How many strong women do you know?
If you asked me, I would respond by saying every woman is a strong woman (because it’s true!). And while it’s a word your girlfriends might use to describe you, it’s a word we rarely use to describe ourselves. Kind, considerate, generous, loyal and giving are, I suspect, all words that are more likely to come to mind than “strong”.
Of course they are all admirable qualities too. But I have a sneaking suspicion it’s not until you recognise your innate strength that you develop the knowledge that you can achieve more than you can possibly imagine.
So our #10kStrongWomen mission is our way to encourage women to see just how strong they (you) are.
About 6 months ago, I wrote about why I decided to launch this audacious and, quite frankly, terrifying goal [you can read it here] and to introduce you to the (strong) women who had, at that time, proudly put their hands up to join the mission.
So I thought it was time to update you on our progress and to introduce you to the newest members.
In case you haven’t heard of it, our #10kStrongWomen campaign is simple but far from easy: it is to encourage, support and inspire 10,000 women over the next 10 years to step past their fears and self-doubt, to put themselves outside their comfort zone and to challenge themselves to do something for the first time.
It could be a new sport or even a new distance within your current sport - anything from your first 5km fun run to your first marathon, your first trail run to your first night of camping as an adult, your first bike ride to your first 100km bike ride, a skydive, Tough Mudder event or your first Ironman triathlon.
This campaign came about for two reasons.
Firstly, I noticed that many women wouldn’t give themselves permission to ‘try’ something (an event, a particular race or even a new sport) until they saw a girlfriend or someone who looked like them or who had similar commitments in their life achieve their goal (realising it was possible for them too).
And secondly because the confidence, resilience and bravery you develop from sport creates a ripple effect into other aspects of your life and the lives of the people around you.Confident, resilient and brave women raise confident, resilient and brave children. And they inspire their girlfriends to confront their own fears (including of judgement) and to chase their dreams.
Just imagine the ripple effect of change - and the example it sets - when thousands of brave, proud, courageous, resilient and strong women stand up and say “this scared me and I did it anyway”.
Before I introduce you to the amazing women who added their names and achievements to the list in the last 6 months…
How can you get involved?
Leave a comment below or send me (Jen) an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All I need is your name and your past achievement(s) or the goal(s) you’ve set yourself (yes, you can have more than one!). And, if you’re willing, email me a pic of you chasing your dreams - it’s that simple!
Together we can inspire women all over the world to get in touch with their spunky, spirited inner 4-year-old self and chase their dreams.
10,000 Strong Women
Let me introduce you to the brave, proud, courageous, resilient and strong women who joined our #10kStrongWomen campaign over the last 6 months:
* Jo Sorrenson – 1st 70.3 Triathlon World Championships – Sunshine Coast, September 2016.
* Sana Munro – 1st Parkun – August 2013. 1st Sprint Triathlon – February 2014. 1st Olympic distance triathlon – Nepean Triathlon, October 2014. 1st Half Marathon – Sydney Running Festival, September 2015. 1st long course triathlon as part of a team – Husky, February 2016. 1st Ultra (50km) race as part of a team – Centennial Park Ultra, August 2016 (on her 41st birthday!). Long Bloody Walk – November 2016. Goals = Western Sydney 70.3 (bike leg) – November 2016 and 1st long course triathlon – Husky, February 2017.
* Clare McCann – 1st Ironman, Port Macquarie – May 2015 (completed with her amazing mum who was 60 at the time).
* Lisa Murphy – 1st ultra marathon – 56km Yurrebilla Ultra Marathon, South Australia – September 2016.
* Alison King – 1st Ironman (completed even before her 1st Half Marathon) – Ironman New Zealand – March 2005.
* Paula Ryan – 1st Nepean Triathlon, 1st 50km trail race – Ultra Trail Australia, 2013 and 1st long course triathlon – Huskisson, 2016.
* Simone Campbell – 1st summit of Mt Aspiring, NZ (2001), 1st summit of Mt Dixon, NZ (2013, 1st summit of Mt Cook, NZ (2003), 1st Ironman triathlon – Port Macquarie (2013), 1st 50km trail race – Ultra Trail Australia, 2013.Lisa Nolan – 3x Half Marathons and 2 x Marathons – 2015. 1st 50km trail run, Ultra Trail Australia – May, 2016.
* Kylie Mackey – 1st 5km non-stop run at parkrun Penrith Lakes – May, 2016. 1st 10km run – October, 2016. 1st triathlon – 2016.
* Jill Troy – 1st Half Marathon, Glow Worm Tunnel Running Festival – June, 2015.
* Sue Horsburgh – 1st 70.3, October 2009 to celebrate turning 50, 1st 5km parkrun, May 2016 (after no running for 18 months).
* Sandra Mathews-Benham – 1st Olympic distance Triathlon – St Louis Inaugural Triathlon – USA – May, 2016.
* Steph Jeavons – riding a motorcycle around the world and on all 7 continents (goal).
* Angela Dunn – 1st Trail Half Marathon – Ultra Trail Australia Pace 22 – May 2016, 3 x Half Marathons in 11 months. Ultra Trail Australia 50km race (goal).
* Lorrae Carr – 1st Half Ironman at the age of 46 – 2014.
* Keren Tindley – 1st Ironman triathlon (2014), 100 Parkruns (achieved October 2016) and Marathons on 7 continents (goal – 3 done so far!)
* Mary Budberg – 1st time completing 2x Half Marathon events in a single week & 1st Marathon – Moscow, Russia – completed, July 2016.
* Annie Renaud – 1st Duathlon – Oka, Quebec Canada – May 2014.
* Jessica Marshall – 1st Half Ironman triathlon (& 1st time doing something someone told her she couldn’t) – Shepparton – November 2011
* Leah Gilbert – 1st triathlon (2013), 1st 10k fun run (2014) & 1st Half Marathon, 2015.
* Lauren Law – 1st solo cycling event at Bowral Classic 90km – October 2016.
Wow! What an amazing group of women!
Looking at this list, you’ll notice there are women who have tackled everything from riding a motorcycle around the world (yes, truly!) to women doing their first triathlon and cycling event.
It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that your achievement isn’t (good, fast, long, far) “enough”.
But it’s important to remember your achievement is your achievement - it’s a first for YOU. And it’s significance and importance to you is not lessened because someone else has gone faster, longer, further, higher or stronger.
I hope this campaign, and these women, inspire you as much as they inspire me.
I'd love to see your name on the list too - so please join us!