Anything is Possible, in your own Way!

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Happy New Year!! My Word of Intention 2017 is…

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The word ‘bliss’ literally means, “supreme happiness; utter joy or contentment”.
Yesss…bring bucketloads of this on, for 2017!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE…When you live and follow your Bliss!

 

#206. Write down something I am grateful for, every day for a month (which turned into a year) – DONE!

AND THATS A WRAP!…for this awesome year-long Tick off the list – and for 2016!

Following on from my updates during the year of this very personal, and surprisingly empowering Tick off the list

#206. Write down something I am grateful for every day for a month

…today I filled in my final entry for this year, in my Q&A a Day journal…

“What is your most cherished memory of this year?”

Such a nice way to end ‘the year that was’ (and a year I want to forget), with being ‘asked’ through my journal to look back and pick out a cherished moment.  This is the beauty of this challenge…when I’m ending the year absolutely exhausted and healing from 2016 coming very close to breaking me – I am reminded of these moments which I will never forget…

Meeting Tobias the Quokka…
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…and, what has become my Christmas tradition I look forward to every year – the absolutely magical wonderland that is the Mooloolaba Christmas Boat Parade


Reading and reflecting on this final entry in my journal has changed my focus to “Ugh…what a year, I cant wait to leave it behind me!” as the final evening of 2016 approaches, to…”I am so grateful I got to experience these special moments this year!”
Don’t get me wrong, I will be SO glad to shut that door on 2016 at midnight – but my focus is ending the year on a more positive note now, because of todays final entry/day of this Tick off my list!

I am so glad I persevered through the year through this challenge – I personally love those ’30-Day Challenges’ and have completed a few over the years (and have already earmarked a new one to start off 2017), but I didn’t know how I’d go doing this for the entire year – I attempted a ‘Photo a Day for a Year’ challenge a few years back, and I just got too sidetracked with my life itself, that I didn’t continue it. This Tick ended up becoming one of the favourite parts of my day – no matter what I was facing, or had faced, during my day – I was always taken back to my very personal thoughts and reflecting on my day, no matter what was going on around me – through this journal and Challenge.  How we each live through our days, no matter how we interact with the world – doing this is a very personal experience – and to put my thoughts (making sure I was doing so on the angle of ‘Gratitude’) down in words every single day during 2016 – it became something I very much enjoyed in my day, in the minutes/seconds it took to write my thoughts down from the prompt – even the rough days!
In this incredibly challenging year I have just been through – this little book was my ‘saving grace’ in a way…on a daily basis it brought me back to what was really important…my inner self, not my external situation at the time.

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I’ve come to really treasure this little book beside my bed!

Looking forward to the next year of thoughts to ponder – it’s going to be interesting seeing my previous words in 2016 to the prompts, when I fill in the new entries in 2017 (this is a 5-yr Journal)!

1st March 2017 – Update!
Well…the first two months of filling in entries in my 5yr Q&A Journal have been interesting to say the least! Comparing the ‘me, and my thoughts’ from exactly a year ago each day/entry, its very empowering to read and reflect on just ‘where I was last year’, to the ‘now, me’. Very, very empowering…all the hope for the future I had, all the fight it took to get me through ‘what was 2016’, it has all been very, very worthwhile to see, in my own words and thoughts, the changes in myself, deep down inside!

I’ve decided to add on a new angle of ‘Write down something I am grateful for every day’, by creating a Happiness Jar!

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I started this at the start of February by decorating up an old coffee jar into a colourful, fun container, and using bright sticky notes to note down anything which ‘brings me happy’ in my day.  This has become a little bit addictive – and yesterday being the end of the month, it was a lot of fun to take the notes out (I have stuck them into an exercise book as a keepsake) and read through my ‘Happy’ for February! I’m all about bringing in fun, colour and being creative as much as I can into my life….so this suits my spirit perfectly!

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE when you bring yourself back to what’s important – YOU!

