As we have lived through more than 200 days of Coronavirus-induced lockdown, finding reasons to be positive is increasingly difficult. I’m finding identifying reasons to be grateful is a lot easier.

I’m grateful that I live in a place where the public officials are working so hard to keep people safe. Last May, when many health services around the globe were overwhelmed with coronavirus patients, Ambulance Victoria and the Royal Melbourne Hospital had the capacity to save my life, including an intensive care bed and a ventilator. I’m grateful that the vast majority of Victorians are following public health orders to keep the spread of this awful disease to a minimum. We’ve eradicated the virus in our state once and I am sure we’ll do it again. I am grateful that Kirsty and I are fully vaccinated and won’t be subject to the full force of this disease should we find ourselves exposed.

I’m grateful to my friends whom I’ve met through my involvement in Coburg parkrun for their help in getting back to running after the events of last May. Being able to run within our COVIDSafe Settings really has helped make locked down life bearable.

Restrictions on movement and physical gathering means that great community events like Coburg parkrun cannot take place. Coburg parkrun is an event that means a lot to my family. Three generations of Johnses have completed their first 5km event at Coburg parkrun and it has provided a great deal of motivation for us all to keep on moving. With all the kids’ sports cancelled, I am grateful that the parkrun staff created “(not)parkrun”. Saturday mornings have been running mornings for us for many years now and having the concept of (not)parkrun has given our 11 year-old the motivation to run with Dad each Saturday during the pause. It’s one of the highlights of my week. Since turning 11 last month, E has been looking forward to completing his first parkrun without me holding him back so it’s really lovely that we get that extra bit of time together each weekend.

Much More than Just a Run in the Park!

I know after 18 months many people are tired of staying at home and even more tired of seeing the faces of people they love solely on a screen but I’m grateful that we live in a time and place where we have that technology available to us to keep us connected even when we cannot be physically present. I know not everybody has this luxury and I appreciate that Zoom fatigue is real. That said, I’m grateful to the team at Coburg parkrun for keeping our community connected each weekend with an online catchup accessible to all, including one of our returning Olympians currently in hotel quarantine!

parkrun really is Much More than Just a Run in the Park and I cannot wait until we’re spending our Saturday mornings together again in our parks and our coffee shops.