There’s something different about living rural. Maybe it’s the isolation, spare time, lack of stress or just the fresh air. But it’s given me this wonderful sense of “anything is possible.”
Eighteen months ago I sat on a plane heading to Thanyapura Thailand reading a triathlon magazine I picked up at the airport. I read about Kate Bevilaqua’s overall win of Ultraman Canada (as in she was first to cross the line out of both male and female competitors)!
As soon as I was off the plane and connected to wifi I messaged Pip Holland (friend and 2015 Female Champion of Ultraman Australia) and said “I think I want to do Ultraman.” She responded with an overwhelming yes yes yes you will love it.
At this stage I had been on the swim/bike/run scene for about 2 years. Whilst I was head over heels in love with the sport I definitely didn’t have the base or the confidence to sign up to Ultraman.
Fast forward a couple of years, a few races, several thousand training kilometres and a relocation from Noosa- the home of Ultraman Australia to the middle of Central Western Queensland… And I’ve signed up to race in 2018.
For those of you unfamiliar with Ultraman it is a 3 day race, you have 12 hours to complete each day.
Day 1: Swim 10km and ride 160km
Day 2: Ride 273km
Day 3: Run 84km
It might seem ridiculous to do it now (ok let’s face it, it’s ridiculous to do anytime) but why do it when I’m so isolated? Away from training buddies, physio treatments, coffee shops, the ocean and any form of hills?
Firstly I blame the fresh country air and secondly I blame Pip and the other Ultraman competitors for being so damn inspiring. Thirdly did I not say I moved here for a challenge? Probably not the challenge I had in mind… But am ready to tackle it.
An overwhelming difference I have noticed since moving is my lack of stress. I love all my wonderful Noosa colleagues but my job was hectic. From the minute we opened at 8am we had customers waiting and were go go go until the magical click of the doors closing at 6pm. Serving, dispensing, answering calls, overseeing staff ensuring they were giving correct advice. Pharmacy is a juggling act, you need ears and eyes everywhere whilst doing your own work and ensuring colleagues and customers are happy (that’s where the jokes, singing and chocolate chip cookies came into play). By the end of my working week I was constantly exhausted, brain dead as well as having sore feet and legs. 10 hours standing after training will do that to you.
In stark contrast here instead of 30 staff there’s just me (and my little helper for a couple of hours after school 2 days a week). I know everything going on in store without needing several pairs of eyes and ears. I’m it, I work 9-5 and whilst the pace is slower I get the work done without being overworked or under stimulated. The customers are friendly, the hours are great and being able to sit down at work… Well that is heavenly!
And why Ultraman? How does someone who spent the first 26 years of her life avoiding exercise end up registering for an ultra endurance event?
I think we all have our own really personal why’s. I share a lot of my story on social media- both here and Instagram, but my ‘why’ is somewhat deeper than I care to share. If you’ve only recently joined the bandwagon you might be mistaken into thinking I’m the average sporty type. I’m really not. I love triathlon now but until a few years ago I couldn’t have ever imagined myself enjoying exercise. It was a chore (one I was very good at avoiding) but now it’s part of my every day. I wake up each morning and the first thing I do is work out what day it is and what training I have on. From there I either bound out of bed (think swimming or running) or press snooze at least 3 more times (windertrainer days).
Whilst I don’t love every second of every training session… But I also can’t imagine life without it. I’ve had my fair share of injuries from overtraining but also bike accidents. There’s been times I have been tempted to throw it all in. But I genuinely love it, the hour or two I train every day is usually the best part of my day. The people I have met, the experiences I have had, the few really ‘proud of myself’ moments in my life… They are all thanks to triathlon.
I am really goal orientated, I always have been. Why set yourself a mediocre goal that you can probably achieve half heartedly? Why not set one really freakin huge one and throw your heart and soul into it.
I’m really looking forward to the Ultraman journey as well as the race, thanks for being a part of it. I know it’s not going to be easy… But nothing worth having ever is.
Until next time, dream really freakin big