Word(s) of Intention 2016

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As this year started, I had in my mind the meaning (or the meaning I thought these words would take on for the year) of how my 2016 Words of Intention “Unplug & Reconnect” would make themselves known in 2016 – but lets just say – the vision I had at the beginning of 2016 (to digitally unplug, and reconnect to Mother Earth) was only a small way of how these words manifested in my life – they took hold of my life, in a completely different, but still very meaningful (and very powerful!) way!

Now that we are at the end of 2016 – I ‘unplugged’ in so many different ways – yes digitally, but with the way the year organically panned out – I also unplugged/was removed from situations, people, and ways I had been living my daily life which were just, so unhealthy (some would say toxic) for me – and I ‘reconnected’ to my life in some ways which I never expected (reconnecting to Mother Earth, the ocean which I love, through the disability beach mats being introduced to my beautiful Sunshine Coast was a special surprise for this year!)

BRING on the brand spanking new, Clean Slate for 2017!  Even though this year is definitely a year I will never want to remember/recall again in my thoughts/words – I have to say a big THANK YOU to the Universe, for taking my 2016 Words of Intention, and shaping my year into something which while incredibly, unbelievably tough to get through (I actually don’t know how I made it through, to be brutally honest) – its a year which further shaped my growth in ways I never expected!

Stay tuned in the next couple of days, for my 2017 Word of Intention – I cannot wait to get into 2017 and see what the Universe will do with this word/Intention, during the year to come!

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE…When you set your Intention out to the Universe!

#241. Meet a Quokka….the ‘happiest animal on earth’ – Tick!

 

It’s become a personal tradition the last few years, to do something ‘bucketlist-related’ on my birthday! Having my birthday 3 days out from Christmas, it always seems to get lost/forgotten/missed with all the leadup to Christmas, people too busy/away etc – but what I LOVE about my birthday is, while everyone else around me is all stressed as its just days out from the big day (Christmas)…I’m over here like “Yayyyy…its my birthday!” haha love it! Not to mention, being born with my disabilities, my birthday is always a very, very proud day for me personally, for what I have survived and lived through since my birth – my day is very much worth celebrating..and even if no one else celebrates it, I get to do something pretty special on my special day – by doing ‘something I’ve always wanted to do’!

On Thursday December 22nd, I headed excitedly (‘big kid excited’ haha, as always happens inside when I’m about to tick something off the bucketlist!) to Wildlife HQ near the Big Pineapple on the Sunshine Coast, with the vision of a smiling quokka in my mind – exactly the feeling I wanted to have on my special day!

After meeting staff at the entrance, I then wandered down to the reptile exhibit to wait for staff who were going to take me on my Quokka Encounter, only to have a laugh at this enclosure…

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…given that it was motor racing legend Dick Johnson (and his son Steve) who inspired me on this whole bucketlist journey of mine back in 2011 – trust me to discover the “Crocodylus Johnsoni” crocodile today, of all days!

Jeremy from Wildlife HQ then strolled through the door, ready to take me to meet Tobias the Quokka…I was really ‘in the moment’ right then – and that’s what life is all about, living in the moment!  We wandered through the pathways of part of the Zoo (with Jeremy talking to all the animals along the way, calling out their names…so cute that they all have names! haha), heading towards Tobias’s cute little home – the last time I saw one of their resident quokkas (Tommy) when he first made the zoo his home, it was a rainy Saturday, and Tommy was all cozy asleep in his little burrow, so I didn’t get to see much of him at all…

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Perfect way to spend a rainy Saturday – asleep in your bed!

Before we knew it, we had arrived at Tobias’s little home…I heard him scurrying around at the fence before I saw  him – he knew something was up! (don’t know who was more excited, me for meeting Tobias, or the other way around! haha).  Wade who does the Encounter then went into Tobias’s enclosure and brought him out for me – Tobias was so, SO cute!  We then wandered out over the grass over to a bench to sit on, so I could officially meet the little guy.

