Archive | January, 2016

For this cause

29 Jan

As this year kicked off I was sitting on the couch I had no choice – I was recuperating from abdominal surgery that required 6 weeks of limited activity… no lifting and no strenuous exercise.  I was reminded again how important my health is to me. It was a case of you don’t know what you’ve got until it is gone – and the inability for me to move freely and exercise really left me feeling flat and despondent. It is challenging to be limited in what you can do because of your health, and I didn’t like it.

I’m always thinking about how important health is, after all, as a nurse in an Intensive Care Unit I see the effects of ill health. I see how fragile life is. I see how quickly one can go from well to critically ill. I don’t work in a trauma hospital, so many of the patients I see experience illness as a result of a disease process. I see some horrible diseases, and some where treatment options are very limited.

It is hard to imagine yourself in that position… or maybe it’s not hard at all because you ARE in that position…

So often I feel so very helpless in the face of these diseases. Sometimes the best I can do is offer a hand to hold or an ear to listen – and that may be for the patient and/or their family. In so many ways at these times I wish I could do so much more. So I’m channelling my desire to help.

This year again I am combining two of my passions – health and fitness and I’m fundraising for a few causes.  I am currently working at getting my own fitness back in order to participate in some events – some that will again challenge me physically and emotionally.

Walk to D-Feet Motor Neurone Disease (MND) walktodfeetmnd

Of course this disease is close to my heart after my younger brother’s diagnosis. This beast of a disease has had some more awareness in the last 12 months with Neale Daniher and the newly formed organisation Cure for MND putting on the Big Freeze at the G. There is however much work to be done. The diagnosis of this disease is shattering. It continues to amaze me that there is no treatment and no known cure. The Walk to D-Feet MND is a 3km walk around the Roma Street Parklands. While it is not the most physically challenging of those on my list this year, it is the cause closest to my heart.  Funds raised from this event support Motor Neurone Disease Queensland. So, while my brother won’t actually directly benefit from donations, the awareness raised by events like this is super important, and supporting other families faced with this disease is invaluable.  This event is held in multiple places across Australia – so maybe there is one near you that you can participate in. Feel free to contact me if you want to do this walk with us in Brisbane (May 15th 10am), or if you have the available funds to donate then please follow this link: Petes Peloton

Brissy to the Bay – Multiple Sclerosis (MS) brissietothebay

I’ve seen first-hand the devastating results of a rapidly progressing case of Multiple Sclerosis. I’ve watched as a young Mum with a 6 month old baby girl, was healthy one week and blind and bedridden the next (literally). Thankfully it is not always this aggressive. MS has many similarities to MND and it is believed that a breakthrough in one disease may lead to a breakthrough in another.  Just like MND there is no known cause or cure. With MS the average age of diagnosis is 30, and 4 Australians are diagnosed each day! For this reason both Dave and I have committed to cycling 100km (each) in an event called Brissy to the Bay – its on June 19th. To sponsor Dave and I, please feel free to click on this link: Nutchey Duo

Noosa Triathlon – Smiling for Smiddy Smiling_for_Smiddy_Logo1

 

I’m back for my third year. The second year was a tough one (as you may have noted if you read my blog) – but it in no way compares to what those going through cancer endure. You may have or have had cancer, or know and love someone that has. It is a devastating diagnosis to receive. Without exception. There are many forms of this disease and while there has been lots of money raised to fund research into many treatments and cures there is still plenty of work to be done. Smiling for Smiddy have done much to support cancer research at the Mater Hospital and as an employee there I find this an extremely worthwhile cause.  The Noosa Triathlon (1500m swim, 40km cycle, 10km run) remains a big event for me, and I’ll be heading back out again this year hoping to improve on my performance the last two years. The fundraising goal for this one is big – $1000, however don’t under estimate the value of a small donation as together those small donations add up very quickly. This event will be on 30th of October this year. The link to my page is here (I’ve joined fundraising forces with my mate Kim this year): Tri-ing our best for Rita

So, these are the challenges that I’ve set myself that involve generating some financial support. I’ll be doing other events over the year that are additional personal challenges ranging from the cycling leg of a half iron man (doing it as a team), through to a couple of half marathons and everything in between.  These will all help to prepare me for the events listed above.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read about some of the things that are important to me this year. If you want to join us for any of these events please get in touch with me. Alternatively, should you have the finances to support any of them, we would greatly appreciate you partnering with us in this regard. Donations $2 or more are tax deductible. On each site you can see our fundraising goal and our progress towards the goal. In each instance I am not doing this alone, but have joined or rallied together a team of people to achieve these goals together.  If you do not have the finances or the inclination to support us then please do not be at all concerned about this – there are so many worthy causes out there –these are simply some of the causes important to me –  your prayers and encouragement would be just as beneficial to me.

