“Sometimes, amazing work might come from a place of pure love and light, but most of the time, it comes from the absolute darkest corners of life. We think that’s the part of life that alienated us, but it’s not. It deeply connects us and that’s really empowering”
Fern Cotton – Red Magazine September 2021
When Katie asked if I could write a blog post for the Rainbow Running Club Second Anniversary I wondered where I would start and what I had to share that you haven’t already read or heard before and then I read this quote from Fern Cotton and it really to me summed up so many of my own emotions.
I will always be so immensely proud of the incredible community that we have together built, how empowering and freeing it has been to feel understood. To no longer feel alone. To no longer feel alienated.
We have said it many times, this isn’t a club any of us would ever wish to be members of, it’s not a club we’d wish upon our worst enemies and yet it is filled with the most courageous women who continually inspire me every single day and who I feel so incredibly lucky to call my lifelong friends.
When I came up with the idea to launch the Rainbow Running Club I was terrified, for the first time I was putting myself out there, sharing my own deeply personal experiences, sharing out loud the jumble of emotions swirling through my mind. I felt deeply alone, I was surrounded by loving family and friends but no one who really understood the immense pain I felt. No one else who understood how ashamed of my body I was, the constant feelings of failure, the grief that I didn’t know what to do with. I was lost, I felt alienated and the pain of five years of trying to have babies, the pain of baby loss, of infertility, the loss of myself and the person I once was. I felt so much and I really didn’t know who I was any more but I knew running had become may saviour and helped me immensely so I needed to step out of the fear and to share this new found passion in a bid to help others who may feel like me. I’ve never been a sporty or confident person so for me this was a giant leap into the unknown.
When I drove to our first run in Hertford I was terrified, my legs felt like jelly as we drove through the town my heart pounding in my chest. When we arrived in the car park and the other ladies started to arrive I was so nervous but also completely in awe of these women who had so bravely come along to an event and who had put their trust in me (a stranger from the internet) as I’m not sure I could ever had been so brave.
The morning past by in a blur of emotions
I had no idea that day that many of those women would go on to become friends, that this was the start of the most incredible adventure, that in that moment my life was about to change in the most profound way, that my life was about to become a whirlwind of incredible pinch me moments. Or how many women the Rainbow Running Club would go on to reach. I just couldn’t believe that all these women had turned up and how empowering it felt to stand amongst them and see them chatting, crying and connecting with others who understood how we felt. To no longer feel I was the only one.
For the next eighteen months I put my everything in to the Rainbow Running Club and I loved almost every moment of it, I felt I had found my calling and I got to experience moments I could only ever of dreamed of, all of which will be etched in my memory for a life time. Our retreat day, our retreat weekend, mid-week mindfulness, our challenges and sparkly merchandise, all the women I have met, the podcasts, the conversations, the women I really admire who have supported me along the way. And in October we will be able to share with you another moment that I don’t think I could ever have imagined ever happening to me, Lucy!
I went in to this somewhat blindly, I didn’t expect anything, or dare to believe that others would want to join me and I was blown away every day by how much you all embraced me and my ideas and how you all got behind me. I admit now that I naively thought I could stop others from feeling how I had. That if I organised wonderful events that I could somehow take away the pain. I know now that nothing can ever take away the pain of losing a baby or enduring infertility but belong to a community as wonderful and supportive as the Rainbow Running Club can help to soften the edges.
Now I reflect back and I know that one of my greatest accomplishments with the Rainbow Running Club is that our community is so strong that it has continued on without me, which is beyond a dream come true.
Thank you to each and every one of you who believed in me and my dream. And a special thank you to Katie for taking on the baton of the Rainbow Running Club and for carrying on the adventures.
Love Lucy x