Wade stood there for a few minutes, telling me all about this cute little bundle – then placed him in my arms! Awwww haha what a cute moment…he was so, so soft and cuddly – his fur was softer than I thought it would be, he was so cuddly, I wanted to bundle him up and take him home! haha.  What is said and shown about quokkas is so true – they have this adorable little smile permanently on their face, and are so innocent and playful – you can see why they are called the ‘happiest animal on the planet’!

*if you look closely you can you see his cute little smile that quokkas are famous for. I tried for a ‘selfie-style’ with a fullon quokka smile, like other photos I’ve seen..but this little man just didnt want to sit still towards the end of my encounter..so playful and cute!

 

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Look at that little face…look at it….awww and that little paw on my arm! haha Tobias you are SO CUTE!

What I really love about this humble little country zoo, is not only the passion and love that the staff obviously have towards their animals, for conservation and educating the public – but it speaks volumes that many of their animals were rescued from a zoo about an hour away, which was being closed down.  With nowhere to go, it took the dedication, energy, time, and money involved, of the people who rescued them, for these animals to be saved and placed in an environment where they are now safe to live out their days with the love of those who care for them. The zoo itself is such a lovely, natural environment – and nothing near like the ‘zoos of old’ where the animals were just sat in cages, with no stimulation throughout their days.

Shoutout and a big thank you to Julie, Charmaine, Wade & Jeremy for making my birthday visit to this amazing little Zoo for my quokka encounter, such an enjoyable way to spend my morning! Wade you were awesome with my encounter with Tobias, introducing me to him…and Jeremy, thank you so much for the mini-tour around part of the Zoo, as an extra touch to add to my day, I really appreciated the extra effort you put in for me! Now that I have purchased my Annual Pass, I look forward to my next Animal Encounter…I have my eye on Maly the beautiful big Sunbear…or the cute Tassie Devil girls, they were so funny when we went past them on my way to meeting Tobias – trying to act all ferocious, but adorably cute at the same time! Even sitting there talking to and feeding the mini horses…so very relaxing – come 2017 I’ll be spending more time in this tranquil environment, surrounded by and talking to the various animals – and meeting a few more of them too – I cannot wait to go back to Wildlife HQ again!

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE…when you meet the ‘happiest animal on the planet’!

 

Disability Beach Mat Trial!

On Saturday 5th November 2016, I excitedly headed to the Alexandra Headlands Surf Lifesaving Club, for a day at the beach! Only…this was to be a day with a BIG difference – Sunshine Coast Council  were trialling new disability beach mats, which (as I, along with about 40 other mat ‘test pilots’  was about to discover for myself) make life SO much easier when trying to manoeuvre over the soft sand at the beach – which is near impossible (and a lot of work!) not just for people in wheelchairs – but for others with mobility issues, seniors, and prams too.  A ‘day at the beach’ for me (which I’ve only bothered to do a handful of times because of the sheer effort involved) isn’t that ‘carefree’ because of my mobility issues  – not to mention, I always ‘missed’ in my mind, the fact that I just couldn’t enjoy the freedom of ‘a carefree day at the beach’ without a lot of effort/pre-planning etc).  These mats will mean that I could just wake up (on the days I know the mats are there) and think “I might head to the beach!”…and just hop in the car and get down there and enjoy the beach/ocean – next to no effort needed!  Just like anyone else…amazing!

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I could have cried, when I first saw this laid out at the beach!

 

….my words I shared on social media when I arrived home – sunkissed, exhausted, but feeling SO alive and full of gratitude!…

“Can we do that again?!?” haha
Well thats something I’ve never done before – heading into the ocean fully clothed! haha. Excitedly heading to the mat trial this morning, I just thought we would be heading up and down the mats, trying them out to see how well they worked etc, so didnt even think of taking my togs/towel – but heading down the mat towards the ocean, once I waved my hand through that beautiful water on the edge, and washed it over my face – that was it, I just HAD to get out of my chair and get in, sitting in the shallows letting the small waves of that salty ocean wash over me. The lifeguards were incredible with us – and I was also supported me to walk a few steps in the water through the small waves..amazing to experience. I didnt want to get out lol. I loved it so much, I went back in for a second dip, towards the end of the morning – I was already wet so, what the heck! – the second time was awesome too, the tide was coming in so the waves were a little bigger and faster…just my style! haha

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Experiencing the joy for myself was one thing (I really felt my ‘childhood free spirit’ come out this morning) – but, seeing the joy, laughter and pure human spirit all around me this morning – so special to witness, and to be a part of it.

