Friday, September 30, 2011

Just take a chance.


What have you got to lose?

I used to be scared of taking chances. Always been cautious in my approach to things and really meticulous. It's not that I hated failing, it's just that I never wanted to lose that which I had worked so hard for.

I was never a person to have faith in my abilities and doubted my every step, even when I was really good at something. Ask my family, they will tell you. Everything I did took a great deal of coaxing from my family and closest friends. I am sure I was, and still can be totally annoying.

My inability to see the good in me I guess has always been my major flaw.
However, this is something I have been working on.

It's been a real work in progress. Starting from my 35th Birthday. If I hadn't of taken a chance that day - I may very well be in a very different place to where I am now. I am more than 100% sure that I would have still been in pain, and living a life which was not authentic. I would have been hiding from the world instead of living everyday as though it were my last. And I do believe that the real "ME" would have died. She was very close to being emotionally and spiritually lost FOREVER.

But since learning to take chances - and not just in everyday situations but taking a chance on myself, things have looked so much brighter. I have encountered opportunities far greater than I ever thought imaginable. My life has gone from "grey & lifeless" to being a "rainbow". I mean at times I have to really pinch myself to make sure that everything that is happening is for real. Things like this have never happened to me, I have never been that special - atleast not to me.

But why couldn't things like this happen to me - or you for that matter!!! They happen to people like the Gates', Branson's, Packer's, Murdoch's, Winfrey's, so really - why couldn't magical things happen to the likes of you and me. They are no more special than you or I. Sometimes you just have to take a chance. I believe the Universe has a way of setting things straight.

An amazing thing that has happened to me of late is that I am now going to be working with Larissa - the owner/director of TriShave Australia. I will be helping on the day of the TriShave events starting with the TriShave Womens Triathlon the 30th of October. I will be helping with the promotional aspect on the day and help hand out samples and tell people all about this wonderful product and how it can help them. I love the products. Out of every sunblock/moisturiser on the market, it is the only one that doesn't react with my skin and it is light and refreshing too. It literally was in my pocket/bag on every ride/run I did for Yeppoon and Port.

I am sure you are all aware of the fact that my very first event EVER in this world of Triathlons was the TriShave Womens Triathlon. And I am sure you are all aware of how much I love the products - have been using their 3in1 UV Body Defense SPF 30+ Post Shave Moisturising Lotion since then. I even won a competition and was able to purchase my much loved GoPro
helmet camera with my winnings. Fantastic things can happen. I am a true believer. I cannot wait to be a part of it all. What an exciting adventure I will be on. My life is just AMAZING. Can you feel the excitement?

I guess what I want to say with this post is that great things can happen to you. By believing in yourself. By giving yourself every opportunity to succeed in this world. And sure taking chances can be scary - sometimes more so than other times.

But what have you go to lose?

Are you not worth it?

GO ON, TAKE A CHANCE.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Cycling Cerebellums go for a swim

Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.
~ African Proverb ~


I absolutely love this quote and find it to be so true. If all we were faced with were the same old situations day in, day out - then how are we meant to adapt, adjust, progress, learn, overcome, rise above.

Life is all about growing - not just in the physical sense, but also emotionally, spiritually. I am a firm believer in this now. Instead of focusing on the many negative things which we are faced with on almost a daily basis, I now choose to focus on only positive things and what I can learn and get out of the negative.

Like for instance this foot thing - I could get all chocked up and SAD about not being able to run, but strangely enough - for once in my life I am NOT sad. I actually am looking upon this as quite favourable. This atleast gives me time to now focus on my cycling. Getting ready for this HUGE bike ride to Melbourne. That's where my efforts are being focused. I need health and wellness to make it to St Kilda in 7 days.

Will I miss competing in club events - without a shadow of a doubt but this is only short lived. And I will get great pleasure out of being a supportive member of our great cheer squad. This way I also get to share in each individual accomplishment in every sense. I love watching my friends race and accomplish great things for themselves. Nothing makes me smile more. Actually me racing makes me smile more - but cheering is a close second.

