There are 55,000 steps in a marathon and a story behind every one of them.
Among the thousands taking part in this year’s gruelling ASB Auckland Marathon is a group of extraordinary people.
Miffy is just one of the awesome Youthline Marathon team, running for us again this year to make a difference for young people all around New Zealand.
“I was a young person who struggled in silence - it’s important for people and especially young people to know that Youthline exists and is there to help young people when they need it.”
“I really want to be the person that I needed when I was struggling and be that person I really needed in my life when I was struggling at that stage of my life, I want to be that for other young people and Youthline gives me the chance to do that,” Miffy says.
She knows first-hand the work that Youthline does every day in communities across NZ as she has been a counsellor on the Helpline, which operates 24/7 and is Youthline’s flagship service, since 2014. She now has 500 hours of solo counselling under her belt.
“I know how worthy the work that Youthline does in the community is, and I want to see that to continue and that’s why I’m running for Youthline this year. I’m taking part in the half marathon, which is 21km and that scares the crap out of me."
One of the challenging things about training has been getting going, she adds. “It’s challenging physically but I see it as a mental challenge and I enjoy overcoming mental challenges.”
Running is a time to focus on myself and she enjoys the ‘high’ that comes from doing physical activity. It’s a good thing for her physical health and wellbeing and has become part of her own self care plan, she adds. Running helps me to create the time and space she needs, to be able to do the emotional work she does every day on the Helpline.
Miffy’s favourite running track at the moment is Landslide by Fleetwood Mac, "it’s quite emotional and calming at the same time," she says.
"I have been involved with Youthline for a long time and one of my learnings has been about really connecting with myself and feeling strong in my convictions and about why I doing this and my hope is by sharing my story with my friends and family."
If Miffy had the chance, she would tell every young person one simple thing: “you’re never alone, even if it feels like you are, ask for help because there are so many people who are there and want to help and are able to support you.