In May 2011 my normal average life changed forever.
When my son Archie was born with a rare brain condition, he underwent several operations and spent many months in hospital, I decided to get off the lounge and lose 40kg to better myself for my family.
My father was then diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer. My father had run marathons so I decided to use this new found fitness to train for and run a marathon in his honour whilst he underwent treatment.
So things don’t sound too great over that year but then my biggest challenge came.
In May 2012, 5 days before the marathon I suffered a brain stem stroke and heart attack at the age of 33. At that moment I was more or less dead and fighting for my final breath. This left me without the ability to see, walk or talk.
Drawing from the inspiration of those around me I dedicated myself to talk, see and eventually walk again.
As soon as I could walk again I knew I had to finish the goal I had originally set myself and so I entered the Melbourne marathon. I ran the whole way and completed this just some 8 weeks out of hospital.
After a trip to the neurologist he advised me to cycle and swim to assist in my balance issues and it was there that I signed up as a late entrant to the Melbourne Ironman which consists of a 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and 42.2km run.
I hadn't swam 50m or cycled a kilometre in 15 years so I underwent a vigorous training program and completed the Melbourne Ironman in March 2013 some 8 months after being discharged from hospital. Along the way I have overcome many adversities and challenges but use this as motivation through the tough times.
I continued to set myself big goals dreams......KONA - The Hawaii Ironman World Championship being one of them. Known as the toughest one day race on the planet, I achieved the goal of qualifying through the Kona Inspired program. The Kona Inspired program recognised the 7 most inspirational athletes globally with a place in the Ironman World Championship.
I trained relentlessly, juggled work and family commitments and with the support of family and friends completed the toughest one day race on the planet, the Hawaii Ironman World Championship in October 2013 some 14 months after regaining the ability to see, talk & walk.
I continue to set big goals and am currently chasing the dream of completing all Australian based Ironman races (Melbourne, Western Australia, Port Macquarie, Cairns) and the Hawaii Ironman World Championship by June 2014. When I cross the line at Ironman Cairns in June 2014 it will mark exactly 2 years since I was able to see, talk and walk.
Anything is possible…