We all have those days when we feel it may have been better to roll over and stay in bed. On a particular morning back in October 1991, I should have just done that!
I had recently moved from Melbourne to Albury and taken on the role of managing a fitness centre. On this particular crisp morning, I decided to do a hard bike session of 40km, as I launched into another season of training for triathlons - something I had done as an enjoyable pastime for a number of years.
As I turned back and headed into town along the Hume Highway, I was hit from behind by a semi-trailer travelling at over 100km/hr.
Suffering a number of life threatening injuries I was rushed to hospital and stabilised before being transferred to Melbourne where I remained in a critical condition for almost a month. The force of the impact had shattered a number of bones and had damaged my spinal cord, which would leave me paralysed and in a wheelchair for the rest of my life.
After 6 months in hospital and numerous challenges I moved back to Albury to resume life and learn how to adapt to my new circumstance. As with any challenge I met this head on and began coaching other triathletes and assisting them to reach their goals.
Fast forward 20 + years and a conversation over a coffee with a close mate ended with the insane idea that I could complete in an Ironman triathlon (3.8km swim, 180km cycle and 42.2km full marathon run).
My first step was to start training and obtain the modified equipment I required (eg. Handcycle, Racing Wheelchair) and in 2013 I travelled to Bussleton to compete in my first ever Ironman.
While a shoulder injury forced me to retire 140km into the cycle leg, I was not detoured and refocused to compete - and complete - the Cairns Ironman the following year.
In June 2015, a long time dream was realised when I won my spot for the 2015 Ironman World Championship in Kona Hawaii on October 10th.
Now I need your help to get me there!
As well as raising funds to help cover my travel expenses I want to use this opportunity to inspire and empower young people to realise their dreams and break the cycle of homelessness. I have partnered with Ladder www.ladder.org.au for this campaign and hope to raise valuable funds so they too can continue their work.