Blondie daughter #1 phoned me today. That’s nothing unusual, we talk at least once a week. She asked me what I’d been doing today and I told her that, amongst other things, I’d been to Beauty Point to clap and cheer my mate Bruce in the local Triathlon event. I’d spent the most lovely day with Janette, first we went for a run, then she made me breakfast after which we went to the Triathlon. Just a lovely day. And the weather? Gorgeous! Sunny and hot!
I could almost see Isabelle rolling her eyes at me when I said I’d been to a triathlon. If you’re going to talk about triathlons, Mum, I’m hanging up! she said. It turns out that she and her handsome boyfriend Jake had spent the day with Jake’s brother and girlfriend who are mad keen triathletes. Blondie-Locks was over it! She didn’t want to hear one more word about triathlons.
According to my younger daughter, Jake’s family are trying to convince her to get into triathlons.
There is one thing about this daughter of mine that her boyfriend’s family need to know. She is strong. She is determined. She sets goals and she goes for them. She weighs things up and if a suggested activity is within the scope of her goal she will entertain it. If it isn’t, she won’t. No amount of cajoling, arguing, persuasive lecturing, hints or even sweet-talk complete with bribes will make her do anything that she doesn’t want to do! (Of course as her Mum I could use the trump card of MY WORD IS LAW, DO IT, but not any more).
This got me thinking about strong women. I am blessed to be surrounded by many. Ladies I run with, ladies I work with, ladies who I’ve met briefly but who leave a big imprint. I hear stories of courage and hard work that inspire and motivate just so often.
This weekend has been punctuated by seeing the pure unbridled steely strength of a handful of women. Normal, ordinary, every-day women I have the joy of rubbing shoulders with. Every day ladies are who are setting extraordinary goals and doing their utmost to reach them.
Fiona: On Saturday this awesome lady got around parkrun despite finding the heat so tough and being in a fair amount of discomfort due to nerve pain, she didn’t let it stop her. She’s set some health and fitness goals and is making every day count as she works towards reaching them. She has three really cool children as well as a career and a husband who works away from home. Life isn’t easy for Fiona, but she is still pressing on towards her goals. Super impressed!
Georgie: Today I watched a determined young woman complete her first triathlon. She was at the back of the pack but she kept on pushing forwards and went from start line in the swim zone, to bike to run and all the way to the finish line. Super impressed. I watched her get into the water, saw her nerves but when the starting hooter went… in she plunged. I’m truly inspired by her courage and determination.
And then there is the friend who is currently working her way back to good health. The friend I wrote about in my last post. I am running The Great Ocean Road Marathon in her honour and have set up a fundraising page for Bowel Cancer Research. And along with this lovely lady is her daughter, another strong woman standing beside her Mum and helping her to battle forward to good health.
Strong women. We are everywhere. We face battles that are seen and unseen. We support and encourage each other. Where would we be without strong women in our lives who inspire and lift us up? Who provide us with an example to live by. Who give us that If she can do it, then I can try push in the right direction.
When I’m feeling like the world is getting the better of me I remind myself that I’ve run a marathon. I’m strong and determined. At times my own running goals stop me in my tracks and I shake and shiver in my favourite Brooks Glycerines. But then I remember. One day I ran all the way to our letter box, then I ran 5kms, then 10kms, then all the way to 42.2kms. I am a marathoner. I am strong. I am courageous. I didn’t think I’d be able to do any of this but I did. If I can become a runner, then I can do anything! Well at least I can try.
Thanks to the call from Isabelle I was reminded about the strength of women. To both marvel and celebrate it. May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them. I’m grateful that I live in times where the strength of women is admired and enouraged. I truly do appreciate the example of Fiona and Georgie today. Strong women setting goals, working hard and making their dreams come true.
Happy running 🙂
PS I loved cheering all the triathletes today especially Bruce. I’m totally inspired. I am looking forward to having a try at a tri…still not sure when, but I definitely would like the opportunity.