Rain will fall, so if you don’t want to get wet make sure you have a good quality umbrella that you have easy access to, so you’re not left soaking wet! You see keeping up with positive physical and mental habits is like buying an umbrella when the sun is shining! This is my analogy for mapping out your day with ‘health deposits’ so that you are ready for the rain when it comes, and it will come, as sure as day becomes night.
You may be feeling wonderful now, you may even be the fittest you have ever been, but you never know when something can happen that can change all that in a heartbeat, and when that time comes, you want to have the best umbrella that money can buy!(more…)
When you experience an injury or someone you care for experiences an accident, there is a degree of anguish, shock, action, and ‘care’ that goes through your mind, as the adrenaline flows, and your body goes into the ‘sympathetic nervous system’. I was reading about first responders who came to the aid of a man bitten by a great white shark. They responded to a shark attack at Newcomb Hollow Beach where a 26-year-old man named Medici was boogie-boarding with his girlfriend’s brother.
At least three off-duty Wellfleet lifeguards ran to help the injured man. So did several beachgoers, who tried to stem the flow of blood with a leash from the board, a dog’s leash, and towels. The man’s legs were bitten, witnesses said.” Can you imagine how shocking that would be for the young man and those people around the incident? Sadly the man passed away, which greatly affected all those who were involved with getting him out of the water and applying the tourniquets etc.
In the last 10 years or so, there is a new emphasis on recognizing the mental health aspects of emergency response, as people who have been involved with a rescue or seen way too much blood and carnage are often deeply affected long after the scene. Although my father wasn’t involved in a shark attack, the shock, and strain of his fall were taxing enough. But gratefully we did have some tools to put in place to help him.
Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injury in older Australians. As our population ages and the number of older people grows, the likelihood of more falls and fall-related hospitalizations increases.
Nearly 1 in 3 older Australians have experienced a fall in the past 12 months. Of these, 1 in 5 required hospitalization.
Even when falls don’t cause an injury, they often trigger a loss of confidence in an older person and lead to the ongoing fear of falling. Over time, this can lead to the person limiting their movements and reducing their activity, which further increases the risk of falling.
A recent example of ‘falling trauma’ was when my father fell on the gravel road not far from our home. The first I knew of it, my husband Darryl, came to me in the hallway of the house and said that he had just caught sight of my dad and that he was approaching the front entrance with blood all over him, he had fallen while walking. I’m glad Darryl prepared me, as he also said gently, ‘keep calm’. I took a breath and prepared myself as much as I could for whatever I would see. (more…)
2020 has been more about the garden for me, which means not as much writing! I was a bit guilty about it at first then a friend said to me, ‘you know your garden time is okay Annie because there are different ways to express, create and release, this year it’s the garden, and the garden has been your saviour.’
Although looking at me, with the scratches, bumps, and grazes I’ve sustained from moving around rocks, wood chips, lifting fence palings, tripping on pavers, planting trees, uprooting trees, trimming, etc, you may not agree about the ‘saviour’ bit. Thank goodness for Correct X. I use this for my skin cuts etc. I’ll have it on the website for more information.
I find the garden very satisfying, despite the injuries! I was always a bit ‘gun-ho‘ as a little girl growing up. I would dive right in and give my dad a hand moving around garden waste, helping him create a bluestone wall in the back yard, while my more studios brothers were inside studying. (more…)
Some people like to jump out of airplanes, fly in Balloons, go all out to celebrate a milestone like turning ’60’. Others would avoid celebrating this birthday because they don’t want anyone to know how old they are!
For me, it’s something that I consider a great privilege to arrive at ’60’. To be alive and to acknowledge the one who brought me into the world, my dear mum of course, oh, and some acknowledgment to dad who had a little to do with it!
So for my birthday, the big arrival into this world needed some sort of ‘da dah!’I’ve turned 60. So I chose to settle a score that ‘I only half completed several years back.’ 18 years ago to be specific I tackled the ‘Walshes Pyramid’. I got halfway up this beautiful mountain (just out of Gordanvale, North Queensland) and had to stop and reluctantly return to the base, due to a lung infection which wasn’t exactly nourished by my desire to climb in the first place.
All those years ago, I attempted the mountain with some Kuranda friends who lived around the corner from me. They were a brother and sister, competent walkers, climbers, cross-fitters - they were ‘young’, ‘fit’, and ‘fast movers’.
