“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back.” Paulo Coelho
In this week’s blog I’m happy to share the words of my friend Lana Williams, who recently volunteered to help another friend in an inspiring cause. This is a story about cycling, travel, volunteering, fund raising and, ultimately, overcoming adversity. I hope you enjoy it.
Ride with no limits
Riding 14,275 kilometres around Australia on a pushbike is not something most people would do. In fact, they’d probably just laugh and say “get real”. But not Glenn Carter. He has undertaken this very challenge to raise money for a great cause.
Two years ago, Glenn’s friend Emma Booth was paralysed in a car accident. Undaunted, Emma has since set her sights on representing Australia in the 2016 Paralympics. Glenn’s ride around Australia will help Emma get to Rio to compete in the Equestrian events.
On 18 April, Glenn departed from Melbourne, heading north. He is now in Western Australia, having completed more than half the ride. I was lucky enough to be part of Glenn’s support team from Southport to Mackay in Queensland, and I have to admit I’ve never witnessed a person with such a positive attitude. Even on the toughest day, Glenn had a smile on his face and just got on with the job!
I will never forget Glenn saying, “If you don’t have anything positive to say, then you may want to consider keeping that thought to yourself.” It’s a mantra that has become important in my own life.
I spent five days and four nights travelling up the Bruce Highway with Glenn and Neville. We were a great team. Nev and I made sure Glenn was safe on the road, well fed and well hydrated. I have to admit I have never seen anyone eat so many bananas in one day.
The speed Glenn gets on his Cervelo bike is amazing and he loves the big downhill sections. He was averaging 250 km per day and, I don’t know about you, but I get exhausted just driving that distance every day.
I saw the most amazing scenery on my journey – travelling through Coolum, Tewantin, Pamona, Childers, Miriam Vale, Mt Larcom, Rockhampton, St Lawrence, Sarina and Mackay. We have such an amazing country! And I now think a driving holiday around Australia is essential.
During my time with the ride, we were lucky with the weather and the bike – only one rainy day and one flat tyre. The memories from this experience will stay with me forever; and I think I’ll always be telling stories about the beautiful people we met along the way, those who live in towns that are about as big as your mobile phone. The generosity of people never ceases to inspire me and the help we received will never be forgotten.
Glenn’s fundraising target is $100,000 to help with Emma’s expenses of travelling to Rio for trials and purchasing a horse. He is well on his way to reaching that total. As of day 50, Glenn was in Walpole, Western Australia; an amazing effort. He is due back in Melbourne at the end of June.
Keep going Superman!
If anyone is interested donating to this worthy cause, or reading more about Glenn’s ride and Emma’s journey to Rio, click here.