Anything is Possible…in your own Way!

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

(continued from Blog Part #1)

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


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 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!

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


#243. EXPLORE THE FOREST – Get ‘off the beaten track’ (Blog part #1)

As far back as I can remember, I have always had a longing to get ‘off the beaten track’, and yearned to find ways to explore this beautiful, natural world of ours.  When you have mobility issues…this can be a little (at times, a lot!) more difficult, and somewhat of a challenge!  But….as anyone who knows me, knows – I’m up for a Challenge!

In early 2015, this want of mine very unexpectedly and suddenly developed into my reality….in ways I could have never have imagined – or planned – more magically! Truly meant to be!

This train of events started by me intentionally creating my Word of Intention for the year at the start of 2015!

*while having absolutely NO idea what was about to unfold!*

One evening I was simply sitting at home, googling away trying to find something in particular – and all of a sudden out of nowhere, in the search results appeared a tough-looking outdoor terrain wheelchair! (my ‘google search’ had absolutely nothing to do with this…it appeared as a random google image in the results!).  Excitedly, I clicked on the page where the image came from – and discovered that there is amazing mobility equipment out there which enables us with mobility issues to be able to…exactly as my ‘want’ – “get off the beaten track”!  Wow!  It may have been late in that evening, but suddenly, I was WIDE AWAKE! I had no idea this type of equipment even existed, until this moment!

Immediately I fired off an email, including the picture, to my occupational therapist who had previously assisted me in sourcing equipment and funding for new disability handcontrols for my vehicle.  If anyone could find a way to source this amazing chair (or something more suited to my own needs) – he could!

Next thing I know, after a few emails/telephone conversations and research – a trial of this awesome equipment had been arranged – I was actually ON MY WAY to quite possibly obtaining this way of getting “off the beaten track” independently, by myself (without assistance, which is how I’d always done it previously.  It has been a dream of mine to be able to explore our beautiful nature, independently, like so many others are able to do, too!

I was BEYOND excited at this stage…finally, my Dream of getting out into nature was becoming my reality! I could almost feel my heart glowing with excitement and wonder of ‘I wonder what’s out there…I wonder what I’m about to discover when I go exploring!” I was like a child on Christmas!  (…and this is what embracing your lives is all about – feeling the childhood joy that, as adults, many seem to have forgotten, or hidden deep down).

I literally could not believe what happened next, (when I was now in the ‘waiting stage’ (which potentially could take many months!) for my equipment application to proceed/be equipment to be manufactured – and that magical day when it would one day arrive!)

I received a notification on Facebook that I’d been ‘tagged’ “Hmmm I wonder what this is?” – strolling across the tagged post, I had then discovered that I had earned “Member of the Month” at my gym, Suncoast Fitness! How awesome is that?  But what came next was even more awesome! The prize was a location shoot with Anna Gilbert Photography, a Sunshine Coast-based photographer where she takes you out to a location of your choice, and capture some photographs of you in your special location.

WOW!  Just when this magical experience of discovering a way I can get out to ‘Explore the Forest’ unfolds – and I win this voucher with a photographer who could quite possibly capture the moments I first get to experience it!  I literally could not believe it!  If I thought I was like a ‘kid on Christmas’ while waiting for my equipment to arrive…I was beyond excited now! haha.

Filled with excitement and gratitude, I then made the call to Anna at Anna Gilbert Photography, spoke to her about myself and ‘my journey’, and about how this equipment was about to arrive – and would it be possible for Anna to name a beautiful forest location for us to go and capture the moment where I experience being in a forest, for the very first time – but we would have to wait until my equipment arrived? (as I have never been able to access such deep nature as a forest before, I had absolutely no idea where to go…so I put my trust and this decision over to Anna.  I was about to discover that my trust in her choice was absolutely perfect!)

So now, I had TWO things to wait in anticipation for…the arrival of my equipment, and the knowledge that I was about to be IN a forest, for the very first time!  HURRY UP, EQUIPMENT!! haha

….that was the lead-up – now comes the arrival of the equipment, and to get out into that forest! (see Blog Part #2 to find out what happened next!)


#206. Write down something I am grateful for, every day for a month. – DONE!

