Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Those "I can't believe I am here" moments": BRISBANE FINALE


Brisbane finale AKA #bestfinaleever is officially over.

What a weekend.
I mentioned last week that I find myself in situations sometimes where I just think "how on earth did I get here" or "I can't believe I am in this very moment."  You know those surreal and unreal moments where you let yourself take it all in just for a few seconds and you just think "REALLY?  I am here?"  My moment last week was finding myself crying in hospital.  My moment from this weekend was finding myself resting my head on Mish's shoulder, onstage, looking out to a crowd of 1000+ people in a beautiful room with fairy lights, being filmed and photographed while people clapped.  I let myself take that in for a few seconds as I looked out with my head on an angle.  And wow.  What a surreal moment.

Obviously those are two completely opposite moments, and it goes without saying which was the better of the two.  Potential surgery or cuddles with Mish?  No answer required. :)

Before that moment though, there was an exciting lead up.  My finale weekend began on Thursday night when I had a spray tan fail.  I ended up completely black - I am extremely fair skinned so this was a bit of a shock!  As I was taking selfies of my new (extremely) dark skin to show my friends after I got home, I saw something worse - check out my forehead!

That is NOT a shadow - that is the tan!  I didn't push the hair band back far enough and this is the result.  I wasn't impressed that the salon let me leave looking like this!  But after a few showers and a bit of scrubbing, it was ok.  And the 'black' washed off and I liked my tan in the end.

#event#1: Rainy day on the Kangaroo Point stairs
But back to the story.  Straight after the spray tan fail happened, I had to go out to Big W.  I wasn't feeling remotely good about myself.  I had the tan tiger stripe across my forehead ala the picture above, I was pretty black, I wasn't wearing a bra in public for the first time since I was probably 13 (because of the tan), I was wearing a stripey jumper over a paisley dress in a hideous clothing mismatch attempt to cover the fact I was not wearing a bra.  I had ZERO makeup on and fuzzy, unstyled hair.  Oh, and I found out later I also had tan dripping down my neck.  I was one classy chick.

I was in the underwear section looking like this and actually clutching my stomach (ongoing pain from last week) and feeling overall pretty awful when I got an email saying I was in the 12WBT Round 4 Top 20! I suddenly didn't care about the tan dripping down my neck or being bra-less - I was in the Top 20!  I put my hand over my mouth and didn't know what to do: complete overwhelment.  I ended up calling Cathy: long time friend, the person who introduced me to 12WBT and someone who helps me make sense of stuff.

It was the best experience I've ever had and most likely will ever have in the Big W underwear section. ;)  I just strolled aimlessly through the bras and undies while I chatted to Cathy, grinning like a Cheshire cat.  I ended up being in Big W for an hour and a half after receiving that email.  I was so stunned, overwhelmed, excited and was now completely unfocussed.  I suddenly had no idea what I went into Big W for and was just staring at everything, dazy eyed.  My stripey forehead and hippy clothing fail were distant memories.  I was so extremely honoured and very excited.

And the weekend was that crazy ever since that moment.

I always love to #doalltheevents and this weekend was no different.  Between official 12WBT events, events that the QLD Crew had put together for our interstate family, appointments, catch ups and all round craziness, it felt like we had 62 events to attend.  And I did it all.
QLD Crew

Friday was a blur of doing the Kangaroo Point stairs in the rain, a couple of airport pick ups and meeting the most awesome 12WBT girls, appointments, reunion lunch, last minute eye brow waxing, rushing home for extremely last minute packing, a massive boot camp session run by Margie, Adam and Damo, more reunions, getting changed from training gear into a little white dress in a bar bathroom, welcome party soiree and being entertained by the beautiful Kate Mackie, more reunions and the meeting of more awesome people, an impromptu photo shoot on a street corner pretending to be Marilyn, running through a very dark New Farm Park at some strange hour in hysterical laughter with Ruth to rescue my sunglasses and water bottle that I left in a tree at boot camp, finally arriving at the hotel we stayed in for the weekend, a late night drive in my pyjamas to the bottle shop and painting the most dodgiest sign at some strange hour of the night where I confirmed that I am not good at arts and crafts.  I now have green paint on my pyjama pants.  It was an awesome day and we weren’t even at Finale Day yet.

Marilyn in New Farm
I kicked off Saturday with parkrun at South Bank.  It was so good!  I didn’t know if I could do it.  I always do this to myself with runs now – this is how my thoughts go: I don’t think I can do it -- I know I’m going to try it regardless -- I worry about my anxiety/breathing issue -- I do the anxiety/breathing issue -- I calm down -- I do the run and don’t stop -- then I marvel at myself that I completed it.  Every single time.  Douche :)  This run was fantastic because like a few of my recent runs, I felt like I was in this bubble of support.  Leanne, Colleen and Ruth ran alongside me the entire way and helped me with my technique.  I did do my anxiety/breathing thing but having them there and doing what they suggested helped and I was ok.  It was great and the best thing was as I found out later, I achieved one of my goals of running 5km in under 45min.!  My last 5km run time was about 46min., and this run I was surprised to see 41:53!