So thank you. I trust your year is a good one. May you enjoy the things that make you happy without being limited by your health. Should your health not be brilliant this year, for whatever reason, I pray for a peace in your circumstances. May God grant you serenity to accept the things that you cannot change, courage to change the things that can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

godgrantme

 

 

The view from above

11 Jan

The underwater world is incredible. Have you ever seen it? I’ve been so fortunate to see it a couple of times now and I find it truly incredible.

A few months ago Dave and I decided to book a couple of nights away for his birthday. That was before my surgery, and therefore of course before the additional surgery I then required.  As my surgeries came and went I began to doubt that I would be able to go to our holiday destination – Hamilton Island. See I had some trouble with my wound not healing, and have been having problems with how quickly I fatigue, of course I also can’t lift anything heavier than 5kg.  As a result I was also feeling really flat emotionally. As the short getaway approached I realised I had to change my goals – this mini break would no longer be about how much exercise related activity we could cram into a few days, and would be more about resting and relaxing. The hikes around the island and time continually spent in the water were no longer going to be realistic.  Thankfully, after some helpful advice from a friend who is a wound care specialist, daily dressing changes and about 4.5 weeks of time, my wound closed. So, with encouragement from my GP to get in the water and ease back into exercise, I was hopeful for some short stints in the water.

So, the time for our mini-break came and to Hamilton Island we flew.  It is here that I find myself now. The 12544271_10153867458868675_1455591090_oapartment we are staying in has a little balcony with some sun beds, and a very comfy couch and I have to admit I’ve made the most of them – including right now…  But the one thing I have loved being able to do – in short sessions – is snorkel. We’ve seen all sorts of fish right in the Hamilton Island main bay (Catseye Beach). So at low tide we can walk pretty much out to where the coral is, and snorkel until our heart is content.

I find nothing more relaxing than snorkelling. The idea that you can floatIMGP4062 on the surface (see even I can do that!) and watch the underwater world is one of the most calming and enjoyable experiences for me. I just love looking at the various varieties of fish (small fish, big fish, coloured fish, round fish, stripy fish, stingrays, turtles, reef sharks… and so the list goes on). It really is a whole other world under there. Lying on the surface watching them in their world is an incredible thing. Like watching Finding Nemo in real life (thankfully without the big sharks!!).

I’m no Marine Biologist so I don’t understand why we need so many IMGP4171different kinds of fish and coral. Do they all have a role? For one (not very humble) moment, I wondered whether their role in life was for our enjoyment… could God have created such an array of fish simply so that I could one day relax as I floated on top of them? While this is possible (and certainly in God’s nature), there is a whole ecosystem that I need to consider.  The fish aren’t just there for my enjoyment, they all have a role. I guess like the variety of species on land each one is important and each one has a purpose. See some fish are cleaners, protectors, hunters, mothers, others are fish food (sorry… but they are…the circle of life and all that jazz)… So that started me thinking about my role in the ecosystem of life.

Who am I? There are so many names I can give myself when I think about it…. Wife, daughter, sister, cousin, niece, aunt, nurse, friend, co-worker, introvert, triathlete (hahaha)… and there are the not so positive names I give myself – overweight, slow, selfish – I’m not going to list all the negative ones. But I’m certain you have a list of names too – some good names for yourself and some not so good ones.  Maybe you, like me, need to remind yourself of your role in the ecosystem of life. But focus on the positive.  As I floated and watched the underwater world from above, I wondered about what God sees when he watches the whole world from above. I don’t know the fish individually, I don’t know their role, so I’m a little detached and can simply enjoy the view.  But would God find it as relaxing as I did, or would what I do be breaking his heart? See he knows me by name, and he knows my purpose in life. He knows what I should be doing, and he knows if I do it.  I would love for God to be able to look down at my life, smile and say “well done”, I don’t want Him to look down and have His heart break.

