‘Bloody loved it’ – Wolf Runner Geri

We are a pack of 17 women running the Winter Wolf Run on Sunday 3rd November to raise money for two causes: the mental health charity MIND and the Women in Power (WiP) Bursary Fund. Please read our full story and donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/wip-wolf-run

Today we hear from Geri and the challenge the Wolf Run will be for her:

‘Not everyone is bungy-jumping their way back from a cancer diagnosis to robust mental health.’

We raise money annually for the WiP Bursary Fund but this year is different; we are running and fundraising in honour of our sister and friend, Jayne Blackman, who died by suicide in 2018. We want to double our fundraising so that we can give to both organisations.

Taking on the Winter Wolf Run is no small feat. Each woman running is doing so for their own personal reasons as well as for our collective goal. We range in age from 5 decades, from different walks of life and represent the power of communal action.

Let’s hear more from Geri

When the email came about doing it… my heart leapt and I instantly replied YES!… Because I can…because I couldn’t run (or walk much for that matter) for the best part of a year…and now I can!

I discovered I loved running quite by accident…I was late for a session of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course that I was doing post my breast cancer surgery and treatment…it was raining…the parking meter was about 200 yards away. I was absolutely determined to get there for the beginning of the session as it involved lying down doing a body scan meditation which was so relaxing and calming that I felt alive again after it in way that gave me hope the previous week. I was stick thin, bald, pale, unsteady on my feet over more than a short walk but I thought …FUCK IT, I’m going to run to the meter …and so I did…and something miraculous happened…I found I could run and that I bloody loved it …so I ran back and down the road and into the venue and up the stairs and into the class…elated and panting and surprised. Stick legs and body light as a feather, that could be blown away in the wind after months of devastating treatment, but blasted along by a mind that went “Wow, this feels good” .

Since then I’ve done half a couch to 5k and many short runs on the Downs near where I live in Brighton.

Secretly I love that I’m now one of those people who runs and is out there doing it. It always seemed so unattainable before and the benefits to my mental health have been huge. Saying hello to the cows and sheep in passing, grasses dancing in the wind, birds swooping and diving around me, clouds and sun making endless inimitable patterns, the colours and texture of the seasons softly holding me and whispering that I will return to this earth one day and that, for now, they can comfort me on my way…

So doing the Wolf Run to raise money for MIND is very close to my heart – I work in mental health and my mental and emotional health has been shattered by my breast cancer diagnosis and treatment and I’m slowly re-building it, with many ups and downs and a way to go. I’ve had support which has been vital for me to get this far even in the world of illness there’s a lot of stigma around anxiety/depression/low mood and any way to normalise the mental and emotional pain has to be good. Not everyone is bungy-jumping their way back from a cancer diagnosis to robust mental health.

Raising money for the Bursary Fund so more women can access WIP is so important to me. The vital support, community and change that WIP brings to women is felt in my life every day and I want every woman who wants it, to have it.

So I’ll run, walk, limp, roll in mud, whatever …bring it on…yippee!

Please donate here https://www.gofundme.com/f/wip-wolf-run and give what you can. For each donation, big or small, we thank you so much for helping us achieve our goal and giving back to organisations creating positive change in the world.

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