Friends

I’m sharing something very personal with you. So personal, I would never actually talk to someone about.
For some reason putting it in writing is so much easier ✍️

Do you want to know what parkrun has given me?
The best gift of all.
Truely.
It’s Friends.

To you that may sound stupid.
For me, it’s amazing.

The truth about being overweight is you don’t want leave the house.
You don’t have any clothes that fit.
Your shirt is too tight.
Your pants won’t button up.
You are embarrassed.
The only time you go out is to do grocery shopping.
And even then, you feel judged by people you walk past as the peer into your trolley.
Come on, we all do it.

During the week, you work.
You have work colleagues.
When you clock off, you don’t really see them until the next week.
On the weekend you hang around at home, watching television.
Eat.
Lay around on the couch.
Eat.
Read a book.
Eat.
Play with your phone.
Eat.
Television.
Eat.
Bed.

This was my life.
Even though, I may have thought at the time I was enjoying myself.
I really wasn’t.
I was so terribly lonely.

That poor bastard I’m married to.
Having to put up with me for the past 13 years.
Spending weekends together.
Every.
Single.
Weekend.

I actually started parkrunning in 2016.
I only went a couple of times.
I would arrive 15 minutes before the start, sit in the car, at 6:55 get out, make my way to the start line.
Shuffle.
Finish.
Barcode scan.
Car.
Gone.

This year. That all changed.
This year I’ve gone to 40 different parkrun locations.
I have met so many amazing people along the way.

People who I would NEVER had met if it was not for parkrun.
Never.
Never ever.
Before parkrun I had zero common interests with these people.
Now don’t start any shit like I think I’m better than these people.
It’s actually the opposite.
Why would these people want to talk with me?

Before parkrun & this page I reckon I could have counted my friends on 1 hand & still have spare fingers.

Now, let me make this clear, it ain’t no pissing competition.
Let’s not do a friends count off.

Every parkrun I’ve gone to I’ve met amazing people.
And those people don’t realise just how much they have changed my life.

It’s not just the people I’ve met in person.
It’s the messages I get from people all over Australia, and even the world.
People that I will probably never meet in person, but people who share some of the most personal moments of their lives with me.

Finally I have friends.

My Stones Corner girls - you all know who you are. You were the first parkrun to welcome me with open arms.
For that, you all have a special place in my heart.

My Northsiders.
You all know who you are, making the efforts to come to the different parkrun’s I’m going to on your side of town.
You have no idea how much I enjoy seeing your smiling faces after paying a fuck load of money in tolls.

Akiko - finally we get to run together this weekend.

Team Toowoomba & Highfields - fuck you & your hills & loops.
But I’ll keep coming back.

The Wide Bay Running Chicks 🐥- I’ve met many of you, I’m so lucky to call you my friends. I gatecrashed your takeover parkrun weekend, insulted 2 Vegans, ripped a barcode, and you still welcome me back.

To all the pram-pushing parents I’ve met along the way.
It’s fucking shit. But we keep on pushing because it’s illegal for us to leave our kids in the car, even if we park under a tree with the window down.

The man who inspired the tour shirt.
Steve.
If it wasn’t for the fucking hot Saturday at Coomera parkrun, we would never have met. I almost died that Saturday.

Team Kirra - Tatts & Tiaras just for my visit. Em you are just about the nicest person around. Don’t let me get too close to Sophie.
Gregor & Paul - I have no words.
And how can I forget the amazing Robyn who annoys the shit out of me with her Instagram food photos, gourmet creations while I’m eating dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets a with my kid.
Robyn, you really are an inspiration.

The girls from the Healthy Mummy group who took me in like a stray kitten at the Great South Run.
I don’t think you realise what you did for me that day.

My fellow bloggers.
The Adventures of Super Steph Running Guy And then I started running My Black Dog & Me Running GIRL Fat to 5km - One girl’s dream to run 5kms Turtle.Runners.Aus
Saskia from Orange is the New PB, Chrissy from My Road to acceptance & the beautiful beautiful beautiful Jessica Hay.
There are so many other pages & blog I follow, I wish I could list them all, I’m a bit of a lurker.
I’m in absolute awe of you all.

And finally Team Logan.
From Berrinba, Greenbank, Logan River, Meadowbrook, Underwood & Yarrabilba - you all are amazing.
I’ve been so lucky to have been welcomed to your parkrun’s.
I’m coming back next year (I just heard that groan) you’re welcome.

Michaela, I used to see your name on every running forum. To me you were (and still are) running royalty.
Thank you for being a friend.

Mel, Lynda & Wendy - you were some of the first people to ever talk to me.

My “before” friends Faith, Rebecca & Kaye, look at how far we have all come.

Motivational Dan for yelling out the time at parkrun, through to letting me sexually harass you into taking your shirt off a Zumba. You never put up a fight.

The real housewives of Logan.
Wendy, Krystelle, Erika & Rosalie, you invited me into your team.
In my head I stuck out like a sore thumb, in the photos, not so much.

Sandra, Paula, Dannii, Kell, Nadine, Steph, Cassie, Jodie, Belinda, Paul, Tash, Pat, Pia & Doug and so many others. Thank you

Zumba Fitness with Hayley & Robert at Shailer Park You put up with me taking prime position in the front row every single week, you let my non existent “woop woop’s” slide.

And finally my security guard Talisha.
We shook our arses next to one another for months at Zumba before running into one another at Southbank parkrun,
She has been there since some random woman grabbed my boob at the GCAM, taken so so so many photos & sat on street corners waiting for me to pick you up.

I feel sick in the stomach about this weekend.
Running in a dress.
What fucking idiot came up with that idea?
You are more than welcome to wear a dress too, but be warned if you outshine me, I will run you down.
Not with my feet, but with my car.

If it’s a complete balls up,
I know I’ll have my friends.
192 Zooper Doopers & a bloody nice cake.


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