Welcome to the first Inspirational Person in our series “Inspirational People – Not Celebrities – Everyday People Like You & Me”
I met Katherine Stark a couple of years ago and having recovered from an eating disorder to running 100km and conquering Base Camp in Nepal she is one truly inspirational gal!
Katherine describes herself in one word as “Thankful” – thankful to be alive! Read her story and realise that you can achieve what you put your mind to.
“So, Sue from womenlivingwellafter50.com.au asked me to write a few words.
I met Sue through a fitness bootcamp a few years ago. She and another lady were really into running and, I wasn’t! However, they needed a team member to run the 30km Kokoda Challenge with them so I thought, why not. Wow, that was the hardest thing I had ever done (to that day!!). Didn’t realise that you actually had to train for these things!!
That encouraged me to do a bit more running. I joined a trail running club – Brisbane Trail Runners and, went on my first run with them. Had a ball. I enjoyed just doing the running for the social aspect and, trying to increase my fitness. Then one of the members from BTR encouraged me to enter my first race. This was last year at the Glasshouse Mountains. And it was 50km!!! I was like “come on, I haven’t even run a marathon yet, I can’t do 50km”. However, I did. And I loved it!!!
Since then, I’ve been hooked. Yes, just May last year is where it all began. I went on to do my first full marathon on my birthday at the Gold Coast and well, I am not a time person but, I got under 4hrs. I wouldn’t have cared if it was 5hrs, I just like to run to have fun. I went on to do Brisbane marathon in August and I had signed up to do my first 100km in September in the Glasshouse mountains. I had no idea what to expect. I had some wonderful people crewing for me and, nothing was too much trouble. I just plodded along and eventually finished in 14.5hrs. I was so chuffed.
Melbourne marathon was next….my first interstate event and BOOM, I smashed it with a 15min PB!!.
Fast forward to last weekend. I ran a 12hr race at Caboolture Historical Village. From 6pm-6am I ran around a 500m track. I thought I would get bored but no, I had the best fun ever!!! Always smiling and laughing, it was just great.
Ok, that’s enough about racing – you’re getting bored now.
I usually have one idea on my mind when I travel overseas…and that’s to shop! But, I thought I would do something different for a change. I wanted to trek to base camp. Yep, just a random conversation with a friend and, next day it’s all booked. So, in November last year, I went on the trip of a lifetime. I thought “I’m fit, this will be a breeze”.
Well I tell you now, it was not a breeze. It was bloody hard.
Climbing up rocks and steps for days on end. Living off LOTS of cups of tea, rice, dhal, potatoes.
However, after 7 days trekking, I made it to Base Camp (blue fingers and all – hey, it was freezing!!!). My guide hugged me and I just cried. It was such an emotional day. I was the first one there for that day so, I spent about 1 hr there taking pictures before we headed back to the lodge. It was amazing seeing all the people on the way to base camp. They were trekkers that I had past many times throughout the journey so, we were all friends. They all hugged me as we past each other – it was just lovely.
We made it back to the lodge and, I wanted champagne to celebrate. HA, who was I kidding that they would have champagne at 5500m high!!! Not even wine 🙁 Damn. So, my fellow trekkers and I celebrated with hot tea, hot chocolate etc. It was such an amazing day. One I will never forgot. You’d think all the hard work was done and trekking back to Lukla would be easy right? Nope. Just as much up hill and, down hill over loose rocks, slippery surfaces, suspension bridges etc was just as hard!!! But, I made it.
Best experience of my life and yes, it was tougher than running 100km!!! Once I got back to Kathmandu I met up with my American friends I had met whilst trekking and boy did we have some fun 🙂 We partied, drank, smoked Shisha (I didn’t really like it). Great friends, great memories. Oh, and I did shop a little bit.
Look, I am a late starter into running as I was quite sick for many years with anorexia nervosa. From 11years old to about 25, I was in and out of hospitals on death’s door. But hey, that’s history now. I just want to say, don’t think you can’t do something. Wipe that self doubt out of your head and just go out there and give it a go. And the most important thing is to have fun and never give up on your dreams.
I’m nearing 30 years old this year and I tell you, my life is just beginning at 30 :)”
Katherine is also working on a book – so watch out world here she comes!
I hope you have been inspired by Katherine’s achievements. We can all achieve something however remember happiness in what you do is the most important thing.