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Guest post : Mrs. Natalie Briffa Farrugia – Director of HILA

“From Sa Maison onwards I knew that I would soon ‘see’ our people. Knowing is believing. Water helped, people helped but nothing made it shorter. If only had I told Janet to come a little bit closer but I surely will see them round the bend. By now my top is too heavy, my bar is closed. I made sure the photographer took a picture of me and my top back and front as the distance is still far.

Thinking back at my journey last Sunday still brings about a storm of emotions.

My story starts on Sunday 10th November 2016, when I woke up with the urge to run. I quickly slipped into my running gear, which I hadn’t used for the past 4 months.  My mind knew exactly where it needed to go – my body just followed.

I am on the road to Mgarr, meters past San Anton school. Whilst running i decide to check my calendar and realised it was the day that i had originally planned to be running my first marathon in New York with my brother Pio, who was at the time training towards his full Iron Man challenge.   My feet took me towards Zebbiegh and there I had my revelation – I wanted to run the Malta Full Marathon!  I was so excited that I sent a what’s app video to my family, asking if there was anyone ready to go the long distance with me as I could not have possibly done this alone. By the time I ran the next 5 kilometres, I had already texted my PA, Denise, to book me for the Full Marathon.  I would be challenging myself for something I love and strongly believe in… HILA!

I met Lynn Aquilina at the our offices in Mosta for the first time during a focus group that Janet had organized through our consultative committee, to decide HILA’s tagline. To my delight and surprise she was the same Lynn that I knew in the years  I had taught at Msida primary school, 20 years back. This not only filled my heart with joy but was again a confirmation that my past and present were once again crossing paths.  I was sincerely impressed to witness  the milestones and  achievements that this little girl, who I last remembered playing on her mat in kindergarten school, had accomplished.

From all the suggestions shared on the table the one that kept resonating was Lynn’s BELIEVE ACHIEVE, which was finally unanimously voted for by the committee.  We all just loved it as it reflected what HILA is all about.  From me personally it signified my hidden strength, my faith and belief, which I hope will stay with me forever.

Before leaving the room Lynn shared one last thing with us and said…’But I cannot do it alone’.

And with that spirit in mind I set out for last Sunday’s wonderful journey which I will share with you all in my next post.



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