14 years as a group outdoor Personal Trainer

Hard to imagine that 14 years ago I started group, outdoor, personal training sessions at Le Page Park. (My Number One member, Joanne Link started training with me that night.)  In some ways the years have flown. In others, they have dragged by at an excruciating pace! So many ups and downs – I have learnt so much about myself and those around me. In the beginning I thought I was starting a Group Outdoor Personal Training Franchise. In those early days I never understood that what was being created was long lasting friendships and a beautiful community.  It’s the community and the people that keep me grounded, give me a reason to get out of bed every morning, and give me the strength, drive and determination to be a better person every single day.

My LEGEND members have been training with me for 10+ years. They came to me looking for exercise and we have created this wonderful decade long bond with each other.  I’m looking forward to our annual Legends Lunch in November. Joanne, Margaret, Dagmar, Bill, Linda, Tor, Colleen, Graham, Tracey, Judy, Tamara, Viv, Chris, Cheryl, Marcia, Jeannine, Graham, Kate, Elizabeth, Greg and Anne.

Next year there are 8 new Legends joining the party. Chris, Meredith, Kaye, Ron, Jeanette, Glynn, Belinda, Monique. I am so grateful for your faith in me and your trust to take care of your fitness needs.

Cheryl, Chris, Jen – Thank you for sticking with us through the dreadful months of having cancer. Today I feel so grateful for your strength and health.

More babies are on the way with Raquel and Clare due early next year. It’s such an honour to be given the chance to train members through this important stage of their lives. So many babies over the years! Michelle and Kate stayed through 2 babies. Alice through 3!

We have had many ups and downs over the years, but every time we get a little stronger, our ties strengthen, we support each other and get on with it. It was devastating last year to have our beautiful Jane taken from us without the chance to say good bye. I am sure she would have been smiling to see 18 of us at her memorial service, paying tribute to the gorgeous woman she was.

To my current members thank you for continuing to trust me with your health and fitness.

To those members that have come and gone it was an absolute privilege to share our community with you.

Looking forward to the next year and all the trials and tribulations it brings, along with all the laughs and good times.

Gaining knowledge….

Learning new skills and watching clients learn new skills is SO interesting! When we head out for a Road Route it becomes very clear how we all learn in different ways.   Everyone looks at the map in a different way  and everyone needs different ques to learn how to navigate themselves around.

There are 3 main types of learning. At training I try to combine the 3 ways to capture everyone’s different style of learning a new skill (or repeating a skill).

  1. Visual
  2. Auditory
  3. Kinaesthetic

Often, we are dominant in one form and use the other two to reinforce our new skill.  Until I did my PT course in 2002 I had never considered how I preferred to learn.  It was a massive game changer for me then and is something I am mindful of every single training session as I “teach” members new skills.

Having that AHA moment back in 2002 literally changed my life as I had spent 16 of the previous 32 years thinking I was dumb…. School had always been challenging for me. I studied hard and the results were average or below. Discovering that I was a visual learner changed everything.  As I studied the bones of the body I drew the bones out, used pins and made myself a huge skeleton. His name was “Bones” and he hung around on my door frames for months, so I could learn the bones of the body. I’m a visual learner – reading from a book, repeating the names, hearing the names did not work for me. I needed to SEE the bones.

When I describe Road Routes I tend to use visual and verbal cues and will use my hands and turn my body to describe the various corners and straights.  Members will pick up on the cues that are important to them and if in doubt will just follow someone else!

Of course, when it comes to learning and teaching, external factors come into play quite often as an outdoor trainer. Planes fly overhead, cars and motor bikes race by, lawns are moved, bins are emptied, wind, rain, sunsets, sunrises, cute dogs……They all become distractions.

Internal factors play a significant role on how clients learn. We have stressful days, illness, sleepless nights, issues with food, partners, kids, traffic, hydration…. the list is endless and impacts our ability to learn.

It’s said that knowledge is power. When it comes to knowing how you gain knowledge – well that’s super powerful!

 

 

 

I’m a Youngevity distributor!

Moving and fitness is my thing. Moving gives me energy and strength. 

I’m intrigued by nutrition – the way we can fuel and heal our bodies with food and supplements.

