Hello, my name is Adam and back in December 2019 I took on the crazy task of pushing a day chair from Tallarook to Mansfield along the GV rails trail – raising funds for organisations I am so appreciative of.
Firstly, thank you very much to DSR and the Robert Rose Foundation for inspiring me to change my life.
In all, we as a collective of supporters, family and friends, managed to raise a total of $7,332.54. That equates to $3,666.27 to be donated to both the Robert Rose Foundation and DSR.
What can I say, piece of cake. In all seriousness it was the hardest thing I have ever attempted let alone actually completed, keeping in mind I have endured brain surgery more than 14 times.
We arrived in Tallarook all smiles and full of beans. And by day three in Mansfield I was more like humus than a soybean.
Day 1: Tallarook – Yea
We had quite the crew by the time the trip kicked off – myself, my wife Tammy, my dad, my brother, family friends Louise and Andrew Toohey and Kevin Morris (Richmond Wheelchair premiership captain Matt Morris’ father).
We set off across the Tallarook landscape in freezing conditions with rain coming down about 7:30am. Cheryl Morris and Julie Atkins met us at each break point and walking, towards the end of the day.
My mum Gaye and my aunty Meryl did a great job setting up the food stands for three full days at every pit stop. Mum even jumped on my dad’s bike and rode with Tammy and me to the finish line each day – we can forget the fact it was an electric bike!
Less than 10 minutes after I arrived back at the Yea netball rooms, who generously put us up for the night, Tammy rode in like a drowned rat. We got 22ml of rain in probably four hours.
Day 2 Yea – Merton
This was relatively uneventful except for the fact I fell off an eroded part of the track into an electrified fence. We pushed between 48 and 59km up in to the foothills of the snow fields.
Depending which shop you buy your map from and which leg you hop up and down on, they will tell you different lengths of this portion of the track. We did have the opportunity to pass through the cheviot tunnel which was hand crafted by men on dodgy scaffolding. Marvellous piece of architecture. I would recommend everyone making the trip go for a look. Go in your car – in a wheelchair it’s not a lot of fun hahaha.
Day 3: Merton – Mansfield
This was the ‘easy day’ of 37km. We had little to no rain and even bouts of sunshine.
Another highlight came on this day passing over Lake Eildon suspension bridge, 500m of swaying concrete and metal, miles and miles above the water. Very picturesque for someone who suffers a fear of heights.
Around 3:30pm we rolled into Mansfield covered in dirt, bushman’s fly repellent and very very sore, tired and emotional to a much-energised fan fair arrival. I do apologise for not sharing your cheer at the time but very much do appreciate it.
Life is what you make it
During COVID-19 everyone has been put out in some way or another – had to make life changes, lost their job, developed anxiety issues or worse still, lost a loved one. Let’s be honest, even people who don’t even realise it yet have been affected by COVID-19.
While not for everyone, my escape has been my efforts to create a complete body transformation. I’ve lost a staggering amount of weight, I’ve toned and developed muscle definition I’ve never had before in my 38 years of life and, most importantly, I have created an escape I absolutely love.
Life is what you make it. You only get one and I for one refuse to die wondering!
Moral of my story is with family, friends and community help and support, you can literally ‘push on’ through anything.
If Adam’s story has moved you and you’d like to make a contribution towards DSR and the work we do to build the confidence and independence of Victorians with disability, you can make a donation online.