Everyone has a story, I know that now. And if you're doing me the great honour of reading mine - thank you.
I hope it will inspire you to live more of your story, and encourage you to share it with others, so they in turn can live more of theirs. Because everyone has a story that needs to be shared...
It's a long one ;) But hey - what story is worth telling if you cut it short? ;)
I've come to realise that everything does happen for a reason, and the course of events that have brought me to where I am today - living my purpose:
Inspiring and energizing potential for Infinite IM-pact in the world
- as a Professional Speaker & Marketing Energizer
I know none of it's by chance. Everything has happened for a very specific reason, and I could not feel more compelled about the journey I'm on, and excited about the difference I hope to make, because each of us can.
A lot of people have played a key part in this journey - and in living my message - yes it's partly because of the impact I've had on others, but most definitely the impact they've had on me. I certainly wouldn't be where I am today, doing what I am today - without that impact. In fact none of us would be where we are today without it...
I'm not quite sure where my 'story' starts - probably at birth, but we won't go back that far... Perhaps the most pivotal start was a last minute hiking trip through the Andes, and exploring the Amazon in South America. Grounded by the mountains and inspired by the Incas - I returned to Melbourne with a new perspective and appreciation of 'just being'.
After some time off training I decided to join a gym and sign-up for some PT sessions to get moving again. Ironically my trainer, Mauricio, was from Peru - where I'd spent the majority of my trip. It was his training techniques and intensity that finally gave me the core strength my physio Lisa had been telling me (for years!), would be the solution to my ongoing running injuries.
In parallel to my training I was finding enormous benefit in Kinesiology. My therapist and now friend, Belinda, helped me to actually 'listen' to my body and clear anything holding me back. Our sessions played a key part in propelling me onwards and upwards. I was growing as a person and becoming more aware and comfortable with who I was, what I had to offer, and ultimately what I was capable of.
Then I did something crazy... I signed up for an Ironman - a 3.8km swim / 180km ride / 42km run - a mere 226km in total.
At the time my good friend Mads had been diagnosed with Myeloma - a rare blood cancer with no cure. He was 38, wife to Emma and father to a son, little 2-year old Ollie. I'd seen many friends endure Melbourne Ironman and was completely in awe of what they'd accomplished. Taking one on was never something I’d even remotely considered – but with the battle Mads had on his hands, it was a stark reminder of just how precious life is. So my motive didn’t need a ‘why’ it became a ‘why not’, I was fit and healthy so why wouldn't I give one a go?
Despite his incredible strength, the unthinkable happened and we lost Mads. I would dedicate my Ironman to him, and in the process raise over $10,000 for the Myeloma Foundation thanks to the incredible support of my family and many wonderful friends. Ironman for IronMads I called it - an Everyday Hero page still active today - click here to view.
Ironman Day, March 22nd 2015 - arguably one of the longest, yet seemingly shortest days of my life. It was a day that was more than just meant to be, for so many reasons. It's an experience that will stay with me, and a challenge that I'll be forever grateful I took on.
The greatest gift I took from Ironman and dedicating it to my good friend Mads - was discovering the impact we can all have on each other. I believe it's an impact that has the potential to be infinite. So everlasting, it flows on like a ripple effect - from one person to the next and many beyond that, one day to the next and many beyond that.
It is my vision to create a movement of 'INFINITE IMPACT'. Imagine a world where we all truly appreciated the impact we have on those around us, and made different choices because of it?
On the back of Ironman, I now knew that with commitment and self belief 'anything was possible' and took another leap by launching my own business - inspiring and energizing potential as far and wide as I could. I even started writing - creating a blog about what I'd come to know through my journey. People were reading it and commenting about how my words resonated with them...
To brush up on my 'presentation' skills, I found myself at one of Sam Cawthorn's training days with The Speakers Institute. So impressed with the day, I signed up to a 3-day bootcamp, and had to give a 6 minute presentation. I chose to share my Ironman experience and how I'd dedicated it to my friend Mads. On stage, sharing a story that was and still is very emotional for me. It wasn't polished, probably never will be - but it was authentic.
Those 6 minutes became pretty defining - they shifted me, they inspired me, and they anchored in me a passion to continue sharing my story, wherever that may lead.
And I couldn't be more grateful for the countless individuals - past and present - who continue to have an impact on me, bringing me to where I am today, doing what I'm doing today.
We can and do all have the most incredible impact on each other.
Let's make it a good one.
Because we can.
The clips below are 2 of my most incredible experiences, if you can spare a few minutes, take a look...
Melbourne Ironman dedicated to my good friend Mads, and
New York City Marathon dedicated to my good friend Georgie
Both these experiences will stay with me forever.