day.
Am I impressed? Yes, I am. But not as much as Willie was impressed with me. Thank you, Willie, for coaxing me into it. Thank you, Lord, for giving me the strength and showing me I can always reach new heights.