An Athlete State of Mind.

Athlete. Sportsperson. Active minded individual.

Elite. Grass roots. Beginner. It all counts. They are the special breads of humans, in my opinion. How do I know this? Because fortunately been surrounded by them for twenty years of my life. And have earned the honour of representing my country, in turn calling myself one of the above.

I am grateful sport chose me early on. I experienced the joy of playing multiple disciplines, for many years, multiple teams. Teaching me multiple life lessons, early on. For my parents, who drive me to countless practices, countless venues country-wide and multiple amounts of money, on supporting all of this. Supporting My Dream.

I’ve experienced some incredible, unforgettable highs From This sport. From the track. Moments you’d always dreamt of. Movie-moments.

Where it’s not necessarily the medal around your neck. But it’s the atmosphere. Its the feeling of pushing your body, to move the fastest it’s ever been, with every contraction. The ‘YES.’ Moments. Where every training session is being put to use, just to run that self satisfying 0.04 seconds faster your body has moved, than ever before. It’s the crowd’s roar.

Its the lights. It’s the architecture of the stadium. It’s the people volunteering their time to put on a race for you. The way a competitor quickly becomes a mate once the race is done. In the camaraderie of the hand- shake, post race. Picking one another rod the track with a pat on the back. Where you’re out of breath but you always, without fail, acknowledge your opponents that competed against you.

You thank the officials recording the event. And you quietly thank God. It’s the people you encounter, that you’ve never met, but they quietly acknowledge you. Your performance out there, with a simple nod or passing smile.

It’s the honour of the colours you’re wearing. Whether it be Club, state or national. It’s patriotism. Making someone out there proud. Making you proud.

It’s that feeling. I can’t put a finger on it…It’s the moments when you proved to yourself you could and you never stopped. Overcoming mental, physical and emotional hurdles in the process. The lost-for-words moments, when it all went your way. You simply can’t describe it. But you smile. Inside out. Grateful for the journey. Grateful for the people around you. The feeling of adrenaline, mixed with pure joy, mixed triumph and a whole lot of serotonin. The feeling that helped you fall in love with the sport. Just pure happy. The I’m ‘how bloody good is running,’ feeling.

I’ve also experienced the Lows. The moments when you didn’t think you could make it to the line. The moments when your body gave up on itself, before you got to be line. The moments of self doubt in pre-race nerves. The moment of pain, more than any physical injury pain. But pain in being told you’re not allowed to compete, due to injury. When you’d worked so hard to prove to yourself you could; your body simply said ‘no.’

The sacrifices. The people that just don’t get it and blame you, because they don’t understand your passion. They don’t understand your why Your way of life. That this isn’t a choice anymore – it’s a compulsion. The moments of ‘is it all really worth it?…’

But they’re all part of it. Positive and negative. The good comes with the bad. It allows you to work harder, for that brief little high. And it allows you to well and truly earn it!

The bouncing back part. The part that teaches resilience that cannot be taught in an office. Can only be taught on that ‘Oval Office,’ the track. The field. The pitch. The court.

I owe a lot to Sport. It has shaped the person who I am today. Introduced me to a whole new world, to some incredible people who have become family. Kept my physical body just as healthy as my emotional and physical body. It’s been an outlet that saved me from myself, in dark times. It’s given me goals, dreams behind my wildest imagination. And some of the happiest days of my memories.

There’s nothing like proving to yourself, that you are good enough. Exceed your own expectations, but adhering to the journey that you ultimately planned for yourself, for daring to dream in the first place.

I’ve been fortunate to have traveled to some incredible places, met some beautiful faces. And learned wherever there’s a track – there’s home, to me.

From The harsh winters of USA, Canada and England. To the overbearing humidity of training in Cambodia, Thailand, Fiji, The Cook Islands and behind; I’ve found my peace on that track. I it’s a place of ‘me’ time, my outlet. And a place I decide my future.

Most recently I was training in the United Kingdom for a period of about four weeks. It was winter there, when I didn’t have my coach. I didn’t have my squad bantering with me. Just myself, 3 degree icy winds, about seven layers of clothing, and an orange tartan stadium, layed before me. The same surface, as back home. But with a whole new set of obstacles and metaphorical hurdles.

