When I wake up on the mornings that I’m running, at about 5.15am, I question my life choices, vow I’ll go to sleep earlier so that I sleep more than around 6.5 hours, and curse the fact that I can’t really just hit the “off” button on my alarm, send a WhatsApp message to the group that I can’t make it, and roll over and sleep for another hour.
But once I greet the amazing faces in the parking lot, from where we run, I feel gratitude that I’m up and about, and that I get to run with such tenacious, funny, warm spirited and strong women, who have made kilometres so much easier, and who have not only gotten me up on 2 degree mornings to run, but who, without words, get me up all those many many hills we run through in Joburg.
After last year’s miserable running year, with around four/five months of no running owing to lack of motivation, courage and running pals, I knew this year needed to be a lot different. Towards the end of last year, I got in touch with a coach who gave me a running programme each week, and it helped me find my feet. Then I joined a women’s only running group nearby, that was part of the Catch Me if You Can (CMIYC) movement, and realised that the only way I would go the distance this year, was a community to run with.
I applied to be a leader in an area closer to home, and so our Houghton group was born. I had no idea the friends I would make, the amount of laughs we’d share on the runs, the number of hills I would run up without walking, or the energy that was to be a found among a group of initial strangers. There’s no fear of sharing stuff and we talk about everything from our kids, to sports bras, to hairdressers, to portaloos (oh, the stories I have stories on this topic!), to shoes, to travel, to junk-but-brilliant TV series.
And through this sisterhood, some of us are hitting goals we never thought possible, and going distances that we thought were only reserved for other people. We’re hearing that voice: “You can do it”, and believing it.
I couldn’t be more grateful to be part of this community.
May you always a try to find a crew that holds you up.