Friday, December 8, 2023

‘TBH Running A Marathon Has Become My Happy Space (I Know, WTF?)’. Why Brodie Kane Thinks Having A Slightly Scary Hobby Is A Good Break From Adulting

Welcome to TBH – To Be Honest – Capsule’s monthly column with our columnist and old pal, Brodie Kane! In her latest edition, Brodie is fresh off completing the Sydney Marathon and she’s realised that having a slightly scary hobby that pushes her out of her comfort zone has actually made her a happier, more grounded person. Now she wants YOU to find your version of a running a marathon (that doesn’t actually have to be, you know, a MARATHON).

And for her previous columns, click here!

Ok so I’m writing this whilst still riding the absolute high of finishing the Sydney Marathon. And don’t worry this is not a column where I tell you that you should run a marathon, but I am going to tell you that as an adult it is so important to find something that is entirely for you. Running a marathon is entirely for me. Do you know how wonderful that feels? Again, it doesn’t have to be a marathon, but it has to be something that pushes you to your limit at times, it has to be something that pushes you out of your comfort zone, because the rewards are priceless. I promise. I’ll share what running stupidly long distances does for me, and maybe you can find your own version. And If it doesn’t make you a better person I’ll give you your money back (lol).

I’ve always been a pretty fit and active person and come from a family of fit and active people. My Mum is my sporting idol – having swum the Cook Strait, belted out a couple of Ironman races, a number of Coast to Coasts and other such high endurance things. She has a mental and physical toughness I am in awe of.

The lessons you learn about yourself when you think your body and/or mind is going to simply fall out of your own arsehole are quite staggering.

Funnily enough her start into endurance events was in her 30s, and mine has been quite similar (but no, I have NO desire to swim the Cook Strait haha). I feel like your 30s are the perfect time to find something challenging to do while you’re so busy adulting and navigating the rat-race that is our hectic lives (or 20s or 40s or whenever to be honest – it’s always a good time!).

Honestly, when you think about how rip, shit and bust we are in our lives – how ridiculous are we??? We hoon around putting everyone and everything before ourselves and what time do we take out of our day for just us? We often think it’s being too selfish, or that we simply do not have the time. But WHY do we put ourselves last so much? I certainly don’t have a degree in the human brain but in my expert opinion, if we have something in our lives that makes us happy, something that challenges us, something that drives us, something that is ours alone – then I genuinely believe that it makes you a better person for yourself AND others.

For me, training for a marathon (or an ultra, or a cool trail run) and then seeing it through has hand-on-heart kept me sane, kept me healthy and helped in every aspect of my life.

I did my first marathon in Auckland 2018 and I just finished my 5th in Sydney last weekend. Every one I’ve done tells a different story. And, every one I’ve done teaches me so much about myself… and how far I can push myself. That’s is why I keep going back for more. Like I said before, as adults we are so rip shit and bust in life that we (rightly so) tend to stick to things we’re good at, or know how to do, because it makes sense to make our lives as easy as possible. But, from my own experience, transporting yourself out of that comfort zone from time to time is hugely beneficial. And it can be done with finding a new hobby, or a new challenge that tests and pushes you outside of your day-to-day lane. 

I am self-employed and tend to operate at a million miles an hour. I want to be successful, I want to put everything into what I do, but I know far too often I let it get slightly out of hand – and I know I’ve flirted with burnout more than once. 

Particularly in these past three years, as I’ve been navigating the self-employed/small business owner hustle, running has been the ultimate leveler for me. It is my therapy, it’s my meditation; I don’t have to talk to anyone, I am out there in the fresh air doing something that makes me feel calm and grounded – Lord knows I need that, haha.

When I ran the Sydney Marathon the other day, it was the hottest running race I’ve every been involved in; when I finished just after midday it was 32 degrees. I had a section of the race (17km – 26km) where I was so hot, so uncomfortable, so cooked, that I didn’t know how I’d get through. I thought to myself, “You may have to walk, you may have to just survive to get over that finish line”. Astonishingly, I came out of that pit of despair at 27km and finished my last 15km strongly and in control. I am so proud. Even though it was my 5th marathon, every time I cross the finish line I cannot believe what I have done.

The lessons you learn about yourself when you think your body and/or mind is going to simply fall out of your own arsehole are quite staggering. And you take those lessons and you apply them to everything else you face in life. It makes you tougher but it also makes you softer (i.e. kinder to yourself), it makes you acknowledge all that you are capable of, it makes you want to try harder, it makes you proud, it makes you happy, it makes you stronger, it makes you you. A better you. We get so bogged down with all that is adulting, but when we stop to do something that makes us feel all of the above? You can’t put a price on that.

So, I implore you to find your own version of the marathon. The thing that makes you smile for you. The thing that’s not for anyone else, just you. I know I’m kind of sounding all Tony Robbins on it, but I feel so strongly about this. Finding your thing will make you a better person, and you know who you’ll have to thank? You. xxx

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