It doesn’t cost anything to put on a pair of sneakers and go for a walk. Off you go …. go on .. .what’s stopping you?
Doing it by yourself doesn’t always get you out there and doing it does it? Some people are fantastic at being completely self-driven, others – like me – not so much.
parkrun is a free global weekly timed event that brings people together. They’re run across the world by volunteers – people who put their hands up and get up early on a Saturday and make sure there’s a time-keeper, safety marshalls, photographers, etc.
Each person – runner or volunteer – ticks something off their own goal list. And while each of us could have done a 5k run or walk by ourselves at any time, we choose to do it together at 7am on Saturday morning.
I started with parkrun when I joined Deadly Runners. I’d heard about it before from my sister who would occasionally do it. But not being the type of person is awake at 7am on a Saturday morning, I never really “heard” her when she told me about it years ago.
I’m so grateful for parkrun (and Deadly Runners as well), because some of us need structure to achieve things and a sense of community to get us over the line.
I have internal voices that tell me I’m not good enough. I have this silly habit that, if I’m going to a new parkrun, I look up the times and if no one at that parkrun runs over 50 minutes I give myself permission to not go cause clearly I won’t fit in. I didn’t turn up on Christmas Day because I hadn’t trained for ages and I knew I’d be over an hour and I didn’t want to hold people up. If I don’t train during the week (which at the moment is often), I tell myself I don’t deserve to be there.
The crazy thing is parkrunners don’t care if you’re slow. They actually love it.
In a recent blog post HQ talked about how the recent global trend in slower times is an indicator of success. It demonstrates that there are people of all ages and all abilities joining parkrun and feeling like they can be there. It shows that parkrun isn’t just for the hard-core recreational runners. It is for everyone.
So, this week in 52 Weeks of Grateful, I’m grateful to parkrun. It gives me structure and support. If I do nothing else each week, I’ll do that. And if it takes me over an hour to walk 5k, I know that’s okay too.
And to folks reading this post who have never heard of it – you’re allowed to walk as well, you don’t have to actually run!
Story of the image: I thought I was deadly last year and ordered a proper wristband for my barcode. But when I ordered it, I accidentally swapped the last two numbers around. So when I used it, someone else – another parkrunner in another part of the world, was registered as running and not me. Once Pam, the Mitchelton Run Director realised it, she contacted me and let me know. Yesterday morning, I printed out my barcode and with no time to laminate it, I stuck it in my bra. At the end of a very humid hour, it was well and truly mangled. The timekeeper and I somehow managed to get it to scan so my 15th run was recorded!!! Yay!
Now to order a new wristband and get someone to check my numbers before I click submit.
You can follow my parkrun adventures on my fitness/adventuring Instagram account – FatAdventurers!