I thought I’d ‘give this a month’ from January 1….I’ve enjoyed it so much I’ve decided to keep going, till the end of the year…and beyond! This Q&A journal poses a different question to you each day – I’ve resisted skipping ahead and looking at the further questions along the way (which has tested my very curious mind, to not take a sneak peek ahead, and to stay on the current ‘day’!), its a lot of fun, and thought provoking answering a different question it puts to you each day! As its unfolded, I’ve discovered some very, very interesting personal questions in the journal – which I have answered from a ‘what I’m grateful for’ angle!

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE…when you are grateful in Life!

**27.9.2016 UPDATE
Just thought I’d share an update on this ‘tick off the list’ which is proving to be more rewarding than I first thought it would be!

Yesterdays ‘Question’ was Today was amazing because…”

Yesterday was not a great day at all, I have (but am working through) a huge, paralysing dental phobia – yesterday I had to get not one, but two different procedures done. I was scared. But, at the end of the day, last night I answered the Question with
“Today was amazing because not only did I get through not one, but two dental procedures…but I got through them with less fear than what I thought I would. I’m thankful to my amazing dentist and his assistant for working with my phobia, and respecting it..and me!”

Yesterday was a rough day – but making entries into this journal has trained my mind to switch to what made it a ‘good day’, instead – even if it’s just one little ‘good moment’ in the day!

I dont normally share my ‘answers’ from this journal as it is my personal thoughts which go into the pages – but thought I’d show how, looking at life from a gratitude angle where and when you can, really does enrich your life!
Given that its a 5-year journal….it’s also going to be an interesting journey when making the next years entries – and seeing how my thoughts compare to the previous years!


Chasing my Dreams turns 5!


There have been a number of times I could have very, very easily walked away, and no longer lived my little venture publicly (while still continuing to live the ‘bucketlist lifestyle’ and smash my goals privately *I could never give my Dreams up totally!*) because of certain ‘behind the scenes’ incidents over the timeframe this little venture has been alive. Lifes hard enough, without those sorts of external pressures added, when you’re just trying to ‘do your bit’ in this world. But, it is because of those who have told me that I inspire them to make changes in their own life; that ‘what I do’ has given them a new way of looking at, and living their own life; that what I do has empowered them to take themselves out of a dark space; which keeps me going in those times I would rather just give this all up. Those who have chosen to share their personal goals and Dreams with me, which in turn inspire me, in my own life. Thank you. It is an honour to be able to make a difference in this world, and to spread a little bit of positivity, in a small corner of this everchanging (and sometimes not so nice) world of ours.

….and thats the thing, we ALL can, and most likely do in ways you are not even aware of, make a difference in someone elses life…you may just not be aware of just how you’ve done it….or that you even have. That stranger down the street you gave a smile and short compliment to? You may have just changed her/his entire day around. You may just be going about your day one day, and mindlessly done something which someone else has quietly observed you doing – which in turn made them smile and think of something in their own life that they can change. That’s how simple (and silent, without you even realising) ‘making a difference’ can be.

Thank you also to all of YOU who have been a part of my adventures the last 5yrs in no matter what way, small or large, and encouraged me to make a difference in my own life – YOU have helped me not give up…you have helped me towards a life I never, ever dreamed would be possible for me. I also now know what it feels like to feel true pride for myself, to feel that I do have worth, and have ‘grown into myself’ far more in the last 5yrs, than I ever did in the previous 4 decades. THANK YOU! 💙💛💚

From PTSD…to living outside of the Comfort Zone!

Even ‘babysteps’ towards Goals can be meaningful..just as meaningful as the Goal or Dream itself, sometimes…in its own way!

Living life the ‘bucketlist way’ has changed my mindset in incredible, and unexpected ways…none more so than encouraging me to live life outside my ‘Comfort Zone’. In a strange kind of way, I dont ‘choose to’ live life outside of the Comfort Zone these’s like my mind has an automatic default. Its just how I think, and am deep down inside, now! I’m constantly on the search for ways to challenge myself, so the Comfort Zone isn’t a place I visit and get comfy with all that often (except when health challenges crop up and I retreat so I can regain my strength again – this is when we all need ‘comfort’, right?). In fact, being INSIDE the Comfort Zone feels foreign and uncomfortable to me now…weird, huh?

