About Me

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Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
I tell my story. I'm not here to sell a product, but to challenge people's thoughts to take better care of themselves. To validate those that are already doing this. To educate, to eradicate the mental health stigma, to influence those that need influencing and doing all of this with respect as each person has their own journey and we need to recognise that. I am vulnerable and raw. I have to be authentic. I am me. I have faults, I have made and continue to make mistakes, but I learn from those mistakes, I am me.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Overland Track. Part 1. On the helipad.

Nine members of The Code 9 Foundation being led by Nick Farr and David Buttifant from The Resilience Builders set out to trek the Overland Track in Tasmania on June 19. A 65 km walk through the Tasmanian wilderness, split over seven days.

My mindset leading up to the trek was quite simple, to enjoy it and to be tested (I vastly underestimated the testing part).

Well that mindset was soon to be found incorrect and a realignment was required pretty swiftly on day two when we had to take shelter in Kitchen Hut, Cradle Mountain. Knee deep snow, driving rain and a fierce wind soon wiped the fake (mental) mask I was wearing when I felt very close to complete despair. I was wet, extremely cold and faced with a further five days of this did not sit well with my mental health, and when I say did not sit well, I mean it REALLY did not sit well.

Whilst taking shelter, my great mate Kane saddled up next to me, hand on my shoulder and told me to breath, to do the things I need to do to settle. This continued. His voice continuing to settle me. Not only a close mate who knows what to do in the circumstances, but a superb level of leadership. Kane is a Senior Sergeant and as far as I am concerned, should be an Inspector, hopefully that is just around the corner because every organisation needs people like him in positions of power and influence.

Nick and Dave went for a walk to assess the safety of pushing on as there was a real chance we would have to cease and return to Scout Hut. When they returned, both stated it would be tough but it was safe to continue.

My mindset was instantly realigned, "embrace the suck". A term I have heard many times listening to Andy Stumpf's podcast (Andy is a former US Navy SEAL). So I set out, wet, cold but embracing the suck.

The new alignment was simply to embrace the suck, be really tested, learn more about myself and to grow from it.

A few days later, on 22 June we arrived at New Pelion Hut and the usual get out of the wet clothing and into dry was completed and then I noticed that there was a helipad away from the hut.

I grabbed my phone and earphones and headed to the helipad, completed a few sets of qi qong (thanks Ross for the many lessons!!) and then listened to some of my favorite tunes whilst staring into the incredible surrounds that is Tasmania.

Being at complete peace with oneself is such a rare event that when it happens, you have to sit in live, live it, remember it and completely enjoy it. Whilst sitting on the helipad for around 30 mins, I was at complete peace to the point where it was quite an emotional experience.

Unbeknown to me, a few pics where taken and I am very grateful for this (thanks crew) as it is a constant reminder of that perfect moment in time.

The lesson that I learnt out of this is one that I have had a few times but to have it reinforced is pretty golden, even when you are down, you can get yourself back up and to a peaceful place.

The power of mates and support to hold you up when you are down, to encourage, to comfort, to support cannot ever be underestimated.

To be continued.....

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