Lessons I learned at Park Run


So today I completed my 15th Park run…. *as I take a bow* “Thank you, thank you, thank you very much…”

Our local Park Run organisers had asked us to start getting into the Christmas Spirit by wearing red shirts and Christmas hats for the month of December at each of the runs.
Well, no-one can accuse us of not getting into the spirit of things – Shal, Pete and I took off at 8am for our run/walk rather festively attired not only in our red shirts BUT sporting red and white striped long rugby socks too!

Park Run Christmas

It was perfect walking weather, cool and overcast so I decided that today was the day to really give my elusive Park run PB, set a few months ago, some serious contention.

Well there I was, feeling pretty good and “in the zone” marching along at break neck speed when I began to notice the sound of a new pair of squeaking takkies coming up just behind me. So naturally, being completely non-competitive, I sped up 🙂

Just a smidge mind you and went back to mentally reviewing my walking strategy…. Serious athletes will know exactly what I mean….keeping one foot in front of the other and avoiding stepping in the puddles so I wouldn’t slip and land up a festive mess in the mud!

A few minutes later, the sound of the squeaking takkies returned to the forefront of my consciousness….

Now being a walker in a field of runners, you get used to people overtaking you on a regular basis.  So without slowing down, I moved aside to allow the squeaking takkie wearer to pass me…. two people jogged past. One of them, sporting a pair of brand new running shoes….

HOWEVER, within a few more strides I heard the squeaking takkies once again.


Now I didn’t really want to turn around and waste any walking time by checking who was breathing down my neck.  So I put my head down, increased the pumping action of my arms and sped up even more with the intention of shaking the annoying tail once and for all. I even caught up with the 2 joggers who had just over taken me and who had stopped to slowly walk up the hill.

I DO have to admit, I may or may not have smiled to myself, there is nothing more satisfying than passing joggers!

But my glee was once again diluted by the owner of those darn squeaking takkies.

Honestly, was the park not big enough for them and their new shoes! Only one thing to do…I once again increased my pace…

By the time I got to the bridge approximately half way through the course, paranoia overtook my annoyance. What if I was being recorded for a You Tube segment on how big boned people spend their Saturday mornings at Park Runs…what if right this very moment there was a smart phone trained on my behind, recording every wobbly step? No, surely not, the organisers wouldn’t allow that……. Would they??

AND then I had visions of how Park Run volunteers really spend their time off after Park Runs…!

I sped up, at least the images would be blurry…

By this stage I passed a few other run/walkers on the course and started getting a stitch in my side from all the exertion. I sucked in my tummy and clenched my bottom, calling on my core muscles to get me through the pain – Allison, my Pilates teacher would be so proud!

And just in case my bottom was to make its TV debut, it would look pretty darn perky!

But no matter how fast I walked the squeaking takkies kept up with me.

So finally I had had enough, physically and mentally!  I threw a glaring look over my left shoulder with the sole aim of stopping my nemesis in their tracks………..

So funny story….

What I neglected to mention and what I had totally forgotten, was that I was wearing a really cute Christmas inspired Elf alice-band with a tiny bell attached…which I only then realised, sounded remarkably like a squeaking takkie * blushing face*

I actually laughed out aloud much to the concern of some other walkers; and then had to keep up my fast pace just to get away from them, I didn’t think they would appreciate the humour of the story as much as I did.

But it did get me thinking, for the duration of the course, what lessons I had learned from that little episode…

1.  I learned that 8 years of Pilate’s lessons do eventually pay off.

2.  I learned that You Tube has no interest in my bottom (unless I was a Kardashian!).

3.  I learned that you REALLY should slow down and look around more.

4.  I learned that even when you think you have given your all, there is ALWAYS some inner strength left to call on.

5.  I learned that perceived threats often turn out to be in (or on) our heads.

AND I learned that you should always laugh at yourself even if it may turn a few heads.

So you may ask, after all those lessons learned, did I actually get my Park Run PB?

You bet your Red Striped Christmas Stockings I DID!



DrSeuss lessons
“Never run from the enemy, tackle them” Victoria Addino

“Challenges are lessons to be learned, then overcome.” Lee Bice-Matheson

“I’ve learned that fear limits you and your vision. It serves as blinders to what may be just a few steps down the road for you. The journey is valuable, but believing in your talents, your abilities, and your self-worth can empower you to walk down an even brighter path. Transforming fear into freedom – how great is that?” Soledad O’Brien


4 thoughts on “Lessons I learned at Park Run

  1. Hello Janine
    I really loved this. You really should write a book of your life story – you write so well. I am up to my eyes in baking since yesterday. But the tree is up – looking pretty, and we Facetimed with Issy yesterday – what a darling – only 10 days to go before we see them – so exciting for us. Love you lots xxxxx


  2. You weren’t the only one, I was also convinced there was someone just behind me… Fortunately I realized (a bit sooner than you) I think, that it was just my Elf bells. Despite the extra pressure, the dress up for park run did make it feel more like Christmas – and wow, what a different space we’re in to last year. There is no way you’d have managed a 5km walk this time last year – just another reminder of how far we’ve come.

    Loved lesson number 3, “I learned that you REALLY should slow down and look around more” – it hasn’t been something I have done well the last year but that is actually something I can change and am going to make a more conscious effort to do just that…

    “No matter what happens, no matter how far you seem to be away from where you want to be, never stop believing that you will somehow make it. Have a unrelenting belief that things will work out, that the long road has a purpose, that the things that you desire may not happen today, but they will happen. Persist and persevere, your desired path remains possible.”
    – ~Brad Gast –


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