But, this ‘living outside the Comfort Zone’ automatic pilot setting in my mind has not always been the case…

In my early 20s, I developed severe PTSD, which manifested itself into agoraphobia (intense fear or anxiety about being in open or public places) – at its worst, I could not even venture outside my front door to wander down the driveway to my mailbox, this frightened me beyond belief – and it is such a simple task…I was simply ‘afraid of the world’ for a very long time. Over time, I very gradually taught myself to repeatedly, and gently, venture further – to the mailbox, sitting in my car in the driveway, starting the car and driving down the street and back, driving to the local shopping centre carpark and just sitting in the car….to gradually taking bigger steps to where I (somewhat) had my life back. Not the life I have now, but a life where I could function again and do the basics like grocery shopping and venturing out in my local community, return to employment etc. This is where I had my first learned (adult) experience of teaching myself ‘taking babysteps towards a Goal’. I wanted my life back so badly, that I just HAD to go through these gentle (but scary for me at the time!) babysteps to achieve it!

Fast forward to now, and even though I am constantly pushing myself and striving to achieve all that I can – I know that my anxiety is sitting dormant in the background, surfacing in specific situations. One such way it shows up is when I drive ‘longer distances from home’, especially by myself. I am perfectly OK to jump into someone elses car as a passenger and let them drive me even to a place where I have no idea where we are going, the anxiety doesn’t rear its head then …but, for me to jump into my own cars’ drivers seat and head out of town…especially when I have absolutely no idea how to get to my destination and heading into unfamiliar territory? Oh yes, the anxiety shows itself BIGtime! Which was my motivation behind placing these two ‘Dreams’ or Goals on the bucketlist:

136. Gain more confidence in longer distance driving by myself ….and then further in time, I ‘got brave’ and placed this on the List…

230. Drive down to Dick Johnson Racing Team Mates Night one year, myself.  DJR Team Penske’s annual Team Mates Night (a 1.5-2hr drive down the Coast away from where I live) is the one night of the year which I look forward to so much every single year – everyone who knows me/knows of my journey knows how much this Team, my Racing family means to me, its like a big ‘family reunion’ every year on this night – so it only makes sense to use this Event as my (excuse the pun) ‘driving force’ to help me overcome this fear of driving longer distances! I usually get a ride down/back from my awesome fellow Team Mates family – nothing will keep me away even if I don’t drive down there myself!

There is NOTHING like writing down a Goal, to make it actually REAL. For me, it makes it ‘set in stone’ and turns it into a ‘Challenge Accepted!’ moment! I cannot NOT ignore it, once it is on that List! Once I committed myself to #136 – I went and bought myself a ‘Go Via’ (automatic toll payment) tag and stuck it on my car. I thought this would encourage me to get out there at the time, and explore….but no, this wasn’t enough to kickstart me towards achieving my Goal…

TELLING PEOPLE OF YOUR GOAL MAKES YOU ACCOUNTABLE…putting it out there, really does work!
I’ve since told a number of people about my Goal, but telling this group of people connected to my Racing Family/Team suddenly made it Real “I really do have to achieve this now…I’ve told all these people I WILL do it!”

Dick Johnson and his lovely wife Jillie (Jillie gives the best ‘Jillie cuddles’!) now know about my Goal to drive down to Team Mates Night…

…as do racing legend John Bowe – and the Teams 2014 drivers – including the man himself who Drove me to my Dream, Steve Johnson!  Steve’s wife Bree also knows of my Goal..

….All these people know what I want to achieve…uh oh I can’t get it out of it now! haha



Sitting in the passenger seat on the way down to DJR Team Penske Team Mates Night 2016 – it suddenly dawned on me! My PTSD/agoraphobia I developed and fought so hard to overcome in my 20s, is a big part of what is driving this ‘fear of driving longer distances’ today – the ‘further away from home’ I get when completely by myself (ie. No one else in my car with me), the more my anxiety knocks at the door of my mind, and shows itself. All these years later after that challenging time in my life I never really connected the two until this moment. Lightbulb moment right there! With lightbulb moments, often comes healing and the road ahead suddenly seeming a lot clearer (even though nothing physically has changed in your world, the ‘road in your head’ suddenly opens up when you discover the ‘why’ of how the roadblock has appeared in your mind and stopping you in your tracks.

