Inspiring Women Spring 2018

inspiringwomen.editor

Now I have made new friends through

joining a running group and it has been a

way for me to integrate more into the

local community and become less

oriented towards the expat community. I

have found real support and comfort in

difficult times through friends and

acquaintances in the group. They help to

take the focus off the problem and direct

it on to the goal of the next marathon.

I think my running helps me stay fit and

motivated and able to continue working

past retirement age. For a while I was a

member of a hiking club; through this my

eyes were opened to a completely

different side of the country: rural

Morocco. When I started to get more

involved in running and had elderly

relatives to visit more frequently, I

regretfully gave up the hiking club.

In Morocco, the running club starts runs

at 5:45 a.m. Driving through virtually

empty streets is a real pleasure in Casa in

the early morning. The sea is also

beautiful at that time of day and I have

taken many lovely (or so I think) photos.

Through the running, I have learned that

rest is as important as training. If you do

not rest enough between sessions, you

get injuries or your performance will decline because of tiredness. I have also seen that taking

part in marathons can help people in the grieving process after losing a loved one. It gives

them a goal to work towards and that seems to help the healing process. Running is a mental

sport. Of course, you need to train, but ultimately, it’s mind over matter and it’s determination

that will get me through a marathon when physically I’m completely done. I have found that I

can “dig deep” and I usually do finish a race, even if I have to walk towards the end. It gives

me pleasure to say that although I’m slow (over 5 hours for a marathon), I AM a runner, just like

the Ethiopians are runners, and the medal’s the same for everyone.

Although I am not someone who is “good at sport” and have just plodded away at it, I have

done things that many people have not:

• I have walked 100km without sleeping for over 30 hours.

• I have done the Marathon des Sables and spent the night alone in the desert after

getting lost.

• I have raised money for charity through sponsorship and volunteered at sporting events.

• I have organized walking expeditions and encouraged people to get involved in running

and walking.

• I have started an informal weekend walking group in the Casablanca club for ladies

desperate to get out of the city.

• I organize a yearly fun run/walk for a local association for the visually impaired.

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