May 2016 be a year of continuing to find my identity in the one who created me for this life, for this purpose. May my name be child of God, daughter of the King and may my life reflect His purpose for me. May I take opportunities that he presents me with, and may I help others to achieve their divine purpose, so that God can look down on my part of the world with as much pleasure as I looked at the underwater world.

 

The year that was

1 Jan

1st of January has come around again – where 2015 went I’m still not sure… did anyone else blink and miss it?  This is the time of year where we often pause to think about the year that was and the year that will be.  Where resolutions are made and… often not kept… or maybe that’s just me…

I’ve been terribly poor at Christmas cards or a Christmas letter this year. So, if you missed it, our 2015 highlights look something like this:tdu

  • In January, I rode in my first cycling event – the Tour Down Under in Adelaide – 119km and 1300m of hill climbing. Dave was part of my reliable support crew.
  • In February, I finished my graduate year and commenced a permanent full time job in an Intensive Care Unit – and I love it!muscleupformnd
  • In March Dave and I, along with a small group of friends, Muscled up for MND – a fundraiser for MND and an attempt to break the world record for largest number of people participating in personal training simultaneously at the Gabba, and while we fell a small number short, it was a fun event.
  • In May we were able to pull off a surprise party for Mum and Dad’s 60th birthdays (and 40th wedding anniversary) and it was wonderful to see so many friends and family from across our lives, who travelled from all over the country and state to be present.
  • June saw us sell our house and buy an apartment 2km out of Brisbane – walking distance to work for Dave, closer to work for Jen and no garden to maintain!! It has been a fabulous move for us!finish line
  • In July we managed to enjoy a short holiday in Tasmania and celebrated 14 years of marriage
  • August saw us finish the Brisbane Half Marathon with Michelle flying up from Adelaide to join us
  • September was the first triathlon for the season at Robina – a fun event with a couple of friends and a great test run for Noosa (800m/32km/6km).familytraining
  • In October while in Adelaide and continuing to train for Noosa I was able to exercise with my family – walk, run, swim and cycle – was a great way to spend some time with them!
  • November I was able to participate in my second Noosa Triathlon. It wasn’t without a health problem midway through… But, I finished (1500m/40km/10km). Mum and Dad flew up and enjoyed it so much they are coming back again in 2016 (to watch – not participate…) noosastart
  • December after investigations for my pain in the Noosa Triathlon I had more laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis which turned into a bowel resection. The 1 week off work soon became more and I’m now 4 weeks into a 4-6 week recovery. I’ve realised how impatient I am, that I love work, and how much I now enjoy swimming, cycling and running as hobbies – you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone…
  • December also saw me win a new road bike in a raffle – and I’m eagerly waiting to get on it!IMG_0115
  • We were able to spend almost a week in South Australia over Christmas, meeting our new niece Emaline, and spending Christmas with family. We never seem to have enough time in Adelaide to catch up IMG_0347with everyone we want to see which can be frustrating and disappointing. However, our time in Adelaide is always so busy we are completely exhausted by the end of it. This trip I had to be even more careful to not overdo it.

2016 is starting off slow and steady as I continue to recuperate from surgery. Once able, I look forward to getting back into my fitness and we’ve already set some goals for 2016 – we’ll be doing the Twilight running festival in March (Jen 10km, Dave 21.1km), both participating in the Adelaide Half Marathon in August and I’ll be doing the Noosa Triathlon again at the end of October. No doubt other events will cross our paths and we will continue to be as regular as possible at weekly Parkrun events.

My hope is that 2016 will have more highs than it does lows – but don’t we all hope for that!  May any periods in 2016 that don’t go as planned improve my character.

My prayer for 2016 is this – may my life bring glory to the one who made the heavens and the earth and who created me for such a time as this. May I choose love, joy, peace, patience and kindness as I go about my days.

My verse for 2016 is as follows: Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20

exceedinglyabundantly