How this Murri mother changed her life through fitness

Feb 8, 2022

When Trisha Lindgren laces up her running shoes and hits a trail on Kaurna Country, she finds her Zen.

With the blue sky above, hot wind on her skin and feet crunching the dirt, she feels connected, connected to Country and to her ancestors.

“When I go out there, it’s very spiritual. I feel like my Old People are out there with me when I run,” she said.

That connection helped the 41-year old mother turn her life around.

Hailing from Far North Queensland, the Wakamin/Muluridiji woman moved to Tarntanya (Adelaide) in her early 20s, before meeting her husband and beginning their family.

“At that time, I’d been overweight most of my adult life, I had a really unhealthy lifestyle, used to eat lots of bad foods, used to drink every week as well,” she said.

"The drinking had a huge impact on my diet, and that stuff was learnt from living back home in community. I know now that alcoholism is a huge part of our intergenerational trauma.”

Trisha Lindgren

However, one day in 2018 delivered Ms Lindgren a huge reality check.

"I went to the doctor and he told me I was at risk of diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure - the whole lot,” she said.

"I went home after the appointment, and someone I love told me they had cancer. Then I went out to lunch and the person I went with told me they had cancer too. I was so shocked, but that was the moment I really woke up to myself and knew I had to change things.”

She did just that, she stopped drinking, started eating healthier, prioritised her sleep and started running – averaging around 10 kilometres, six days a week on her home treadmill. 

“I’d created these motivational slideshows that I’d watch as I was running. Every night before bed I’d browse through Pinterest for quotes, and I’d add them to the slideshow,” she said.

Whilst the treadmill helped her find her rhythm, it all changed the day stepped on Country.

“One day I was randomly scrolling and saw an ad for an event run by Trail Running SA. I thought, ‘oh yeah, I’d like a crack at that’, so I did. It changed everything,” she said.

"Running out bush, I feel like my spirit gets stronger. I wouldn’t have kept running on the treadmill, I wouldn't have changed things or kept this up if it wasn't for being on Country.”

Trisha Lindgren on Kaurna Country

As time went on, Ms Lindgren’s passion grew and grew. She’s now a qualified Personal Trainer with her own business and has an Instagram community of over 8,000 people.

“I wanted to teach other people how to do it, teach mob how to do it. It is really healing, the journey of both losing weight and connecting with Country,” she said.

"Instagram is really nice in that way, people message me about how I've helped them. When you see messages like that it really does motivate you to do more.”

Last year she was selected as one of 15 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creators selected Instagram and Screen Australia’s First Nations Creators Program.

The program provided funding and training to amply the platforms, content, and voices of Indigenous creators.

Ms Lindgren knows that no matter what 2022 throws her way, if she laces up her shoes and hits the track – nothing can break her stride.

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