by Heather Hawkins
Every day I wake up and bounce out of bed – I’m so grateful to be alive: happy, healthy, and getting out there… and running happy.
But this wasn’t always the case. In 2007 I was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer, and as a busy 41 year old Aussie mum it came completely out of the blue. Fortunately I found myself in good hands – and with skilled surgery and a follow up surveillance program developed from the latest cancer research, I was soon finding my way back on track.
Going through an experience such as this had an incredibly profound effect on me. It was the catalyst for me to strive to live life to the full with my family and to also get truly fit again – I chose to do this in two ways: first by becoming a Surf Lifesaver… and then I started running!
I went out and bought a pair of Brooks and set off in these new shoes on a journey that would take me to where I am today! First I entered a 4km fun run in 2012, and then kept training hard and quickly progressed a year and a half later to running full marathons…
On a whim I signed up for a race with a difference… the 2015 North Pole Marathon! It’s a race that’s run at temperatures as low as -41c, in deep snow on a shifting ice floe at the geographic North Pole. After 6 hrs and 57 mins I crossed the finish line, and unbelievably for me, won the Women’s Division, it was an incredible race, emotional and empowering and encouraged me to push the boundaries even further.
So a month later I signed up for the World Marathon Challenge, to be held in January 2016. This event covers 7 Marathons in 7 days on 7 continents – 295 kms in 168 hrs including flying time. This was an incredibly tough event of endurance, but I finished it with a smile, with a whole lot of new friends, and actually found out how far my feet could carry me – apparently all the way around the world!
I am now a proud Ambassador for the Can Too Foundation, and currently training for the New York Marathon alongside so many other dedicated Can Too’ers, who will join me on the streets of New York in November 2016. Myself and the Can Too team are all raising funds and awareness for cancer research, so that a cure for cancer can be found, and treatment programs refined for greater impact.
I know that research saved my life, and I want to give back and help make a difference for others who are facing the fight of their lives. That’s why I run happy…no matter where it is.
Brooks is a proud supporter of Can Too – to find out how you can get fit and raise money for Cancer Research visit https://www.cantoo.org.au
©Heather Hawkins Adventurous Spirit