A hike that challenges you both mentally and physically, each person left feeling empowered and proud of what they had achieved. Last Saturday, as a reward for all their hard work, our Lilydale 12 Week Transformation Challengers took to Razorback Ridge at Cathedral Ranges. It was our sixth time taking Assist PT Champions up, and the experience was no less satisfying.
Assist PT’s Caitlin shares her adventure:
It’s something I had heard about, seen images of and the Assist PT team had talked up, but it wasn’t until I experienced it myself that I discovered its true value.
From my perspective, the climb’s obstacles represented many aspects of my day-to-day life: self-doubt, lack in confidence, perceived weakness and the inability to trust. The initial climb up the mountain brought all of these emotions to the forefront, and I’ll be honest: standing at the base, I was unsure whether we would all make it up. There was one area of the cliff face that stands out in my mind, where all of these negative thoughts came flooding in. I didn’t think I was strong enough to physically get myself up the rock and I was hesitant in trusting someone else to lift me. I soon realised that the only way was up, and I would have to push those thoughts aside to conquer this step in my journey (thanks to Matt’s shoulders for the boost!).
Despite what we had already achieved, one of my toughest challenges was once we had actually reached the top. The conditions were not ideal, with bitterly cold wind and hail at times. The weather, teamed with icy rocks and not enough warm clothing, meant that I was focusing on the elements rather than my surroundings. It wasn’t until I stopped, got out of my own head and absorbed the support from my company that I began appreciating and enjoying the moment. This continued along Razorback Ridge, where I gained confidence with every step. However, it wasn’t until we reached North Jawbone Lookout that I realised what we had actually achieved. It was a long way back, and we had slowly but surely advanced towards our final destination: an analogy of exactly how we achieve any goal. This incredible team had worked together and supported each other, and there was an instant feeling of gratitude that came over me as I knew I was where I needed to be in that moment. This was highlighted even further when champion Kate had a fall on the way down from the lookout. Despite the pain in her ankle, the team’s encouragement and assistance, paired with Kate’s determination, meant she was able to get back to the car safely. Not everything went to plan, but it was how we all dealt with the situation that was most pleasing. Cathedral Ranges was not what I expected it to be. What I thought would be a long but relatively cruisy hike on an average Saturday morning turned out to be a massive mindset exercise. I worked on my own challenges, relished in others achieving their personal goals and witnessed some incredible strength, courage and determination. Yet again, the trainers at Assist PT have gone above and beyond. And I’m not the only one who thinks so! Have a read of what the rest of our awesome team thought!
Wayne from Seville (pictured above)
On Saturday, I did something I never thought I would ever be interested in doing. Along the way I achieved so many personal goals that I never thought would be possible. I would like to put a big thanks out there to Matt for all the help on Saturday, Amy for getting my mind back on track (nutrition wise) and Kate for being my 1st customer of my new enterprise “the bush walking stick”. Also to Emma, Caitlin and Cj for the great company and support, and a big thanks to Annette for the inspiration through the Transformation Challenge. Thanks heaps guys, you are all awesome.
Amy from Croydon (pictured above)
On Saturday, I climbed a mountain with an awesome and inspiring bunch of people. Thanks Matt – you have the patience of a saint and your encouragement and support got everyone over the line with a smile. Kate, your guts and determination was amazing to witness – you are a strong woman! Emma, you showed so much courage…very proud of you. Wayne, you were a true gentleman – helping and supporting those in need. I loved the chats and laughs along the way. Cj, well done for stepping up with your ‘first aid’ hat on when needed. Training put to good use! Caitlin, the quiet achiever with many words of encouragement, was great chatting and laughing with you all day. And I got to do something again that I simply loved! And to top it off, I lead the group through the tunnel, the same tunnel that I feared and that brought me to tears a little over 6 months ago. An amazing day.
