Sunday, 28 October 2012

Actually, this is extraordinary

Hi!  So - continuing on from the last blog post.... Yesterday.  Did parkrun.  A few hours later we arrived at Relay For Life - an event run by the Cancer Council to raise money and awareness of Cancer.  (Check out:  Ooh wow, what a night.  In essence, the relay itself is where teams of 15 walk around a field for 18 hours (3pm - 9am).  At least one person from each team must be holding the team's baton and walking the field at all times.  To summarise the night in my eyes, here's what I put on my personal Facebook this morning:

On the way to Relay For Life
18 hours, 15 amazing girls, unsuccessfully trying to rope down crazy flying tarps in the storm, running barefoot in the rain to Chili Peppers, Powderfinger & Live, bikie club for tea at 4am, saturated clothes, lighting candles in paper bags in the wind, a not-so-good sprained & limping foot, inside out umbrellas, Gatorade & choc dipped strawberries for breaky, shivering in blankets, tutus, flashing tiaras, flooding tents, drowned butterfly face & teary over-tired swaying to slow songs. We joked about it last night but we actually really are so lucky.

That pretty much says it all.  3 hours in, Brisbane's 'drought' broke and we experienced a torrential downpour and storm.  It was insane.  Seriously, it hasn't rained in months.  Yet the one night where we are out all night / camping / walking / not sleeping - BAM!  Absolute wild weather.  I wish I had it on video - there was one point where 4 of us were each standing at the corner of a tarp, madly trying to secure it with rope to protect the tent underneath to protect our belongings from getting wet.  The tarp was flapping so wildly, the rope was flinging through the rain, we were screaming at each other to be heard through the storm, saturated and holding on with all of our might.  The wind was so strong it ripped the tarp from the rope and it went flying again and we had to concede defeat.  Storm: 1, Tent: 0.  You could only laugh.  Our catch phrase from the night was "we are sooo lucky."  It started as a joke but we all knew that underneath, we actually were.
The weather started out so good...

Yet all through the wild weather, our amazing team (and the other teams!) kept trooping on, walking around that field - through the storm - saturated to the bone but with huge smiles on our faces.  All of our clothes were wet, even our dry ones for later.  Yet we had a great night - it was an experience and a half that's for sure - and we raised money for Cancer.  I don't know the exact figure but for memory I think this Relay alone raised $52,000!  Amazing.


There are many, but some of my favourite moments included:
Survivors and carers march

*Watching Cancer survivors and carers march around the field at the start of the event.  They wore sashes and marched, so strong, around that field.  I am still completely moved by this.  Well actually, by them.

*Getting to know my team mates more.  I can't speak highly enough of this group of amazing women.

*Lighting a candle for my grandfather - it was dark, it was raining, it was windy, but we huddled around for a candle lighting ceremony and managed to light candles in paper bags marked "Hope".  My Pa passed away when I was 11 and I lit my candle for him.  Then "Amazing Grace" started to play - this was played at his funeral xo

*Running a lap of the field for my Pa and for a few other people.

*Getting my hair caught so well in the tent zip that my hair had to be broken off to let me free - we were on the ground laughing :)

*Making a cup of tea at 4am in a bikie club house. #anotherrandommoment :)

Beautiful moment xo
*This morning at the closing ceremony, our team sat on the ground while we listened and they played this beautiful song.  I was getting teary, I was overtired and emotional and I wanted to hug my friends on either side of me.  It was so beautiful as everyone must have been feeling the exact same as me as we all put our arms around each other and swayed for the rest of the song.  It was the most incredible moment and was the perfect thing to end the last 18 hours.

But there was one more moment that I had It was selfish but amazing.  At one point late last night, I was doing laps of the field and wanted to run.  So I did.  I put on my iPod, turned up the volume, took off my shoes and just ran around and round the field, again and again.  It was raining and I was exhausted but I didn't care.  I just wanted to run.  I was doing it for my team, but when others came to join / give me a break, I didn't want to stop, so I kept jogging.

