Perseverance pays off for formidable female broker

New South Wales business owner, Amanda Gleeson, set herself the goal of running the 5km event at the recent Orange Running Festival. On Sunday March 6, despite several setbacks and competing priorities, she strode through Gosling Creek Reserve and crossed the finish line with a sense of personal satisfaction, community spirit and the knowledge that she can achieve anything she puts her mind to.

Despite recently falling ill with COVID-19 and injuring her hip flexor (as well as having four children at home and a finance business to run) the MoneyQuest Orange mortgage broker was determined to complete the 5km event, and even rallied a small group of female community members to join her.

It was 6am on the 16th of December 2021 when Amanda decided to enter the Orange Running Festival. Lockdown, homeschooling and the daily grind of running a business had her feeling lethargic and unmotivated, and she decided that it was time to make a change. She posted a spontaneous video to her Facebook page about her freshly formed running goal to keep herself accountable.

“I’m doing this in the moment, so I don’t chicken out. Last night I saw a Facebook post about the Orange Running Festival. I have never participated despite living in Orange for many years, and I think 2022 could be the year to do it.”

Amanda then enticed other first-timers to join her and leave their comfort zones by offering to cover the cost of 10 running festival registration fees via a social media campaign. The giveaway ran for a week before the winners were notified, and the team’s (somewhat uphill) training journey began.

After quickly realising that trying to run the full 5 kilometres in her very first training session was not a good idea, Amanda sought counsel from competitive marathon runner and 3-time Orange Running Festival winner, Brad Croker.

“I tried to achieve too much too soon in my first training session and started to feel disheartened, so I decided to talk to a running expert for some tips. After learning a lot from Brad, I thought there was value in sharing his insights with the wider community, many of whom were also preparing for the festival. So, we created some Q and A type video content around running preparation, diet, and top tips for beginner runners, and shared it via the MoneyQuest Orange Facebook page.”

Just when Amanda was getting into her stride however, she was struck down by COVID-19 and a painful hip flexor injury and was forced to start from scratch.

“I wanted to stop, I thought I had failed. There was no joy in it at that point.”

However, Amanda dug deep in a desperate effort to honour her commitment. She began physio treatment and took heed of Brad’s advice and adjusted her training to involve a mixture of walking and running.

“I learnt that interval training is an important part of the process, and that it’s OK to walk. Building up slowly, patience and consistency is key. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be ready in time for the run, but I somehow managed to build up fitness and strength over time.”

Susan Barnes, a giveaway winner and member of the MoneyQuest Orange running team, reached out to Amanda last week to express her gratitude for the opportunity.

“I pushed past a psychological barrier today and ran up a hill I never thought I could. Thank you for encouraging me to do this. There’s been times when I thought I’d like to pull out but there’s no backing out now! Have a great day,” Ms. Barnes said.

Having now crossed the finish line, Amanda understands that it will be journey rather than the achievement itself that will stay with her the most.

“I’ve come to realise that achieving a goal is more about the process. Whether it’s a physical goal, a finance goal, a career goal or something else. And whilst this journey has been particularly challenging at times, it has given rise to new friendships, better sleep, a healthier lifestyle and a stronger mind. I couldn’t have asked for a better reward than that.”

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