But in the meantime I shall swim and cycle like a crazy woman. And take loads of swimming and cycling footage. My GoPro camera rules.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

This could take longer

Than I am thinking to heal. No pain upon resting does not equate to being totally healed as I found out yesterday. Not that I did anything silly like running or cycling or swimming for that matter - I have been extremely diligent in that regards. However, I went for a brief shopping interlude with the family and it seems the foot hates being walked on or stood on for any length of time. And because it hates being walked on I then walk funny - like I am putting pressure more on my heel and then my heel starts to hurt. At this rate I should be walking like the "Hunchback of Notre Dame" in no time at all.
The pain I get is located where the Peroneus Brevis tendon attaches to the base of the 5th Metatarsal. And if I am not careful my little veiny foot will go back to looking like it has elephantitis again. Check out the before and after pic.













Quite a noticeable difference from one foot to the next I say. And even though the pain has settled remarkably, the foot still hates being walked on for any great length of time - even though I stilled have it supported with a thermal ankle brace. So, here's my thought's. I am out for the majority of this year I think in terms of races. And whilst I am out nursing this foot to health I may as well use the time wisely and get my other complaint looked into as well and have it sorted so I can get to my bigger goal for this year. And that is - my bike ride from Sydney to Melbourne in April of next year.

So this other ailment is the issue of an Epigastric Hernia I have. It's not big by any stretch of the imagination but enough that I can feel it everytime I touch my stomach. And the surgeon said that it won't disppear, if anything it will get bigger and I don't want it interfering with my cycling training. So it's time to get this baby fixed.
I asked the surgeon if he thought this hernia was related to the pain I kept getting everytime I ran up under my rib - and although he couldn't quite say that it was 100% related he didn't dismiss it either - considering everything else had been excluded. And seeing as my hernia still only has fat protruding through into it, he thinks that it could cause a pulling effect from the area thereby causing that stitch pain I get everytime I run.

He also said that because it is fairly small at this moment that they would normally fix it with a few stitches to close the hole, however because I am so active he is quite possibly going to use gauze to cover up the hole to make sure it never returns. But the even better news is that I will be able to return to cycling within 3 weeks of surgery - and so start my training. That's very good news indeed.

So when am I getting it done? Quite possibly within the next month. The quicker I get it done, the quicker I am back out there. And quite frankly I am going totally nuts waiting and not being able to do anything. Atleast by this Friday I should be able to go for a bike ride and see how the foot holds up. And if it holds up for cycling then I am very very happy. Atleast there is 2 legs out of the Tri I can do. And if I can never run again because of my foot - well then I really wont know what to do. And it's not something I want to think about right now - so I won't.

So in the meantime I shall let all of my other little projects consume my every thought and be happy with what I have happening in my life. And know that atleast I am mending and looking after me.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Just my thoughts

When a defining moment comes along, you can do one of two things.
Define the moment, or let the moment define you.
~ The Tin Cup ~

Rummaging through quotes as I do on a daily basis to find one that best encompasses the mood I would like to reflect on the day, I stumbled across this one and it struck quite a chord with me yesterday. Not just because of everything that has gone on in the last week, but because of the many defining moments I have had in my life. Some were magic, ones that have left an indelible mark on my soul for all the right reasons, whilst others did the same in a painful, tragic sense.

At the time I can remember saying "Why me", "What had I done wrong". I mean, there are much more sinister people in the world but somehow life's events panned out that I should be stuck with a back condition that has been my affliction for 15yrs. I remember letting that moment define me when it was at it's very worst. I was not a happy camper - a total contrast to the person I am today. I never smiled, I was sad to the very core of my existence. When people asked how I was, it always revolved around my condition and how it was affecting my life. I was sick of living my life.

I got to the point where I became such a recluse because I didn't want to hear myself repeat that same damn sentence, those same damn words. It felt better for me to be on my own as it hurt so much to watch others do the things I wanted to do so badly myself. I wanted to and was doing a great job at letting the moment define me.

