Achieving a Goal When Everyone Says You Can’t
This moving story is written by Deidre, one of our long term clients. It’s an amazing story that needs no introduction.
A seed is planted
It was around June this year and everyone seemed to be doing marathons, fun runs or other events. Exercise is a routine part of my week, but I’ve never thought of myself as ‘sporty’ and I thought I wouldn’t fit in. But I was beginning to wonder if they really do improve motivation. I hadn’t trained to complete an event before and I don’t do running, so I asked Jodie (Director of HBF) if she had any ideas. One of her suggestions was the Eureka Tower Stair Climb in November. There was plenty of time to get ready and she thought I could do it.
Walking up 88 floors in a stairwell with hundreds of other people was not immediately attractive to me. I went away and thought about it and decided to give it a go. I could train in the office stairs at work, it was unusual and even if I didn’t get there I’d get fitter in the process.
“You’ll never do that. Why set yourself up to fail?”
I signed up as soon as registrations opened in August. Then I started telling family and friends that I was going to walk up the Eureka Tower. Nearly everyone said ‘you’re mad’, ‘why would you want to do THAT?’, or ‘how ridiculous’. The one that knocked me over was ‘you’ll never do that, why set yourself up to fail?’. Well, that was it – I was more determined than ever to walk those stairs just to prove to everyone that I could. Jodie knew my fitness better than anyone else and she said I could do it. I wasn’t going to let their negative talk get in the way.
A recipe for success
To get ready for the event I changed my regular training to focus on leg endurance and cardio fitness. A friend offered to help me train. She had completed the Oxfam Trailwalker and had lots of training walks in her toolkit. We went on
Sunday morning walks up steep hills in Eltham, through mud in the Dandenong Ranges and up to the lookout at Mt Donna Buang near Warburton (where you can see the Eureka Tower in the distance). The scenery was gorgeous and after a week in the office it was a pleasure to walk with a friend in the outdoors. Training doesn’t have to be all hard work after all!
Feeling like an imposter
On the day of the event I was nervous. Everyone else looked sporty with their ‘Skins’ and headbands. I felt like an imposter. At 11.00am I took my first step and started walking. On my mp3 player, my favourite music kept me company. My goal was to finish so I took rests when I needed and then kept going. By level 44 the song was ‘I feel better than James Brown’ and it was true, I was feeling good. At level 66 I was humming to ‘is this love, or is it just blood pumping?’ by Zerafina Zara. I think it was just blood pumping. The firemen were in the other stairwell with Michelle (HBF trainer). At level 86 it was ‘ten-foot tall and bulletproof’ by Li’l Fi – and that’s exactly how I felt.
Being called a ‘runner’ for the first time
There was no-one with me when I took the last flight of stairs. It was confusing at the top, with people everywhere. I heard someone say ‘there’s a runner coming through’ so I stepped aside. Then the marshall turned to me and said ‘that’s you – the finish line is just over there’. I quickly turned and ran across the line.
1295 people ran, climbed or walked up the Eureka Tower on Sunday 14 November and I was one of them.