I live with gratitude for the world around us. Nature never ceases to amaze me, along with how destructive and disrespectful humans can be to the world. 

Helping people is my passion. It has me bounding out of bed every morning – keen to make a positive difference. 

Jeanette Anderson and the Nature Direct products stepped into my life nearly 9 years ago. It was an instant connection as I loved the products and Jeanette’s passion to make a difference. 

Recently Nature Direct was placed under the Youngevity banner along with many other health products. Jeanette approached me and asked if I would be interested in joining the Youngevity tribe. 

I looked at the Youngevity products, trailed a few products, listened to Dr Joel Wallach and Dead Doctors Don’t Lie and I was HOOKED! 

I am often asked why I take supplements when I have a healthy diet. The answer is simple. The nutritional benefits from our food are compromised at every step along the way, literally starting from the soil. Despite eating real food, I am a healthier and better person when I use supplements. When it comes to supplements even they can be compromised. Quality is compromised for profit. 

Youngevity shares many of my values. They care about health, they care about the environment. Profit is distributed to everyone on my upline. When I grow and have my own down line they will also benefit financially. 

Youngevity are a tribe who are positive, energetic, uplifting, supportive – my perfect fit 💕

 

Please contact me direct if you are interested in finding out more about the Youngevity products and special pricing for your first order. Let’s chat if you are interested in being a distributor 😊

Mobile – 0438 765 335

 

Oxfam – 100km!

What a massive weekend it has been!

Step Trekkers smashed out the 100km’s! Today we are tired and sore but flying high on our achievement.
We all made it across the line which was awesome. Last year only 42% of teams did.
Our time was 24 hours and 11 minutes. The average time for teams is 28 and a half hours.

Personally I felt really good over the distance. My stomach was a little uncomfortable for most of it. You know you have to eat but your digestive system shuts down as the body focuses on the areas that need more attention. I also struggled with sleeplessness – not that I wanted to sleep. More the opposite! I was kind of in a bubble, which wasn’t a bubble as I also felt incredibly grounded. Totally aware of the team, hearing their voices and foot falls. The sounds around you are amplified. It was a crazy kind of feeling being on the track for so long – very surreal.

This was Colleen’s 5th Oxfam. She was given a gold bandana to wear. Full respect for getting out there and doing this for the 5th time knowing how incredibly gruelling it is for the body and mind. Her experience and wisdom was priceless.  This was also ‘unfinished’ business for Coll and her best time over the 5 events.

Greg was amazing on the hill’s! He says he had trained but I think he has hooves the way he flew up those hills! Quite spectacular to watch as he blasted up and away! Greg’s easy going attitude and sense of kindness was a source of inspiration along the way.

Chris has been a constant source of motivation for me, for many years now. His incredible resilience and strength was solid gold!

We were lucky to have some great support, for which we are all very grateful.
Renee met us at Checkpoint 2. Her laughter was a great lift to my spirits!

Graham and Sylvia met us at our first stop at Checkpoint 3 – 1000 steps. Sylvia surprised us with much welcome icy poles!

At Checkpoint 4 we had Graham, Sylvia, Emmeline and Colleen’s husband Armando meet us. It was our first big stop and they were amazing!

Checkpoint 5 was a big stop – 58km’s in. Colleen had said if we can get to that one ok it would be a game changer and she was right. Armando, Emmeline and Graham had set up ‘camp’. We also had Greg’s sister and Joanne. Jacqui Harvey came out to meet us as well which was wonderful. Jacqui was one of our first members and owns Yarra Valley Gourmet Foods. She has been so supportive of our fundraising – it was uplifting to see her smiley face there.

Checkpoint 6 was our last major stop before the end. Graham, Emmeline and Armando were there to support and encourage us. At 71.3 km’s this was challenging! So weird to go back onto the very flat track and keep going – especially knowing what was ahead. At this point my head was starting to play tricks – weird!

Checkpoint 7 was a quick one. Armando, Emmeline and Graham were sound asleep at this stage. As soon as we arrived they were amazing – it was up and action to get us what we needed and back out on the track for the last gruelling 15.4km slog.

