Charli's story

25 May 2022

Charli is one of our Darkness to Daylight 2022 runners,  participating with the Unitywater team.

Charli has recently found the courage to share her own experience with domestic and family violence, in the hope that she can bring it out of the shadows and support others on their journey. She also uses running to balance herself and find moments of peace and presence. Read her story below - thanks for sharing it Charli!

Why did decide to join Darkness to Daylight this year?

For many years I have remained silent about my own experience with domestic violence to protect my children. Now that they are both safe and secure young men, Darkness to Daylight has prompted me to speak up publicly for the first time in 36 years.

Many people see me as being tough and resilient and would never dream that this would ever have been a part of my life, but it was not always this way. 

Thankfully I had the support of a loving family and incredible circle of friends that helped me get out and have the courage to start again. I made a promise to myself all those years ago that while I remained silent, I would do everything in my power to help myself and support others on their personal journey in any way that I could.  

Darkness to Daylight has presented me with the opportunity to finally break my own silence and use the strength that I have built to step up for those who can’t.

How have you found the challenge so far?

The weather has definitely presented a challenge to my motivation to get out there this month, but knowing the challenges that impacted families are facing every day in their own homes keeps me moving.

My discomfort for a few kilometres is nothing in comparison to what some people are having to face on a daily basis, as my coach always says “You’re not made of sugar, you won’t melt”.

What do you enjoy about running? How does it make you feel?

Running is my ‘me’ time. It’s the time that I can get out there and escape from the world, practice mindfulness and be present without distraction.

There is nothing quite like watching the sun come up from the beach or the mountains on the Sunshine Coast.

I am very grateful for the gift of movement and am mindful to not take that for granted.  

Have you done anything like this before?

Ultra-running has been a part of my life for some time now. Like many others I started out with local 5km park runs, progressed on to 10km events, half marathons and then ultra-marathons.

A couple of my proudest running achievements so far have been running the length of the UK (Lands’ End to John O’Groats) with a team to raise money for Dementia Australia and then in March this year, the Yandina Five ‘O’ which is a 50km trail run through Mapleton National Park.

What are you most looking forward to about the live event in Brisbane?

I’m really looking forward to getting out there with my fellow fund raisers and help drive community awareness and intervention to prevent domestic and family violence in Australia.  

What it like being part of Team Unitywater 2022?

I think it is always great to be a part of a team who are brought together by a common cause.

Part of my reason for wanting to work at Unitywater was their involvement in the community and work with charity. I am very proud to be a member of one of the teams doing their bit to help others.