Well, it is still hard to comprehend how busy my last week has been, although my body and mind are still doing a great job at reminding me that it was no ordinary week. It was a week of Giant proportions and a week that I could never have imagined would occur in the “life of Bec”
· A 120km bike ride, being the longest distance in one day that I had tackled. It was a ride that challenged me again physically and mentally
· 2 trips into the city - something I rarely do these days.
· Interviews and photo shoots with 2 different newspapers – this is what happens when your family is being featured for the Premiers Active Family Challenge that has started this week.
· A nomination for the City of Whittlesea International Women’s Day Staff Award
· Being interviewed in front of lots of amazing women for the Liv/Giant International Women’s Day function
And all of this in temperatures that my mind and body were not designed to cope with!
I have tried to pen a blog for all of these individual highlights, but again, have struggled to find any time. (For all those people who have asked me in the last week “How do you do it all?” …. Well, sometimes I don’t J)
So, for now, I will rely on Helen’s blog for telling you all how the Marysville Challenge was. She has captured the ride perfectly. It was a ride that was all about Team Work and together we were all able to share some pretty special moments. But this ride taught me a lot as well. It taught me the importance of great team work and working together to achieve the same goal. We all go about it a bit differently, but we are all there to support each other through the highs and lows.
As for the rest of my week, well, I have had a lot of difficulty even trying to come to terms with it. Why you ask? It is because it all seems so unreal to me. It was a week where I felt I was watching a movie of someone else’s life.
Essentially, for the last 2 years, I have been living my life in a way that makes me happy. It has gone from being unfit, unhealthy and not very motivating to a lifestyle that I am proud of. It is something that I did just for me, for once, and has steamrolled into something that now, at times, feels out of control. It started with one main dream and that was to make a difference. A difference to our life as a family, and a difference to others who really needed it.
By now, everyone knows our story. If you were to look back at the Failla Family of 2 years ago, you would not recognise the people we were. Or is it now that people do not recognise who we have become? Certainly for me this week, I barely recognised the person I had become.
I had become almost complacent in my ‘new’ life. Playing the balancing act of mum, wife, employee, friend, daughter, sister, fundraiser, business analyst, etc is my normal. Finding time to do the things that make me happy is what my life 2 years ago was lacking. Now, I don’t search for an excuse to not do something. I search for the reasons to do things.
So when I told my story to the local paper, I was surprised when they said “wow, it is so nice to hear stories like this”. “That is such an inspiring story for everyone. It is really motivating for others”. My life – motivating? Inspiring? Really!?!
Now don’t get me wrong. I for one certainly know that people have looked at what I did last year with RTCC12 and have taken a lot from that. And it did motivate and inspire people to make a difference to their lives. It did motivate and inspire many people to make a difference to other people’s lives. I get that part of it. But when I was nominated for an International Women’s Day Staff Award I couldn’t work out why. And when I was invited to speak alongside Carol Cook and Erin Densham, I couldn’t work out why.
I look at things like Mother of the Year. In a world of billions of mothers who all deserve that exact award, it is always the mum who has had her own 8 children, adopted 8 others who all have special needs, her husband has left her and she has done it all on the money she earns by working nights packing shelves at the supermarket. (Ok, slight exaggeration, but you get my point)
International Women’s Day events are marked across the country and all include inspirational women who are the key note speakers. People flock to these events to hear something from these wonderful women in the hope that they will leave the event with an ignition point to make a difference to themselves.
So when I saw my own name start appearing on invites and feature articles, I started to panic. I wondered, who do these people think I am? I sat one night going over my Facebook history to see what perception people had of me in the virtual world. (I was shocked to find myself fill a whole page when I typed Bec Failla into Google! Last time I checked I didn’t even rank!) But there was nothing in there that was new. I was Bec Failla, I had raised money for Peter Mac, I had ridden my bike a long way, I had 3 kids and a husband that I was very proud of and I took a lot of photos to document my life. That was pretty much it.
And that was the point. That was what I had done in the last year. And when I was introduced at the Liv/giant International Women’s day event as someone who did what I do – just because I bloody well can – it hit home. I have made a difference. And that is all I ever wanted to do.
We all have people in our lives that we look up to. We all look for our someone who we want to be like. We all have goals and we all have dreams. And hopefully, by luck or by chance, or just through hard work and dedication, our dreams may come true. I grew up in a world where I wasn’t allowed to dream. I grew up where my dreams had to take a back seat and I was told who I would like and dislike. I was told what I wanted to be when I grew up and if I didn’t do that, then I was a failure. Every now and then, I dared to dream, but I wouldn’t dare tell anyone? All I ever wanted was to meet my prince charming, have kids and grow old and happy like my grandparents had. That was the first 25 odd years of my life. The next 10 years I tried to find myself, I dared to dream and hoped that one day my dreams would come true. And you know what, my mum was right – I did become a failure. Only it is spelt Failla and pronounced just a little different.
At 35 when I declared I wanted to make a difference that was me finally daring to dream. And no-one was going to put baby in the corner again. It is little surprise that I struggle with me becoming an inspiration and role model.
So now, what do I do with it all? First thoughts were that I had to go and be bigger and better than the last year. But I don’t have time for that. Life is chaotic enough without trying to make it harder. So I plan to Pay it Forward.
There are so many people who have said to me that they wish they could do what I have done. And all I can say to them is that if that is what they truly want, then go get it. Don’t sit back watching others do it and don’t live with regret of thinking “if only”.
And I may even tell my mum exactly what I have achieved in the last 2 years. She has no idea of the daughter she raised and I just hope that one day, she will be proud!