Vista celebrated world mental health day with a fun run in the true meaning of the word! The sight of a string of orange, yellow, pink, blue and purple balloons welcomed the runners and lifted one’s mood. The staff wore the same colour t-shirts as the balloons and greeted everyone with friendly smiles.
I could not participate in the race because my body is burned out, so I walked with crutches. They organized a wheelchair for me, and Dr Jerrie Bezuidenhoudt, my psychiatrist, offered to push me for the five kilometres; without hesitation, I said yes!
I had the privilege to ring the bell to start off the race. I started the race with Dr Jerrie pushing me. After a while, Francois (Vista’s CEO) took over from him and that was where the fun began. He started to run with me! When he got tired he shouted to the gentleman in front: Now it’s your turn! Then he would let go, and someone else took over so they passed me from one athlete to the next. David Larkan and another gentleman pushed me most of the time. They are heroes in my eyes. The road was not wheelchair friendly, but they kept going. When they were out of breath, I would suggest: Let’s walk for a while’, but they refused and kept on running
Wheelchairs are made for hospital use, not road races! Riding in a wheelchair on tar road was like using a vibrate appliance on muscles to help them relax. At the end, my muscles were relaxed and tingled from all the turbulence in the chair. And may I just add that I think a wheelchair should have a seatbelt. I hopped around in that chair like a baby in a jumping jack!
After we had finished, we watched the others complete their race. Everyone finished with a smile. People gave it their all and they really had fun! I believe that should be the goal of any fun run.
Well done, Vista Clinic with your great success with Run with Me. I’m looking forward to your next event!
By Deon Labuschagne
Vista Happiness HELPS Ambassador