How long since you have thought about it?

The older I get I’ve decided it’s a privilege to age – and I really want to say/hope that I’ve become more wise with age too (it was my birthday this month, I was 35, not sad about it, but just cannot believe it!).  One point I have certainly noted though, is the true value of having a village.

 

This is also resonated in my professional learnings – connection is so crucial to us as humans doing well in life, or as we like to refer to it as ‘Choosing a Marvellous Life’

 

Today’s blog is really just a series of statements on why villages are required to Choose a Marvellous Life.  I’d love to hear your comments on the topic too!

 

We come across so many people in our lives but truly the village are usually the people who seriously, just keep turning up, the ones who make you a priority with no agenda.

I want to include here that villages aren’t always determined by physical location. I’ll give you an example – when someone moves away, yes the type of support they get they from their village might change a little but they are able still absorb the love and warmth of relationship from afar.  No, they might not be able to pop in and look after children or cook a dinner but the emotional support they provide via phone/video call is still valid and appreciated.

 

It also necessary to point out that our needs change and as a result, villages do accordingly too.  I mean, to be honest, if we aren’t changing then we aren’t growing….I’ll leave that one with you….  A real life example of this is when you hear people say they’ve ‘grown out of’ someone – has this ever happened to you?

 

Relationships are at the core of, literally everything we do! An example of this is teachers – they can know curriculum backwards but it’s pointless if they, first, don’t have a relationship with their students to share it with them.  Think about this example for yourself – at school, did you have a favourite teacher and/or subject? Why were they your your favourite? If I was a betting woman I’d, say your favourite subject wasn’t taught by a teacher you didn’t like, just a guess….Am I right?

 

Can you hear my enthusiasm about this topic?  I hope so, it’s pretty important in the big scheme of things!

 

My closing points about villages are really just some quick questions to ask yourself. It’s about the need to truly evaluate who is part of your village. Why do they have such an important place in your village? Is it that they are your family and only want the best for you? Or in your mind are they friends who have been in your life so long that they feel like family? What is it that you get from them? and why is what they bring to your life so important?  If it’s not important, are they truly part of your village?

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‘How to’

Do you know about Parkrun?  It is a free, weekly, 5km timed run that happens around the world. A worldwide community who don’t know each other but we have one common interest – running.  It has been my observation that a wonderful sense of connection has emerged through this parkrunning phenomenon. We know that having a sense of connectedness can improve one’s mental health.  So, in a nutshell parkrun has the capacity to improve mental health??  Could it really be that easy??  Follow the ‘how to’ guide below, and let me know!!

Thanks to a beautiful friend, who introduced me to parkrun, I’ve been parkrunning for awhile now.  I love it, and I wanted to share the love!!  I’m super proud to say that I will have clocked up my 50 parkruns by the end of April.  There are some people at my home run who have done more than 100!!  And I did also see a 250 run shirt on the merchandise store – now that is dedicated, isn’t it?!

Parkrun is something that has become a ritual for me now. Each week, something else occurs to me as to why I like it so much. Here’s what I suggest:

  1. Register at http://www.parkrun.com  This involves printing out your barcodes – they give you 6, so no excuses when you lose one, ok!?  I now note you can also get a wristband with your barcode on it, that’s a bit fancy, isn’t it?
  2. So then on Friday night, lay out the clothes you plan to wear, you want to make it easy for yourself!! This includes everything you will need, you don’t want have to search for belongings in the morning.
  3. Set your alarm, even set it to occur weekly as a back up. Sleep well, the alarm will wake you! That’s it’s job!
  4. Bound out of bed, dress in your pre-prepared clothes and remember to take your barcode. It doesn’t matter if you are sleepy eyed, high five yourself for getting up, that’s  the hardest but most important decision you will make for the weekend. Apply sunscreen but only under your eyes, nobody wants sunscreen eyes while running!
  5. Drive there, give yourself plenty of time, you want to arrive with time to spare, like probably 0645. Last week, in my sleepiness I nearly reversed my husband’s car into a unassuming rail.
  6. Proceed to start line, if its your first time, listen the brief, the run directors want you to have fun and come back to enjoy all that is parkrun.
  7. Have a look around, you never know who to might know there.  The running community doesn’t discriminate. People come from all walks of life and for all different reasons. See that’s the cool thing about parkrun, its absolutely not a race, the only competition there is, is against yourself, and being better than YOU were yesterday.
  8. Run!  It doesn’t matter how fast you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch! Sometimes I run with a watch to see my time and keep me honest, other times I just run, for the fresh air and because it’s my time not to think about anything else (any mum’s reading this will especially know how important this is!)
  9. Notice the people around you, if they are doing it tough, would it hurt to give them a boost? It’s called kindness, sprinkle that everywhere!  Today at another time or on another day, your kindness will be returned.  I tell you, I LOVE that kindness when I’m doing tough at about the 3-4km mark!  That kindness can, and should be applied to yourself!!
  10. Cross the finish line and collect your token.  Now for the part that seems to be an issue everywhere.  Get both your barcode and token scanned.  The barcode is yours to keep and the token belongs to parkrun.  DO NOT TAKE THE TOKEN HOME!!  And that’s it, easy right?!  All Done!
  11. Give yourself some more well deserved praise its, its 8 am and you couldn’t have started the weekend in a much better way!
  12. After you have been a few times a couple of things will then happen.  You start to notice people and people notice your efforts as well.  The other thing that then needs to happen is that you need to volunteer.  Parkrun relies solely on volunteers – speak to your Run Director or other organisers to put your hand up – its an easy job which is very rewarding!
Did you note only one of the steps involves running?!  The park run community is quite a unique and supportive group, why not try it out for yourself?
On behalf of parkrunners everywhere, I would like to say a sincere THANK YOU to all of the Run Directors and the volunteers – not only do you give up your time every week, you also directly contribute to improving the health of hundreds of thousands of people.