We entered the finish line with a jog – Colleen’s idea! It was a real buzz to have energy still left at that point! Armando, Graham, Emmeline and Joanne met us. The support, hugs and beers were most welcome! HEY! Don’t judge drinking at 9am until you have walked 100km’s in 24 hours!

The 50km teams started on Saturday and from the beginning they were challenged with the out of control weather. So brave to get out there and still give it a go despite the conditions.

The Go Girls team – Anne, Kaye, Simone (who did Larapinta with us last year) and Chelsea (Simone’s friend) – managed it in 12 hours. Unfortunately Kaye had to drop out with foot issues.

The Stepping Up team – Caroline, Louise, April and Jen – made it through in 11 hours 24 minutes. Unfortunately Caroline slipped early in and April struggled with wet feet and blisters.

It would have been a tough decision to drop out, but the best one for the team – to allow them to continue. We had a plan that if someone was to drop out then they would at a Checkpoint and let the team continue. So grateful we didn’t have to go through that agonising decision.

Once again the 50km teams had amazing support from Sylvia, Emmeline, Graham and Kevin. Kevin is a friend of Glynn’s and Cheryl’s and has been a massive support for us over the last 6 months.

Thank you to everyone who supported us – for your support on the ground, for your text messages and facebook posts.  It was incredibly inspiring and uplifting! Glynn – your jokes were brilliant! Thanks to Dianne for the ATP supplement – it gave the body incredible support along the way.

Thank to all who supported us with $$. So far our combined effort to Oxfam is almost $8400! That makes an incredible difference to a lot of people’s lives – for those who don’t have the abundant lifestyle that we have.

It’s been a massive 6 months. I have done strength training EVERY single day! Added flexibility and stretching in there. Focused on my nutrition and hydration. Walking training in the last 3 months has been 3 to 5 times a week – that’s a lot of planning, organising and time. It’s been amazing to have this kind of focus and to spend so much time with Colleen, Chris and Greg. It’s definantly been a growth experience – I’ve learnt a lot about myself and been able to look at the world in a different way. It will also be quite a relief to go back to a ‘normal’ life!

Thank you once again – onto the next adventure 🙂

 

Elly is 6

Its Elly’s sixth birthday today.  Those that know me well, know that I think birthdays are important to acknowledge. It is both a celebration of the day we were born and an acknowledgement of how many years we have had.

With Elly it is a little different. I picked her up on the 17th March 2012 and after she moved in I realised that my life had become pre-Elly and post-Elly.

This little ball of white fluff, with the cutest, cutest face needed me for everything. Relying on me for all her needs made me feel needed.

2012 was a ruff (!!) year for me and on those bleak and grey days, play time with Elly filled me with laughter and joy.  We still have play time every day – at least once if not twice! 

I had to learn to communicate with Elly. Watch her tail and ears for sadness and happiness. There are no false appearances. Her tail and ears are a gauge and an indicator to her emotions.  She is happy over the smallest things – a run around on a grassy oval. A roll in something smelly – bliss!  It’s a reminder to embrace the simple things in life because they can bring you so much happiness and make your tail wag or bring a smile to your face.

Elly is a feisty dog. She takes her role to protect me very seriously. She always has my back and that makes me feel grounded and supported.

If I am away for 2 hours or 2 days she greets me with an abundance of tail wagging. She is so happy to see me. Her unconditional love fills my heart.

Thanks to Elly I have met a lot of people and made lots of friends.  Heading up to the park and meeting my puppy friends is a real highlight of my day.  Before I had a dog, I said I didn’t have an hour spare in my day to walk a dog. Which is kind of funny as I find at least 45 minutes every morning and night to walk her – as she needs it. The time is important to her and the time has become important to me. I always come back from my dog walks to the park or the beach feeling restored. 

Pet ownership is an emotional commitment because we know that there is a good chance they will not have as many birthdays as us. There is every chance we will watch them grow old and pass away.

Pet ownership is a lesson in gratitude. To be grateful for every moment that we have with them. To be grateful for every day. So today my heart is filled with so much gratitude for this little white ball of fluff.

My baby is 13 today!

Early 2004 I had fallen in love with Step into Life. Loved the training, enjoyed being outdoors, found the sessions fun, thrived in the positive environment. 

