Monthly Archives: May 2019

Day 3 Wrap Up

Day 3 was a feat of incredible effort by everyone!

As per the plan we transferred the 7/8km from yesterday to today, which turned our shortest day of nearly 22km into our longest. We agreed the night before that we would split into two groups, where the first group would head out for the car drop offs by 6am and meet up with the second group at Ellensbrook Homestead.

After kicking off from the Gracetown car park at around 7:15 we pushed through the first third of the day with an awesome pace, getting to Ellensbrook Homestead by 9. This first stretch was gorgeous, and the undressing surfers definitely gave the girls a bit of a show – but don’t worry it was only waist up!

Now as a whole team we focused on getting to Preverly. The second third was a bit of a nightmare (at least for Dunja). My pain went through the roof, bloody hyper-mobility kicked in and caused havoc on my feet and the small muscles in the groin made me weep from the pain. Other team members didn’t go unscathed. either – Jacinda started developing some blisters on the back of her feet and we all started feeling the pressure of being on our feet for so long.

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The paths continued to be of varying difficulty – but there were a lot of hills and a lot of very boggy sand. But we still made great time and arrived at the Margaret River River Mouth just after 12:30. We had a bit of a break – lots of stretches, rolling with the torture devices (aka the massage stick and ball), food, water refill, berocca and we were back on track.

The third stretch was excruciating for everyone. How much uphill can you squish into one day!!! There were parts of the track that were not overly attractive because we kept walking up and up and up and up 4wd tracks for about 4km. We then reached the top of the 350+ stairs with absolutely stunning views of the valley.

We got down the stairs borrowing some mountain goat skills from John and after having a quick break in the gorgeous cove we moved on around the valley. Once we got back to the beach the river mouth was just stunning with the sunset colours kicking in. We then had 2km of very soft and boggy sand that was very slow going, but it was incredibly satisfying to get to the top of Redcliffe Beach and to actually get back on track with the km.

Day 3 Timelapse

Tomorrow the plan is to go from Redgate to Hamelin bay – so another long day with a massive beach stretch at the end of the day so we will see how we will go.

And if you don’t already know – the reason that we are doing this is to raise awareness and much needed funds for Dementia Australia and the Fibromyalgia Support Network of Western Australia Inc. so please please please donate here:
https://give.everydayhero.com/au/cape-to-cape-with-jl-fitness

No donation is too small, they can be made anonymously and all donations over $2 are tax deductible,

Cape to Cape – Day 2 Wrap Up

After the late night yesterday, we had a relatively late start this morning at Injidup Beach.

A lot of the initial track from Injidup is 4WD track which is both good and bad – it’s very boggy in the areas that haven’t been driven over in a long time but relatively good in the areas that were. We had a guy in a blue Toyota Hilux (maybe) go back and forth which compressed the track which did make it quite nice.

Unlike yesterday, the sand was very very boggy. Everything from the beaches, sand dunes to sandy pathways was very hard work and as with the end of the previous day there was quite a significant amount of rock pathways and stairs. And I think it would be much nicer actually going through and doing this a second time round, when you know that the town that you are going to is not just round the corner but round the next three. We just kept walking and walking and walking and Gracetown just did not want to show up for us…

Also many of us realised that for goodness sake – we are not mountain goats!!! Well other than John, the rest of us do not have mountain goat like properties. That man seems to be able to step on any rock no matter how big or small, no matter how unfeasible the stride distance – and stick the bloody landing! “It’s like we’re swimming in glue and he is floating above – how can we possibly be bound by the same laws of physics” et Lisa

What we did figure out is that poles and small steps were a life saver on the sand. It doesn’t feel like you’re getting far, but they are so much more energy efficient and protective of the legs.

We did also get to see a little more of the wildlife – the “baby lizards from the start of the zoo”, hundreds of skinks and a baby tiger snake (we think). All of which thankfully ran away from us with great enthusiasm.

What we did decide though, was rather than doing another 7km in the dark and again risking God knows what kind of terrain to Ellensbrook, we would bow at our early exit point with the intent of adding those km to tomorrows start time.

So cumulative so far is 44.8km – we’ve essentially done a half marathon each day! An incredible effort from the team!

