18 September 2014

I can. You can too

So it's no secret that the reason I got into running was because my sister got cancer and there was absolutely fuck all I could about that apart from mutter inane sentences designed to soothe and say all the swear words my mother didn't know.  So I thought I could do something 'useful' by fundraising and the best way to fundraise is to do something outside your comfort zone.

So I joined a running program with Can Too who teach you how to run in return for you raising money for Cure Cancer.  They've raised about 13 million dollars since they started and it all goes towards funding research.  Cure Cancer's researchers over the years have contributed lots of useful brain power to the way we 'do cancer' from diagnosis through treatment and beyond.

So last year, I signed up to learn how to run 9 kilometres.  Now if you're a runner this isn't that far, but when you're a fat boozehound who hates running it's quite a challenge.  I set out to raise $800, dared people to make it $5000, they did and I ended up committed to running an ultra half marathon earlier this year.  Turns out the only thing bigger than my butt is my mouth.  And that my friends secretly like making me do things purely for their own entertainment.  Bastards. (Albeit very generous bastards)

Sharing the fundraising love 
But I fronted up to the next program.  Basically because I lost a bet and there was more money to raise- double or nothing baby.  And I did it via Can Too again because the great thing about a motivation like money is that you can't back out because people will feel that you have to do a marathon or something to make up for letting them down. So I turned up for another program.

I even had muscle memory.  Who knew that they weren't making that shit up?

Now people do Can Too for reasons other than fundraising.  Some do it for the structure of a training program, some do it for weight loss, some do it because they no longer have any friends that aren't in Can Too so they run to socialise.  This group is officially at the cult end but they're lovely with it.
After the half with my delightful Team Captain Paula who ran the whole 23kms
with me despite the fact she could have walked it faster
And that's the thing about Can Too - you get professional coaches, a bonafide program, genuine encouragement and they work with you to meet your goals.  That first program, my Coach didn't mind that I didn't want to be fast but she did understand that I wanted to do it properly.  So she got me there.  The coach for the half marathon pushed me that bit further so I could run it, without ever trying to make me go faster "just because", though she was always a little bit thrilled when she made it home for lunch from our morning run.

And this weekend, I'm joining the MacNiners to run another 9 kilometres after ten weeks of training.  It's not going to be a run that makes money - I've been faffing about being team captain this time to give my friends' bank balances a rest - but I'll be running as part of a genuinely decent and supportive group of people.  I'll also be running with shingles so I'm going to be at the back - I'm in it to do it, not win it and I want to be part of my team's achievements on Sunday because they have worked really hard and I'm equally thrilled for the ones that have never run and the ones that have run a trillion races - because all of the team are lovely.  Like really, really lovely.

Training in the rain because #thisiscantoo
and apparently I'm hard core
So that's my fitness tip for today.  You don't need to do it on your own.  There are lots of organisations and groups out there that have been set up by men and women who want to do the fitness thing together.  They aren't lone wolves, they need to have people around them to make it happen.  So whether it's fundraising, a shared goal, a good laugh or any excuse not to have to take your toddler to the park again - you'll probably find a tribe that works for you.

Who knew?

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