Days like this really take you back to what life is all about! 🙂 Amazing how healing and refreshing a ‘dip in the ocean’ really is!”

A huge THANK YOU to Ashley Robinson & the Alexandra Headlands Surf Lifesaving Club, Cr. Jason O’Pray & Sunshine Coast Council, 121 Care, Push Mobility, and to the amazing group of lifeguards, for making this amazing morning happen, and for having the vision and want for better beach access for all!  SO blessed to live in such an amazing community here on our beautiful Sunshine Coast!

ANYTHING is Possible…when you have a ‘magical blue mat’ to help you make it happen!

#211. Jetboat adrenaline/adventure ride – the teaser!

After ticking ‘Whale Watching’ off the bucketlist a few years back with Mooloolaba based whale watching boat/business “Whale One”
https://wordpress.com/post/chasingmydreamsbucketlist.com/1351

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…I have enjoyed the awesome fun (and amazingly friendly hospitality from staff!) through Whale One a number of times now – the latest being on their new boat ‘Wild One’!  A faster, smaller boat than the gorgeous Whale One vessel which takes us out to play with the whales every year off Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast. SUCH an awesome little boat!

While this wasn’t a full Jetboat adrenaline ride on the day as the humpback whales were still cruising through on their ‘whale highway’ – we still got to have some awesome fun on the boat when heading out to spot whales.  I always LOVE being out on the ocean, it’s just so relaxing…and heading out with the Whale One/Wild One crew makes it even more relaxing and fun, as they are such awesome people!

On the way back in on Wild One after being out with our beautiful whales cruising through – when we were far enough out of the way of the whales and back into the bay, Aaron opened up Wild One for a tiny but awesome burst of adrenaline, speed, power and SO MUCH FUN! ..twisting the boat from left to right and into a 360 at speed – I LOVED it – I cannot wait to get out there for their full Thrill Seeker Ride, to be able to experience Wild One at her best…and to get some more of that adrenaline which I have become SO addicted to! haha.  This day was brilliant as a ‘teaser’, for a full-on Jetboat Adrenaline ride in that I got to test it with my balance/other factors to do with my disability etc with the short burst which Aaron put the boat through for us – and there were no issues at all, so…BRING IT ON! haha

The adrenaline..the speed….the power of the 4 V8 engines on Wild One (check out the speedo – 38knots = 70km/hr….yeeewww!!

 

As a bonus – after going out whale-watching a number of times now – I FINALLY managed to catch a shot of a whale tail this year!! I LOVE a whale tail, when they are ‘waving’ at us, while playing around us – so gorgeous!
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Among the number of other cruises Whale One offer (they also have a Dolphin Discovery Cruise during the day, a Sunset Cruise, as well as a New Years cruise – and they are about to introduce other Cruises into the mix) – is the opportunity to be aboard Whale One for the Mooloolaba Christmas Boat Parade in the leadup to Christmas.  Whale One is one of the biggest of the fleet of boats which cruise down the Mooloolaba canals in the Parade – to be on the boat in amongst other people on the water in vessels as small as a surfski, tinnies, jetboats, catamarans – even the Coastguard and local Water Police join in on the Parade, with all the boats ‘dressed up for Christmas’ – it’s such an awesome night of community & Christmas spirit. Seeing all the houses, pontoons, and people all dressed up in the Christmas spirit – as well as the community out lining the banks of the water enjoying the evening, all yelling & cheering out to each other as we coast along in the Parade – such a brilliant, fun way to bring in Christmas on the Sunshine Coast!

