Runner Mariam Edwards was diagnosed with a chronic spinal condition. Picture: Supplied
Runner Mariam Edwards was diagnosed with a chronic spinal condition. Picture: Supplied

How running changed 58-year-old Mariam Edwards's life

By Lifestyle Reporter Time of article published May 7, 2020

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When 58-year-old Mariam Edwards was  diagnosed with a chronic spinal  condition, her world changed forever.

Doctors recommended she have  surgery, but they couldn’t guarantee  she’d walk again, so  Edwards  took  responsibility for her health into her  own hands.

She made a seemingly radical decision  to say “No” to her doctors because as  she explains, “I’ll do whatever I can to  stay surgery-free.”

At first she felt hopeless, but just by taking charge of her destiny, she found the strength to move forward. 

Edwards  had experienced a burning desire to run a 10km race following her growing love of watching running  events on television. Despite doctors cautioning her against it, she knew this is what she wanted to do in order  to take charge of her own body and her health again.

Her aunt suggested she join a running club in Cape Town. Despite being nervous, she started with a shuffle,  and the phrase “one foot in front of the other” repeating in her head. Tears streamed down her face as she  completed her first 5km organised run, and within weeks, she was clocking distances of 10km with her family  cheering her on from the finish line.

Edwards  came into contact with the adidas Runners community, where she found a newfound respect for  herself and those who have encouraged her on her journey.  “At adidas Runners, we don’t use the word Club” she says, “we’re a running family.”

"I can’t begin to describe the love and respect I get from this group, it’s a lot to take in sometimes. I’m so  grateful for them and how they’ve helped my running.”

What’s more, she’s even inspired her husband and a close friend to join her running journey.

These days, she has a few new goals, “I want to run 5km in 30 minutes. I know I’ll achieve it. I’ve written down  my goal and I’ll stick to my plan.”

Edwards is a mother, wife, sister, warrior, and a runner. Running has given her a new lease on life and a sense  that anything is possible.

Her advice:“Give yourself the opportunity to empower  yourself and take charge of your own destiny. Take it one step at a time.”

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