Why I Joined Can Too, A New Participant's Story

by Sharon Lowndes 27 Sep 2018

My Can Too journey began just over 12 months ago.  Having recently moved from Brisbane to Sydney, local friends were few and far between.  I was lucky enough to work with Claire who had done many Can Too programs and suggested I give it a try.  With her passion for life and all things fun, plus, I also had a friend from Brisbane with a desire to run across the Harbour Bridge, I was signed up for my first Can Too program - 10km Blackmores Bridge Run, before I knew what had happened.

The first night of training arrived and Claire walked me there (I'm sure it was to make sure I didn’t bail!). I had never run in my life, I was unfit and didn’t know anyone.  What was I thinking of signing up? 

Throughout the program my fellow team mates were amazing, the Team Captain so bright and bubbly and the Coach was very patient and caring - I could not have asked for more!

After race day we were all sad to see Can Too end, some were even talking about what program to try next.  My running buddy, Kate was keen to try triathlon and with a push, I found myself signing up as well.  It ended up that there were four of us signing up to the next program, the Sprint Triathlon..........On the positive side, at least I had run recently, but swimming! Well, the last time I had done laps was 30 years ago!  Riding a bike was a bit better, but still, that was around 20 years, and here I was asking that question again, “What was I thinking?”

The Tri program started and the first running session arrived, it was great, I thought I can do this.  The swim session was next, I survived, but only just.  Then it was the first bike session, well, that didn’t go so well but I managed!  All of the coaches were amazing, making sure everyone was OK and offering advice along the way.  My fellow team mates were just as caring, as was the Team Captain.

Then there is the fundraising side of Can Too.  That was another fear of which I had to overcome.  What if I couldn’t raise the money?  How was I going to do it?  Again, with a nudge from my colleague, I managed my first Cake Stall at Bunnings.  To be able to bake cupcakes, plus have the opportunity to talk to others in the community about Can Too is rewarding.  You will be amazed at how well known Can Too is, people are happy to give a donation or buy what you have made.  Your team mates are also more than happy to support you – they may offer to bake for you or they will come and buy from your stall.  On reflection, those worries I had about reaching my fundraising commitments?  I smashed them all, and I'm proud to say I've raised over $5,000 for cancer research in only three programs!

What can I say? I’m hooked.  Having just completed the Blackmores 10km run for a second time, I’m ready for the next challenge – 1km ocean swim.

Can Too is amazing, and I can honestly say you don’t need to be fit to start a program, you don’t even need to know anyone. The people you meet will become your friends.  Jen got married during the Triathlon program and Kate and I helped her celebrate her special day.  Just the other weekend, six of us all met up and enjoyed a lovely breakfast after Park Run.

Take the plunge, you won’t regret it.  It's the best thing I’ve done in years. Fun, friendship, fitness and fundraising!

Sharon Lowndes

Can Too Participant 2017/8

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