I have changed as a person. Instead of saying "I wish I could do that" ... I did it!
This last 11 months has not been easy though. I wouldn't change it for the world, but the changes it has had on my life are remarkable.
I would like to think that this has made me a better person. But it has made me a different person!!!!
Here I was, leading the stagnant life. Day by day, week by week and year by year - not much changed. I was predictable, I was dependable, I was reliable and I was always there for anyone who needed me. I was so busy being anything to everyone there was one thing I never had time for. ME!!!!
This last 11 months, dedicated to making a difference to those affected by Cancer has taught me more about ME than the previous 37 years. So when I say the words Journey - that is exactly what I have been on.
|Photo supplied by kirsty baxter|
But this photo is something that I want to share as it is a view from my perspective and very symbolic.
Looking down is my bike Mav. Given to me by Jo at Giant bikes because she was touched by my story. I met Jo at a function thrown for Jessica Douglas that I was lucky enough to score an invite to. Jess had just won the MTB 24 hour World Championship and also had a lot to do with me receiving Mav. (I still shake my head in disbelief) At the dinner, all the people in the room all asked me "Do you ride?" ... "What do you ride" ... etc. Understandably, none of them could believe that I was riding 200kms to raise money on a commuter! After the function, I was bold enough to ask Jo if she could help me get on a new bike to make my journey a bit easier. I was hoping for a discount on a basic roadie - Not the whole lot of "really friggen awesome" bike that Mav is!!!
Still looking down, on the top tube of Mav is 26 names. 26 people who have all personally battled Cancer. These names are those Angels and Fighters that keep me going. Without these names, I would have given up! They have kept me focussed, they have kept me on track and they have inspired me to keep going no matter how tough it is. (again, thanks Jo for organising the "really friggen awesome" sticker .. and for still laughing at my previous attempt with the dymo machine)
Behind these names are my family and friends. Family and friends who has supported me on this journey. Family and friends who have donated because of the affect Cancer has had on them. Take the name Michelle Wood for instance. Michelle has made a profound difference to my life, but I have never met her. She is the sister of my dear friend Lee! Michelle has battled for years with Cancer. And so has Lee. But the battle has been very different for Lee. The battle was dealing with the fact her little sister was dying and there was not a damn thing she could do about it. I am happy to report Michelle is doing really well!!!
Vince Failla - my brother in law. He has 2 massive scars across his stomach that remind him daily of what he has been through to beat Cancer. For the rest of the family, we wear the scars on our heart, knowing that we had to think about what life without Vince could have been like. The names Tommoso Billeci and Sadie-May Billeci. Their pain, suffering and fight is over, but their daughter Tash - a friend of mine is left to suffer the pain and loss of both her parents to such a cruel disease. 23 other names, 23 other stories!!!
Looking forward is the road ahead. We don't know what is coming up, nor do we know what is around the corner. All we know is that we are moving in the right direction, with both hands firmly on the wheel. That is what I will get to enjoy next weekend. With my team and new friends beside me, a support crew waiting at either end, angels on my back and the fight in my heart I will l look down and see 2 names on Mav ... Corinna Brown and Nicola Donaldson. Both of these remarkable women have beaten Cancer and will be there .. Riding To Conquer Cancer.
|Thanks again to all the team at Liv/giant for everything! |
The girls who I have spent time training with over the last few months are friends I will now have for life!
Liv/giant certainly gave me A WHOLE NEW WAY OF LIVING