Had been a 1 on 1 Trainer for about 18 months and was working full time in a job I didn’t enjoy. It was time to Step into My New Life. 

Those early days were busy, chaotic, life changing – the business thrived and so did I. In those first crazy 4 months Joanne, Margaret and Dagmar came into my life and never left. I feel incredibly grateful to have consistently trained these  3 strong, kind, courageous women for so long. 

Things settled down in 2005, 2006., 2007. The business steadily grew. Bill, Colleen, Graham, Judy, Linda, Chris, Tracey, Tori, Cheryl, Viv, Mirella, Graham, Jeannine, Julie, Kate, Marcia, Tamara signed up and are still training today. We grew strong as a community, lessons were learnt, goals were ticked off. 

 In 2008 it was time to add 2 more challenges – fundraising and adventure. Raising $15,000 for Save the Children is something I still feel incredibly proud of.  Heading to Vietnam and seeing how the money was spent was life changing. Emma Roberts moved into my home and helped make it happen. For 6 months it then unravelled a little as I struggled with pneumonia. I thought my days were numbered. My Step family supported me, I was humbled and grateful. Anne and Greg joined us that year. 

 2009, 2010 and everyone was talking about the GFC. It didn’t seem to have an impact on Step Chelt though. When things look bad our health becomes more important. Amidst the chaos in the world, we thrived. Belinda, Chris, Glynn, Jeanette, Julie, Kaye, Meredith, Miranda, Monique, Renee, Ron, Rosemary and our beautiful Jane joined our Step family. 

2011 and 2012 saw a flood of PT’s on the market and I thought that Step Chelt wouldn’t survive. I was exhausted and demotivated. Things had to change and with the support of my Step family and the gorgeous Lisa, changes were made. The van was purchased, Saturday mornings were handed over to Joel and now Moran. Angela, Sylvia, Stephen, Richard and Meaghan joined the team. 

 The last 4 years have been challenging. The market is different, things change. Some things stay the same though. We still want to connect with each other. We feel better when we move, laugh and are outdoors. Sessions are still fun, positive, inspiring. New members have come along and instantly become absorbed by the Step family and our little community – Adrian, Agnes, April, Belinda, Caroline, Chris, Emma, Jade, Jane, Jenny, Joan, Kate, Louise, Mark, Maxine, Norma, Oksana, Olivia, Rachel, Rania, Stav, 

Last year as a good year for growth with Clare, David A, David T, Leanne, Luci, Trevor, Norma, and Lucy joining us. 

This year our community has grown a little with Jo, Danila, Simone, Nick, Emmeline, Steph, Megan Sam, Raquel, Marve, Judith, Helen, Ian, Emily, Emma and Bronwyn 

 Over the last 13 years there are around 1200 members who have joined our community and for various reasons moved on.  I can only hope that they have created a few positive changes to their health and fitness. That’s the ripple effect of a strong community. 

Last week, having a team of Steppers to fundraiser with and trek Larapinta with, was an incredible experience. Time and time again the other trekkers would say to me that we must have a lot of fun at training. “We certainly do!” was my reply! One of our fellow Larapinta trekkers described the experience as Courage, Connection and Care. They are 3 words that would also describe our Step Community. 

13 years is HUGE! Lots of things have changed but in a way a lot hasn’t. 

 This teenager still loves being a Group Outdoor PT. We still have fun, we still laugh, get results, achieve things we never thought we could. Most importantly we still look out for each other, we care about each other, support each other – in the good times and the challenging times.  

 

Being a teenager is going to be fun – bring IT ON!! 

 

Larapinta

 

Day One

A 5am alarm this morning, breakfast at 6am to be in the lobby at 6.45am to start Day One.  A little delay yesterday with the storms in Sydney. A reminder that we are all connected and that there is a knock-on effect when things happen.  It was great to see the team who are all in good spirits, although Colleen has hurt her toe and Annie had some food poisoning a couple of days ago.

We had our team brief at 2.30pm yesterday. There are a few DV survivors including Simone who was on A Current Affair.  She embodies what we are doing here and why the work that White Ribbon does is so important.  Most of the team (including me!) haven’t done anything like this before – hiking for 5 days in a row. It’s inspiring that so many people would take themselves out of their comfort zone and do this.

