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Meet the R4R Runners #67
Welcome to the 67th edition of the Meet the R4R Runners. This week we get to meet a group called Crusade for Connor. I won’t share too much here, but I do want to say that these fellas have only been running with us for a short time, but they already feel like part of the furniture. I think it’s because they represent what R4R represents; a group of people getting together and doing what they can to improve the world around them. It’s a cracking read and we’ll hear more from them tonight, so without further ado, let’s meet Crusade for Connor (C4C)
Who are you guys?
We are a group of 10 young men raising awareness for the mental health condition of schizophrenia through a cause we designed, called ‘Crusade for Connor’. It is our way of honouring our mate, Connor, who took his life in December 2022 after ongoing battles with mental illness - including schizophrenia.
Where are you from?
We are all local, all living in the Queanbeyan, Jerrabomberra and Canberra region.
When did you first start coming to R4R?
We only started a couple weeks ago, but we are very interested in making this an ongoing weekly activity. The R4R team have been an amazing support.
What's your favourite thing about it?
The culture amongst the people attending each week is great. R4R have done an amazing job at creating a fun and supportive environment whilst promoting such an important aspect of managing mental health - physical activity.
Some people might have recognised you guys wearing "Crusade for Connor" Shirts, can you tell us what that is?
Crusade for Connor is a fundraiser in tribute of our best mate Connor who sadly took his own life last December. Connor was diagnosed with schizophrenia and battled this mental illness for many years. C4C is designed to promote awareness around schizophrenia and raise as much money as possible for Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) with our current goal being $50,000. To do this, we will all be completing a series of physically and cognitively challenging tasks over the first week of May. Challenges include completing a triathlon every day for 1 week, running the David Goggins Run (4 miles, every 4 hours for 48 hours), playing tennis for 24 hours straight, hiking the Main Range Track including Mount Kosciuszko, and busking for 12 hours straight.
If you see us wearing our shirts at the R4R in the coming weeks, feel free to come have a chat with us. We would love to share our message and meet some new people in the process.
Who was Connor? What was he like?
Connor was an incredible mate who was a fun, caring, and supportive person with a passion for music, sport and nature. Connor was 23 years old when he took his life after battling with schizophrenia since his late teenage years. After receiving his diagnosis in 2019, he started distancing himself away from friends and isolating himself due to his mental health battle. However, Connor’s true character and essence remained the same throughout. He also often mentioned that he was so happy to see his friends and family doing well.
Is there anything you wish you could tell him?
As part of the grieving process we have come to the acknowledgement that we supported Connor as best we could at the time with the knowledge we had and as such have no regrets. However, by further educating ourselves on how to respond to these situations in the future we are now in a better position to assist those more effectively through their mental health battle.
That’s a really important point - Great answer to that question. What are you hoping to achieve?
Raise awareness for schizophrenia by educating others on what schizophrenia is and how to best support those with mental illness. Our secondary goal is to raise as much money as possible for schizophrenia research through NeuRA to support their goal of understanding what causes schizophrenia and the most effective treatment modalities.
If this resonates with people and they want to help out, what can they do?
While we have the goal of raising funds which will go directly to Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), we also want to raise awareness for mental health, specifically, the condition of schizophrenia. Feel welcome to follow our challenges week, which is from May 1st - May 7th via our socials, which are linked below. Please also feel free to donate via the link below, giving what you can, if you can.
Come say hi to us at the R4R on Wednesday nights!
And before we go, we'll ask what we always ask: What does resilience mean to you?
Resilience, to us, means to grow from difficult times, in order to be prepared for future obstacles. We believe in a growth mindset, and that tough times can build your personal sense of self into something profoundly strong. This directly relates to experiencing mentally ill-health, as these experiences can often have the potential to create renewed hope and optimism for the individual moving forward, through dedication to self-care and prioritising what is truly meaningful in one’s life. Resilience means to both seek outwards and to look inwards.
And, If you could go back to the hardest moment in your life, what would you tell yourself?
Navigating our way through grief after the passing of Connor has been one of the most significant and challenging periods of our lives so far. Identifying how to acknowledge our feelings and look back on the positives is difficult but rewarding. We are still working our way through this extremely hard moment, however we have been able to learn a lot about ourselves and how to support those throughout. These lessons we will carry for the rest of our lives.
Well done, guys.
City 2 Surf
Mark your calendars for the 13th of August 2023 because R4R is doing the City 2 Surf again! Entries for the race are open on!
Strolling 4 Resilience
There are a few whispers around town that a parent-focused walking group will be kicking off on the lake sometime soon. Our community has noticed that the 6:15 am and 6 pm timeslots aren’t ideal for parents, and they’re walking the walk and doing something about it! Watch this space for more details… but start getting your prams ready!
The Silent Runner
One of the great things about meeting the runners is getting to hear different people’s stories. In an effort to mix things up and increase the depth of our connection, here’s an opportunity for you to share your story in a longer format. We also know that sharing your story can be confronting, so we’ve made the default for sharing your story anonymous.
Around the Grounds
Scotty “and” Imhoff “to the races” with the big win at Point Hut Pond last weekend! Winning park runs, taking photos, is there anything this man can’t do? Our Running for Resilience R4R (AU) group is up to 28 members now and if you’d like to join, it’s as easy as going to your park run profile, selecting groups, and adding our group. Thank you Tony for setting it up.
If you don’t know what park run is, it’s a great community gathering around exercise. Every Saturday at 8 am, all over the world, people get together to knock out 5km. If you’d like to find out more, please visit their website here.