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After the Boat Parade is over – the fun doesn’t stop there for those of us on Whale One!  We get to party on board for a bit longer while back out cruising the canals again, listening and dancing to music, enjoying yummy food and a few drinks – it’s my favourite way to bring in Christmas!  As a bonus, because my birthday is 3 days before Christmas…the musician on board (sometimes John, owner of Whale One) sings Happy Birthday to me, roping everyone else to join in! I LOVE my birthday, so to have everyone enjoy it with me (even though the Parade not on my night itself)…so awesome!

Whale One staff always assist me to head up to top deck of the boat, to join in on the dancefloor and others partying up there – this is what I also love about Whale One staff, they treat me SO well!|

One year I even got a birthday peck on the cheek from Whale One Skipper, Lance (the  Mistletoe on a Stick which I brought to the Parade worked its magic..because we all know what has to happen when Mistletoe is around 😃 ).

Being out on the water, relaxing & having fun, spotting whales and other marine life, cruising our Sunny Coast waters & ocean with the most awesome people..Whale One has it all. They and their fleet of boats offer everything which reaches into my spirit, and which I love! If I could I’d spend time with Whale One/Wild One much more often!

Juanita, John, and the rest of the awesome Whale One staff & crew – what you have created is something special – and we are very lucky to have you right here on our beautiful Sunshine Coast! You obviously love ‘what you do’ – and this is what I am all about as well!  Working in amongst our beautiful ocean and marine creatures, which I also love – how could you not love it!

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE…WHEN YOU FOLLOW YOUR SPIRIT AND DO WHAT IT NEEDS
(in my case – get out on that ocean/water as much as I can…and seeking adrenaline!)

#117. Get back up on a horse – first babysteps – meeting Flash!

When I was a child, I attended Riding for the Disabled in New Zealand.  I have a few fond memories of that time…and one of my main memories is of loving being around those majestic creatures, the horses themselves!

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RDA in the ’70s – an awesome part of my childhood!

Unfortunately, outside of ‘RDA’ – in the past I have had a couple of unfortunate experiences of being on horses, and having them ‘bolt’ (fright) – once when I was at primary school at a school fete, I was having a ‘pony ride’…when along came the noisy bagpipes!  Needless to say, the horse I was on did not like this one bit – and let me know this by throwing me off!  My next not-so-good experience while on a horse was when I was 19, I was on a ‘trail’ with other horses and people (a quiet, safe trail where we had strict instructions NOT to make the horses go any faster than a slow walk around the short course).  For some unknown reason, one of the men in our group decided to kick his horse into a fast gallop…straight past the horse I was on – resulting in my horse revving up and giving chase!  How I managed to hold/stay on until someone came up and brought my horse under control, I will never know!

Ever since that second moment – I have never been game enough to get back up on a horse.  I love horses and being around them, they are such beautiful, gentle giants…but I have just never been game enough to, quite literally ‘get back up on the horse’.

Until now…or…soon…

After mid-year 2016, when I knew I had recovered enough from my major surgery earlier in the year for my body to now be able to handle more physical activity – I contacted the local Sunshine Coast Riding for the Disabled branch, telling them of my past history with RDA in NZ – as well as my previous ‘bolting’ experiences with those two horses….and of my want to ride a horse again.  They were only too keen for me to join in and support me to get back up onto a horse again!  Awesome!

On Tuesday 4th October, I headed out for a short drive into the country to the RDA complex – and immediately felt myself relax as soon as I headed out of town.  THIS is what I do this whole ‘bucketlist way of life’ for! This year has not been kind to me personally…but as soon as I drove out of town and knew I would be around these beautiful horses and in a rural area – I got ‘out of my head/current stressors’ and became fully present, in that moment. Just what I needed…and exactly why I live this life – to remind me to ‘just be’ at every opportunity I can!

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Nothing like being out in the country to remind you to ‘just be’!