The good news is they have changed the camp site to Glen Helen Gorge. We have showers and toilets and a spot to swim!

At 4.30pm we headed down to the Botanical Gardens to be welcomed to the country by an Aboriginal Custodian and an Aboriginal Ranger. They shared with us their passion for the land and their culture. It was humbling, tragic and interesting.

A team dinner last night to chat some more before an early finish and time to pack and have an early night.

Let Day One begin 😀

 

We headed out to Telegraph Station. This is the start of the Larapinta Track. A little chilly to start. Incredibly beautiful. Clear blue skies, red rich soil, brilliant green scrub and silence. Us city folk forget how stillness and complete silence sounds – to this country girl it is pure bliss. Our destination was Wallaby Gap, 13.5kms away, following a range of low hills towards the West MacDonnell Ranges. We had a fun moment walking over the Ghan railway line. This leads to the highest point of the day on Euro Ridge where there is a magnificent view of the south-east of Alice Springs and higher ridges towards the west.  The views were amazing, the silence deafening.

A late lunch was served in Wallaby Gap. It’s amazing that after a hard trek food tastes delicious!

From there it was all aboard the nice air-conditioned bus for the bumpy ride out to Glen Helen Gorge. The campsite is a dedicated camp site for trekking groups, so tents are set up, with an area for cooking and a fireplace. Colleen and I headed straight to our tent and then after a quick change headed to the Gorge for a swim. The Gorge is fed by an underwater spring. The most incredible surroundings with tall red cliffs and beautiful clear water. Did I mention it was cold? There was a lot of screeching and screaming…. and that was just Adrian! It was refreshing and took the heat and tension out of our aching muscles. Colleen and April took a while to get into the water, and then turned into Mermaids 🙃

The late afternoon flew by as we prepared for the evening and got ourselves organised for the next day. Dinner was served and we ate around the campfire. Our trek guide (Linz) used to be a chef. From the BBQ she served up rice, sweet and sour chicken and sweet and sour vegetables – amazing! Greg was the designated fire starter and did a fantastic job! As it got dark we sat around the fire talking and laughing about our day and our adventures. Every one has a story and everyone has a  passion for White Ribbon and making a difference.

The nights up here are extraordinary. As the light fades the stars come out. The colours are brilliant blue and then fade through to yellow, orange, pink, inky blue and dark grey. The heat from the day settles and everything goes quiet and still. Our country is truly beautiful. After dinner we had a debrief for the following day. All of a sudden one of our fellow trekkers – Ian – called out “Shooting Star”. Turns out it was a meteorite flashing across the sky. Like a rainbow it arced across from south to north taking around a minute to do so. On its path it picked up the stars along the way. Brilliant and glowing we watched with disbelief at what we were seeing. As it left the sky we felt incredible joy at seeing something so remarkable. We had a moment of complete awe. Our trek guide said it was an omen to bring us good luck. We called It the White Ribbon Meteorite.

Day Two

An early start this morning with Linz waking us at 5am with some Aboriginal music. We were on the road by 6.15am. The sunrise was spectacular. So many stars and as the sun rises and the stars dim the colours are amazing. Today our trek was Section 14 of Larapinta – 13.4 Kim’s on a hard track, climbing 460 metres. We started at Serpentine Gorge. It’s a steep climb to the crest of Heavitree Range with sweeping views of the surrounding plains and ridges. The highest point is Counts Points. We left our packs under a shady tree and climbed up for magnificent views of the mountains at the western end of the West MacDonnell Ranges. The lookout also provides a good vantage point from which to see the overall geology of the ranges. The scenery is just spectacular.

From there it was down……. the trail was pretty challenging as it’s very rocky so we had to take our time. From there the path heads into woodland.

It was a challenging trail and we complete it with a sense of accomplishment.

On the way back we stopped at the Ochre Pits. Amazing colours, red, yellow and white. Our legs were a little weary but we covered the 300metres there and back!

Back to the camp for a swim in the Gorge and a cold drink or two 😀

After our camp fire dinner one of tour guides (Josh) talked to us about stars. At 7.48 last night the International Space Station went over. In a sky filled with stars it was an awesome view to watch it go through the sky. The stars here are so brilliant. It’s a reminder that we are so insignificant in the big scheme of things. Those stars were there millions of years before us and hopefully they will be there for millions of years after us.

