It’s Sunday and a group of men are out for a run, chatting as they hit the pavement. They chat about real life, not the footy game that aired last night. Scott Carson started Sunday Sessions just over a year ago and is proud to call his growing group a community — a community created by accident that brings men from all walks of life together to form a strong support network.
While going through a difficult business partnership breakdown, Scott began training with his mates Dion and Warren. They soon noticed that during their regular Sunday runs they would talk about the real stuff — no sport chat in sight. Perplexed yet impressed with themselves, they added more men to their running group to see if the conversation topics changed. They didn’t.
With a core group of 15 that regularly jumps to an impressive 40, the men’s ages range from 20 to 70. They currently rotate between Mornington, Frankston, Chelsea and Mordialloc, with another location chosen at random every nine weeks. The group hits the pavement at 6am each Sunday for a 10km run or jog or a one-hour walk and return at 7am, when the 5km jog or run starts. Some of the ever-so-game earlier runners will join again for another session or walk alongside the second group to offer support and extra company.
“Life is a team game and it’s much better when we play it together,” said Scott. “In today’s society we need connection.” And that’s just it. They do it for their mental and physical health. Members aren’t required to chat, especially when their actions speak much louder than words. Scott has a wealth of knowledge behind him and offers wise words to anyone who needs a chat. He doesn’t just chat on Sundays; he welcomes calls from his members anytime. Here he talks from the heart and makes sure he is there for the person in need.
Sunday Sessions is a group in which everyone can feel free to talk. And that’s the beauty of it — it’s getting blokes to speak up, and not just to have a conversation but to also have the confidence to ask for help. Whether they’re asking a role model within their community for some advice, offering a friendly ear to listen or simply building the self-confidence to contact a support line such as Beyond Blue, that’s the most beautiful part.
“Something happens when you’re doing an activity. Your mind is at ease,” said Scott. “But of course there’s no pressure to talk if you don’t want to. It’s also a chance to do something for yourself. By talking through the business partnership break-up, I got through it. We have magical conversations talking about real life stuff.”
The group has taken on the Spartan Trifecta in the past and now it’s time for another challenge. This time it’s a running relay from Sydney to Melbourne. That’s 1200km over five days down the coast and is pencilled in for March 22. In preparation, Scott and two fellow members have begun completing the 56km Two Bays track. But every Sunday, rain, hail or shine, the Sunday Session participants are all focused on getting their kilometres up.
Once a month they hold a dinner at Licciardos Railway Bar & Grill in Mount Eliza, complete with guest speakers. Their events are designed to help each other get a leg up. You can join the runs and the chats if you’re interested by joining their Facebook group @Sunday Sessions or visit their website www.ihopeyouaresmiling.com to check their calendar for session locations.