Day 2 Timelapse

So if you would like to help us reach our goal – not the goal of finishing this bloody hike, but the goal of giving Dementia Australia and the Fibromyalgia Support Network of Western Australia Inc. please please please donate here:
https://give.everydayhero.com/au/cape-to-cape-with-jl-fitness

No donation is too small, they can be made anonymously and all donations over $2 are tax deductible,

Day 1 – The Wrap Up

After driving down from Wanneroo and Mandurah, and dropping a car off at Injidup Beach, we arrived at the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse at 11:45 to a fantastic welcome from the Dunsborough Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade!

We sneaked up to the lighthouse and got the all important kick off by touching the lighthouse and then set off to Sugarload Rock. I don’t know how many adjectives will come to mind to describe the landscape – stunning, incredibly, amazing and arriving at the rock that has been the symbol of our fundraiser from the very beginning was just surreal and so on we went.

We kept at a reasonable pace and although we only saw one real snake, we did make a solid effort to find as many shapes like a crocodile, elephant, baby face, mans face, Mary Magdalene (or Medusa with the snakes cut off) etc etc etc so lots and lots of fun! The beaches were much better than expected (there were a lot more solid than what we were anticipating) although any pace that we might have gained we lost by turning into children and looking at the incredibly beautiful shells along the beach!

We ended up getting to Yallingup around 4:30, had a bit of a stretch and rolled some of our sore muscles and had a discussion about possible pace and whether we could finish in time – and we made the decision that we would do whatever we could to have everyone finish the first day. But boy were we thoroughly WRONG about the possible pace!!!

Shortly after the second beach walk, during which the sun set, we hit Canal Rocks in complete darkness. Our pace dropped significantly. Climbing up stone pathways, even with the awesome torches that we brought on the way, was a tough slog. Only to be followed by going up to the Rotary Lookout. We were nearly at 8pm and after we came down from the lookout (which we couldn’t see anything from other than some incredible views of the starts) we realised that sticking to the track for the last 3km was possibly crazy. We couldn’t see the sights, we didn’t know if there were any further climbs or rough terrain and we did know that we had a bit of a beach stretch at the end.

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So instead we decided to make a detour onto Wyadup Rd and through to Canal Rocks Road to the car. We made it there by 8:40, and then spent 1.5 hours getting the cars from the start point.

Day 1 Timelapse

And then for the awesomeness – we arrived at the Kilifi Beach House, picked out our rooms, brought everything inside, lit the pre-prepared fire (thank you Paula!), made a quick dinner (butter chicken with broccoli and cauliflower) and we are now rolling out the final kinks before it’s bed time!

So thank you very much for following along so far and if you would like to help us reach our fundraising goal please donate here: https://give.everydayhero.com/au/cape-to-cape-with-jl-fitness

No donation is too small, you can remain anonymous and all donations over $2 are tax deductible!

Alternatively if you would like to help us FOR FREE you can share our page or our posts and help us raise awareness about the great work the support groups do to help people with these illnesses. You never know – you might help someone find an answer they have been looking for for a long time!

Be brain healthy!

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In 2019, there is an estimated 447,115 Australians living with dementia. Without a medical breakthrough, the number of people with dementia is expected to increase to 589,807 by 2028 and 1,076,129 by 2058.

But, there is something you can do to reduce your risk. Scientific evidence tells us that certain lifestyle and health behaviours, particularly around midlife, are associated with reduced risk of developing dementia in late life. So, look after your brain health to reduce your risk of dementia. It’s never too early or late to start, as brain health can be improved and protected at any age.

Dementia Australia in partnership with Bupa Health Foundation developed the BrainyApp to raise awareness of the risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, and to help you be brain healthy and it’s completely free.

So give it a go: https://brainyapp.com.au/

And if you would like to support Dementia Australia to continue to provide such valuable resources please click here: https://give.everydayhero.com/au/cape-to-cape-with-jl-fitness

No donation is too small, they can be made anonymously through the website and all donations over $2 are tax deductible!

It may not be just fibro!

There are three key reasons to raise awareness for fibro: we help people get an early diagnosis, ensure that people can get the support that they require and to make sure that new symptoms aren’t dismissed.

Fibro warriors generally have a very complex medical file and are generally also fighting many other things – arthritis, endometriosis, EDS and many many more.