Saturday’s experience was something that I never thought I’d get the chance to do. I have now completed an amazing climb and witnessed true determination from everyone – it is an experience I will never forget. I could not of asked to do it with a better bunch of people. You’re all so strong and determined and that is truly inspiring! Big shout out to Wayne, as I didn’t have to piggy back you mate! Congratulations on achieving massive goals everyone!
Emma from Wandin North
What an amazing bloody experience (pardon my French)! Seriously, I still feel overwhelmed with the achievement! I really didn’t think I would get through some parts, but Matt, you are seriously freaking awesome! I am sure I tested your patience, but if it hadn’t been for you I wouldn’t have done it – I would have rung the helicopter myself to get me down! Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart, you don’t know how much I appreciate your experience and expertise in guiding me to be a stronger person, both mentally and physically, definitely a life changer. Thanks to everyone else too, your motivation and support was so encouraging. Cj for your helping hand, so appreciative! Caitlin for your lovely gentle support! Amy for driving and your ongoing cheerful and inspiring wonderfulness! Wayne thanks so much for the stick and for your support and helping hand at the end, you made it bearable for me. AND the amazing Kate! You are such an amazing woman. Seriously, you are a champion, so strong and brave! I hope your ankle heals quickly. Best day ever!
Kate from Lilydale
I was part of an amazing, awe inspiring experience on Saturday, hiking up and over rocks, through confined spaces and along lots of rugged terrain in the Cathedral Ranges. Alongside some truly inspirational people!! Unfortunately, I had a bit of a slip and stuffed my ankle just as we were starting our descent! So with extra tape on my ankle, some designer sticks and lots of encouragement we slowly went on our way! I still consider this adventure to be one of the greatest achievements of my life so far, a day that I will never forget and a great story I will always be able to tell!! So, I’m really sorry to my fellow hikers for extended our day by a couple of hours!! I wish it had of ended differently. And I thank each of you from the bottom of my heart for your help, kindness, patience and support for those last few hours! You’re an amazing, strong, inspirational bunch!
Matt, just a massive thank you for guiding me down and letting me use you as a crutch! I really do hope your body was not too out of sorts. As Emma said, I am sure I too tested your patience but you never faltered! You’re Ace! Annette, thank you so much for your support and advice. Cj, massive thanks to you too! You were there with me every step of the way. You rock! Wayne, thanks so much for your help! I enjoyed trekking with you, strategising with you and having a laugh! Loved my designer sticks. Amy, thank you for your help and support too. You’re such an inspiration! It was awesome hiking with you, you always have positive and encouraging words and it was great brainstorming our way up and over and through the ranges, love your work. Caitlin, thank you for your support too. You quietly but confidently trekked along with us even through rain and hail. You’re a star! Emma …WOW!! You’re a bloody superstar woman!! You proved that anything is possible when you put your mind to it! I’m sure all the swearing made everything easier for you!! Well done and thanks heaps for your support!! THANKS SO MUCH EVERYONE!
Final wrap up from Assist PT Head Coach Matt Shepherd
Soldier on champions. The going got tough on Saturday so the tough got going. Huge shout outs to Emma for her never say die attitude which she established after her quick slide down the rock face. The person who started the climb that day didn’t come home. Emma, a new all-conquering version of yourself came home, and I hope you washed your potty mouth out with soap when you got home! Kate, OMG you fricking legend. Thank you for your determination to get back to the car. Honestly there wouldn’t have been too many things that would have been worse than what you had to endure. I guess you’re lucky I wasn’t with you at the time to tell terrible jokes. Amy, from last to first. Thank you for being the leader that you are by showing everyone by what you do. Just head down bum up until we achieve everything you’ve worked for and you my dear have put in the work. Wayne, I’d like to name you MVP for Saturday! Thank you for all of your help. Hope you enjoyed the scenic walk. Finally to Cj and Caitlin, thank you for all your help, patience and stepping up when required today. Things didn’t go to plan but we just kept going guys, so hopefully a little take home message. Thanks for a great day!
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