Finally it all came to a head and I realised or accepted for want of a better term my back condition. I spent years trying to fight it and emotionally I think it was destroying me more than physically. I knew that if I was going to move forward and get better (or atleast manage it) I had to grab the bull by the horns and dance the cha cha with it. I was never going to beat it but I was going to have to learn to live with it and be the best I could be with it. And so, after a few years of finding the right balance - I think I have finally got it nailed. And it's not to say I haven't had hiccups along the way and gotten sad and upset and frustrated - but I think I have pulled through each of the hiccups having learnt something new about myself each and every time.

Defining moments are placed in your way - to help you grow I believe. Even in the saddest of situations I do believe there is something we can all take from it. And it may not be right at that very moment, but when given the chance to reflect - I am sure there is something good that will have arisen from the dust. Whether that be the realisation that you are stronger than you have ever given yourself credit for, or that when you feel at your most alone there are the hands of many helping you to your feet, so that you too can one day be the hand that helps another. There is always something good.

Maybe it's me being an eternal optimist. But I now look at everything that happens in my life with renewed vigour. And if I can't do something for a while for whatever the reason - I find something I can do to replace it till I can get back out there. And if things aren't going quite right at that very moment, then there will be a time when they will. Till then I have to make the most of it. Things always have a way of coming good. It's what we do in the process that makes the waiting worth it.

Are you defining your moments?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tough

Whoa, it's been a tough few days. Wish it all was a bad bad dream and that I will wake up and it will all be back to the way it was - but I know that is all wishful thinking - and the reality is, it won't and our family has to cope the best way it know's how.

I think I posted some months ago about our little Foxy "Milo" when he got bitten by the brown snake in our yard and the ordeal we went through to get him back to health and wellness. We would have turned the world upside for him to have him back with us - and as it turned out we were very lucky that he survived that bite.

Sadly though, this Monday just gone - my poor Milo got bitten again by another Brown Snake. Only this time he was unable to fight the venom and he passed away. I tried so hard to get him to the vet on time - yelling and screaming at every slow car that was in my path, but to no avail. The venom was so strong and powerful that he was seizuring the whole way to the vets and panting so heavy, and by the time I got him there the venom had a hard grip on his little body and the antivenom they gave him was not able to help. Within minutes he succumbed to the venom and passed away due to a cardiac arrest.

It's hard to go outside into the yard and not see him running around or sunning himself under his favourite She Oak Tree. And even though his incessant barking at birds in the tree would at times get on our nerves, it's his bark I want to hear most. He knew if you were sad and would come and sit beside you and just stare into your eyes waiting for you to give him that scratch on his back and tummy that he dearly loved. But now he lies in his own very private spot in the paddock with our beloved horse (Nibbles) who passed away some years ago from Colic and our 9yr old chook (Henny).

Not sure if there will ever be another dog like Milo. He always had our safety and that of our home foremost in his mind. Such a brave little soul he was. We love you Milo. What I wouldn't give to have you back home again.
I have also been struggling since last Tuesday to walk properly on my left foot. Not sure what I have done to it, but the thing swelled up like a balloon some days ago and after and Xray showing nothing, I am now off today to have a bone scan. Check out the Humpbacks foot:
The swelling has gone down quite a bit today but there is still pain on the outer aspect of my foot. Hopefully the bone scan shows nothing and it is just a passing thing but until the results come back I am on crutches. No weight baring allowed. Thats hard going and I am missing my training like crazy. Not sure if I am going to be doing any club races, Womens' Sprint Tri or Nepean for that fact. I am really trying my hardest to stay positive but I feel a little upset and really hope it's nothing. Fingers crossed.

I just wanted to say thankyou to everyone for all of your care and concern with everything that has gone on in my life at the moment. You all make me feel so loved and cared for. THANKYOU.

Friday, September 16, 2011

What not to do.

Since starting to ride my bike over a year ago now, I have been very VERY lucky to have not had an accident. I have crossed my fingers and toes every time I have gone out and although have had extremely close encounters I have never actually been injured.

