The stories that have
shaped our sea of blue
We have asked some of our 2XU Wellness Run legends why they chose to run or walk with us and the messages they wanted to impart from this event.
This is a feature about their stories, as they join us as 2XU Wellness Run 2023 Ambassadors…
Be Inspired By Their Journeys
The Prestney Family
On the 22nd of April 2020, our lives changed forever when we lost our son and brother Josh in a road trauma incident. He lost his life with three of his Victoria Police colleagues when a semitrailer, driven by a drug affected and fatigued driver, hit the four of them as they intercepted another vehicle on the Eastern Freeway.
The grief and utter despair that descended on us that night was visceral. We have spent the past three and a half years re-building our lives and living our ‘new normal’. We’ve done this by reaching out for help, supporting each other, and getting back to the things we have always loved. Our family always ran together; fun runs, marathons, half marathons and triathlons, particularly Ironman triathlon.
Reconnecting with the sports we love has helped improve our mental health and allowed us a more positive outlook, because we can do it together, share it with others and repair the physical and emotional pain at the same time. Although it has been very difficult, what helps us move forward is thinking about what Josh would want for us. It’s a very personal thing, but to our family, running frees us, lifts us, and brings us closer to Josh because we know that every time we run, he’s out there with us with a gentle hand on our backs saying: ‘you got this’.
As Ambassadors for 2XU Wellness Run Proudly Supporting Beyond Blue, our hope is that others will hear about our lived experience and how we continue to heal through running and physical activity. The social nature of running as well as the peace and solitude it can provide when you need it, has helped us to soften the sharp edges of grief and we only hope that the words we hear Josh say: ‘you got this’ will resonate with others.
— Andrew, Belinda, Alex and Rachel and Eliza Prestney
When I was younger, between the ages of 18 and 20, I had a really bad bout of depression. And whilst this was a really dark time for me, I can definitely look back on it now and see how it really shaped me into the person I am today.
I was extremely lucky to have access to the resources needed to help battle mental health issues, from doctors to counsellors, medications to online resource and of course, family and friends to lean on. This was absolutely essential to me getting through those times and I couldn’t be more grateful for all of those coping strategies that I was exposed to at such a young age.
As I got older, at the ripe age of 24, I unfortunately received a Multiple Sclerosis (MS) diagnosis, and because of that darker time when I was younger, I already had the tool belt ready to assist with any of the mental battles that I knew were coming my way. It’s good to be able to recognise the darkness and know when it’s time to reach out, and I think that’s why this is such an important cause. Giving people the resources they need, to make their own decisions and give them the ability to help themselves in a way that I have found priceless throughout my years.
Many people who get a diagnosis like MS could quite easily get led down a path of misery and defeat, but I’ve been able to tackle it head on and become a runner! I now have the ability to run to clear my head or run with friends to be social and I always finish up feeling refreshed and a little better than when I started.
I can’t wait to smash this 10km at the 2XU Wellness Run and the great cause that is Beyond Blue.
Hello, everyone! I am Rutvi, and this year I have the honour of being a young ambassador for the 2XU Wellness Run Proudly Supporting Beyond Blue. Every year, for my birthday, I seek donations to a cause we support instead of presents from our community, and this year I chose Beyond Blue for my 8th birthday.
My dad introduced me to running, and he keeps sharing how it helps him get through all the bad times. This is my third 2XU Wellness Run, and I am super excited for it! While I am a little too young to completely understand mental health issues yet, my parents have been teaching me all about being kind, empathetic and aware of our privileges.
Unfortunately, everyone does not have equal access to good quality care and support around them. And I try to use this platform to build awareness among my peers and our families. Last year, I founded the team “CCGS Rocking Runners” to involve more kids with the cause. My hope is that through this activity that I enjoy doing, I can encourage more people to seek help and raise the necessary funds for all of us to be able to help them!