Why I Run: The Wilson Family
Getting active is a family affair for Kylie, Justin and their four small children – including two-year-old Lucy, who has cerebral palsy.
The Wilsons love being outdoors. This year’s Medibank Melbourne Marathon Festival is the perfect chance for the family of six to get active together – and to support a cause close to their hearts at the same time.
“Our family life is busy – it’s just the nature of having four small children, and also trying to live an active life,” mum Kylie says.
“Because our family is so big and loud we really like being outdoors whenever we can, whether it’s in our backyard, or out on the street, or down at the park.”
While dad Justin is taking on the full marathon, Kylie and 10-year-old Zoe will run the 10 km race. Then the whole family will come together for the 3 km walk.
“When I get the time to go out and train it’s actually the most relaxing time – it’s a great way to start the day.”
“We train at different times of day and do our training in different ways, but we’re both equally committed to what we do,” Justin says.
Kylie adds: “When I get the time to go out and train it’s actually the most relaxing time – it’s a great way to start the day.”
For Justin, this year is a long anticipated return to the marathon scene. In 1996 he placed sixth in the Melbourne Marathon. In 2004, the last time he completed the 42.2 km distance, he finished fifth.
“I haven’t run a marathon in 11 years,” he says. “Now that our family’s complete it’s time for us to show our children how we get out and do things, so we get out there all together.”
The Wilsons also have a strong emotional reason to run in this year’s event. Their youngest daughter, two-year-old Lucy, has cerebral palsy. The family will use this opportunity to donate to the Cerebral Palsy Education Centre, which has made such a difference to the little girl’s life.
“We know how hard Lucy has to work in her life, so she’s definitely in my mind when I’m running as I try to push past pain barriers.”
CPEC provides physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech pathology for children with cerebral palsy and similar conditions. Lucy attends a group their two to three times a week.
“The aim is to try to learn to walk and talk and communicate – things that other kids find very easy to do, but kids with cerebral palsy find incredibly hard, and it takes a lot of hours of practice to learn those skills,” Kylie explains.
“But she’s doing great and she’s getting a lot out of the service – so it’s really important to us.”
Lucy’s challenges and her hard work in overcoming them also inspires Justin and Kylie.
“We know how hard Lucy has to work in her life, so she’s definitely in my mind when I’m running as I try to push past pain barriers,” Kylie says.
“The fact that I can go out there and run 10 km? I think that’s pretty lucky.”
Find out more about the Cerebral Palsy Education Centre.