Member Profile - Gill Donald: The day we met for the first time.
It had been a long day, month and year and if I’m honest - I was finally at the better end of a time in my life that had challenged me beyond any I could ever comprehend. I was forced to face adversity at its finest. It was a year of loss and grief, hurt & anguish, and best of all of self-discovery. It was a year of letting go of absolutely everything that I had dedicated my existence to, to start again.
Of course, at that time of confusion, I couldn't see what was ahead of me, or what was in store in the year(s) to come.
Prior to this, I skimmed the surface of self-worth
I knew I needed a rebuild. I needed to find out who I was & what this was all about.
I was on the up, but not before a tremendous fall & a crap load of hurt that needed healing.
I had known Johnny & Justine for years prior to my joining PTR. Our paths crossed on numerous occasions but I never did join up until this very year. Until now, these activities were never about me but, here I was, contemplating joining a running group. All for my own benefit!
I had signed up to do the Overland track in Tasmania. It was time for me to get serious. I decided that if PTR could give me moments of mental relief for all that life was throwing my way, then it would be worth every minute of joining. Oh, and it was!
If not for my friends at the time, I probably would have opted to stay home or hide away from the world. Getting up & going was not always easy however, over time - I found myself, needing to go. It became medicinal. That, and the people around me, who believed in me, who encouraged my every step. These life-long friendships forged from a place of undeniable trust. Some of us, experiencing our own painful journeys & others there to push us gently along. At each step, building, recreating & becoming more & more of who we were meant to be.
I completed the Overland Track!
Totally out of my comfort zone but I did it & what a life changing experience that was.
On reflection, the entire years events had led me to some of the most amazing & trans-formative times of my life.
Still nursing an injury from my wild uncomfortable adventures, there was talk among the PTR family to do a night run from Dromana to Cape Schank. Two Bays training. Of course - sign me up. What could possibly go wrong? Or in this case – go right?
Turns out - the more you do, the better you get - go figure!
Jayne Carmody’s aid station got me over the line. I knew I could join her as soon as my ankle had enough!
We took a couple of quick pics & we were off. There were unfamiliar faces, another fitness group, but we all merged as we took on the trails. Runners -helping joggers -helping walkers. All inclusive
I think I ran/walked until about the 14km mark where I met with a fellow PTR’r who stopped to take some pictures & cheer on the crew as they passed. My ankle was enormous! Time to find Jayne ..
The next couple of hours were hilarious with Jayne taking funny pictures of me in the pitch-black night, singing to our music, waiting patiently for the team to start running through. The cheer squad was well & truly ready!
The boys began to run in & the bells were out! We were on fire on this freezing cold night! I remember hearing familiar voices, Johnny, Steve, Ron. I couldn't see them but those accents are a clear giveaway. There was another voice that I didn't recognise however, People began to trickle in & it was getting colder & colder! Huddling close I recall talking about who was going to drive us back to the car in Dromana - and the unfamiliar voice said ’I can wait for the others & take you back’ - perfect! Then the same voice offered me a jacket, which I gratefully accepted!
Chatting away, with some of those who had walked with me in my darkest of days, under a clear sky with a zillion stars, a connection had begun, against all odds, out of the blue, just before midnight!
As I thanked him for his jacket on the drive to our car, following a wonderful & happy conversation in the dark, we welcomed the next run & ensured another meet.
A week or so later, Justin sent a message to see if we could catch up for a morning walk n talk .
We did & well, let's just say - fireworks!! We planned our next walk n talk which led to - more connections & similarities! Then there was a DATE
Dinner cooked by Jus, candlelit (I may have brought my toothbrush) & it turns out, he can cook!
Here we are - Now, in our second year of togetherness.
A place I have never ever experienced in my life. A love so filled with respect, kindness, care, freedom, trust & a divine purpose of building each other up to be the best most empowered versions of ourselves. Even more incredible is how all other aspects of our lives began to fall into place as soon as we embarked on this wild & wonderful journey.
If there's one thing we anticipate every day - it is time together in this incredible world we have created.
We will be forever grateful for our PTR family.
Grateful for the hard & heartbreaking life circumstances that saw each of us on a journey of self-discovery
For the sliding door moment that brought us to our meeting on that cold & blessed night
For the life lessons along the way that have given us the gift of insight, to be the most-raw & real versions of ourselves
Built from honesty and respect
Surrounded by our incredible PTR family
We owe it all to you