Day Three

This morning was a sleep in with a 6am wake up call. It’s amazing to wake up to the sounds of Aboriginal music. It’s so quiet and peaceful – soothing. A beautiful way to start the day. We were on the road just after 7am. It was a short drive to the Mt Sonder Lookout. Our destination was the Ormiston Gorge. Lindz had told us that the Gorge was a magnificent and refreshing water hole and the cafe sold amazing Iced Coffees and Iced Chocolates. Motivation indeed!

At the lookout we had a good view of Mt Sonder and could see what our challenge was the next day.  We started climbing up to the most amazing window in the rocks. Walking through there we started walking on a path like it was through a paddock surrounded by mountain ranges. That was the easy bit! The Finke river is one of the oldest river systems in the world. The Finke River was called “Larapinta” by the Aboriginals. This literally means ‘salt creek’, which dates back to when our land was covered by salt water – amazing!

We weaved over the dry river bed a few times over the day. Very strange walking over a dry river bed that is flooded for a couple of months of the year!

The climb went up and up. There seems to be no end to the ranges and cliff faces. The wildflowers are starting to come out. The native Hibiscus and paper Daisies are starting to come out – beautiful. An amazing sight is this diverse country. Morning tea was at the top of a peak with glorious views over the ranges. From there it was down and up again to arrive at Ormiston Gorge. The last section was HOT! It’s warming up here – which makes it even more challenging and dusty!

The swim at Ormiston Gorge was breathtaking! Literally! It was so cold but incredibly refreshing! I love our daily baths in the water holes. There’s lots of teasing and heckling as each of us hit the water. It’s a fun and inspiring group to spend time with.

The afternoon is for snoozing and relaxing. Tomorrow we conquer Mt Sonder 😀

Day Four

The alarm went off at 2am this morning and we were up and on the road at 2.20am. Pretty impressive for such a large group! At that hour of the morning it’s REALLY dark. The stars are incredible, the stillness serene. We started the climb at 3am and headed out for the 8kms to the top of Mt Sonder. If we had any idea where we were climbing our courage may not have been so strong! In the dark you literally can only take one foot in front of the other. In the dark you plod on and up. We reached the top a few minutes after 6am. The sky was starting to lighten up in hues of yellow and orange. The wind was quite strong and unbelievably enough it was cold. Linz had pre-warned us so we had carried our winter woolies with us! As the sun rose the cameras came out. The sun lifted up and over the horizon in a ball of bright orange. Spectacular!

Cheryl and Anne had taken the 3am wake up start option and climbed as high as an area called the Saddle, which is about two thirds of the way up. Their view was slightly different to us but still spectacular.!

The climb down was bizarre in the light. It felt like a completely different place! Mt Sonder is 1380 metres so the views down were wide and sweeping and truly amazing.

Our guide Linz is the most beautiful woman. Funny, strong, caring and knowledgeable. She’s a real live wire! As we board the bus she gets on and tells us that we are all legends, followed by “It’s 10am you all look like shit and you smell!”

Back to camp for showers, breakfast and a restful day.

We all have this incredible sense of achievement. For our DV survivors it’s proof that they can achieve amazing things. The team environment can only be described as beautiful 💕

Day Five

The last night in camp was party night for most of the trekkers. This boring girl went to bed early leaving the trekkers to party on.

I woke up around 5.30am and headed outside to see the stars. It’s amazing how many there are which we can’t see in the city! Before sunrise the dingoes started howling. The echo throughout the valley was soulful and eerie. As the sky became lighter the stars seemed to disappear – a reminder that they are always there, just hidden to us.

The birds woke up and started their morning calls. It sounded beautiful in the cold morning air. The sky turned from orange to yellow to light blue to bright blue, the stars disappeared from sight and my fellow trekkers started stirring.

Behind our camp was this magnificent cliff. Watching the colours change on the cliff as the sun rose is a memory I will have forever.

We left camp at 8.15am and headed back to Ormiston Gorge. The hike today was short – to the Ghost Gum and back via the Gorge. The ghost gums are amazing. Hanging on the edge of the cliff, somehow they grow and actually flourish. One of our DV survivors said that it was a reminder that anything is possible.