It was then off to the 30+ Crew breaky, a whole room full of just amazing women.  I ate half of my breaky but was too distracted catching up with everyone to feel like eating.  Then we went straight next door to the finale workout!  This has always been my favourite part of the weekend and it didn’t disappoint.  We cheered like maniacs for the amazing Ute who was in the fitness challenge and won her heat!  I even had this last minute crazy notion to join in on the burpees mini fitness challenge!  Then it was time for Operation QLD Crew Surprise #1.

Me doing the burpee mini fitness challenge.  Thanks to the amazing Paisley for getting on the ground herself to spur me on! x

Me with the lovely Bagpipe Joe

QLD Crew had organised to make a grand entrance into the workout.  We hired a professional bagpiper, organised banners for all of the sub crews that we have, then had a secret meeting place organised to congregate to put on blue face paint and blue spray paint ‘QLD’ on our armsThe planning originated as a type of rendition from the movie ‘Braveheart’ – and ended up being moreso of a grand entrance and incredible moment for this massive crew.  I held the banner for 30+ QLD with the beautiful Donna and as 12WBT opened the door for us, we marched in as one group, a myriad of banners, smiles and cheers against Scottish bagpipes.  It was amazing and so emotional!  We went straight into the workout and it was awesome as usual.  Group photos then back to the hotel to wash the blue ‘off’ and ‘out’ ready for the party!  I may or may not have missed washing my elbows…but thank goodness I have friends who are mums.

Donna and I holding the banner
I ate a handful of grapes on the run and then still with wet hair, rushed to my hair and makeup appointment with the amazing team from De Ross Artistry.  It was so nice to sit down, be told to relax, be handed a glass of champagne, catch up with friends, check my Facebook and have people style me :)  Back to the hotel and by now I had started to relax.  I had been so nervous about getting up on stage – every time someone said the word ‘catwalk’, my legs went like jelly.  I got Hollywood taped into my dress, butterfly necklace clasped, borrowed earrings and ring on, shoes slipped into, drink down, photos taken and I was ready and fairly calm.

Thanks for the pic/tweet 12WBT :)
When I got to finale the nerves hit again.  I had half an hour before I had to meet at the side of the stage so I decided to line up for a drink to settle me.  I chatted to Heather from 12WBT in the line and in passing conversation I mentioned that I’d had half my breakfast and some grapes all day – the lovely girl immediately walked off, found a platter of sushi and walked it personally back over to me to eat, Kate, eat.  So lovely.
Somehow I made it onstage without too much nervous jelly legs, and I stood alongside some amazing girls (and guy).  I didn’t win a prize up there but I actually won on Thursday when I found out about the Top 20.  As if changing my life wasn’t prize enough, the Top 20 was just the (fat and sugar free) icing on the cake and I didn’t need any more.  We moved onto the group photo with Mish and this is where that moment happened.  I was feeling amazing and felt so much support – I had my friends out there, 30+ Crew, QLD Crew, some of my trainers, heaps of boot campers from both of my boot camps, other friends tuned into the live feed online.  There was so much support and I just stepped back from myself for a second as I looked out and had this little moment.  If someone had told me about this a year ago, I wouldn’t have believed them.  My head happening to rest into Mish’s neck was circumstantial, I don’t actually make a habit of nuzzling into people onstage!  But it was very lovely.

Being able to wear the black one shoulder dress
The rest of the party was awesome, everyone is agreeing that it really was the best finale ever.  After the party I found myself moving onto a cocktail bar and ended up back at our hotel with some crazy cool gals, climbing fences to get into the closed hot tub / spa until we got kicked out by security like naughty school kids.  Fun night :)

Sunday was a culmination of bacon, meetings, burgers, Japanese and sitting in a white singlet with my college girls in the hot tub with our very own pool boy.  (Don’t ask).  Monday was saying goodbye day :(  I did a road trip with the awesome Sailor Vee, had lunch at the Gold Coast, dropped into NSW for 2min. on our way to the airport.  And then it was over. :(

I’m in finale-high-comedown stage aka Finalemelanostia aka post finale crash at the moment; real life is initially really boring in comparison.  But no time to wallow, it’s officially Round 1 as of yesterday!

Ready and on our way
And I am so not ready!  I haven’t done my pre-season tasks, I haven’t even visited the forums yet.  I haven’t been grocery shopping or looked at the meal or exercise plans, I have done nothing.  That's a whole other post for another day - I will update as soon as I get out of my comedown stage.

For now I'm just catching up on sleep and messages and smiling at a fantastic finale weekend.  Thanks everyone for your support and encouragement and for those who made my finale weekend so special and so much fun.  And thanks 12WBT for the best finale ever.  

Hope you're having a great Week 1 - you can do this xo

P.S. Thanks to Rhonda, Jillian, Colleen, 12WBT and everyone else whose photos I have borrowed :)

Just before we entered

Me with the awesome Bec x

With beautiful Court xo

My sunnies and bottle left in the tree

At the start of parkrun

Hair and makeup done.  Next step: DRESS!


The 30+ crew with Mish


  1. Yep, you won alright!!!! So very, very proud of you!!! It was so great to see you up on stage. xxxx

  2. I didn't know you were in the Top 20 and I seriously screamed when I heard your name called and was tugging at Mum yelling "OMG it's Kate!! It's Kate!! Wooooooo"
    You are so brilliant lovely & funny and are totally my inspiration.

  3. Congratulations!
    You looked amazing! So proud of you!
    Gi xx