Courage Strength and Belief

” I love you so much Mum. You know why I say it Mum? Because I love you.” This is what my youngest son says to me everyday.

So I’m going to use this as the base of my blog, and my life leading into that. I’m so glad that I have the privilege to be a wife and mum to my three beautiful children that I love so much everyday. A love that as a child, I never experienced.

” Courage, Strength and Belief ” are pretty powerful words. Even more powerful when you have to find that within yourself. I was never taught, shown, or even felt it growing up as a child.

It isn’t a nice way to feel and not something you hope to live through as a child. I’m not here to put my parents down or blame them because really, they knew no different themselves. What I do wish is that they tried a little bit harder to fight for myself and my siblings.

Not everyone in this world is blessed to have good role modeling parents. However, I”m able to share my story with forgiveness. I know there is no anger or ill will anymore. As I know they did the best they could. Was their best enough? Only they can answer that.

As I’ve grown over time I’ve realised a lot about myself and what I went through. I used to blame myself for existing and being born into a family that I didn’t ever feel like I belonged too. I was blamed for every action, harsh word spoken and depravity that our family experienced, financial, physical and health issues.

I grew wondering where do I belong? Will I ever fit into this world?

At fifteen when I decided to take my own life there was nothing left in me anymore. Quite rightly I was on a roller coaster of destruction. I hated who I was. My mum would hit me and throw things at me and constantly tell me how I ruined her life and that I should be grateful she didn’t abort the pregnancy when she could. My friends were just the same. They used me for there own demise. I was raped at such a young age and rumours circulated; “I asked for it “. Not to mention all the name calling and writings on walls at my high school.

I hated how I looked in the mirror with my terrible lupus rash across my face. All I wanted was to be loved but I hated me.

I am a survivor but more importantly I’m a survivor of suicide. I was in a coma for over 3 days. My memory of my coma is one of waking up and counting to ten and telling myself at ten im going to get out of bed. Nothing would move. My memory is a blur, a lot of blackness and I can’t remember my dreams.

My road to recovery, when I did wake up, was a long one and not an easy one. I was made to feel bad for my actions, lots of blame and let’s just move on. I never healed and I didn’t have any tools to heal. My family just wanted to move on. In their words ” it was a selfish act ”

Over the years I’ve realised I’m far from perfect but one thing I do know is that I am a good person with morals, respect and gratitude for all the blessings I have everyday. My actions were a cry for help. Did I get that help ? No, never, just shame.

The last time I spoke to my mother was over 7 years ago, she had been drinking heavily. Something that wasn’t unusual. My husband who has been my rock and my strength through it all, heard all the conversation that night.

For the first time in over 35 years I stood up for myself. I spoke with courage strength and belief. I expressed how I never deserved her putting me down. Describing me as a sucker, how I ruined her life, not fit to be a mom, a hopeless wife, a hypercondriact, mentally ill, bashing me until I was fifteen and always reminding me of what a burden I was to those in my life.

Even with all the physical and emotional abuse there will always be apart of me that wishes that I had a Mum to call on at times of need. But now that will never happen.

It saddens me at times to think that no one, not even my father protected me from the abuse.

When I look at my life now I’m so blessed. I married my best friend, soul mate and father to my children. I am a great mum who loves ,supports and cares for her children everyday. I’m a loving sister, friend, aunt , support and loving member of my community.

I will always fight for me , because I’m worth fighting for.

Abuse is not ok and it never will be. I just hope by sharing my story that I inspire others to break free. Would our life have been different if my dad did? I don’t know.

What I do believe is I wasn’t meant to die at fifteen because I’m here to make a difference.

” Always have Courage, Belief and strength because you my dear, are important ” I love you pop always and forever.

RPM here we come

Pretty ironic that I’ve arrived here in Preston Melbourne for my RPM Les Mills group fitness instructor training weekend. My room is not ready so I’m having a wine at the bar and it says ” Chill ” on the glass of wine. So I’m just chilling. I’m nervous and excited about tomorrow but extremely proud of how far I’ve come on my journey. This is yet another goal I’m ticking off my vision board of dreams.

This whole week has been an amazing week of learning RPM 79, specifically my track for the training weekend which is Track 7 “Adrenaline!! Pure mountain climbs”.

This morning I was awake at 3am, fully wired and ready to go. I did really well presenting the track in RPM this morning. Pretty empowering when you have the love and support of a bunch of women around you cheering you on. Pretty blessed and grateful to be part of the Fernwood Albury Wondonga community.

Day 1 Les Mills RPM Training here we go, backpack full of snacks and a bag full of fresh clothes,towels,lets just say the essentials.

Checked in with my mentor and dearest friend Jules before I weathered the storm. I felt ready, however my belly felt like I was going on my first date lol !!!

All I can say is OMG the first hour was amazing. The day was awesome, so much sweat, burn and theory. Great bunch of people. Everything hurt including my brain but in a really good way. I’ve never eaten so many snacks or food in one day for a long time. But we all worked HARD. The burn was deep and viscerale.

What was so empowering was that feeling when you realise;could this get any better? I made it through the first day, presented well. How funny it was watching myself back on video, omg !!!