After heading into the building and meeting staff, and then Sharon, the horse handler I’ll be working with for the first part of my babysteps towards getting up onto a horse again – we went out and met the beautiful Flash! RDA works in ‘terms’ and a slow/gentle approach – my first term will be ‘grooming, and familiarising myself with being around ‘my’ horse’, next term will be carriage riding (think, old-fashioned horse & cart-style), then after that – and when I feel ready – back UP and riding again! What a beautiful experience this is all going to be!

Meet my new friend Flash…isn’t he gorgeous! He was so gentle, so calming to be around. He tried to munch my wheelchair when introduced to me haha the rascal (but I know he was only exploring it as something new)! I had a beautiful moment with him…animals seem to know when somethings ‘amiss’ with us as humans – I leant forward to reach for something, he immediately put his nose/face around to my lower back and just sat it there until I moved…this is where my ‘spina bifida lesion’ is, it really was as if he somehow sensed it was there, and so wanted to ‘soothe it’, as animals seem to want to do with us.
I spent my session patting him, grooming him, and gently talking to him as well as handler Sharon -I could have stayed there all day, it was such a calming experience!

Such a beautiful morning…thank you Sunshine Coast RDA…and of course, Flash!

Cant wait for next session. RDA do such fantastic work in the community, the benefits to its participants are more than people may realise
http://www.sunshinecoastrda.com/

ANYTHING is Possible…when you have gentle animals to calm you and remind you to ‘just be’!

#177. Perfect a 3 minute plank (without a break)

Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE a Challenge – especially in the fitness world!
I thoroughly enjoy “dominating over this body which doesn’t work 100%” (my ‘WHY’ I do what I do!) and once I discover something new I am able to do…I love to push the limits of it!

One day during 2015, I discovered the Plank…

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Its a lot harder than it looks…trust me!

I started off seeing if I could make it to 30 seconds..meh…easy! haha.  Over time, I thought, you know what I’m going to set myself a Challenge here – so I put “#177. Perfect a 3 minute plank (without a break)” on the bucketlist.  Game ON! (Truth be know, I was going to put 5 minutes as the target – but, 3 minutes seemed enough of a ‘first target’ to strive for!

I started working at it at home inbetween my PT sessions…

 

…over time, I started to find even 1 minute easy!  “Hey…this really is within my reach I’m sure, one day!”

During a PT session, with Mike timing me – he boomed out
“30 seconds”
“1 minute”
….”1 minute 30 COME ON you’ve got this!”

I ‘broke’ at the amazing mark of 1min 57secs…WOWzers!! SO proud…SUCH hard work! haha

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At that stage…even if I never made it to the 3-minute mark – I was SO, so proud of my efforts – being SO close to the 2 minute mark, I was very determined to break that time!
So, the work continued late 2015 – into 2016…at home, and at my gym sessions (solo, and PT)

My health then started to take a turn for the worst (it had been for a while but I pushed through, until I had no option but to face surgery) – I was booked in for major surgery late February 2016.  The last thing I was capable of at this stage was stretching and holding all the muscle groups which holding a Plank requires.  The Game Plan will have to change…

Fast forward to mid-2016, post-surgery and into recovery mode.  My medical team gave me a big NO (for life) as to whether I could continue doing full Planks (plus other exercises I had my eye on/had been doing already), or to push my body incredibly hard in certain areas as I had been previously – I can still ‘push hard’ but in different ways than before. From now on, my approach to my Fitness Goals has to be more of a ‘slow(er) and steady’ approach, instead of ‘fast and furious” so as to protect the repair work, and this ‘newly structured body’ of mine.  This was a big shock to me (I knew some things would change post-surgery, but I was too busy dealing with the very tough road I went through medically etc to actually process it privately in my mind). I absolutely LOVE pushing my body hard through anything and everything I throw at it, fitness-wise and I know I will miss pushing that hard in all areas) – but you know what, creating your Dream/ultimate life requires a certain amount of sacrifice.  I was very, very happy to go through major surgery (and its difficult, still ongoing recovery) and to forego/change my fitness technique if it meant getting permanently rid of the regular horrid pain and fatigue I been submitted to for a very long time, previous to the surgery.  Quality of life is SO important to me..if it means that I had to change things up, and permanently let go (and grieve, because that’s exactly what happened) my ‘fast & furious’ fitness approach I had been doing for so long (and Planks, as I LOVE doing them and trying to beat my previous time) – so be it.  As long as I am still able to be as active as I was before, and still strive for my Fitness Goals (and in some ways over time, I’ve become more active/strong (and definitely healthier!) because of saying goodbye to the issue which the surgery fixed…yay!) having to let go of some things/ways was fine with me!