Having arrived down at DJR Team Penske HQ once again with absolutely no anxiety at all, this really helped in the “I not only want to make this happen…I now NEED to make this happen, for myself!” determination switch in my mind! Yes, the ‘thought’ of doing it does make me very nervous still…but, if I let those thoughts overcome my actions and intention – I will never plough through this fear – I will never make it happen! I admit, it makes me nervous deep in my belly to think “in 2017, I may even drive my car to Team Mates Night myself! (with a passenger)”, even just thinking that makes me take deep breaths and exhale nervously – but…the only way to get through the nerves is to DO it!

(I’ve written the Goal down…told people about it…  The next step? Uh oh…yep that’s right, the only thing left now is to ACHIEVE the Goal!)

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There she is, my beautiful #17 racecar (the 2016 version of her) – her sister car #12 in the background! Just like a family reunion, I always love seeing ‘my #17’ again – the car which drove me to my Dream!

Its funny, I will quite happily and excitedly jump into a tank full of sharks with absolutely NO fear…but, thinking about jumping into my own cars drivers seat (I absolutely love my car, and it frustrates me that I have this fear!) and going on a roadtrip?? This gets me wanting to run and hide in the corner!  It’s bizarre(and very personal!) what ‘gets us’ sometimes, isn’t it…our fears and ‘blocks’ are unique to each and every one of us, for our own reasons.

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE…when you jump into the drivers seat of your own life!

‘Have to’s vs ‘Want to’s…mix it up!

Most of us have busy lives, stressors, and times where we just cant see our way out of the ‘hot mess’ and way our day/week is going to pan out, which often stresses us before the day/week even begins.  This is why it is SO important to make sure you mix some ‘Want to’s (things you WANT to do), in with your ‘Have to’s (responsibilities and schedules) when you can.

A recent Monday was a perfect example of this, of how on a day where I woke feeling a bit daunted and overwhelmed of the day/week ahead (various appointments and certain stressors were what I was facing, and all I could see my week containing)…but by taking advantage of little pockets of time I had on the Monday between appointments, and taking a few minutes to do a few things I WANTED to do – I’ve now arrived at Tuesday (with a week still with some stressors ahead of me) feeling so much more relaxed – I can see my way through the rest of the week now! 🙂

Between appointments on Monday, when I had a little time to play with while waiting for the next appointment, I thought of how I could fill in my time.  This is how it panned out:

Ticked “147. Eat Chicken Feet’ off the bucketlist (I needed to eat at that time, anyway!)

Called into Pacific Ford Sunshine Coast to check out there awesome remote control Ford Ranger Wildtracks (which was a way to get me pumped about when I get to experience ‘#234 GO 4WDing, across rivers, up hills etc’ one day)

Heading down to the beachfront at Alexandra Headlands for a few minutes, to view the beautiful P&O ship, Pacific Jewel which was parked in off Mooloolaba for the day – which got me to thinking of the day that I will be lucky enough to experience a Cruise for the first time


Taking little pockets of time (just a few minutes if thats all you have – or any amount of time that you can), in amongst your busy day/week really is beneficial to your health, and stress levels…it really does change your day!


In todays fastpaced world where society is all ‘go, go, GO!’ to get external things done in our lives…don’t forget about YOU, too…you deserve your attention, too!

***UPDATE Friday July 1: The rest of my week ended up being ‘one of those weeks’ where I was all over the Coast going to various appointments etc – but, with using these ‘pockets of time’ on Monday, I’ve reached the end of the week feeling much less stressed!

ANYTHING is Possible…..when you remember that YOU are worth taking time out for, too!

#147. Eat Chicken Feet – Tick!

On a dreary winters Monday morning…I was facing a day which was chock full of appointments – but, then I found myself with a pocket of time inbetween.  As I was driving away from where I was parked, I suddenly had a thought, and started giggling “Hmmm I’m feeling a bit peckish, I have a little time to kill before my next appointment down this way…I know, I’m going to go tick ‘Chicken Feet’ off the bucketlist!” Then, for some reason even though it wasn’t an ‘adrenaline-filled’ Dream off the list or anything, the stress I was feeling on the inside suddenly lifted, I felt myself smiling on the inside – something which always happens to me when I am about to do something I’ve never done before, when I’m about to tick a Dream off the list.  I’ve never felt this about something so minor as trying a new food though – I guess this is another sign of what this awesome ‘bucketlist lifestyle’ does for me…it really does make my heart smile, and makes me laugh, which is always a good thing!

