Mum in race for joy of life

TODAY'S Launceston Ten is another step forward in Lara Proverbs's journey to reigniting the light in her life.

The 37-year-old mother of three has had her life stalled by post-natal depression and anxiety since having her youngest children, with exercise a major way that she has dealt with it.

As well as running for herself today, she is hoping she can spread the message - to those battling their own demons - of the powerful role doing something simple like going for a run can play in one's life.

``In the last few months, I've been able to focus on myself again, thanks to exercise,'' Mrs Proverbs said.

``The Launceston Ten has been a huge goal for me, rather than just getting caught up in the world that is my children.

``My youngest children (Finlay and Ashton) are six and seven, and it has been in the last two years or so that I've been able to have an acceptance and awareness of post-natal depression and anxiety.

``At the lowest points, you stop taking care of yourself completely and you become consumed in your own little world.

``You have physical symptoms such as heart palpitations and your nervous system goes all funny and you actually feel like you are dying.

``It all really consumes you and changes you and the light bulb really does go out.

``I'm mostly through it, but I will feel much better once I lose some more weight, because carrying that excess weight is uncomfortable and can affect your appearance and self-esteem.

``For me, exercise has been fantastic. It has calmed me and helped me with my anxiety, and having that exercise goal, it gives you that reason to go out and exercise as you have that goal.''

The relief teachers' aide at Norwood Primary School said she had been walking and bike riding as her main source of training for an event she has competed in before.

The last time she ran the 10 kilometres was five years ago, when she crossed the finish line in about 56 minutes.

But a major difference in her life then was that she was 30 kilograms lighter.

She competed it last year, running and walking, but has gained weight since.

``That is a real mental challenge for me, as when I did run it when I was thinner I would do it under 60 minutes and originally I would not run unless I could do it under 60 minutes But now I have to get past the fact that I'm bigger.

``So this will be a mental challenge for me to accept the fact I will have to walk more of it.''

While she doesn't want to put too much pressure on herself, she will be very happy if she finishes the race in 75 minutes today.

But as she put it, ``I don't even know if I can achieve that at this stage''.

``It will be a pretty special moment when I cross the finish line, because the crowd there doesn't just support the elite runners, they applaud everyone who crosses the line, which is quite a special feeling,'' she said.

``It is just a huge achievement when you finish, a huge adrenaline rush when you cross that finish line, and it does make you hungry to achieve more.''

This is part of a gradual journey for Mrs Proverbs, who hopes to lose the 30 kilograms she had gained since her last sub-60 minute run, and compete in the Noosa Triathlon next year.

She will have her own support crew in the crowd, with her 15-year-old son Logan joining Finlay and Ashton and her parents cheering her on. Her husband James is overseas.

The Launceston Ten, starts and finishes at the Town Hall. It starts at 10am, and heads along the East Tamar Highway. The 5-kilometre race starts at 10.20am and the kids' 2-kilometre event at 9am.

 If you need help or counselling contact Lifelink Samaritans 1300 364 566, Lifeline 131 114, Kids Helpline 1800 551 800, MensLine Australia 1300 789 978, or the StandBy Response Service 24-hour number on 0408 133 884,   beyondblue 1300 224 636.

 Norwood's Lara Proverbs is using today's Launceston Ten as another step in her recovery from post-natal depression and anxiety. Picture: MARK JESSER

Norwood's Lara Proverbs is using today's Launceston Ten as another step in her recovery from post-natal depression and anxiety. Picture: MARK JESSER

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