I was inspired to start running when I saw the Indigenous Marathon Project and what it stood for;

  1. Uses the Marathon to change lives
  2. Aims to promote healthy and active lifestyles throughout indigenous communities nationally and reduce the incidence of indigenous disease and
  3. Aims to create indigenous role models and inspire indigenous people.

It was seeking an indigenous mob to train and qualify to go to New York and participate in the world’s biggest footrace “New York Marathon”. At that stage though I didn’t think I’d make the squad let alone train and finish the race.

Now running means the world to me, it’s the best form of exercise anyone can do with results speaking for itself through consistency, hard work and commitment. It’s FREE and only takes you to put your shoes on and get out there and exercise.

I can confidently say running is my life. What keeps me running is to know it’s a great way to keep active, fit, and healthy.  It helps me to live a longer and healthier life, and look good in the size 12 dress which I’ve always wanted to wear.  Anybody can do it!

Running is a totally different sport to basketball, football and volleyball all of which I’ve played, all of which are a body contact and team sport.  It’s putting your body to a test and going past your comfort zone, and hurting.  It’s about believing that you can do anything that you put your body and mind to.

Unlike contact sport where you’re a team player, running is a lonely sport.  Most of the time you are running by yourself and it gives you time to reflect on why you chose to do it and that’s when all the positive vibes come racing through my mind.  I run because it makes me feel good about myself.   It is hard work but trust me there were times I wanted to quit, but then I remembered why I chose to run, to simply be a great role model.  My community at grassroots level was able to see me transform from someone who was overweight at 94kg to losing 20kg in 7 months. I only dreamed I could look this deadly and feel good about myself.

I had to overcome a lot of obstacles along the way like being overweight, lacking confidence and even telling myself excuses like, people will laugh at me because I’m too big or my foot is sore. Until I realised that the only person who would benefit from this was me, so I continued to train and run.

My favourite place to run was in the New York City Marathon;  running through the 5 boroughs starting at Staten Island, through Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and finishing off at Central Park, Manhattan.  As a child I would only dream of doing such a thing.

To be recognised as an inspiration in my community is surreal and sometimes I still need to pinch myself to see and believe what I’ve created is real.  The amount of people who I’ve inspired along the way and now choose to change their lives and to live a more active and healthy life style is overwhelming. I’ve been awarded numerous awards that recognise my work in my community, but to be recognised for my effort and hard work at a state level (through the Start Playing Stay Playing Excellence Awards) is totally a high for me.  I know my work has paid off with this awesome recognition state-wide.

#IMoveBecause #ItsNeverTooLate #ICan

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