Running is my sanctuary


“It’s definitely time to put myself first because when I feel good, my kids benefit from that.” 

Jessica, from the Gunditjmara and Yorta Yorta tribes, grew up in country Victoria and played sports growing up. Now, a mother of two, she reflects on how she put the exercise on the back burner for a while, until her friend encouraged her to apply for the Rob De Castella Indigenous Marathon Foundation project.

As one of 12 runners in the Marathon Project across the country, today, Jessica shares how she found ways to incorporate physical activity into her everyday life.  

“When I first started running after having [my younger son,] Wirin, he would cry, get upset. But after a few months, he realised it was normal that mum goes running. Now, when I go out the door, Wirin would like to come with me. He’ll jump in the jogger, and we head off up the road. And sometimes he stays in and sometimes he gets out and runs next to me.” 

This Girl Can ambassador Jess with her son walking next to her in COuntry Victoria. you can see Jess pushing a pram

Jessica feels “grounded and connected” when she runs and credits running as helping her get through a tough time in her life and making her a better mum. “when I get out amongst the trees, you know, out in the country, I just am able to ground myself.” And the camaraderie in her running group motivates her to keep going. “When you’re having a hard day and they give you that encouragement and say, come on, let’s do this, you’ll feel better. And you always do.” She says as she shares a laugh with her Heywood Deadlies running group.

Jess running with other friends from her Heywood Deadlies running group

Her idea of having a great time is playing basketball with her elder son Nason. “Being outside with Nason, sharing something that he loves to do and that I love to do as well, and we get to enjoy that together.”  

Hear from Jessica here:

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