Sometimes fibro is diagnosed in addition to these, and other times it takes years to get to this answer. But one thing many of us have in common is that when a new symptom appears, because it’s difficult enough to be treated as a drug / attention seeker, we are more likely to say “it’s just fibro”. But often it isn’t. Here are some of the examples of “it’s not just fibro!”:

  • Horrific calf muscle cramps that were caused by a calcium deficiency and fixed with an evening serving of cheese and apple
  • Various muscle pains that were caused by a combination of hyper mobility and strength imbalances treated by exercising
  • Abdominal pain that was caused by a pinched nerve in the spine which once released got rid of the pain all together
  • Skin swelling and going red and hot was angioedema (a chronic condition that isn’t worth to treat unless you have the life-threatening version)
  • Aching wrists that were first diagnosed as carpel tunnel and then as “just fibro” turned out to be avascular necrosis of the lunate and radioulnar carpal impaction. Fusion of the wrist helps to stabilize the wrist and with some of the excruciating pain
  • Dizzy spells and tremors that were diagnosed as Grave’s Disease. Untreated Grave’s causes irreversible damage to the eyes, serious mental issues (pseudo-psychosis) and the suicide rate is double since its often misdiagnosed and untreated
  • Fatigue that was getting so bad getting out of bed was very difficult was diagnosed as a deficiency in vitamins B12 & D, iron and magnesium. Once these were resolved the warrior got much better and could get out of bed.
  • Chronic fatigue that escalated to a complete inability to stay awake, even when driving that was diagnosed as Idiopathic Hypersomnia.

So please please please – regardless of how complex your medical file is, never ignore new symptoms. They might be indicating something as dangerous as cancer or they might be really easy to fix. Either way – a question on the Fibromyalgia Support Network of Western Australia Inc. support pages and a visit to the doctor is definitely worth it.

And if you would like to help the support network continue to provide education and support services please click here:  https://give.everydayhero.com/au/cape-to-cape-with-jl-fitness

No donation is too small, they can be made anonymously through the website and all donations over $2 are tax deductible!

Start2Talk

Trying to plan ahead in case of a sudden accident, becoming very ill or developing a condition such as dementia, is a very difficult activity.

“Most of us would prefer not to think about becoming unwell or developing dementia, but it is important to have plans in place in case we do.

Start2Talk has been developed by Dementia Australia and our partners to help all Australians start the conversations involved in planning ahead.”

Dementia Australia provides great resources to facilitate these discussions, whether it’s to make plans for financial, legal or medical care management that you can access online: https://www.dementia.org.au/planning-ahead

But you can also talk to someone by calling the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500 (available 9am to 5pm weekdays).

If you would like to support this wonderful organisation that provides help and support to some of the most vulnerable people in our society and their carers please click here:
https://give.everydayhero.com/au/cape-to-cape-with-jl-fitness

No donation is too small, they can be made anonymously through the website and all donations over $2 are tax deductable!

International Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

It is an awesome coincidence that the last day of our hike is also the International Fibromyalgia Awareness Day!

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Fibromyalgia is chronic pain fatigue syndrome that makes every day activities like catching up with friends, going to work and playing with your kids very draining and difficult. And even though it is common, with 3-6% of the world’s population expected to have it, it still takes an average of 2 years to get diagnosed. This delay in diagnosis can be incredibly stressful, depressing and degrading because we spend a lot of this time hearing that it’s in our heads, that we are just attention seeking, that there is nothing wrong with us, that it would get better if we “just” exercised/ bought into a pyramid scheme/ changed our diet etc. And between the things we have to give up and the lack of support from the people sometimes closest to us, the suicide rate in fibro warriors is 10x higher than those who are healthy.

But having a support group like the Fibromyalgia Support Network of Western Australia Inc. full of people that do understand, that are trying to do what they can to raise awareness, to educate medical practitioners and sufferers and to support us in any way they can is incredible.
So if you would like to help us get the word out, to help people get an early diagnosis so that they can get the help and support that they need to keep the worst of the symptoms at bay – please please please share this post!

You never know – you might help someone find an answer that they have been looking for for a long time!

