Cause: Melanoma Institute Australia
Adventure: Melanoma Institute Australia’s Outback Trek 2018
As our Adventurer of the Month, John has scored himself a $100 Paddy Pallin voucher! To be our next month’s winner, make sure you’re uploading your journey to social and use the hashtag #IveBeenInspired.
What motivated you to take on your Inspired Adventure?
My motivation for undertaking the Melanoma Institute of Australia’s (MIA) Outback Trek 2018 on the Larapinta Trail is the death of my son, David, in August 2017. David was diagnosed with Stage Three Melanoma in December 2016 just weeks before the birth of his third daughter. David was only 33 years old. He did not respond to the latest immunotherapy treatment. He has been designated as a “super progressor” and a new research project is being established by MIA to find out why and, hopefully, find a cure for people like David. The funds raised by my walk are being directed to this new research project.
How are you feeling about the challenge ahead? Have you ever been to Central Australia before?
I’m feeling fairly relaxed about the challenge – I know that there will be sections that I will find very challenging, such as the ascent to Mount Sonder, but I think that my preparation and my previous experience will stand in me in good stead. Listening to others who have done this trek, I think that my major challenge will be caring for my feet, preventing blisters and the like, and stretching those tired muscles at the end of each day’s walk.
I’ve never been to Central Australia before. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to experience it first-hand. I’ve heard that some people regard the Larapinta trail as the “Camino of the Southern Hemisphere”. I’m very interested what insights into this I might glean from my trek.
What have been some of the highlights of your Inspired journey so far?
One of the main highlights has been the wonderfully inspiring people that I have met on my training walks. It has been a privilege to get to know these people in some small way, to listen to their stories and their hopes for the causes for which they are walking. The other highlight has been the enthusiastic way in which people have responded to my queries or requests for help – this has been uplifting.
"I know that there will be sections that I will find very challenging, such as the ascent to Mount Sonder, but I think that my preparation and my previous experience will stand in me in good stead."
Do you have any tips for other people currently training for their Inspired Adventure?
I have three tips. Firstly, draw up a walking and exercise program with weekly goals, write it down and stick to it! Secondly, get your gear as early as possible and use it in all preparation walks. Lastly, start taking care of your feet now and develop a good stretching regime to use at the end of each day’s walk.
Have you noticed any changes or transformation in your life since taking on your first adventure?
I think that the most significant change for me has been dipping my toe into the ‘social media’ arena. I’ve not been one for Facebook and the like, but my tentative steps in this area has shown me what a valuable and powerful tool for communication and connection that this can be.
"One of the main highlights has been the wonderfully inspiring people that I have met on my training walks."
What advice would you offer to other people looking to complete a challenge like this?
Be realistic about your capabilities and research the challenge to ensure that its demands are compatible with your abilities and limitations. Once this is done, don’t look back!
Become our Adventurer of the Month to win a $100 Paddy Pallin voucher
Take a picture whilst on your adventure or when you’re training and use the hashtag #IveBeenInspired and your adventure hashtag. The most exciting use of the hashtag, with an adventure, and fitness focus will be our Adventurer of the Month – it’s that easy!