Heading to Sunshine Plaza Maroochydore, where Yum Cha Cuisine Sunshine Plaza is located, I was still giggling…theres something about what cooked chicken feet looks like, which cracks me up…they look like little hands, ready to grab you in the belly haha


Yummy yummy get in my tummy!

I had never experienced Yum Cha before, so that’s another first, too!  I sat down at the table while the friendly waitress explained how it worked, and how yummy the chicken feet were..then literally in the next few seconds, the steaming dish of chicken feet appeared in front of me…they smelt DIVINE!


Challenge Accepted!

OK…Challenge Accepted! Another ‘left of centre’ food I absolutely love is lambs kidneys (yeah I know, some will say ‘yukkk!’ but I adore them!) but I honestly didn’t know how these will go down…will I vomit, in the middle of this restaurant?? (I have unfortunately had that experience at a restaurant in my past…but that is a whole other story..oops!)

I started to chomp into these little morsels of chicken goodness…and OMG…they were so, SOO GOOD!! Full of flavour, not a lot of meat on them, I guess they are a little like eating chicken wings, but much, much tastier…yum! (I wouldn’t recommend them for children though, as they have little bones through them which wouldn’t be safe for little mouths).  The chef at Yum Cha Cuisine Sunshine Plaza cooked them to perfection!


All gone!

I don’t know why I had been hesitant to try these before now…but, I guess its like a lot of things you ‘want to do’ – when you do finally choose to try/do that thing, you find out that it really isn’t so bad (or scary, or whatever the ‘block’ is which stopped you) after all – in fact, its quite the opposite and you wish you had done it earlier!  When I left Yum Cha Cuisine Sunshine Plaza and back into my busy day, I not only had a happy belly, but a smile on the inside as I had once again done something I had ‘always wanted to do’. What a great way to improve my day!

Thank you Yum Cha Cuisine Sunshine Plaza, your staff, the cleanliness & crisp/sharp layout of your restaurant, not to mention your amazing chef (I also had the Prawn Dumpings…yummmm!) are all a credit to your business! I will be back..I have to come try other Yum Cha options now…they all looked so good, on the trolley!


Yum Cha Cuisine Sunshine Plaza, RiverWalk

Anything is Possible…when you take time out of your busy day to try something new…Without ‘Chicken’ing out!

#205. Flight Simulator – Tick!

“Ladies and Gentlemen, this is Captain Tarns speaking.  Welcome to Flight TS17…

Get in, Sit down, Strap up, and HANG ON…because you’re about to have one helluva flight!!” haha 😉

I have always been fascinated with flying (well, with my upbringing being around cars/the racetrack – I’m fascinated with anything with an engine really – especially big beasty/thrusty engines, speed, and power!), and I absolutely LOVE being a plane passenger.  On takeoff – when the pilot starts up the powerful engine, and thrusts the plane down the runway at fullspeed, heading to lift the plane off the ground into the sky – LOVE that!  If I could be a ‘professional passenger’, I would be in heaven! haha

After recently hearing that there was a new Flight Simulator business opened up in Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast, I was excited – I had wanted to have a go in a Simulator for a very long time….and here’s my chance.  My anticipation of wanting to make this happen heightened when I saw a photo of my personal trainer Mike, in this very simulator, and hearing from him how awesome the experience was.  That was it, I was going to head to Sunjet Simulations as soon as I could fit it into my schedule!

On the morning of Saturday 11th June, I headed over to Mooloolaba, butterflies in the tummy, and my heart beating just a little bit faster…this was my first ‘shot of adrenaline’ and anticipation which many of my bucketlist Dreams give me, for many months after I had to step back because of recent health issues.  I was SO excited…little kid excited, even…and this was just knowing that I was going in to talk to Patrick, owner of Sunjet Simulations regarding the possibility of booking in ‘one day soon’ for a session – little did I know that literally within minutes of meeting him he would say “So did you want to give it a go right now!” …Absolutely, BRING it on! haha


Within minutes, I was sitting at the controls of a replica Boeing 737-800 cockpit – the controls are very realistic, exactly what you would see in an actual Boeing 737-800 aircraft (right down to the Life Vests on the back of the seats), it was amazing sitting there, holding onto the ‘yoke’ (the steering column) and having all these buttons, levers, lights and controls right in front of me. Truth be known (here comes the little kid in me again haha), I was sitting there before take-off and listening to my co-Captain Patrick’s instructions, mischieviously wanting to touch and play with all the buttons!


