Suzi completed Learn to Run in 2014, has been a valuable member of the Operation Move community since that time and is a current Run Club member. Suzi originally shared her story in Run Club and it is reprinted here with permission.
Around this time 4 years ago I saw that Operation Move was running Learn to Run programs. I had been following Operation Move quietly for awhile and at the last minute signed up for the first ever group of LTR.
As a kid I was pretty active. I played a few team sports and my family was always pretty active. Unlike so many other Operation Move members I did not hide when Cross Country was on, or school sports days. In fact I went to a few regional competitions and loved it. We had a great running coach at my High School and we were close to Lake Wendouree so I would often see Steve Moneghetti running locally, which was pretty inspirational. I also did a few fun runs with my mum and have really fond memories of those.
However in my late teens a couple of things happened and running dropped away. The first thing that happened was at my school sports day I won a 4000m race and qualified to compete against other schools. However when we got to training a few weeks later I was told that there was no 4000m race for girls in the local competition, only boys. I unsuccessfully pleaded to run with the boys but was denied that. Then school work and study took over. I was always very studious and just could not see how to fit both in.
Then I grew up, got married, had a couple of kids and did not exercise in the meantime. When my youngest was about 18mths I realised I was incredibly unfit and needed to look after myself. I remembered how much I had loved running and mistakenly thought it would be an easy and cheap thing to do. So I joined a 24hr gym and started the C25k on the treadmill there. I would typically go around 8:30pm at night after the kids were asleep as my eldest had terrible separation anxiety and would not cope if I left the house while he was awake. Needless to say I struggled.
Then in August 2013 my mum had an accident and a week later passed away. It was so incredibly awful and for the next 6mths I just focused on getting through each day. After a while though the fog of grief cleared a little and I realised that I needed to start looking after myself again. Mum was always someone who believed in grabbing life with both hands and not missing any opportunity.
Which brings me to LTR. I was so hesitant at first. I didn’t share much online with my family and friends and was not sure about doing that with complete strangers. But I loved it so very much and over the last four years have made great friends, got outside my comfort zone and enjoyed life more. I have run mostly 10km events, and the Gold Coast Half marathon last year. I have primarily focused on the 10km distance for a few reasons. I found that it is so much easier to fit in training when you are working fulltime and have a family to look after. Plus you recover a lot easier too. The other reason though is that I have a habit of falling victim to annoying injuries and niggles. I have had plantar fasciitis, bursitis, morton’s neuroma, I sprained two toes while turning around in a pair of heels, broke my big toe, hip flexor issues etc. But I keep coming back to running.
I love the social aspect of events and my most favourite events are those where I have either run with other Operation Move ladies or hung out with them at the end. Gold Coast half marathon in 2017 was my most favourite ever. I feel so incredibly lucky that I found Operation Move when I did.