There are now 35 people signed up for the inaugural Mates in Construction Kokoda Trek. Most of us are connected to the construction industry, some of us are super fit, and some of us aren’t. Some of us are experienced hikers, and others (like me) are complete novices.
One thing we all have in common is a fierce determination. We have signed up to push ourselves to new limits, to see what we can achieve when we step out of our comfort zones. Game on.
I’ve realised pretty quickly that I have a lot to learn about embarking on a trek like Kokoda. This is no walk in the park, you have to achieve a certain level of fitness to take it on and our trek leaders take it so seriously that I had to do an ECG (electrocardiogram) to prove my heart is up to the task.
It’s great to have three other workmates to share the experience with; Tony, Andrew and Evan Almighty are great guys and we’re all supporting each other to make it through the training – no slacking allowed!
For the last 5-6 weeks I’ve been working with my personal trainer Emma, two half hour sessions a week. I’ve also been riding my bike to and from work, going for lots of long walks and doing one yoga class a week. Personal milestones have included a 10.5km walk, a 23km bike ride, and a hike up Mount Coolum, small in the grand scheme of things but personal milestones none-the-less. You have to start somewhere right?
My amazing work colleague Robyn offered to meet me before work for a weekly training session up Mount Coot-tha (seriously, who does that?!) so each Friday we meet at 5.30am for a trek along the Honeyeater trail. We set out in the dark with head torches and beanies and gloves to keep us warm. There’s one really steep section that gets me huffing and puffing, the perfect Kokoda training hill. At the end of our walk we get to enjoy a stunning sunrise over Brisbane.
In addition to this I have started the official 8 week training program provided by our trek company Aurora Adventures. Every Monday night all us trekkers meet at a gym in Woolloongabba for a group workout; Wednesday morning we meet at the infamous stairs at Kangaroo Point Cliffs (lordy how my calf muscles ache after our stair sessions). On Sundays we meet at 6am to trek around Mount Coot-tha. It takes a LOT of willpower to get up on these cold dark winter mornings, but I’m doing it!
I ran a competition at work to ‘guess the number of M&Ms in the jar’ and raised $37.50. I’ve also been baking banana bread and chocolate mud cake to sell at morning tea time. Along with some generous friends and family I’ve managed to raise nearly $500 towards my $2000 target. I’m planning a fundraising event on 16th August, so save the date if you’re in Brisbane!