Lungs tight, breathing painful. Hands frozen without gloves. Questioning one’s own sanity, rep after rep. And legs on fire! But this was part of it all. No excuses. I choose this, willingly. And continue to, no mater the country, no matter the conditions.

I decided a long time ago, my destiny. That I would prove to myself that I want to take myself to as far as I can physically go with this sport. I want to be an Olympian.

And it’s been eighteen bloody years, but I certainly haven’t given up yet! As a seven year old, watching our local legend. The phenomenal Cathy Freeman compete for our country. She not only competed, but she won the 400m, at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Witnessing that moment, is where it all started. The Passion, if you will.

I said to my little self, watching in awe. Eyes glued to that television screen. Her body in moving so swiftly. Her pain in her face, in digging deeper than ever before. Her humility in her triumph and success. I wanted that. I said there and then, I am going to do that with my life one day. And I will.

And of course it hasn’t been smooth sailing. I’ve had multiple injury, illness and misfortune. They’ve been multiple coaches, politics, those ups and downs. But it’s all been worth it. It’s part of the Journey To The Dream, as I’ve always called it.

I certainly haven’t been able to keep going this far, alone. I’ve had the most phenomenal team behind me. My family, supporting each and every one of my crazy dreams. In driving me and flying me around the country and in turn the world – to support my dreams. Financially supporting me, emotionally supporting me. And physically being there to support me, whenever they can. And never saying, never to my next step.

My partner, in all his support. His unconditional support, in every definition. Not only being there, cheering louder than any voice in the stadium and being proud of it. Mentally challenging me to push myself, past all my fears. Beyond my dreams. And never doubting me, my decisions or my big dreams. Not even for a second.

My friends in understanding why I have to miss that party, again. Can’t see them on competition weekends, or miss birthdays and anniversaries due to training.

And my coaches. These special people that see more potential in me than I see in myself and continue to push me, beyond my limitations. And all the glorious, countless, beautiful people. The behind the scenes people. The acquaintances, the family friends. But also the therapists, the doctors, the supporters and people that have invested in me, that believe in This Journey.

The track continues to, and will always be my light. I haven’t given up on that goal, since. Although it may have changed slightly. I am more determined. More willing. More hungry for my goal.

Because I chose to go to that level. The ‘one percenters,’ the extras. The above and beyond. Because that’s what all adds up. It’s going to that that all and much much more! The sessions that don’t make sense, everything hurts, your mind is fighting your body – but you do it anyway, because it brings you one step closer. One step ahead of the game.

I have a goal, not dream. Because a goal without a vision is a dream.

Never give in to expeditions set by someone else for your future. You are your own guiding light.

Chose to go to your level for your goal. And keep going; For your seven year old self.

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Each day, really is a new gift. 

I’ve always been very close to my family. Even though I’ve been living out of home for some time now. They’re always there; we talk everyday. Even if I’m on the others-side of the world. A day wouldn’t go by where I wouldn’t communicate with them. Or know they’re thinking and praying for me. They really are everything.

On December 24th, 2016. My world changed forever. My dad. The strongest man I know. Was diagnosed with a large tumor on his brain.

I thought he was joking; I didn’t want to believe it. ”Dad, stop playing. What did the results really say…”

”I have a tumor Lani..” he simply said. As he watched my eyes fill with tears. And I gave him a big hug, still in shock. Unwilling to believe what just came out of his mouth. It couldn’t be….that’s my dad. He has to be okay.

Thoughts began to rush into my head! How would be go on if something happened to Dad. What would happen to life as we knew it. Mum? Her solemate for almost 30 years. Dad wouldn’t get to walk me down the aisle, on my wedding day. Or watch his daughter potentially compete at an Olympic Games. All of this seemed meaningless compared to the thought of potentially losing him. Our family, our rock. Our everything

He wouldn’t get to be a Grandpa. All of these things rushed into my head. 

Closer to the surgery, when I asked Dad is he was scared, he simply said ”Well yeah Lani, but you’ve just got to take it each day at a time. And trust God it’ll all be okay.”

 About 8 weeks down the track. That brave, humble, resilient man has had the tumor successfully removed from his brain

He was tested during this time. Tested by his faith. by affirming his trust in God. Trusting the doctors and nurses looking after him. And trusting in himself; that everything was gonna be okay.

