Friday, March 12, 2010

The First Hurdle

It was a beautiful summer day at the beach in Sydney. Conditions were perfect! After an exhilarating session of body surfing, and a bit of a lie down on the sand, I found myself sprinting from the shore back towards the waves. The uneven sand was hidden beneath the shallow water, and a severe pain shot through my foot as it twisted and collapsed under my weight. Not one to cause a fuss over such matters, I briefly acknowledged the pain, and got on with swimming amongst the waves. Later, I left the water with a stagger and a swollen red foot. Over the next few days my stagger improved to a limp, and eventually to a lengthy stride just short of my full gait.

That was 8 weeks ago, and the niggling pain is still there. Not one to rush things, last week I made it to a doctor, and after subsequent X-rays and an MRI scan, it turns out I have torn cartilage in my foot, and a small bone is trying to become a small floating island.

The doc seems to think I have three options:

1. Surgery - I quickly ruled this out as it means I won't be fit for a long time, and also seems a bit extreme.

2. Put my foot in a boot for 4 weeks, and use crutches to completely protect it. This is a possibility, but it means sacrificing 4 weeks of fitness and training, and my foot is not guaranteed to heal completely in that time.

3. Deal with the pain. Take anti-inflammatory tablets when it gets bad, and get on with it.

I have decided to suck it up, do one week of full training, and make a decision based on how my foot feels during and after that.

It's cutting it fine, but at this stage I'm still focused on a May 1 departure!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


When I tell people that I am going to ride a bicycle over 4000km across a continent, for more than 5 weeks, by myself, without a support team, carrying all my own riding, camping, cooking and personal equipment, the most common reaction I get is "are you crazy!?" It is clear that said people think I am, and although I can't confidently deny it, I quietly find myself thinking the same about them - how could you NOT want to do it!??

I am also taking this opportunity to raise funds for the Starlight Children's Foundation, who is dedicated to brightening the lives of all seriously ill and hospitalised children and their families throughout Australia. They are an amazing organisation, who through fun, entertainment and laughter, give back some of the joy of childhood that a serious illness takes away.

With just over 7 weeks until my scheduled departure - 01 May 2010 - I am left with a mountain of tasks including organising all of my gear (I don't have a bike yet!!), and of course training hard to make sure I'm physically fit. Any support is hugely appreciated, whether it's in the form of an encouraging comment, sponsorship of some gear, or most importantly giving generously to Starlight through my event page:

For those of you who aren't joining me on the ride (which is everyone!), please come back here to keep up to date about preparations and join in on the adventure.

Much love.