After an early lunch it was back to Alice Springs for our project visit.

The first presentation was by the Women’s Family Safety Group. This is a group of women who support each other. The women who form the group are mostly DV survivors. They are passionate about connecting and sharing. About having an impact on women, the family, the community and the land that they belong to. Their message is one of hope. To not have violence normalised, to have a voice, to be visible, for the media to get the facts straight.

These women share their stories and encourage other women to share their story, to listen and to be understood. Together they are strong, strong enough to stand together against women’s domestic violence. They want something different for their children and grand children. Their goal is to heal, be happy and have respect for each other.

We then heard from a man who manages mens behavioural change programs. In the Aboriginal community women are 35 times more likely to be victims of domestic violence. YES! 35 more times! Despite that horrendous statistic things are changing. Fatalities are down. More importantly the feelings of shame are diminishing. That’s when real change is possible.

Next up was a man who manages female rangers. They are out in the community. educating and spreading the word. The word of hope – that there is a choice.

Back to our hotel to quickly wash off some red dust before we head out to our farewell dinner with the team. It’s been a life-changing experience…..

Blisters

Spinifex

Dry eyes

Dirt up the nose

Dust everywhere

Snoring symphonies in stereo

Price of beers at the pub

Opportuni-trees

Cold showers

5 hours in Alice Springs Hospital

Sneezing

Dirty fingernails

Fake tan that washes off!

Rocks

Bruises

Wind

Hiking boots

ish……

lost toe nails

Bus bumps

Bumpy roads

Swollen feet

Canklles

Cuts and scrapes

Standing on rocks on rocks

Adrian

Sonder Shituation

Lost sunglasses

Brutal

Fellow trekkers

Lindz our guide leader

Wayoutback

Josh our guide

Brandon the driver

Beautiful landscape

Sunrises and Sunsets

Swag sleeping

Planets shine and stars twinkle

Meteorite

UFO’s

Coffee

Campfire toasted marshmallows

International Space Stations

Cliff faces

Cathartic experience

Healing

Ghost gums

Dingoes howl and dogs bark

Refreshing swims in water holes

Eating by a camp fire

Building a camp fire

Campfire conversation

Ian finding love

Damper

Adrian

Giggling girls

Wild flowers

Empty river beds

Freedom

Evening drinks

Stunning rock formations

Ancient geology

Delicate flora

Mixed terrain from slate to forest

Change in sand from white to red

DV Survivors

Delicious food

Climbing Mt Sonder

Friendships

Encouragement

Entertaining antics

Dingo tracks

Team  Commraderie

Perseverance

…..ish

Jade from Inspired Adventures

Nicky from White Ribbon

Track signage

Adrian screeching

Epic super nova bruise

Wake up music

Side splitting laughter

Cohesive supportive group

Dirt Dancing

Rock wallabies

Buns of steel

Trek Ted

Lots of food

Finger moments

Courage, connection and care

 

Thank you to the Larapinta trekkers

With love 💜

 

 

White Ribbon

It’s taken 12 months and hundreds of hours for our team to meet our goal and raise $30,000 for White Ribbon. I am so grateful and proud to have this team around me and to everyone who has supported my fund-raising goal for White Ribbon.

The domestic violence statistics are dreadful. The statistics show the numbers behind the physical, sexual and emotional tragedy’s that happen to the victim’s, the perpetrator’s, their friends and their families, which of course includes the local and wider community.

One comment that I have heard time and time again over the last 12 months is that men are also victims. Yes, they are – there is no denying that, the statistics show that to be true. Ultimately all violence is wrong and it is NOT A COMPETITION. Change needs to start somewhere so creating change around the biggest problem can create a ripple effect.  If there was a road intersection that had a fatality every single week and another intersection that had a fatality once a month which intersection would you spend the money on to make it safe?

The money has been raised, trekking Larapinta starts in a few weeks. Moving forward we need to show more kindness to each other, be loving and understanding towards the victim’s. Allow the victims to speak freely and openly about what is going on, what has happened. Provide them with a non-judgemental safe place to talk so they can move forward and live a life without fear of violence.