Headed back to the hotel feeling slightly overwhelmed for Day 2. Homework included scripting and choreography which had to be 100 %. Tomorrow bed time was no where close yet.! The whole tub of Halo chocolate ice cream with superfoods nut mix and glass of red wine got me there. All I can say is poor neighbours 😜.

Day 2, woke up, went for a run. Probably not the best thing to do on day 2 but I had really no idea what was ahead of me today, needed to clear my head. Running in the rain will do that. I knew it was going to be tough. Yep roller coaster on replay.

Presentation 2, full track 7 videoed, it was intense but I did it ! Feedback was great , but you know what was even better was the love and support of everyone in that room riding with me. It was insane. Goosebump material.

Just when you think you can’t feel your quads and hammies , your trainer lines us all in a line and we do what they call the RPM race of truth. Our bodies where pushed to extreme lactic levels and our muscles felt like they were going to be explode. I’m not exaggerating, it was intense but gosh we felt amazing when finished. Why, because we conquered it and we did it. #bestfeelingever

Theory, theory and more theory. I kinda went into melt down Candy mode, delirious and laughing at nothing in particular. Yep, the snort was getting louder. When you experience a group fitness training program you walk away with utmost respect for all trainers. Seriously what they have to do to create professionalism , passion , purpose and drive in group fitness classes. They are AMAZING individuals. It’s a tough gig. The realisation, omg, that’s going to be me soon !

Nearly at the finish line, one more presentation and we were homeward bound. I smashed it again.We all smashed it. Lots of feedback and knowledge in my tool box from our amazing trainer Libby, such an inspiring woman!

The road ahead; 3.5 hour drive home but I take back with me to Albury that big tool box to use on my next intense journey to become an RPM Trainer. What’s involved is 8 weeks of shadowing and training with my mentor and dearest friend Jules. Who,let me say, was with me via phone and messages the whole weekend, loving and supporting me the whole time. How lucky am I! So here we go. Watch this space and from the words of Libby our Les Mills Trainer….

” Believe in yourself and anything is possible ”

Run girl run

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Book entry Saturday 28th July 2018

Sitting back in the car today writing a page in my book, I find myself reflecting on my big run tomorrow and how far I’ve come in the past 24 weeks. I am also thinking about those that I love near and dear to my heart. Tomorrow I won’t just be walking for myself, I will be walking for all those people too that struggle everyday with physical, emotional, health and life challenges.

When it started to rain today , I flashed back to my wedding day. We had the biggest storm on that day and the rain was so heavy similar to today. My dear aunt came up to me and told me that rain is good luck, especially on a symbolic day. My wedding day was one of the happiest days of my life, so I believe that theory. I just love how the universe just gives us these gentle reminders.Well, I am taking this one as good luck for tomorrow. I’m going to smash it and I will have my biggest cheer squad, my gorgeous family loving and supporting me the whole way.

Seriously, though I cannot believe that I will be racing tomorrow after the last week. I sustained an injury doing box jumps.  For the previous two months I have cleared them, but not this particular day. The dreaded fear set in and took over. The injury I sustained was to do with my Sternum, lets just say I did a good job.

Everyone told me to slow down and have a rest day. Did I listen!? No. But was I worried? Yes. I just knew that I had to fight, rest and not allow the negative self talk of my injury to determine what was going to happen in a weeks time. Anyone that trains for any event knows that its not a great feeling to know that you may not be able to race. I fought that inner critic and did all the things that my body needed to get me ready for race day.

After seeing a physio and getting the all clear, he strapped it, told me to try and do a few runs and see how I pull up and that will be the determining factor as to whether I will be able to race.He was pretty confident. I just wanted to hug him. I was so happy, LOL I actually did hug him. I pulled up good after my two runs and did a couple of RPM classes as well, which was good. Basically, he said that I needed to be strapped on the day but I was all good to go. Yippee!!

Sometimes, I wonder where this strength an courage comes from because the road that I have travelled at times hasn’t been easy. As a child I didn’t have the love and support that I do now.  Those in my life at the time instilled other beliefs in me or made decisions based on what they felt would be right for me because of my health.That inner critic doesn’t define me anymore. That inner child  will be coming with me tomorrow on that run and we will run it together. Something we both thought we could never do. Well, we have certainly changed that.

My fight at times is hard and I do have days where I just want to give in to my health issues and my negative thought patterns. However, every morning when I wake up, some days are better then others. But when I do struggle with how my body feels and my mindset,  I think about how much love I have for myself and what empowers me to get myself out of bed each day.  I love how I feel after I do fitness classes, PT sessions, running and having great music to listen to. So I will be taking my music with me tomorrow on that mountain, music that sings to my soul. I will also be taking the amazing support team I have at my Gym, who believe in me more then I believe in myself. I will never give up and I will always show up, even when my body may be feeling a different way. It’s my faith and trust that God and the universe are supporting me. That gets me through each obstacle I face everyday.”

