April 27, 2012

The perfect getaway

Well it’s safe to say I’ve had a fantastic week so far! With a week off training I took the opportunity to head up to Port Douglas with a friend and have a few days relaxing and enjoying some warm weather and boy did we time it nicely! 30C every day whilst Melbourne dished out 15C and rain and it made our trip just that little bit nicer knowing we were missing the bad stuff!

Our days encompassed swimming at Four Mile Beach, lounging by the pool, meandering the Sunday markets, eating fresh seafood and just a whole lot of relaxing and soaking up the stunning weather.

A couple of definite highlights for me was heading to Silky Oaks which is an eco lodge amongst the Daintree Rainforest. A 2 course dinner prepared by a french Michellan rated chef in the open air resturant, just metres away from the Daintree canopy. A stunning meal followed by grabbing a torch and heading down to the rivers edge for some more relaxing on some couches just metre's from the waters edge. So peaceful. It doesn't get much better than that.

Snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef is an obvious highlight, we went to 3 different dive sites and they were all spectacular, it's just incredible to see the beauty of nature at work. With an underwater camera in hand we took some incredible photos of the coral and fish and attempted to get some nice photos of us with the coral and fishies!

Another highlight was our 4WD safari out to Cassaray waterfalls. Into the water we went, swum across to the cascading water, climbed the rocks and jumped back in over the falls. So much fun and being pure Daintree rain water it was silky smooth for our skin!   

Overall just an amazing trip, so chilled and peaceful but with some fun in there as well!

Here are a few of my happy snaps!

(Me in tropical paradise)

(Loved waking up to this view each morning)

 (Relaxing on the way out to the Great Barrier Reef)

 (Snorkeling on the reef)

April 19, 2012

Busy times

Well once again it’s been a busy month! Lots of training and competitions along with a few fun social outings to give life a bit more balance!

I was fortunate enough to attend the Ironman Asia Pacific Championships which were held here in Melbourne. 2XU one of my sponsors held a rooftop party which looked directly over the finish line. It was incredible watching the athletes on the big screen and over the final few hundred metres as they came to the finish. I can not even begin to comprehend standing for 7 hours let alone keeping moving and racing throughout this length of time, truly incredible. One guy even did a cartwheel across the finish line!!! 2XU had also set up a huge wall of all they’re athletes and my friend and I had great fun searching for my photos on the wall!

 2XU's wall of athletes!

I also went out to help with an Australian Paralympic Committee Talent Search Day, these are run annually around Australia and play a huge part in helping to find Australia’s next generation of Paralympic stars. I met some amazing young kids and am so excited to see how they progress over the coming years, there was definitely a lot of talent! 

Channel Ten interview about the Talent Search

Along with the talent search I went out to a few schools in Geelong, where I grew up as part o the Victorian Institute of Sports ‘Sport in Schools’ program. I was joined by Glenn Singleton, a retired Olympic Kayaker ad we had a great time talking to both primary and secondary school children. South Geelong Primary School in particular really impressed me. The kids were so fascinated by my eye sight and asked some incredible and very intelligent questions in regards to how I live life with low vision and how I get down a ski race course with my sight. One of the things I love about school talks is that we can really show students what life is like being a Paralympian.

I also had a few busy days of training being accompianed by crews from Channel Ten’s ‘The Circle’ and 2XU. They filmed me throwing Jav, long jumping along with lots of interview time. The 2XU video will be released in the lead up to London and the feature on ‘The Circl’e aired Thursday April 12. It was a great piece about my role as Vision 2020’s Global Ambassador. It really gives a great insight to the sorts of experiences I will be having when I head over to the Asia Pacific later this year. 

You can check it out here by clicking on ‘Thurs 12 April Vision Australia Jessica Gallagher’ http://ten.com.au/the-circle-video.htm

 Behind the scenes during 'The Circle' interview

The Weekly Review also published an article about my London preperations!

Photo from 'The Weekly Review' shoot

I did manage to make it back to Geelong to spend some time with my family and friends over Easter but not before a quick stop off at the Good Friday Appeal for a quick interview and some time answering phone’s and taking pledges. It was so much fun wandering the call room chatting to all the wonderful volunteers and people who were ringing up to donate.

On the track and I managed LOTS of training, comps and then a minor setback being a niggly Hammy which resulted in me withdrawing from the Athletics Australia National Championships. Whilst not serious given London is our goal there was no point pushing it when we didn’t have to, disappointing not to compete especially given it’s my home track but I had a great time playing team Osteopath for my training squad and with 5 PB’s from 5 events on day one and a National champion and another bronze medal from my squad on the Sunday it was smiles all around!

Lastly a quick shout out to former Australian Athletics Paralympic coach turned Melbourne Tigers Asst Coach Rohan Short who I discovered reads this blog! Great to have you on board and still following the Paralympic Athletics team’s progress as we head into London!

Up next for me… a mini holiday in tropical paradise for a few days of relaxation before we start the final build up to London… ahhh it’s starting to get exciting!!!