My flight was to be from the Sint Maarten airport, in the Caribbean (that’s another ‘Dream’ of mine, to go to the Caribbean, so I was there…in a way!), cruising out over the ocean/the islands for a bit, then looping back in to fly into the airport over the beach.  The airport simulator was so realistic, down to seeing buses and other ‘traffic’ driving around the airport through the aircraft windows, as you sat there at the Gate/Terminal before takeoff, and  beautiful coastal houses etc lining the runway.

Next minute, the engine was started (this was so realistic, down to the noise, the thrust, and even feeling the movement under/around us in our seats), and I was thrusting this ‘aircraft’ down the runway, ready for takeoff!  Funny thing was – I had more trouble keeping the plane straight while I was on the ground, than when I was in the air – this was slightly different than controlling a car! haha I kept heading it sideways towards the grass….must be the race/car enthusiast in me, heading the plane for a little  bit of rallycross! 😉

Before we knew it, we were in the air, the ground getting further behind us with each passing second – we were heading for 8,000ft.  I thought I would get so confused with all the different controls, and things I had to remember – but, along with having co-Captain Patrick right beside me (dual controls, just in case!), once we were cruising up there, there really wasn’t a lot I had to remember as long as I kept an eye on the numbers, needles on the different controls etc – it is mainly on takeoff, and on descent for landing that you really have to have your mind on the  ball…otherwise you’re in trouble!  At least in the Simulator you cant ‘crash the aircraft’ (although secretly, I wondered what it would be like to ‘crash the simulator’ – because at least you wont actually damage an aircraft in the process!)  Apart from banking too far to the left and almost heading into the ocean sideways (oops!)…and my rallycross effort along the runway grass – I was told that for my first flight, I did great! Wow..I now have an idea of what it is like to fly one of these magnificent machines!


Ready for Takeoff!

The adrenaline was still in me as I got to my car a little while later – it was a similar feeling to when I climbed into my car after my first V8 Supercar Hotlap on that amazing day back in August 2011 – I had to sit there for a minute to let the adrenaline pass a little, as I still had the feeling of ‘being up in the air’ inside of me.  It actually gave me much more of an adrenaline shot than I thought it would!  This experience is so realistic, it really does feel (visually, and inside of you) like you are actually in a cockpit of an actual aircraft.  These simulators are a brilliant tool for trainee pilots too – Sunjet have had a few trainees come in, to get the ‘next best thing’ to practicing their flying in an actual aircraft in the sky.

If you have ever wanted to experience flying an aircraft (or if you are training to be a pilot and would like more practice) – a Simulator is such a brilliant way to do it.  Sunjet Simulations also has a ‘Fearless Flyer Program’ for people with a phobia of flying.

Thank you so much Pat, my ‘co-Captain’ and owner of SunJet Simulations (located at 127 Brisbane Rd Mooloolaba), for allowing us to experience this, through your Simulator, and for being such a great, fun instructor too! 🙂

ANYTHING is Possible…when you are flying at 8,000ft!






Smashing a Goal…of a different kind! (Chasing my Dreams is going into (temporary) hibernation!)

CHASING MY DREAMS IS (temporarily) changing direction/going into hibernation over the next few months…it’s not permanent…but my posts will not be of the same nature/frequency for a while, as you are used to seeing here. I’ll also be taking an extended break for a number of weeks from my little venture, from towards the end of February.

In a long story short, I am booked in for surgery towards the end of February. This is major surgery, with what will be a long drawnout recovery afterwards. Due to the nature of this surgery (made more complicated and risky for my surgeon, and for myself because of the challenges my body is already living with) I am going to have to take it VERY carefully so as to not cause permanent damage to this body of mine which is already trying its best, given its existing challenges.