I feel selfish because I was enjoying it and just running on my own.  But it was so therapeutic for me and I was on a roll - I didn't want to stop.  I have had another week with incredible highs and incredible lows (one week this year I will just have an average week where nothing of interest happens, ok?) :)  But some of the laps of that field I did for other people, some laps were for fitness - I wanted to exercise, and some of those laps, I cranked the volume of inspiring songs and I just ran for me.  It was so therapeutic.  Running around that field in the rain, I let go of the bad stuff from the week and smiled at the good stuff.  I didn't want to stop.  I used my HRM last night and at this point was out there for 1 hour 45 min.  Around and around.  Loving it :)
Having my hair broken off after getting caught in tent zip!

Somehow though I ended up asleep.  I still say I was tricked ;)  I got encouraged off the field under the 'pretence' of drinking water and then before I knew it was in my friends car to sleep for a couple of hours.  Hmmm ;)  I did appreciate this :)  But I did still want to run. :)

Unfortunately though, when I woke up I realised I had damaged my foot.  I don't know how but I can hardly walk on it.  I'd say it's from jogging barefoot in the rain / wet ground, or maybe from overcompensating the left side of my body as I had really sore glutes on my right side from parkrun.  However I did it though, it hurts and unfortunately I only managed 2 more laps before I had to sit out for the rest of the relay.  I was so disappointed.  I would have pushed through the pain but I was in a group of friends who know a lot about these types of injuries and they wouldn't let me do any more and told me to rest it.  I am quite submissive when it comes to people telling me what to do out of care so I listened to them and sat out.  This also meant not completing a push-ups challenge I set myself too.  So.  Disappointed.

Conga line around the field

Not a big deal I know.  But at the time I was feeling a bit sorry for myself.  Not about the pain, just about the fact that I wanted to keep going, and I wanted to run, but I couldn't.  Especially after the sun rose, they played all of these 'dancing songs' like Y.M.C.A., Mararena and the Grease Megamix.  And Gangnam Style.  I wanted to do Gangnam Style!  I don't even know how to do Gangnam Style but I wanted to do it!  I was so frustrated sitting there, not being able to participate.  It made me think though and realise I was lucky that this was just a temporary thing.  Really, I am lucky.

Pushups challenge grand total
I didn't care what anyone else said though and joined in for the last couple of laps where everyone joined in and did the Time Warp.  I had a friend helping me walk but I did it.  Then we sat and swayed :)  Then we went home and hot showered and slept.

But the point I'm trying to make is this.  12WBT's weekly challenge last week was to show how we are extraordinary, and how we're turning the impossible to the possible.  I did my 1min. video which I posted on this blog and I meant what I put together.  But I realised something else that is for me personally, more extraordinary.  Last night, this morning, yesterday, last weekend, every other event etc., why did I do those things?  Why did I get sad when I couldn't do Gangnam Style around a field wearing a tutu?  Why did I run around and round in the rain last night, barefoot, in a white poncho?

Because I wanted to.

For Pa

Not because I have to.  I was packing for this weekend and was going through a bag that I haven't emptied for a while.  I was sifting through coconut bras and tutus and skipping ropes and hula skirts and sandy shoes and a fitness expo showbag and all of these random things and it made me smile and see how different my life has been lately.

One of the groups this weekend who organised some activities were Life.  Be In It.


Listen to that.  Life.  Be In It.  I can - and as this weekend reminded me, a lot of people can't.  I can, and I want to.

I've been doing this stuff which I thought for me, is extraordinary.  The things themselves I mean. But I realised moreso, the thing I love more, is that I want to do these things.  For me. What's better than doing things that push you beyond your assumed limits, supporting friends and making yourself smile on the inside? Because not only can you, you want to.

That is what is extraordinary to me. :)

Of course, I was a pink butterfly :)


  1. Well done Kate, love the new can do attitude.

  2. You are so amazing!!! I did the Ride to Conquer Cancer on the weekend, and I thought of you often on that ride, especially with your post about the Pink triathlon. You really have inspired me & made me realise that ANYTHING is possible. Thank you for your blog, and for sharing you heart & soul xxx