I am Melissa, 34, married with three kids. Two girls, 12 and 10, along with one wild 8 year old boy. I was never, ever, a runner. Running was the furthest thing from my mind. When I would see people running I would secretly laugh in my head and wonder why anyone would ever run, unless there was a bear in close vicinity.
Now I know why they run. There was a bear in close vicinity, that bear was motivation, health and mindfulness. Running is is now my jam. If I don’t run that bear gets close and I get cranky, lethargic and sad. Running clears my mind and makes me happy.
Like I said, I didn’t always run. My journey started in February 2017. At the time I was living with my family in a remote community in far north west NSW. On the property was a large dam, 8km around. Shortly after I commenced my running journey I told my daughter, little miss ten, that I was going to run that dam. She laughed, “ You cant do that mum.” She was right, I couldn’t do it, she knew it and I knew it. That day the bear began chasing me to set a better example for my children. I walked, jogged and then I ran. One day that bear chased me the entire way around that 8.6k dam. I cried a bit... a lot and life has not been better since.
My first ever event was the UTA 22, in the Blue Mountains NSW, May 2018. I certainly know how to pick a first event. I made it a double by doing a virtual event at the same time (1000ks in 2018). The bear got close through training and the event. But with the help of friends and family, I kept the bear distant and kept running. I crossed the line, with cramps, pain and zero visibility due the the tears in my eyes. Tears of pain and joy..
I have now completed multiple real world and virtual events. I love them all. I love the sense of achievement, the pride in my family’s faces and I love the bling! Nothing beats a shiny new medal to add to my collection.
Running is infectious. Today my husband and children all run with me on a weekly basis. I still get my runs to my self and with friends, heaven knows I need them the most sometimes. I hope my story helps you find your bear and your life gets infected with running too.
My 24k/24dec/24-7 challenge
To finish off an epic running year, I decided to set myself a special challenge. As you know, I'm the proud SA ambassador for HAS, and I'm also a clinical psychologist, so December's challenge has particular significance to me: "Celebrate Great Times" - 24km across a 7 day period (e.g. Could do a daily 3.5km for 7 days), with funds supporting Lifeline. 📞
Now, Christmas, while joyful for many, can be a very tough time for some. Calls to Lifeline increase. So for this reason, I'm going to run my entire 24km on the 24th Dec, in recognition of this amazing 24/7 service. I've never run that far in a single run before, but for this cause I WILL. 🙌
Who's with me? Two of my running besties in Adelaide have already committed to doing this too! If you are also keen, check out heartandsolesrunning.com! Better get in quick, it's nearly booked out! 😳
And if you want to join me on the day, we'll start at the ☮ sign at Seacliff bright and early and follow the beach north! (But remember you can do this across any 7 day period in December, you don't have to do #24k24th)! This really will be an event where we #laceupandgetitdone 😍
#heartandsolesrunning #ambassador #lifeline #virtualrunning #24on24 #letsdothis #runstrong #runhappy #christmaseve #eatallthefoodafter
Director Tara Edwards aka #bosslady located in Sydney