About

Bernice Fitzgibbon smiling wearing blue and white top

About Bernice

Why do I run!! I run because it makes me feel so damn good!! As a child I had issues especially academically! I struggled to read and write so was classed as being below average in cognitive ability and was placed in a class, one above children who were intellectually disabled! It certainly didn’t do anything for my confidence nor my already very low self-esteem!! It was in this class, however, that the teacher saw something in me that I was yet unaware of. He saw a runner in the making!! It was his insistence that I enter the school athletics where I got my first boost of self- worth!

Whenever I ran I was in another world full of confidence, power and purpose. I won races and due to my running and athletic ability was elevated  into a higher class level the following year!!

Go forward 12 years, I was married with 3 small children and in the middle of what was called a Nervous breakdown!! It was a combination of anxiety and depression!! I tried anti-depressants but they only made me feel worse so I had to find another way to cope!! At this stage I was having severe panic attacks one rolling into another to the point where I couldn’t function and my mother had to come and look after my husband and children!! I felt such a failure and the fear of this being my life from now on only made the symptoms worse! It was at this time I was given a book by a Dr Claire Weekes and by following her simple instructions found in a very short time I was only having episodes several times a day with long breaks in between! It was during this time I remembered how good I felt when I was running so with this faint memory I dragged my tired body out the door on my first run in nearly 12 or more years!! Now this was not a good experience! The memory was of a runner not someone who hadn’t run in years and within minutes the wheels fell off and I limped home! Not to be deterred I decided I would have to go back to basics and that is exactly what I did!

As I improved, my strength and confidence grew to the point that 2 years later I went back to school to get the qualifications I needed to do my teacher training!! I did acquire the qualifications despite my learning difficulty but instead of going on to training college I did my nursing training instead!! During all this I continued to run every day It gave me the energy to cope with the hours of study, the family responsibilities and what was best of all I felt good!! My confidence grew and I felt I could do anything I wanted to do, there was no stopping me!!

This is what running has done for me and if I could describe what I experience when I am running on a forest track, along a beach in a park or just around the roads it would be a feeling of oneness with all that is, where there are no boundaries no limits no fear just sheer joy!

 

About Robert

robert smallHi Robert here, I am a runner, I wasn’t always in fact I didn’t start running until my late 20s when I found I had started to put on weight and I needed to rectify the situation. At first it was the old walk a bit, jog a bit, then, jog one block, then two blocks, then a riverside circuit. By this time I’m feeling fit I’ve lost the weight, doing some lunchtime runs with some runners I work with, running in a fun run occasionally and wow I’m a real runner.

Moving on with 2yrs of moderate training, some more fun runs of 5km to 14km, a couple of 20mile runs and the buzz word is Marathon, there’s a local one seven months away so start some serious training, stick with it and before I can change my mind I’m shivering on the start line. It was mid-winter and cold but I think I was probably more nervous than cold so I ran my first Marathon, had to walk a bit towards the end but finished in 3hrs 39min feeling like a hero, promptly threw up in a rubbish bin and I was hooked, this was the new me. I ran two more in the next six months each a little better 3hrs 30 and 3hrs 19, got over the rubbish bin thing, joined a running club and got serious about my running.