While sport brings us all plenty of #HIGH5Moments, we know that the journey to get there can be challenging, but that’s what makes it great, right?!
Over the next few weeks we’ll be showcasing real people’s stories behind their #HIGH5Moment – the highs, the lows, the little things that make that HIGH5 worth it!
Here’s Evie Butler’s story behind her HIGH5 Moment…
MY HIGH5 MOMENT:
My #HIGH5Moment was finishing my first marathon. I completed and trained for it at the same time as finishing my dissertation in my final year of uni. It made me realise that no matter what size, what time, what pace you do, you are able to achieve anything you put your mind to. We should all be encouraged to run and enjoy it! I loved the marathon, and finishing was definitely my #HIGH5Moment.
THE STORY BEHIND MY HIGH5 MOMENT
I had always wanted to get fully into running and the opportunity came when I was offered a place on my running club’s Zero to Hero programme. This was a programme that took ordinary people and made them into ‘heroes’ by running a marathon.
I had a big task of convincing others that I could achieve this challenge, I am not what people would perceive to be a ‘runner’. Many people commented on my size, my ability, my time. I often had comments like “can you do that with your size”, “well you’re not really a runner are you” or “next time you’ll be faster”.
So, the leading months up to the marathon were definitely hard, empowering and motivating!! Unfortunately, I couldn’t do much of my training with the running club as I had moved back to university, and so all of my training was done by myself.
Getting out there and training all on your own is extremely hard, especially when you have to get back home to make sure you study for your final year at university!
“I had a big task of convincing others that I could achieve this challenge, I am not what people would perceive to be a ‘runner’. Many people commented on my size, my ability, my time. I often had comments like ‘can you do that with your size’.”
However, getting out and going for a run was the one thing that kept me sane in my final year. I would come into class after running 13/14 miles and people were genuinely happy for me, sometimes it’s hard to get uni students to understand the time and dedication it takes to train for a marathon!
Another hard part was filling my running knowledge gaps – I had no idea where to start, what to do, how to fuel or any clue about training techniques. I went into it blind. It was only through blog posts, videos and research (I was very lucky to do my dissertation on hydration for athletes) that I managed to find a plan, practise and use this in the marathon. With thanks to HIGH5 and a nutrition workshop I found out the best way to fuel my marathon (Energy Gel Aqua’s every 30 mins and lots of jelly babies!).
A high for my training was coming across a lovely lady called Jackie and her dog Amber. It was very hard to convince anyone to come and train with me, however, Amber the dog joined me on my long runs. Training on your own was hard and lonely, but having Amber’s company really spurred me on to keep going. We had glorious weekends, running in the countryside and sun, exploring new places and having fun going out for our runs.
So, I completed the marathon. I went out there to prove to people that there are no rules when it comes to getting out and loving your sport. It doesn’t matter what size, what time, what pace, what distance – as long as you get out there and do it! And I did it!
When I finished, I had a video from my friends from university. They had loaded the live finishing video in the library and were all watching and cheering me on – this was one of my highs – to have had such support from my friends, all cheering me on to get to that finish line.
“Going from absolutely nothing with exercise to now inadvertently creating a running club at my work place has taken a real journey – one that ends with me being happy, confident and enjoying exercise!”
Now instead of people asking me what I will be doing this weekend, they now ask me if I’m racing this weekend. There’s no doubt about my ability anymore, which is different to the beginning of this sporting journey where people’s attitudes were different. I would be so scared to share my story or my runs, but now, I happily document them. I will always encourage others and it’s amazing to have people come to me with their sporting journeys. Going from absolutely nothing with exercise to now inadvertently creating a running club at my work place has taken a real journey – one that ends with me being happy, confident and enjoying exercise!