How does a person spill their deepest thoughts and feelings so far away from when they first felt them? An odd question to open with I know but being new to the world of blogging about what I do and feel means I find myself constantly asking this question. So – what is pictured in the kaleidoscope of Mel’s life?
As always it has to begin with family. I am blessed with two beautiful little girls. Instead of surrounded by doctors and machines my angels were brought into the world into the comfort of warm water and the happy tears of their eagerly waiting family. It was an easy decision for me to give birth naturally at home in my very own birthing pool but by no means did I see child birth an easy task and in hindsight was unaware that I was facing my very first athletic event – and one the hardest yet! I was quickly catching onto the fact that I would never do things in halves again!
After my second daughter Maia was born, I completed a Tri Women’s Triathlon. I remember with fondness that my beautiful Maia (at the time only 8 weeks old) was waiting patiently for mum to bring her lunch over the finish line. After the exhilaration of competition and the satisfaction that comes with completing the event it was official – I had contracted the dreaded event bug. I have my two gorgeous little girls to thank for that as they inspired me to do more than what those around me thought I was capable of. They were the sparks that ignited my fire and even if you don’t have kids – you can always find a spark somewhere in life!
Quite quickly I became what others were describing as a ‘wonder women’ or ‘super mum’ and I suppose that was for a variety of reasons, whether it was randomly popping up on Facebook at an event or chatting with parents at kids parties (often in disbelief of the next event on the calendar). I do not see myself as an athlete but more of a mother of two striving to be the best I can be for my kids and for myself, which in part involves encouraging others through telling my stories so that they might go out and achieve what they want in life.
Next was the Cathay Pacific Half Marathon with my darling friend and running buddy Kirsten Davis. Kirsten at the time was also a very busy hard working mother with a darling little boy Xavier. This event was a tribute to Xavier and the struggle both his parents and he had to endure from birth. Aside from our personal achievement we were also able to raise a great deal of money for the Heart Foundation and Heart Kids, not to mention finishing in two hours. At this point I realised that the event bug must be contagious as Kirsten and I went onto completing our first ever full marathon in Rotorua the following year.
My first marathon is something I will never forget. One of my clearest memories (aside from the burn and push to carry on) was feeling emotional at the overwhelming support from the local community as we ran by. Oh, and then there was the shock when I hit the wall someone must have put in my way at the 30km mark! It was as though someone had stolen my knees and replaced them with knives. My hips were telling me who was boss as began to seize. The reality of a weakened stomach after two children had finally reared its ugly head.
The last two km was almost a sprint in the heat of the moment as adrenaline took over and pain faded away… and then the tears began. What an achievement! Hitting under 5 hours was my goal and I managed to reach 4 hours 51. Once the colour faded from my face and the cramps let go I told myself “I’m not sure I need to do that again”.
Who am I kidding – What’s next?