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Meet the R4R Runners #28
Welcome to the 28th edition of the ‘Meet the R4R Runners’ where we get to meet Tim. Tim epitomises resilience and is the man behind Running Rare. He’s also the man behind some of our ‘promotional’ videos and is responsible for designing the plaque on the Arc de Resilience.
Tim has helped R4R practically, but he’s also helped the messaging somewhat. His story helped me truly understand that whilst people’s struggles may be unique to someone, they are largely similar with many of the same lessons being learnt. I always enjoy chatting to Tim and I’m excited to see where he goes with Running Rare, but I’m very happy he’s part of our community too.
What is your name?
Where are you from?
What's your favourite thing about Canberra? (apart from R4R obviously)
Canberra’s not too big or too small. I think it is just right. I love the design of Canberra and the considerations that were made around green-spaces and public amenities. It really is unique and something I definitely appreciate on our R4R runs when we turn that corner onto the lake stretch.
How did you hear about R4R and when did you first attend?
On a few runs around the Foreshore in 2020, I noticed a group of people gathering at the Dock each Wednesday in running gear. The first week I dismissed it as a one-off charity event. The second week I was really intrigued. On the third week, I googled Kingston Foreshore running group, discovered the R4R website, read Matt’s story and the rest is history!
What's your favourite thing about R4R?
My favourite thing about R4R is definitely the sense of community and the collective goal of doing something bigger than ourselves — saving one life from suicide as many times as possible.
Is there anything you'd like to see R4R do?
I would love to join a R4R team event!
Have you ever run a marathon before? If so, how'd you go?
I’ve never run a marathon before — but I’d definitely love to build up to it one day.
Are you planning on taking part in any races or events soon?
Before my relapse I was working towards competing in my first trail running race. The relapse has set those aspirations a little further into the distance but I’d like to get there one day.
Which three people (alive or dead) would you like to run 6km with?
#1 — Without a doubt, the first person would be my wife Jess. She is an incredible woman and I love spending time with her — simple as that!
#2 — The second person would have to be my grandmother. I was really close to Gundama (our affectionate name for her because she lived on a property in Gundaroo). Gundama was very active in my life — even travelling the world to watch my brother and I play sport. I have a lot of fond memories of Gundama. Unfortunately, Gundama passed away suddenly from a stroke in our family home and it was an event that really impacted me. I would love to have just one more moment with her.
#3 — I have a lot of thirds… but I don’t think I would be disappointed with a walk with C.S Lewis. I loved the Chronicles of Narnia growing up and I think C.S Lewis was an incredible communicator both in written and spoken form. C.S Lewis was also part of an Oxford writing group called the Inklings that included J R. R. Tolkien, the author of the Lord of the Rings. I think a walk with C. S. Lewis would be incredible — it would have to be a long walk though because I would have so many questions about life, writing and what it was like to be a part of the Inklings - and whether they realised the impact they would have on literature and story-telling!
What does resilience mean to you?
I think I am learning more about what resilience means every day. But, as of now, I think resilience has three main defining characteristics that create a reinforcing cycle...
#1 — Resilience is the ability to firmly ground yourself in the realities of your circumstance. It means you don't shy away or unnecessarily amplify the challenge you're facing. Or, in other words, it means you don’t make the challenge larger than it needs to be or lure yourself into believing you don’t have to proactively deal with the challenge in your life.
#2 — Once you’ve grounded yourself in the reality of the circumstance, resilience acknowledges the temporal nature of (most) challenges. Resilience reminds you that you’re in the tough winter season, but that spring is coming. So start planting your bulbs in preparation even when it doesn’t feel good in the moment or you're not seeing an immediate change.
#3 —Resilience drives you to self-reflection and adaptation. It makes you ask the question ‘am I where I need to be’ and then motivates you to move from where you are to where you need to be. This then reengages point #1 and the cycle begins again.
I believe that resilience doesn’t occur in a vacuum and that community is critical to building the resilience of the individual. The people around us can help us interpret our experience and provide insight that may not be easily accessible from our vantage point. For me, resilience is less of a character trait, and more of a willingness to submit ourselves to the process of problem-solving. As a result, I believe that resilience can be learned and improved upon.
When you look back on the hardest moment/s in your life, is there anything you wish you could have told yourself?
The last six years have been really difficult since my diagnosis. There have been some pretty dark days on the journey but I keep reminding myself that despite all of the things that are out of my control, and all the pain and setbacks, I need to wrestle with my attitude and I need to make my attitude work for me. I would tell myself, and still tell myself most days, to break my problems down, celebrate the 1% wins and keep showing up.
Unreal response, Tim. Thank you.