Back in 2002, I was fit enough to do this climb, however, because we had to leave so early, I was anxious about sleeping in, so I was on tenderhooks, wide awake from 1.00 am then 2.30 am I’m tired again, but keeping myself awake for the pickup!
At 3.30 am my ride arrived. I was picked up from my home at the time in Kuranda, with a hint of a cough. I remember arriving at the Pyramid in the dark and being guided up by my friends, who were more than eager to climb. We got halfway, and I knew I couldn’t go on, which bugged me, I was just too sick. ‘Another day’ I told myself, ‘another day!’ I ended up with Plueracy, which went on to bother me for another 6-8 weeks, and was not helped at all by the mould in the rainforest, and stressful situations we were going through living in the forest (another story).
Fast forward to September 2020, we drove along the A1 Highway into the Northern tropical area, I thought about mountains, any mountains; I looked up at Mount Bartle Frere, the highest mountain in Queensland at an elevation of 1,611 meters and I contemplated the logistics of doing that climb, but before too long Walshes Pyramid came into our view and I realized I had unfinished business with this mountain, and so it was that the pyramid would be my conquest for a celebration worth remembering. I told myself it would be good to achieve something on my birthday. Darryl and I are not so big on gifts we like to celebrate special events with something meaningful, an experience, an achievement!
To access this mountain from Cairns to Gordonvale you will travel along the Bruce Highway (A1). Just south of Gordonvale you will cross the Desmond Trannore Bridge (Mulgrave River). You turn right a few hundred meters after the bridge and then into Moss Access Road, follow the road to the car park which is on the left and you are there.
A new friend Meredina and my husband Darryl were my companions on this climb. I met Meredina in a hair salon and she was keen to climb the Pyramid too, especially as I told her that is was on my bucket list, turns out It was on bucket list too. Meredina was kind enough to pick both Darryl and me up very early 5 am on the morning of the 29th of September, and we were at the base of the Pyramid within 30 minutes or so.
Our climb began from the car park, where we followed a trail, then had to backtrack because we were going the wrong way. We righted ourselves and began the climb. It’s a well-worn track with orange markers to help you at regular intervals. When crossing the open bolder area, we had to look well ahead for our next marker. There are signposts marking each kilometer. My legs were handling the climb no worries, which gave me more confidence to move up at a faster pace.
The walk is incredibly steep and relentless all the way up to the peak of 3.1km from the start. I found a stick and used that for a while, then passed that one on to Meredina, and found myself another stick which became my aide. As we were climbing we could see lovely views and expansiveness, however by the time we got up to the top, we were in a rain cloud, so we didn’t have the view, but we had the triumph!
In August there is an annual race from Gordonvale to the peak and back, with the winners generally taking about an hour and a half. Oh my goodness, the thought of people running up this mountain and back down again, that would certainly take some fitness, but more than that a lot of concentration and maybe just a hint of stupidity!
On the Sunshine Coast, where we live now, we have the King Of The Mountain event, in July at Mount Cooroora Pomona, our son has competed in that race twice now and I was just relieved to see him come down in one piece, no broken bones, and no blood loss. In one of the events, Jay finished 19th out of 103 runners. Very proud! The peak of Mount Cooroora is a 439 meters high intrusive volcanic plug. Mount Cooroora is relatively easy compared to the Walshes Pyramid. People get themselves into all sorts of trouble climbing the Pyramid every year because they underestimate the time it will take to get up and back, and generally their fitness level is not enough to cope with coming down. Darryl and I were very proud of ourselves for getting up and back in the morning. We allowed a little over 5 hours, so we could stop, take in the lower views, and take a few pictures. Unfinished business is now finished business!
I felt so good after this climb, calm and fulfilled, that’s a feeling I love and I know being physical is a very definite way to improve mental health, and beat the blues. In preparing for this climb, both Darryl and I used Ice Blue athletic rub on the back of our legs, a little copaiba on the neck, and at the end of the experience when I realised I was just a wee bit weary and hungry, I inhaled some Peppermint essential oil and just came to life.
As for which mountain I’ll tackle next, perhaps Mount Bartel Frerer because just like when I said I’d like to walk Kokoda Track, Darryl said I was crazy. So I love to prove him wrong. Climb a mountain and you will sleep well that night!