I ‘came out’ a while ago, and most of my readers know it: I like running very long distances (See here if you don’t remember: http://frenchyummymummy.com/going-the-ultra-mile/). Come to think of it, the work ‘like’ can be misleading. Ultra marathon runners will understand. What I really mean is that running ultra marathons make me feel alive, even if after a while everything hurts. Maybe, as a friend suggested yesterday, I need a good psychiatrist. So much for thinking that running was keeping me sane. We all have our own issues, right? But I digress.
It is easy to take running for granted. As a woman runner, one thing that I know I often take as a given is the freedom to run without social persecution. It wasn’t always like that. In 1928, at the Olympic games held in Amsterdam, women were allowed to compete in running events for the very first time. After the 800-meter event, the International Olympic Committee ruled that the collapse of women at the finish meant that the distance was too difficult a strain on the female body, and banned the event until the 1960 games. As for women running marathons, it was a big no no until 1972 or so. And I have recently been told (I kid you not), that running long distances could damage women’s reproductive organs. For real, in this century. I would like to reassure everybody: everything seems to be where it should be. What can I say: as a society, we still have some way to go. Not to mention that I know a few girls who could give most men a run for their money…
So what’s my point? Well: here it is. I did it again. I have put my name down for the 110k Darkness to Daylight challenge in Brisbane this coming May: http://www.australiasceochallenge.org/darknesstodaylightchallenge/. Just to clarify: this means that I will try to run 110 (yes, one hundred and ten) kilometres in one go. It is a very symbolic run. 110k represents one kilometre for every life lost to domestic and family violence in Australia every year. It is a cause dear to my heart, and running for it will, I hope, make a difference, and make me go the extra mile (literally as it will be one of my longest events). Please support me if you can here: https://www.mycause.com.au/page/168601/muriel-jacques, or simply send me a few words of encouragement. Because this world could do with more kindness, don’t you think?
I can’t believe that women had been forbidden from participating in the ancient Olympics. A woman who was caught even as a spectator at the Games could face execution. We’ve come a long way and there is a lot to be grateful for (there is still a lot to do obviously but hey, I am an optimist by nature, and we’ll get there).
After all, if women can do what seemed impossible not so long ago, the sky is the limit, and we can change the world. Just imagine all the untapped potential there is out there!
You need to read between the lines here. What I am trying to say is that I am freaking out. What did I get myself into again?