It’s not a holiday


This is the first time in over eleven years I am faced with an extended period of time not working, yet it’s not a holiday. It’s not how I would normally be spending time not working: no ducking to the Caribbean to go sailing, no walking the streets of the Meat Packing District in NYC, with sky scrapper heels and no travel insurance (Eli Elston), no eating and drinking myself silly around Europe, no harassing locals in Israel…you get the picture.

So what should I be doing (apart from the obvious of beating breast cancer)? Prior to my diagnosis I was working full-time and training six days a week. What do you do when all of a sudden you have to stop both things?

I’m not going to lie, I’ve always been extremely gifted at the ‘lady of leisure’ lifestyle: coffee dates, lazy mornings at home, watching a whole series of a TV show in one day…just to name a few. Yes, I could easy adapt this lifestyle for the next 6-9 months, but I was itching for something more.

So here is my ‘lightbulb moment’…

On the day before surgery, I put on my joggers to head out for one last run. As I was getting ready I started thinking about my training back in London, more specifically running – even more specifically – parkrun. For those who have never heard of parkrun, it’s a free 5 km timed event held every Saturday. I remembered seeing a link on the website to start your own parkrun. In true Rochelle style, without hesitation, I clicked the link and registered.

Within a few days a parkrun representative had made contact and given myself a brief overview of what was required:

  • Find a park
  • Apply to council for approval and funding
  • Boom….a new local parkrun is born

(ok, there may have been a few more steps involved)

It’s been very refreshing to have something to focus apart from treatment. As of this morning, Ipswich QLD parkrun has it’s own official facebook page! It’s still a work in progress – we still need approval and funding but I am confident we’ll get there.

It has crossed my mind that the proposed start date is near the end of my chemo treatment. I have faith that there will be many helpful souls out there to lend a hand during the tough weeks, and even more faith that I will be able to muster up the strength to get through every Saturday.

“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”

Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I’m Running 



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