Race Day – Albury Hill Endurance 22 km

The journey at the beginning was so hard, I was freezing even before I started. I felt so out of my depth when I looked at all the people doing the race. It was cold, wet, steep, so many rocks and mud. I was worried. How was I going to pull through it? There she was, my inner critic coming in and telling me you’ve never run more then 9 km, how are you going to run 22 km? Feel that pain? It is only going to get worse and that was just at the 4 km mark. Then I could hear my trainer saying to me ” Candy, start visualising from start to finish. You’ve got this. I’m with you.” It was literally like she was behind me pushing me up the mountain. That saved me at that point!

I remember getting to the half way mark and a runner in front of me was fatiguing.We both were. Those bloody rocks! They were everywhere! I nearly went for a few stacks and then I heard my husband’s voice saying to me, “slow down. You don’t have to rush, your doing good time.” At one point, the girl in front of me turned around and said, “I think I’ve past the 10 km mark.” I said, “you haven’t, we are only at 7 km.” Then before I new it, there was the half way mark. It literally was like an out of body experience. I just found my body running towards the 22 km section. I then looked up to the sky and said, “well if you want me to do this you better have my back.”

When I spoke about this to my husband later, it was quite symbolic. It was the universes’ way of saying to me, ” you can take the easy road or you can believe in yourself and go get your dreams.”

I did go get my dreams. After that point, it just literally felt like an out of body experience. I felt like I was flying. Every song that came on, reminded me of someone close to me and it was literally like they were running with me. It was so empowering. The feeling was like I was on top of the world. The mountain just felt so majestic and freeing.

At one stage, the mountain was so steep.The elevation was phenomenal. I could hear my group fitness trainer saying to me, ” just think, every step you take is just that one step closer to finishing. You can do it!” That got me up the mountain. Then as I glanced at my watch, it literally felt like, “where did that time go?” It said I had only 2 km to go! Holy crap, I’ve done it! Then the most empowering song came on “Edge of Life”, by Cosmic Gate and Eric Lumiere. At that moment I was running down the hardest part of the endurance trail. It was the steepest, toughest and rockiest descent. All I kept thinking was OMG you’ve done this. My knees started to hurt and tears were welling up in my eyes the more I listened to the song. I was so proud of me!

I could see the finish line up ahead. My legs were so fatigued and then I looked up at the sky with the biggest smile and said thank you. I crossed the finish line thinking of how proud I was of myself and how far I had come today. There they were, my gorgeous family and dear friend cheering me on as I crossed the finish line. That was the best feeling!  My eldest son said to me ” I’m so proud of you mum! You did it! I love you!” Those words, I will carry with me in my heart forever.

My time was 2 hours and 40 minutes. I kicked ass, literally! But more importantly, I believed in myself. That was the best gift I gave to myself and my inner child.

My message is to never stop believing in yourself because anything is possible if you trust in the process and have faith in what will be.

Belief Strength and Courage

January 2018, I was given the news that no one wants to hear that I have a type of blood cancer called Multiple Myeloma.

At this stage, the levels were low enough to not require treatment. That day, my specialist gave myself and my husband a lot of information to take away and think about. One thing that she did talk to me about was implementing a healthier lifestyle. At that stage, I was 83 kilos , overweight , fitness regime needed a revamp and my mindset obviously wasn’t fantastic finding out the latest bombshell.

We talked about how if I incorporated a healthier lifestyle on all levels. Mind, body and soul, then this would certainly benefit my cancer levels. With this type of blood cancer, people actually can go up to 15 years of there life without treatment.

That trip back home to Albury from Melbourne was the quietest ever for myself and my husband. I cried a lot it just felt like a bad dream. Then this little voice in my head was like ” Well what are you going to do about it, your strong, brave and a fighter. You can beat this!” I love you God.

Belief in myself. What did that mean? Well, one thing it meant was putting my big girl pants on and deciding on a plan. The next day, I went to the gym, one of my favourite places, and I saw a sign up saying Fernwood 12 week challenge. My eyes lit up. What was this? Was I meant to see this? This could be the start for me to put this healthy lifestyle change into practice.

I found myself signing up. OMG! You’ve got this girlfriend! An inner strength came over me. I made a commitment to myself for the next 12 weeks. It was intense, hard and there were some weeks where my inner strength was tested.

The journey involved commitment and accountability. I had a journal where I logged everything from food, exercise, water intake, what you were grateful for and my goals.

I was doing 5 classes a day , hikes , pt sessions, bike rides and walking. Towards the end of the challenge, I introduced the park run. I had an absolute fear of running. Well, how wrong was I? I actually loved it! I felt free and empowered.

Each week I showed up and I kicked my goals every week on a whole, mind, body and soul level. However, having my support team backing me the whole way was so important. I’m so grateful to have them all.

Fast forward to the end! That belief, courage and strength lead me to be the winner of my club, Fernwood Albury Wodonga. I lost a total of 16kg , 39cm. My fitness level was phenomenal and I looked and felt amazing.

The BIGGEST joy, was my cancer levels dropped and stayed steady!!!!

Winner at life. This is me at the 12 week Challenge Fernwood Fitness Gala night! ❤️

This woman in the picture believed she could. she showed strength AND courage. She is so in love with herself that it is intoxicating.

So come with me on this journey called life!