Run Mummy Run is five years old today and I couldn’t be prouder of our community. What started out as a small Facebook group for my friends and I to keep in touch and arrange runs, has grown into an amazing online community of over 50,000 women runners.
Throughout our five years we have nurtured an ethos of kindness and support within the community which is still as strong today as it was when we had just a handful of members. So, while we are celebrating our birthday with a glass of fizz and a slice of cake I thought it would be nice to reflect on what I have discovered during the last five years of Run Mummy Run…
Empowered women empower women
Run Mummy Run is a massively supportive community. When women feel valued and supported they then pass this support and kindness on to others, it’s like a chain reaction. Run Mummy Run is a platform that nurtures this way of living, it’s a win/win situation for all of our women.
I have seen so many women grow in confidence through their interaction with Run Mummy Run over the last five years. I have also witnessed a number of selfless acts of kindness from ordinary women to support other women in the community that they only know virtually. The kindness our women show each other is one of the things I’m most proud of.
Running can be key factor in recovery for a person’s mental health issues
Running plays a huge part in the way many people cope with their mental health issues. Activity is often recommended as part of a self-care strategy for mental health and I have seen first hand how a number of our women need running to help them cope.
They use running to help them through depression, anxiety, loss, grief and hard times. Our community supports them with understanding and kindness during their darkest moments and celebrates with them when they feel they are strong again.
Photo credit: Mick Hall Photos
How virtual support networks can be a lifeline to so many people
For many people, especially parents, life can become quite isolated. This happened to me as I was the main carer for my two boys. My husband’s work did not allow me to get to my local running club in the evenings so mixing with like-minded women on a personal level (away from the children) became harder. I longed for a space where I could chat from my sofa to other women about my hobby – running.
A huge number of people are in the same position. So many positives can come from providing a safe online place for people to network with others who share the same hobby or passion. For many of our women Run Mummy Run is a vital lifeline when things get bad. They know day or night if they need company there will be another lady there for them to chat to. It’s wonderful.
How to feel confident in my own skin
In the past I struggled with self-confidence. I was so consumed by what other people thought of me that I over-analysed everything I did in order not to make a fool of myself. Over the last five years, I have learnt to let go of that and it’s helped me push my own boundaries massively. I have stopped taking myself too seriously. I do things that make me and my loved ones happy and the rest, well it’s none of my business. I quickly realised that being concerned about other people’s opinions of me was going to hinder my efforts with Run Mummy Run. RMR made me happy, so I decided I wasn’t willing to jeopardise that. Surrounding myself with a community who encourage me at every step has been a massive boost to my confidence and I have grown as a person in so many positive ways thanks to our amazing women.
How important it is to me now to promote kindness, support and be inclusive to people from all walks of life
Never in my life has it been more important to me to promote these keys things. In a world that sees so much sadness, I feel it’s incredibly important to bring people together from different backgrounds and unite them. That’s one of the reasons I love running – its’ ability to bring diverse people together through a shared interest.
Running is the one thing that binds our community, one common ground that our women share and enjoy together. From that love of running, people learn to be more understanding, forgiving and accepting of others.
I want to thank all of the women in the Run Mummy Run community for their support, loyalty and friendship over the last five years, I feel truly honoured to have you by my side. I can’t wait to see where the next five years takes us all.
To find out more about Leanne behind the scenes of Run Mummy Run you can follow her on Instagram: @run_mummy_run_rmr