We are completely overjoyed and thankful. One that he is still here. Two, the bastard is gone! And three the surgery was a success.He is on the long road of recovery now. It’s all gonna be okay

Our family are overwhelmed with the support from all over the world. Thank you to anyone who has reached out to us. Prayed for us. Might be praying for us now. 

This has completely changed my outlook. Like, what if I was diagnosed with something life threatening? Am I going to regret not doing things today, by waiting until tomorrow. 

No. Carpe-bloody-Diem! (seize the day!) I’ve always been a firm believer in that saying. But seeing how Dad has been so strong. So faithful. So optimistic through this whole process. Has made me, my mother, my brothers – stronger. Stronger in our personal faith. And faith in the world.

Major brain surgery conquered and all Dad wants to do is hit the gym. Bless him.
I encourage you, whatever is thrown your way. You must learn patience. Patience that the future will bring brighter things. Patience that God always has a bigger plan. Patience that ”everything will always be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” 

So, Smile more. Spread joy. Live without regrets. And seize your day! 

Your Real Meaning of Christmas

This holiday season, it’s very easy to get caught up in the commercialised side of Christmas, materialism and spending. It’s easy to lose sight of what’s important. I’ve seen so many people get so stressed about who they need big gifts for and how much they’re spending. Rather than simply, why we are buying gifts in the first place.

You can very easily Lose sight of what Christmas really means to you. It might be along the lines of. Family time. Reunions. Giving. Or The CHRIST in Christmas.


I would encourage you, this Christmas time to take a moment to simply think about what Christmas might mean to someone like this little girl. I had the joy of meeting in Cambodia. She may look happy, dressed and in good health. But she is Living in an improvised community. Her parents might not earn more than $AU 70c per day. Which is enough to get by, to put rice on the table. By Christmas would certainly look very different from ours.

I have no doubts, her smile would remain the brightest little grin; I’ve ever seen. Her attitude would still be carefree. She would not know the feeling of seeing wrapping paper and presents under a tree. Or a santa sack on the end of her bed.

Christmas might simply be another day to her. With added silly songs about a fat man in a suit.

These people are strong. Even though they live in destitution; they are happy with their simple way of living. They have enough to live and learn. And they don’t complain or think ‘why me.’ They do their best to provide a future for their families.  And realised they are blessed with what little they have.

I encourage you, and your family to never take your situation for granted. Some people are praying for what you have. And what you have, could very well be enough.

Take care, be grateful and be safe his Christmas and hold your loved ones close.

Optimism and the ability to control your mood

When nothing is going right, go left! 
When something goes wrong in your day. It’s incredibly easy to feel like you’ve lost sight of your goals, your regime or your week in general.
And it can be even easier to stress about it, wonder ”why me,” or curl up in a big ball of negativity. But it can also be just as easy to ”roll with it.”

It’s moments like these, where nothing has generally gone to plan. I have to ”breathe” and literally LOL at myself. And think: ”it’s not WHY is this happening.” It’s ”What can I do about it.”

You’re a beautiful ray of sunshine; with control of your life at your fingertips. Don’t let this one silly thing rule you or your day. 
Affirmations: I use these daily. Especially when I think things may have fallen to pieces.

Phrases like: ”I am strong, I am powerful, I can do anything.”Or ”I am the power. I control my destiny.” Emanate especially well, when emotions are running high and all you can think of is that little annoying event that’s blown up in your face. 

When you begin to radiate positivity with your mind. Your body will start to believe it! And you’ll magically feel less stressed, shaky or anxious. 
Deep Breaths. 

Your new diet has totally fallen to pieces? – Start again tomorrow.You’ve broken out right before a big social event?- Go treat yourself to a facial. You’ve had a fight with your partner? Hang out with your fam or your mates to distract you. 
If it’s something I’ve learned…. through all the times life’s thrown a surprise at me.

1) You’re never going to be given something you can’t handle. 

2) There’s always a way around things. 

And chances are someone close to you could be experiencing something similar. Don’t be afraid to admit it’s not all smiles and rainbows. 
Be Real with those close to you and share your feels. You’ll become closer for it and feel supported through it all.

You are your own power. Radiate good vibes and good energy will follow you.