Every good story has a beginning, a middle and an end... And with 5 months to go, I'm getting very close to that end but there is a long way to go yet!
It all began in September 2016 when I mentioned to my chiro that I needed to be back in the gym, to be training and feeling 'normal' again, he told me to call Andy, he would 'fix me'. So I did and at that point, I was wrecked. Physically struggling to walk with really bad plantar fasciitis and lower back issues that even just sleeping in a hotel bed would throw me out for weeks.
With all this going on, and not having exercised for about a year, Andy took me on and we started a training journey that has challenged me mentally, physically (sometimes spiritually) and emotionally, we've been through ups and downs, wins and losses, but with each day stepping closer to feeling fitter and stronger. This is where you need people in your corner, willing you on, pushing and challenging you, those that are outside of the work, friend or family world and can help you to see where you can get to.
It was during this initial couple of months that I was also working with a dietician and one day with her I realised that all this money was being invested in my health and yet I didn't have a goal, a purpose, something to be striving for! So, I said on that 'fateful day' in late November 2016 that 2017 was going to be a year of no alcohol and that before I turned 40 I wanted to achieve something that at that point in time I couldn't imagine... So I chose to register to complete the Kokoda trail, I told Jaime and Andy of my goals and from that moment on I've been focussed on this journey.
Turns out that quitting alcohol was actually really easy, I managed my way through events, nights out, weddings, overseas trips and the most confronting thing about that decision was how confronting it was for others! Alcohol is such a huge part our culture that people can't imagine you not drinking, but that is another story.
So over the last 17 months, I've been working on building my base fitness, keeping injury free (those who know me know that this is a mission in itself!) and now 5 months out I am starting to mentally prepare myself for what is in store whilst on the trail.
What I have found is that by focusing on a goal, it gives you a focus, suddenly each decision is made with a question of 'will this benefit me towards my goal'. It helps you to work on areas of weakness where you know that self-doubt will bring you down on the track and to be able to get my brain and body back on track with focus. I think I mentioned in an older blog, that after leaving Xero I felt like my brain was like a goldfish - I had no memory or focus, I was just going around in circles - how people put up with me I'll never know.
Now ahead of me is 5 months of keeping healthy, getting stronger, fitter, healthier and hiking as many hills as I can... That makes me think of the quote 'Practice makes perfect' but really isn't it meant to be 'Perfect practice makes perfect'? (check out this blog on the quote...)
So, there will be mistakes made leading up to heading to Kokoda and likely whilst on the trek. But if we aren't making mistakes and learning from them, then are we really committed to improving, committed to moving ourselves forward and to constantly challenging?!
As I go along on this journey if there are any tips or stories please share them, as the more I know, the more prepared I am the better.