Wednesday, July 27, 2011


The last week has brought a lot of Inspiration into the lives of almost everyone I know!  One name and you will know what I am talking about…Cadel Evans.

How incredible and inspirational can one man be? There have been a lot of sleepless nights in the last few weeks with thousands of Australians watching the Tour de France, hoping and praying that “Our Cadel” would finally win the big one!  Personally I watched the highlights each day at the respectable hour of 6pm because training in the early morning hours just doesn’t work on 4 hours of sleep!

However on the last weekend of the Tour I was on a girl’s weekend away and thankfully all of my girl friends were fans of the Tour so it was a must each night.  How incredible the last “true” race of the Tour…the Time Trial…was to be.  I don’t think I have ever seen a man so intent, so focused and so determined with what he had to do.

Cadel obviously believed in himself and knew what he was capable of achieving and he never hesitated to put it all on the line, whether his team was around him or not.  That to me is inspiration!  To be able to believe in yourself like that is incredible.

Cadel has dared to dream and then dared to act on his dream, which is true inspiration.

Your dream may not be to win the Tour de France but it is not any less important.  So if you have a dream, find out just how strong and capable you are. Put your own strength to a meaningful test.  See how much you can do by watching yourself do it.  You probably have the abilities to achieve those dreams you just need to believe in yourself. 

If you need inspiration just think of what Cadel has accomplished!

Friday, July 15, 2011

The First Test

I am about to embark on my first test after my first full month and a half of training as a cyclist tomorrow.

Throughout our lives we are tested.  It starts for us in those early years not only in school but in testing ourselves through every day living.

During our schooling years we are taught lessons and then given a test.  In life we test ourselves every day.   How much better we can we look after our families, how much better can we be at our jobs, how courageous we are and we test ourselves in how tolerant we are.  Actually in every part of life we are constantly tested by ourselves and others.

I have tested myself in so many different areas of life that I have lost count.  I have spent my entire sporting life being tested in so many different ways.  From speed to strength and everything in between.  In some of those tests I have failed and in some I have excelled.

Tomorrow, as I have stated, is the first test for me in cycling after a month and a half of solid training.  I am heading down to Phillip Island to race in a Time Trial.  There are two other Para-cyclists taking part but we are racing with the ‘able’ bodied riders.

I believe there are a number of tests for me in this race, have I gotten stronger, have I gotten faster?  But the biggest test for me is to see if I can finish strong!  As Ralph Marston has written “Start strong, stay strong, and finish strong by always remembering why you’re doing it in the first place.”

I have given myself a goal for tomorrow and that is to definitely ‘Finish Strong’ and this will lead me into the next month and a half of training before I head to Denmark for the World Championships where my goal of 2 gold medals will become a reality! 

This is why I am doing it in the first place!

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Cyclist

I have just finished my first full month of training as a cyclist.  Wow, this is something that I would never have expected even 6 months ago.  It is a real learning curve.

To be honest I have had a hard time thinking of myself as a cyclist as it is such a new thing for me.  I have been a swimmer, a triathlete and a rower, now I can add cyclist to that list.  But I certainly have a lot more to learn.  The one thing I have found are muscles that I never knew I had!  The physio and the masseuse at the VIS (Victorian Institute of Sport) have become my best friends.

I feel very lucky and privileged to have been offered a scholarship for cycling at the VIS for the next year.  Actually, it was through the VIS that I met my cycling coach when she was a scholarship holder there herself.

I felt that I had unfinished business with my rowing career and unanswered questions.  But after not getting the answers I was looking for have decided that it is time to just pack those questions up and put them away.  I am on a new path now and have to just concentrate on it. 

Albert Schweitzer the German theologian said “Sometimes our light goes out but is blown again into flame by an encounter with another human being.  Each of us owes the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light.”  Well my light has been blown again into flame through the meeting of a number of people in the cycling community.  Those people who believe in me and my ability.  There has been no questioning my age, my disability or my desire to do the best that I can do.  There has just been support and support from every level of cycling.  To all those people who have been supportive and helped ignite that flame…thank you.

With one more quote to finish off, by Ralph Marsden, a motivational speaker,
Don't lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations. Expect the best of yourself, and then do what is necessary to make it a reality." 
 I plan on expecting the very best of myself and that is ‘Gold’ not in one event but two at the World Championships and I will be spending the next 2 months doing what is necessary to make that a reality.