Bushfires and Broken Ribs

6 months since stripping my training back to basics it’s been a series of challenges, identifying weaknesses that then uncovered other underlying weaknesses, that then led to a broken rib…Ouch! But the mobility is improving, you should see my rib slides now….my old Belly Dancing Instructor wouldn’t recognise me. The broken rib provided it’s own set of training challenges. Did wonders for my posture. It stopped me being on the end of a hose for the Sampson Flat Bushfire but I still managed my way onto the fire ground on the Saturday by assisting our Strike Team Leader in the command car. I just had to sit tall and brace. Oh and not sneeze!

Our Strike Team was tasked with defending a Hills Township. It was an eye opening day.

The futility I felt when surveying properties and realising we could not effectively defend all.  The conversations with locals, one of whom, after a family tragedy one year prior, had earlier that day lost the family home…… That’s a serious dose of perspective.

Then they banded together to feed us all, 2 full Strike Teams, dinner. That’s hospitality. And may I say the chutney on my sandwich was the most wonderful surprise. It’s funny about the little things isn’t it?

On the bus drive that morning to the One Tree Hill Staging Area (our Trucks were already on the fire ground, the change over crews are bussed in/out at the start/end of each shift) it was daunting watching the Smoke “belch” out of the hills. The inversion layer was a clearly defined horizontal line where the smoke turns into “cloud” but there was a distinct bulge upwards where the heat of the fire warmed the air and raised the line. My Little Brother managed to lighten the mood though, with a well timed text from Queensland: ”Can you please try and save the One Tree!”

I can report the One Tree survived the day!         This wasn’t it:

Not the One Tree

Back on the home front, my Old Mate Simmo the Tyre is also suffering from culture shock with this new approach to training. No longer is he on soft sand at the snake pit, he’s now on bitumen. I can tell you he doesn’t corner any better on road! We’re simulating inclines by adding weights to him which requires me to lean forward…Voila!… like magic….. instant incline with no downhill. Ingenious.

As you may have already guessed I didn’t manage to save the funds I required for Everest 2015 and with the South Australian Contracting market failing it’s latest health check, I’ve decided to attempt fundraising this year. Talk about being out of my comfort zone. It will be a relief to be back in the Khumbu Icefall. But I’m going to give it a red hot go and in the process promote Plan’s “Because I Am A Girl” campaign and the SA CFS. So if anyone requires a motivational speaker, I’m available.

If all goes well and I get my finances in order there are now 418 sleeps and Training Days to go to Everest 2016.

But whose counting right?

Here’s hoping we’ll get through the rest of the fire season unscathed and the only ribs I have to contend with come with BBQ sauce and a bib.



2 comments to Bushfires and Broken Ribs

  • Brett Partington

    Hey Lynette,

    Nice post. I just drove through the fire grounds and was amazed at how close it got to homes ( the ones that didn’t get burnt). Like Ya style with your community spirit and the extreme things you do. Keep it up!

    I want you to nail that Everest!!!

  • Thanks Brett,
    Everyone I want you to know Brett’s community spirit is shining through as a volunteer for Alzheimers Australia, raising awareness for the disease in our local community.
    His website http://www.partytimes.net.au/?cat=8 Follows his journey with his Dad.
    There is another Gentleman, this time in the USA, Alan Arnette who is a Keynote Speaker, Mountaineer and most importantly also an Alzheimer’s Advocate. As Brett shares his journey with his Dad, Alan brings home the realities of Alzheimer’s with his candid presentation about his mother’s struggle.
    You can learn more about him and his passions through Facebook and his website http://www.alanarnette.com/blog/
    Two inspiring Men.

    Last weekend I took a visiting friend from Perth for a drive around the town we defended, it was wonderful to see the recovery already beginning with those much needed rains that followed the fire. What had been blackened paddocks were already tinged with green
    Mother Nature is a wonder to behold in her beauty and her fury

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