So last weekend, we completed the gruelling 101.5km Oxfam Trailwalker from Brooklyn to George’s Heights in Sydney.
We did reach our goal of finishing somewhere between 24-28hrs - it was 27hrs 09mins to be precise. Below is one of my favourite hills on the trail - it’s the first one at Brooklyn and it gets you in the right head space for the rest of the track.
“Put your head down and just march till you get to the end.”
Side note: see the bunch of girls in team 074 in front of me? Yeah we beat them to the finish and I beat them up the top of the hill.
Small wins people, small wins.
When the sun started to set on Friday, we had just left Checkpoint 3 at Bobbin Head and were headed to St Ives Showground. I wished the boys a ”Happy Sabbath” and started to think about all the things I was thankful to God for.
There was a list. My husband featured heavily at the top, and my legs. Serious. I was grateful to God that I wasn’t in a wheel-chair that I could exercise, and play sport, and do this thing called Oxfam Trailwalker… for the second time.
And I didn’t have cancer.
I’m grateful that I didn’t have to negotiate with my Oncologist to allow me to enter this race or battle with training and the ups and downs of chemo or radiotherapy. Yep, you read right. Cancer. I was thankful to God that I was 100% healthy and able to do this race.
Back in May it could have been a completely different story. After returning from StormCo, I found a lump on my breast and a lump on my neck. I sat across the table from my Oncologist and told him that I really needed to be well by August 24 to enter this race… and I really couldn’t have much time off training… so if we were going to operate, we needed to get onto it so I could heal and get back into the bush. It was suspected Lymphoma, even though he really didn’t want to admit it to me. My Oncologist, an Associate Professor in his field, said if he was a betting man, he would have put money on it. He was 90% convinced I had some type of Lymphoma prior to my operation in the first week of May. Not that he told me this before the operation!!!
BUT THE GOOD NEWS IS, IT WASN’T – PRAISE GOD!
When we were much closer to St Ives Showie, I piked up and asked the Lads:
“Oi, what are you thankful to God for?”
Dale was first and bless him, he took about 10 minutes to rattle off all the things he was thankful for. It was a long list of family, health reasons and blessings. Then Mark rains on his parade and says “What Dale said.”
Then I just came straight out with it: “I don’t have cancer.”
Mick yelled out behind me “Amen!”
I think Mark piped up “Hallelujah.”
And Dale chimed in with an “Oh yeah.”
So to my boys from “Dorcas & Lads”, it’s been a pleasure.
We raised a truck load of money for Oxfam. We are grateful to those who supported us behind the scenes at the checkpoints and cheered us on - my husband and parents were outstanding. Hearing “Babe, you’re smashing it. You look really strong” makes you just go and go and go.
I’m also very grateful for the friends who met us at the finish line at 10:09am on Sabbath morning. We were planning on going to church… but the lack of sleep got the better of us. AND a massive thanks goes to my sister VP and my brother-in-law Marcus who were at the finish line waiting for us too. What legends!
Look at that lazy eye, I look like I’ve been punched in the face. Don’t worry peeps, it’s just a Oxfam Trailwalker hang-over.
What are you thankful to God for?
P.S. I’m also thankful for this little guy: August Emil Salke. What a cutie. His Aunty Bec loves him very much.