RUNNING is 36-year-old Hendrika “Hen” Kirchhofer’s medicine.
It’s liberating, challenging, meditative, rewarding and helps her succeed in other sports including triathlons, half-Ironman’s and footy.
Distance running became a passion for Hen when living in Sydney after university.
In her school days, she was a gymnast and sprinter, so it was quite a breathless feat to increase her distance to 5km.
She continued training and ran the City to Surf 14 km event.
She remembers the runners’ high and celebratory beer afterwards at Bondi.
Once she had experienced an increased level of fitness, she was hooked.
Hen came to Echuca in 2009 as a locum at Echuca-Moama physio.
She planned to stay for just six months, but now she’s married to Aaron with two boys, Willem and Jude, has three jobs and great friends.
This was confirmed by a knock at the door and a meal delivery.
One of Hen’s friends has organised a meal train – an initiative that takes the pressure off new mums by providing daily nourishing meals.
Hen has connected into several local groups – the River Swimmers, Laurie’s running group and she also likes to run with friends.
She loves the buzz of activity on Echuca’s streets early morning, where there’s so many people out exercising.
However, often her run will be a quick sanity dash out the front door and up the road when she can steal a chance.
Hen still enjoys sprinting and won the Apex 100m Sprint in 2018 and 2019.
She loves local events like the triathlon and Sweat vs Steam, charity events including Run for the Kids and in recent years is loving the freedom and thrill of trail running.
But there’s nothing better than having Aaron and Willem cheering on from the sideline.
Hen is a physio and yoga teacher, and just weeks ago had her second child.
Although she looks forward to returning to running, she’ll wait until her body is ready.
Running after childbirth isn’t to be rushed - it’s about respecting your body and every woman's situation is unique.
Hen advises to access the local hospital and private practices that provide guidance and information, as well as pelvicfloorfirst.org.au
Hen reflected on her pregnancy during the COVID period.
It was an anxious time, and she and her family went into isolation.
Working in a hospital she was acutely aware of the potential of the virus and is thankful how things have worked out.
She stopped seeing patients in the clinic but provided Zoom consultations and online yoga classes.
For Hen, movement is life and she recommends moving in a way that makes you feel good.
Let your movement be a joy, not a chore, and it will be its own reward.
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