"I can do anything. There are no limits. I won’t let anybody else define me.”
Who would argue with any of that? We all know: this is absolutely true.
But women all over the world are asking themselves: if it’s true, why don’t I live like that?
The answer: because maybe, deep down, we don’t always really believe it.
This is the story of six very different women who literally run into the rarely seen or shown truth of their own self-doubt. A journey into the very heart of their own limitations to find who and what might be waiting if they can come out the other side and as one put it – change their story and challenge who they and everyone else think they are.
In New York they will stand, far from home, on the starting of the world's biggest marathon, to take on one of the most extreme physical challenge, under extreme public scrutiny.
If you asked them to describe themselves, they'd give you all sorts of answers - I'm a mum. I’m a police officer. I'm a businesswoman. I'm a grandmother.
But there’s one thing they'd all say. Even as they bend, waiting for the starter's gun:
I’m Not a Runner
This is their story
A woman struggling after her second child, pulls out some old trainers, goes for a run just before dawn. She hasn’t gone far when an anonymous voice shouts at her. ‘Give it up jigalong’ they drive on. laughing. She's left standing on the street. Outrageous. And for a split second she feels humiliated...perhaps she is ridiculous; she should go home and never try again. But looking around the suburban homes around her, she wonders - who else feels like that? Who else is stuck behind those doors?
That woman is Anna Liptak.
She came home from that run and wrote up a simple flyer asking other women if they felt the same; Within a few weeks, Anna was training women in the streets and parks around Adelaide, women had come off the sofa, and were running with her.
In that pack, was a panorama of the private drama’s women in our time face: divorces and tricky marriages, cancer, aging, obesity & depression. And also a parade of what we'd easily classify as the successful women lawyers, police officers and school principals, women who'd raised or were raising armies of children. But every one of them, however much they’d survived or achieved, was carrying some doubt about who they really were and what they could do.
A patchwork portrait of the dilemma of women around the world – mystified by why we still don’t live the fullest versions of who we can be. and knowing that so much of what holds us back, sits in the back of our own minds. And goes about its work in our own bodies, and how we feel about them. Now 60 of those bodies were out running the streets of Adelaide. These women aren’t running away from their challenges, they’re just running. And as they found they could do this thing they thought they could not do, they got fitter, they got stronger, and something inside them began to change.
After a while, a second wave of I’m-not-a-Runners came to Anna. The husbands of those women, who had watched the quiet revolutions at work in their wives and realised they wanted some of this too.
They’ve all felt the boundaries of what they assumed about themselves shift. And that’s great. But now it's time to find out what they really believe.
In November, Anna will challenge 60 of them to run the NY Marathon with her. Only a few of them have ever run a marathon before. For all the rest, this will be their first attempt.
In a marathon, nothing is certain, there is nowhere to hide.
You can never be completely sure your body will handle the extreme experience of running 42 km. And along the way all the things that sent you running in the first place will come to the surface - the deepest fears and the truest dreams.
We run this day of a lifetime with Anna and some of the ordinary and utterly extraordinary women running it with her. Hearing in their footsteps the true stories that have lead them to New York, and seeing the layers of doubt rise up. and finally, fall away.
Some will surge through the finish line. Some will finish late at night on the pavement, long after the streets have been reopened and the race is officially over. But no one will be the same.
A film about taking risks.
About refusing to accept the pre-packaged version of who you are or who you should be.
About the power and joy of trusting your own body, and giving it the chance to show you what you can really do.
I’m Not a Runner
Anna Liptak James Wakelin
0403 245 380 0419 826 356
Victoria Midwinter Pitt
0400 342 272
0409 337 123