What this means is….for 6 weeks post-surgery, I will be basically housebound, under instructions (and silent protest!) not to move too much, for my body to start its healing. Full recovery (all going well, that is) is based on 3 months of ‘taking it easy, fitness-wise’ (which is going to drive me absolutely up the wall!!)

What this means for my Mt Coolum Climb? After receiving professional advice from different sources, and people on my personal support/care team – it has been decided to postpone my Climb until 2017. I know me, and my support/care team know ‘how my mind works’ – I know that in my absolute determination to Climb this year, I would push my mind through and quite possibly ignore (without meaning to, but in my determination and drive it may happen) any pain/symptoms I may feel post-surgery to be able to achieve my Climb – but in the process quite possibly suffer permanent damage to my body – which is the last thing I want/or need. It absolutely breaks my heart to postpone this until 2017 (especially since this is the 2nd year in a row that my body has thrown curveballs in the way of climbing Mt Coolum) – but you know what? This will only make it all the more rewarding and special, when I DO reach that beautiful summit and view at the top, which I am so hungry for. My mind desperately wants to climb Mt Coolum this year…but, my body is the one calling the shots here…if I don’t listen to my body, especially now…I’m in trouble…and could quite possibly kiss my mobility goodbye permanently, if I Climb in Winter 2016. The awesome thing about Climbing in 2017 though?? As we all know, it was racing inside the beautiful #17 V8 Supercar in 2011 which started off this whole amazing adventure of mine – so it makes perfect sense to Climb in 2017!!  …Perfect! 😀

What this surgery means for my longterm future? This is the good (awesome!!) news! No more regular (and increasing in regularity and severity to the point of being bedbound at times) pain in the particular area of surgery, of which I have been dealing with for a number of years now. I think my body knows the surgery is very near….as its currently delivering a ‘real doozy’ in regards to pain levels…cheeky body, you just had to give me a last minute ‘decent serve of it, didnt you? In my surgeons words, I will be a ‘whole new woman after you get through this…you’ll skim up that Mountain in no time flat!’

Well, that wasnt such a ‘long story short’ was it? I apologise for the longwinded explanation. All I can ask from here on in until this ‘not-so-little’ hiccup is behind me is, some understanding and patience – I am usually encouraging others on this website/my Facebook page and through how I live my life – now I’m going to be concentrating fully on myself for a while. Putting my bucketlist on the shelf is going to tear at me something chronic…but I will still be achieving Goals of a different kind, babystepping my way through recovery! If you have any positive thoughts spare, I’d appreciate some sent my way please.

I always encourage everyone to get out there and ‘do your best’..which is exactly how I am going to get through this. By doing MY very best that I can, in any given moment. Baby steps.

Thanks for reading…and thank you for joining our little Chasing my Dreams community, and for your support. It means the world 🙂 x

#184 – Micro-volunteering

Microvolunteering is, in laymans terms, bite-sized actions that benefit a worthy cause. These can be simple acts of kindness which can be completed in as little as 10 seconds, or anywhere from 1/5 minutes (or longer), eg. clicking on/signing a petition, or skill-based work lasting up to 30 minutes, such as proofreading documents for a charitable organisation.

I first stumbled across the concept of micro-volunteering a few years ago – and I think the concept is brilliant!  You could be someone who spends a lot of time at home (due to disability/illness/aged etc), or be between employment, or perhaps even busy with your work and still wanting to ‘help the world’ in some small way – the beauty of micro-volunteering is that you can do it from your very own computer (or mobile device if you choose…meaning you could even participate on your public transport commute on the way to work).

A few of the activities I have participated in, through Help from Home which links you to websites that host these activities, are:

~ Proofreading
~ Adding descriptions to photos in a museum, for the blind
~ Signing petitions which I believe in
~ Contributing my knowledge of wheelchair accessibility in locations around the world, by adding details onto a ‘wheelmap’
~ Transcribing prisoners blogs, from handwritten form into a typed format (this was really, really fascinating to me – giving me an insight into the mind of a prisoner)(

There are countless ways you can contribute to the world through microvolunteering.

Playing your part in contributing to the world…using small snippets of your time (and you could even do it in your PJs, at home!) – how cool is that! 🙂

ANYTHING is can contribute something to the world, even if you only have a minute to spare!



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