At the very young age of 7, Suzie underwent open heart surgery which, while she was too young to understand the seriousness of this life-saving operation, says that it has changed the way she looks at life. Suzie’s story is one that I feel completely inspired by and I know you will too.
Her motto is “if you can, you should” – an attitude Suzie formed from an early age and an affirmation we should all live by, don’t you agree? Open heart survey saved Suzie’s life at such a young age and gave her a chance to do something that she wouldn’t have been able to without it – to run. So 30 years after the surgery Suzie set herself a challenge. Alongside work, a busy family life with a toddler and the general day to day bustle of life she decided to take her running to a new high. Having completed her first half marathon 25 years after the operation, Suzie gave herself a challenge to run every day of June to mark the new milestone. Remember June this year, that summer month of ridiculously wintery wet and windy weather? Well, she ran through that too – nothing got in her way. By the end of the month, Suzie had achieved her challenge and had run a staggering 116 miles (that’s basically running from Bristol to Brighton) and raised £858 (and counting) in sponsorship donations to the British Heart Foundation,
Suzie’s passion for running is truly infectious – “running helps so much for your headspace” she says, “it also helps with tiredness and energy levels and helps you sleep better”. She tells us that running has so many benefits, both physical and mental. She finds she’s clearing her head while running “you can resolve problems and think logically without even really thinking about it”. “When I was pregnant I had to stop running after a while and my husband commented on how positive I was after getting back into running as soon as I was able”.
For many of us who haven’t tried it, running appears to be quite daunting and hard work, but Suzie believes that running is for everyone who can – small steps like taking the stairs rather than a lift or escalator will help as a starting point. “Everybody can run, even if you walk a bit you can get outside in the fresh air and it’s completely free”. Suzie is a member of This Mum Runs, which she says is “great for any woman seeking to start out. It’s nice to run with others and you realise that it doesn’t matter what size or shape you are, no one is looking at you – if they are, they’re thinking “fair play, they’re running” – it’s not a competition”. Lee Scott has started the Couch to 5k club on Friday lunchtimes at Cote Lane, that’s also a perfect way to start, “the feeling you get from running afterwards, even on your most tired days, is like a natural drug”.
Suzie’s now training for a half marathon and a 10k, both in September – there is no stopping her!
You can support Suzie by donating to the British Heart Foundation https://www.bhf.org.uk/how-you-can-help/donate/donate-form
Thank you Suzie for sharing your story with us.