Now this is where my Mantra, “Anything is Possible….in your own Way” comes in!

Imagine my surprise when, late August during a PT session with Belinda (I now have two awesome PTs – Mike, and Belinda), she brought the Swiss ball over to the Floor area where I was working, and introduced me to the ‘half-Plank’.  Wow….so I could still do a modified Plank?  I could not believe it…I was SO happy about this! I had accepted in my mind that Planks were a no-go zone – so to have it back in my life, in some form…well, this was just awesome!

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It may look like I’m just relaxing against the Ball…but trust me, this was hard work – that’s a moving/rolling surface! Awesome to be doing a (modified) Plank again!

Suddenly, the fact that I had to ‘let go’ of not only aiming towards my 3 minute Plank target, and of the full Plank altogether – this did not matter one bit – doing them was BACK in my life! “oh Plank, how I have missed you!”

Thank you so much Belinda for re-introducing me to the Plank!

(this is crossed off the List now, as I have achieved what I wanted to achieve with it…even if I didn’t quite get to 3 minutes, I am very, very happy with the 2min10secs I achieved before I had to ‘let go’ of the full Plank). The fact I achieved that close to 3 minutes, in the state my health was in at the time, pre-surgery – yep, very proud of my efforts!

ANYTHING really IS POSSIBLE…in your own Way!

#257. EXPLORE THE FOREST – Get ‘off the beaten track’ (Blog part #3)

continued from Blog Part #2)

Shaking with excitement, I then made the phonecall I’d been waiting to make for so long now – to inform Anna from Anna Gilbert Photography that my outdoor terrain equipment had arrived, and that I was now free to book in my Shoot, out on location in the forest! I LOVE the moment I make that step by locking in a ‘tick off the List’, there is no other feeling like it….especially when it is one of the more very sentimental/meaningful experiences I’ve always wanted to do!

Confirming the date and location with Anna, I then waited for the day to arrive (‘making it happen’ does involve a lot of waiting at times, inbetween taking the steps – this still hasn’t taught me much about ‘patience’ though haha…I still want everything to happen NOW!).  But, waiting in anticipation is one of the most beautiful feelings to me, deep down inside – there is no other feeling quite like it!

Finally, the day arrived – after meeting Anna at her Studio, I followed her out to the highway, where we were off to explore one of the forestry areas out in the beautiful Glasshouse Mountains.  SUCH an incredibly picturesque area, I absolutely love that we are surrounded by so much beautiful nature here on the Sunshine Coast!

Arriving at the spot which my Shoot was to take place, I had to just sit in the car and ‘take a moment’ to myself for a little bit…I was completely blown away, I couldn’t believe that I was IN this absolutely beautiful forest – something I had always wanted to experience, but never had….until now, that is! I got out of my car, unloaded my outdoor terrain wheelchair…and set off to explore! I almost shed tears, that’s how much this experience meant to me!

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After Anna and I talked for a bit, discussing how awesome this was and how grateful I was to her – we then got to exploring different areas of the track/forest, ready to ‘capture the moments’ in my Shoot.

The Shoot itself was AMAZING, I absolutely loved discovering with Anna, the beautiful aspects of this beautiful forestry!  I truly didn’t want to leave, as the sun started to go down!  Anna is absolutely amazing at ‘what she does’ – she is able to tune right into you, your personality, and what would be perfect for you, as images/atmospheres to create – so that the true ‘you’ shines out! I could not wait to see my images!

