But First, the Australian Running Route
Before the accident when I was studying abroad in Australia, I had such a great outdoor running route – I started by passing the cute cafes and restaurants on the main street and then on the side street looking out to the Brisbane River. Then, I ran under this gorgeous steel structured tunnel, decorated with natural pink flowers and green vines, and with sunlight shooting through each open steel slit.
Coming out, I’d get on the Goodwill Bridge (pedestrians and cyclists only). The 335 feet long bridge was made out of thick shiny steel and had rainbow like steel arches above it. I always got lucky and saw a clear view of the entire Brisbane city filled with tall buildings. Looking down, upon the water, I’d see boats float on by.
And when I’d get off the bridge, I’d go straight for the path leading into the dark tunnel of trees, which was frequently a mysterious adventure. Each run through here was different – one day I passed a giant lizard as big as a small dog and another day I noticed a couple of peacocks trotting alongside me.
When I’d reach the end of the tree tunnel, which was then the beginning of my school campus, I’d turn back and go home.
Let’s Be Clear, I’m No Fitness Guru
As far as fitness, I was never one to make it a religious thing. But I’ve always found running to be a freeing and feel good experience. I ran maybe 2-3 times a week or once every two weeks, if I was busy. Depended on my mood too.
The moment I woke up in the hospital after the car accident, one of the first things I checked for was if I was paralyzed, if I was able to move my legs. It’s hard to think about the “what ifs,” especially what if I wasn’t able to run anymore, but I do think about it.
And since the accident, I haven’t really run in awhile, not as much as I used to. I think I lost the joy in it. As if running is tainted with guilt now – guilty to enjoy it again because there was a good chance it could’ve easily been taken away from me. Should’ve been taken away maybe? Did I deserve working legs?
Silly, I know.
But here I am now, joining a running community, thanks to a good friend introducing me. I can’t think about the “what ifs,” I have to be thankful for “what is,” and that’s me being able to move my legs and more importantly, being able to run. A true gift that shouldn’t be taken for granted. So, it’s time to embrace and celebrate it.
With That Said…
My first run was very difficult… and super embarrassing! The runners planned a 5 mile run, which I wasn’t aware of until I got there. This was a “special run event,” not their normal routine day of having three different level group routes, which included a beginners level. And so, I was suffering and was the last one to finish. I felt like throwing up. Mind you, I haven’t run in probably over two years.
But then, something happened, that told me I’d love this community forever – a bunch of the Adidas crew members ran with me, even when I couldn’t run anymore and needed to walk. I kept apologizing and saying they can go ahead, but they always responded with, “No, don’t apologize, that’s not what we’re about.”
This community isn’t about competing against each other or is only for trained athletes; it’s about having fun, listening to your own body, embrace self-care, and pushing each other to do their best. Not just in running, but in all areas of life. It’s amazing how just being there for someone, even in silence, is enough.
Since then, everyone has been nothing but welcoming, supportive, and positive – everything you want in a community. I’m so happy this exists and I’m proud of myself for getting back into running and using them working legs!
I can’t wait to see what’s next for this new journey – there will more to share soon!