And if you would like to support the Fibromyalgia Support Network please click here: https://give.everydayhero.com/au/cape-to-cape-with-jl-fitness

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Driving with Dementia

A few weeks ago we had a post about how important it is to allow people with dementia the freedom of movement … but what about driving?

Some of the symptoms of dementia, like a reduction in reaction speed, limited situational awareness, vision impairment and memory problems could lead to dangerous driving situations, but a person diagnosed with dementia may not need to stop driving straight away. However, dementia causes a progressive and irreversible decline in functioning, and the person will need to stop driving at some point.

And this is another situation where Dementia Australia​ can provide support. In addition to the resources that they have on their website, they can also help provide advice on how to approach the necessary conversations to ensure everyone’s safety.

If you would like to donate to Dementia Australia, to ensure they can continue to provide these resources, please click here: https://give.everydayhero.com/au/cape-to-cape-with-jl-fitness

And for more information for both dementia sufferers and the people supporting them please click here: https://www.dementia.org.au/resources/dementia-and-driving-wa

The not so nice side of humanity…

Well some days are awesome and other days just show the not so nice side of humanity.
As with anything that I put online, I know that I open myself up to some really lovely people reaching out but also trolls and misinterpretations – and this event has been no different. I (Dunja) have received a couple of messages recently telling me that I most likely don’t have fibro to begin with and that I am not helping the plight of so many fibro warriors who struggle with every day activities and that they are getting told “well it can’t be that bad if she’s doing this”

I kid you not – I thought about scrapping the whole event when I saw those worlds… but there is learning in everything so here is a bit of a background story (I’m sorry it’s so long).

I am a very lucky fibro warrior. I have always had a heightened awareness of my body which coupled with an incredible GP who already know about rheumatoid arthritis and fibro, got me an appointment with a Rheumatologist and a diagnosis within 3 months (although she suspected the answer in that first session).

And although my story is so much better than so many others who are suffering with this illness, the last decade has still been rough. Some of the things that frustrate me the most are that my kids and John (hubby) cause me immense pain if they touch me without me seeing them coming, I have nights where I am so locked up that I have to get John to get up and go get the kid that’s screaming for mummy and I take a handful of drugs each and every day to get me through (albeit an insignificant one in comparison to most other sufferers).

2 years ago I was at my worst. A combination of PND and general life pressures saw me get bigger than a size 22 (not sure how much bigger cause i just stopped caring). I was extremely depressed, couldn’t exercise and didn’t particularly want to, the pain was incredible and for the first time in years I was taking pain killers every day. The “pretend everything is fine” face was on but I was suicidal and the only thing that got me through each and every day was that I couldn’t leave my girls and John.

And then I had another miracle – a change in medications for my arthritis and the addition of PEA (which I had heard about on the support group) took so much of the pain away and together with my incredible PT husband and Amanda (a work colleague of John’s at the time), I started working on my diet and exercise a little bit at a time. Small changes like actually eating at least 2 meals a day, and then working up to 3 and getting some better ingredients in, working on areas that weren’t balanced etc etc.

But so many others are not this lucky – they don’t all have understanding doctors, they don’t have an awesome personal trainer at their fingertips, the side effects of the drugs that we take are often only slightly less severe than what they treat, and after years of searching and fighting with this condition just getting up in the morning is a win worth celebrating!

I don’t even know if I can do this – two years of incredibly hard work to get to this point and it still doesn’t guarantee anything. I may not get through every day. My body may override the drive, resilience and just plain stubbornness and stop me from moving forward. It’s possible that it will ignore all the extra drugs that I am going to be taking to get as far as I can.

But you know what – for me it’s still worth it. Because maye the person that told someone that they could do more because I was doing this sees some of the messages and starts trying to be supporting rather than a … well I have refrained from swearing in the rest of the post so I won’t start now. Maybe one person will go to a doctor and say “I think this might be the answer” and get some well deserved recognition and treatment. Maybe one person will find the Fibromyalgia Support Network of Western Australia Inc. and Dementia Australia groups and get the support that they need.

Maybe we will see a grain of rice worth of contribution to the humanity that we want and not the one that we have…

If you would like to donate to either of these incredibly supporting groups please click here:
https://give.everydayhero.com/au/cape-to-cape-with-jl-fitness