What interested you about RAV?

First of all, I was absolutely blown away by Kirrily’s ultra from Broken Hill to Sydney. I think it’s so important to talk about family violence. It’s also important to me because I have kids and I want them to grow up in a better world.


What do you love to do more than anything else?

I absolutely love running! It’s my go-to for de-stressing and feeling healthy. It’s where I feel absolutely alive.


Who are your heroes?

Kirrily! I’ve also got a good friend who’s currently going through breast cancer. When she started chemo, I did a big fundraising thing and I shaved my head for that. We had around 220 people turn up and it was huge. My friend is now two thirds of the way through her treatment and has a tough road ahead, but she’s amazing.


Would you like to add a song to our Pump It Up playlist?

Shake it off.


What’s your favourite mantra or meme?

‘This is what you came for.’ I do hours of running and when I get to a tough event, saying those words to myself reminds me of why I put in all the hard work.


If you could have dinner with three other people, alive or dead, who would they be?

Kirrily, my nanna who passed away when I was young, and Muhammad Ali.


Cats or dogs?

Dogs. We’ve got two rescues. One is a trail-running mate; he can run a good 20-odd kays on the trail. The other is a lapdog.


Where’s your happy place?

I like the trails through the bush and the ocean.


Have you experienced family violence?

I have. It was before I met my husband. I was about 19 or 20 and I’d been in a relationship for about three years. There were a lot of verbal attacks and a touch of physical violence; and a touch is more than what is okay.


What’s something you've learned about yourself - having experienced family violence?

I lost a lot of friends and stopped doing things I loved. When the relationship ended, it was time to find out who I was. I’d experienced lots of manipulation and tearing down of my self-esteem. It was exhausting. I had no physical or emotional energy other than just trying to keep going. I hadn’t been a massively strong person prior to that relationship. It took me a while to learn to be strong and be okay with my decisions and trust myself. To look back and realise how strong I had to be to get out of that makes me proud.

Cheryl Fitzell