When I count my blessings, one of the things I am most grateful for is the Brisbane Bayside Runners and Walkers (BRW). This amazing group of men, women and children gets together every Saturday morning for a casual run. We meet at the same time rain, hail or shine, and run the same route. There are no rules, no membership fees, no training schedules and no committees. This is a community group in its purest form. Everyone is welcome, no one is too fast or slow, and no one is too unfit.
There are over 200 BRW members and on any given Saturday, you will find any combination of 50-100 of those members at Victoria Point running along the waterfront then hanging out at the bakery afterwards. And once a member, always a member, even if you don’t turn up for months or years. Such is the family atmosphere.
I struggle sometimes to turn up to Saturday morning running. Not because I don’t enjoy it. But because I still have this lingering personal doubt over my self-worth. Intellectually I know it’s an inaccurate self-image so I work hard to overcome it. But some days, I don’t succeed.
Since my injuries, I have come to appreciate my running friends more. When no one else was willing or able to rescue me from my funk, they did. When no one seemed to understand the frustration I felt at not being active, they did. And this week, when I put out the call to find some company for my Couch-to-5k journey, I found what I was searching for amongst my running friends.
This morning I did what triathletes call a ‘brick session’, but what I just call a Social Saturday Session. A few of my running friends are learning to cycle, so I offered to share some tips. I don’t have a car so I had to cycle the 10km to running club where we were meeting for our 5:20am cycle.
A group of four of us then went for an easy 10km cycle around Point O’Halloran. During this ride, two of my friends learned how to change gears for the first time. After being reassured they couldn’t break their bikes, gears or selves, my friends experimented with finding gears they found comfortable. We even moved on to changing front derailleurs as well as rear. I’m no expert or teacher but perhaps having someone to ride with helps them gain the confidence to ride alone and use their gears.
After the ride I went out on my Couch-to-5km session. Three women from running club joined me. Together we completed Week 1 Session 3 (5 mins walking, 60 sec running, 90 sec walking for 20 mins, 5 mins walking). We talked and started to get to know each other as we completed the session. Having a laugh along the way. We decided to support each other through the 9-week program using Facebook and meeting for the club run on Saturdays. I think it’s wonderful to have this support group for the program.
I was last to leave the bakery (as usual). And I am excited about next Saturday when we will again have our cycle session and Couch-to-5km run.
Total: 31.10km cycle + 4km run/walk