I came home from the Shoot a little dirty and dusty (from clambering through the forest, to find that ‘perfect shot’)…but you know what, I have never been happier to BE dirty and dusty..after all, this is what ‘getting off the beaten track’ is all about, isn’t it? 😉

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The images which were taken by Anna from Anna Gilbert Photography were absolutely perfect, and really captured the wonder of ‘exploring the forest’ like I had always wanted to do! I wish I could have purchased all of the images Anna captured – they are stunning!
I also got to ‘#110. Hug a Tree’, which was another magical ‘tick off the list’!

Truly an amazing spot, and perfect for my first experience of being in the middle of a forest!

(images I took with my own personal camera)

Thank you so much to Anna, for bringing this beautiful experience to me, and sharing the magical moments along the way, with me – as I said in a previous blog, this adventure unfolded in the most magical way possible.  Still cannot believe the perfect timing of the Shoot voucher which I won, which tied in with the timing of me discovering the existence of outdoor terrain equipment – making this all possible!  I thoroughly enjoyed sharing this experience with you Anna, you really seemed to ‘get’ (in your own way of course) why this day was so very important for me!

Exploring the Forest…getting off the beaten track.  There is no other feeling quite like reaching deep down into your soul and taking yourself to where you know you are ‘home’. The forest, and raw nature, is this, for me.

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE…when you live with Intention!

#243. EXPLORE THE FOREST – Get ‘off the beaten track’ (Blog part #2)

(continued from Blog Part #1)

THE DAY HAD ARRIVED!
Excitedly, I woke up on the morning my new equipment was to arrive, almost trembling with anticipation – and then there it was, I hear the Wicked Wheelchairs van pull up!
I raced out the front, eager to get started into this moment which was about to change my life!

Jon from Wicked Wheelchairs  unloaded the equipment from the van – and there it was, my tough little beast which was about to change my life!

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How tough (and awesome) is this!

I couldn’t believe it, it seemed surreal – there it was, this equipment which a few months ago I never even knew existed! My world was about to change and expend in the most magical way…a way which I had yearned for, for so long!  ‘Nature’ is a part of me, deep down in my soul…but I had never been about to truly get out into raw nature (especially without assistance) – but through this tough little beast, I will now be able to fulfil that part of me which had been missing all my life!

I transferred into it, wiggled a little and thought ‘yep, that’s it, this feels so ‘right’ ‘…it was so comfy!  I’ve always had a bit of a ‘boys mindset’ which loves to be around ‘tough, boy things’ – this machine, with its big ‘fats’ (bigger/tougher tyres which make going through tougher terrain so much easier) and ability to go ‘play in the dirt’ really reaches into this mindset of mine! haha

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Thank you so much, Chris – NorthCoast Rehab, and Wicked Wheelchairs!

After making a few tweaks and adjustments, and trialling it up and down the outdoor area outside my home – Jon then drove away leaving me to my own devices with this awesome piece of equipment.  Uh oh…this could get awesomely ‘dangerous’! haha

Straightaway, I headed down to the coastal strip to explore ‘Chambers Island’ a little island in the Maroochy River which is surrounded with dirt/leaves, and plenty of grassed/sandy areas for me to test this thing out!  It felt AMAZING to be able to freely explore areas other than ‘staying on concrete paths’!  One moment which took my breath away was, ‘crunching over leaves’ – I was in ‘childhood joy’, plowing through a big pile of leaves on the ground, and hearing them ‘crunch’ over me – I was making that sound myself..it truly was the most magical sound, to me!  Over the coming weeks and months, I had an absolute ball, testing the limits of the equipment – which included me getting stuck by pushing it just that little bit too far, to areas I was told that it didn’t go too well, independently (soft, deep dune beach sand)….oops…oh well, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t stretch the limits too far!

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Next came the moment I’d been waiting for… to get out into that Forest
(continued in Blog part #3)

 

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