Remember the White Ribbon oath but more importantly live it every single day.

The Victorian Elevation award for 2017 has my name on it….

It was presented at our State Conference last weekend and I have done nothing with it…

It’s really a Most Improved Award. I won the Most Improved at Calisthenics when I was 15. In that year I had discovered exercise and realised that I could go without food. I had lost a lot of weight and was just incredibly ashamed by the award. 

Last year the business had dropped to an all time low. My self confidence and self worth was plummeting. I came back from our National Conference and realised that I had to tell myself a different story. So I did. 

After 12 years of running the business I changed some things, adapted, modified my behaviour. Most importantly I changed my mindset. 

Five days after receiving this award I am now proud of it. 

It’s proof that I can change, grow, learn, modify, adapt. 

That when you put your mind to it anything is possible. 

So Matt and Lisa – thank you 😊 

 

Jane Hall

Yesterday our little Step family was shocked and saddened by the news that our beautiful, blonde, curly haired Jane had been taken from us – so quickly and so suddenly. 

It is a reminder that life is a fragile gift and we must treasure every moment. These are some of my Jane moments 💕

 

Jane became a member 7 years ago. Her and Rosemary signed up around the same time and quickly became good friends.  I remember the first conversation I had with Jane. She asked if I would give her exercises to do or if I would give her exercises and also explain why we were doing them and what impact they would have. She told me that she liked to know and understand her “why”. That was Jane – always curious and interested in the world around her. She came along to do a trial session and made it clear that if I didn’t explain “why” then she would not be signing up. Half way through the session she told me that she would be staying. That was Jane – very straight forward, communicating honestly and openly. 

 Last Monday morning she turned up to boxkick early – as she often did. As soon as Jane arrived she would come over and offer to help me set up. We would talk about all sorts of things – she was always interesting and interested. On Monday I said that I was good and that Rosemary was walking on the netball courts if she wanted to head over to her. “Oh Ro is here” she said and off she went to catch up with her training buddy and dear friend – with that bounce in her step that I loved so much. At 66 she was always full of energy. She would often say that she can do so much more, live her life more fully, thanks to me and her Step Training. She was kind like that – full of praise and gratitude. She has always been very active, would try every exercise that I gave her, give everything a go and always with a smile on her face or gritted determination.  Her sense of humour always made me laugh. During her first cardio session, she told me that she was struggling with her bum bag. I was so confused until I realised that she was laughing at herself and her own “bum bag”. She would often give me an update during cardio sessions about how her bum bag felt 😁

 Most Monday and Wednesday mornings through winter Jane would turn up and complain about the cold.

Most Monday and Wednesday mornings through winter I would ask her how many layers did she have on?

I always knew the answer – it was always the same.

“Only 2, as I know you will have us warmed up in no time.”

Any opportunity she had she would turn her back to the sun and warm up her “solar panels” as she called them.

It made me smile on Monday when the sun came out and Rosemary gently turned Jane around so her back could face the sun. She loved the feeling of heat on her back. 

 Over the last few years Jane’s memory hasn’t been great. I took this on as a challenge to ensure she was always carefully guided through the sessions. Not once did she get snarly or annoyed. That was never her way. She always communicated from a kind and generous place, that was firm and strong. 

 In the early years – having Rosemary as her training buddy – Jane would help guide me through Rosemary’s pain threshold. As we know Rosemary has had her share of trauma and has a grit and determination that seems infinite. She would often push her boundaries. It would be Jane that would tell me that Rosemary needed an option. Despite Rosemary’s protests that she was fine Jane would always encourage her to the option and somehow make it ok for Rosemary. Instinctively Jane knew Rosemary’s boundaries. It’s not unusual to hear her say to Rosemary – “Come on Ro hit harder! They made a good boxing partnership and I know it will be hard for Rosemary over the coming weeks. “

 The coming weeks will be challenging for the 9.15am team. We have faced many challenges together over the years and this will be one of our biggest. I just know that together we are strong and resilient. Together we will support each other, help each other through the grief. 

It’s important to remember the beautiful soul that Jane was, is and will always be. I just know she will be there at Le Page Park encouraging us to face each day with a smile and an enormous amount of gratitude – as that is how she lived her life.