I have been lucky that I have clipped out on every occasion and have never found myself on the ground. That was until Wednesday.

Wednesdays ride was awesome. Absolutely beautiful weather and company was to be had. I was initially going to go to a certain turnaround point and come back without taking in the hills, but how can I say NO to my friends when they asked me to come along for the whole ride. So with the commitment made - it was off to visit Greendale in reverse. I really do find going that way alot tougher than the other way, but what doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger. RIGHT?
As usual my quads scream at me. It never ever feels easier - or is it maybe that I am pushing a bit harder everytime the fitter I get. Whatever the reason, it still hurts. Actually my breathing still hurts as well. I am sucking in air like a lunatic heading through the hills but lucky for me I can still manage to talk. I think it will take alot more than that to stop me from talking, maybe when I do the Hawkesbury Lookout - which I have heard alot about, will I then be made silent.
video
Then as the ride was coming to an end is when the funny drama unfolded. I was slowing down checking over my right shoulder to make sure there was no cars coming so I could cross over to my car. I did this a few times and as I looked over my shoulder for the last time and turned to look ahead again I quickly realised that I had not slowed down quickly enough and I soon found myself almost mounted on Jen's back like a baby koala.

I slammed my brakes on and quickly unclipped - but not fast enough. Before I knew it I was coming down on my right hand side in what seemed like to me as slow as a scene out of the Matrix. I tried to shelter the impact by putting my right hand down but to no avail. My elbow buckelled and what was supposed to help me take the brunt of the impact ended up being the bit that winded me. My elbow came into hard contact with my ribs and then it was my knee, hip and shoulder making impact with the road.

As I lay there taking inventory of what hurt - everyone came hurrying back to see if I was ok. I couldn't really talk cause my ribs hurt as did my knee but as I looked to my left I heard Kate call out if I was okay and as she was looking over her shoulder to see if I was ok she fell down too. Thank goodness she didn't hurt herself. Once I realised what hurt and what didn't - I was kind of laughing about the whole thing. And the thing I realised most is that I probably ride a little too close to the person in front. Lesson learnt.

Will I be back out - you bet your bottom dollar. My knee is a bit sore and crusty so bending it is a bit difficult, and my ribs and hip ache a bit too. But all is good.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The week that was.

Where do I start? What a week! A great week but busy nonetheless. I have been slowly getting back into things when I can fit them in and really enjoying the pace. The last couple of weeks before were really busy with the kids being sick with colds and Kurt fracturing his arm so haven't had much of a chance to do simple, easy training. Which in a way was good cause I needed to be resting.

This week I had a really enjoyable bike ride on the Wednesday. I felt fairly pleased with my cycling and think I am improving the more times I do it. The hills still hurt like crazy and at times I feel like my legs will implode BUT, obviously they don't and I seem to be managing them at a slightly faster pace. The 60kms we did, didn't feel too bad. And normally I feel really had it for days afterwards, but this time I only had a feeling of heaviness rather than pain.

I need to get back to my swim squad on Saturday. I think it's going to hurt though. I feel like I have lost alot of stamina and possibly a little confidence in myself, but will get back into it as of next week. With Nepean being a little over 8 weeks away, I want to be feeling fit. However, that being said, I need to get this hernia checked out next week. I have been procrastinating like crazy and am kind of scared that the Doc will say I need to have it repaired - and if thats the case, when do I fit that in?

Do I wait till after the Nepean? Then that only gives me about 4mths of cycling training for my bike ride to Melbourne. And if I do it now, then I miss out on a tonne of other races, like club ones, the TriShave Womens Sprint and the Nepean. Kind of torn in my decision. I guess it's probably better to do it sooner rather than later. Everytime I run now I end up with a stitch under my right rib which hurts like crazy and think it's because I have that weakness in my abdo wall. Sometimes it brings me to a grinding halt, and other times it is just this lingering sharp stitch that won't go away. So I think I have just answered my own question. It needs to be sorted out NOW.

Last night I participated in the Woodford to Glenbrook Night Run which was organised by the Blue Mountains Marathon Clinic. It is a 26km run through the fire trails and run by moonlight, obviously with headlamps on. I went with a few friends - Sarah, Cloe, Sonia & Paul and we caught the train from Glenbrook up to Woodford and the started out run back. At the end I met up with Ben who is the organiser of this run and his friends. Really great people.

I must admit I was nervous about this run. I really didn't want to trip and snap an ankle like I have in the past. That ankle twist plays heavily on my mind and to this day has left me with a constant swelling in the anterior aspect of my ankle. But the more of this run that I did, the more I enjoyed it. I really got to have all of my senses come alive. With impaired vision due to it being night time - my sense of smell, hearing and touch were on an all time high.

I loved it. And I got a PB in distance and time. With 26kms under my belt in 3hrs and 15min, I couldn't be more stoked. Might I add though - this morning, my legs are very sore and stiff. Check out the route and elevation map:
Would I do this run again, you bet. Here is some video footage.
video
I also have another Triathlete of the Month for you all: Click on his name.

The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man's foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher.
~Thomas Henry Huxley~

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Cycling Cerebellums

The Cycling Cerebellums



Not sure if you were able to view the video's in the last post. I seem to have had an issue with Blogger. You can check them out here and on the next post.

I have a SPRING

In my step - and yes because SPRING has finally arrived and not a moment too soon. I also have sooooo many new adventures in the wings that I am not quite sure which way to turn - and in a good way.


The Cycling Cerebellums is moving forward. We have our first meeting this Sunday and have a few things in the woodwork - much to my excitement. My folder is getting nice and full with information. It's mostly just random thoughts of what could potentially be needed for the ride, however I am sure that when we get to our meet-up this Sunday that there will be a bookload of info I didn't even consider. Am looking forward to picking everyone's brains - as there are a few who have actually done these EPIC long rides for other fundraising charities. So far everything is pointing in the right direction and looking very promising indeed.


I have also had the opportunity to do a ride with my GoPro HD Hero Helmet Cam. The photos are amazing and the quality of the video camera is second to none. That camera is so tiny, yet its capabilities are AMAZING. Should you happen to be asked "What do you want for Christmas or your Birthday" then please, don't go past the Go Pro HD Hero Helmet Cam.


Check out the footage:


We have also held our first Give-a-away and Mr Warry is the proud owner of 5 Satchets of Chamois Butt'r. Congratulations - this stuff is MAGIC.


I also have another Triathlete of the Month scoop for you: To have a read, press on this Triathlete's name.

Tim is also fundraising for the John Maclean Foundation during his training for the Hawaii Ironman. The foundation raises funds to help improve the quality of life for young underprivileged wheelies. Should you wish to donate - please press here.

I have also managed to go out for a bit of a run today. Believe me, it was nothing to write home about, but gees it felt nice to be out and about on a beautiful Spring Day.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Panthers Tri Club - Part C

If you have ever thought about doing a 70.3 in another country, then read Sean's
Thailand account here:
Read how Kylie attempts another 70.3 not long after her first and conquers some
pretty tough conditions here:
If you choose to read Louise's account of her Memorial Triathlon
at Holbrook, then please press here:
Want to read about James' PR doing the M7 Marathon with his
PTC buddy. Then press here:

Read all about Corey here and why he misses PTC and PIS
so much here:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Panthers Tri Club - Part B - Race Reports


To read all about Fiona's Ironman Journey
press here:














To experience Luke's Great North Walks
press here:













To enjoy Sarah's trials at the TriShave Womens Triathlon, press here:













Want to experience Port Macquarie Half through the eyes of the Andrew, then press here:









Stay tuned tomorrow for more Race Reports.
Hope your all enjoying the read.

Your hard work will be rewarded.

"The path to a dream is paved with sacrifices and lined with determination. And though it has many stumbling blocks along the way, and may go in more than one direction, it is travelled by belief and courage and conquered with a willingness to face challenges and take chances" Barbara Cage