Friday, May 14, 2010


14th May 2010

A thick fog covered Canberra early this morning and the air was cold and crisp but as the sun pushed its way through the temperature raised and it became a perfect day to run Cross Country. I woke with pain probably due to the weather but today was the day I had been waiting for for so long and summoned all my courage and determination from within because I was not going to let pain ruin my day.

I was thinking about how rugged and bumpy the course was and how my bones would ache even more when a parcel was delivered to our door. I opened it and to my surprise it was a thick, soft, pink sheepskin that my Nana and Pop had sent as a surprise to put on my wheelchair to help my bones and also to use on chairs and in bed to help keep me warm and cushioned. I was thrilled, what a wonderful day to receive such a marvellous gift.

As the time neared to leave for the Cross Country I had those fluttering butterflies in my stomach. You know if you lack the courage to start then you have already finished. One thing I possess is courage and I was going to use that to make sure that I did the whole 3km and walked that last five meters no matter what. I guess in a way for me this was like a marathon rather than just 3km.

The gun fired and we were off and running, my course was slightly different to everyone else and in fact it was slightly longer, as Mum and I flew through the checkpoint where you have your hand marked to count your laps two Year Eight boys helped Mum run with me. We were passing people who had stopped to walk and as we hit the bumps my body vibrated with pain but I was not complaining this was a goal I had set myself and I was doing it. On our second lap one of the boys dropped off and a girl helped us, we were doing extremely well and it was only on this lap that the first place person lapped us. Before we knew it it was the third and final lap and we picked up the pace passing more stragglers along the course, so many people were cheering for me and even though the pain was pulsing through my body like a torpedo I knew we were almost there. Five meters from the finish line we pulled up and Mum helped me out of my wheelchair and to my feet, I was shaking all over and the pain worsened but I somehow found the strength to talk the first step, then the second and the third, Mum had to support me as I was extremely off balanced. My steps were small and each step brought more pain but that line was getting closer and closer and then in one splendiferous step I had made it and a huge cheer rung in my ears. I had done it, I had competed in the Cross Country Carnival and I had gone the whole 3km and I had walked over that finish line, I took a picture in my mind because this is one moment I want to treasure forever. I had not come last, I actually beat quite a few people in my age group. The Year Eight people who helped Mum push me I will always be grateful to and think they are exceptional people to have helped. I am also so proud of my Mum for running the whole race with me. I think I saw Mum wiping a tear from her cheek as we finished and she hugged me.

We came home and just before we reached our gate I broke down in tears, I think it was partly due to how emotional the day had been for me, the realisation I had achieved such a huge accomplishment and also the pain in my body was so intense.

After a well deserved rest and Lindt chocolate (thanks to Carol) Mum and I returned to school to watch Jarrett and Nalani run in their races. Jarrett ran first, I was so delighted to be there to see him run, I love watching him. He was well ahead of everyone else in the first lap and then began lapping everyone. He ran so fast, it was almost like he was a brilliant, quick flash of lightning in the thundery sky. He won by miles, easily broke the school record and had a huge smile on his face, as I congratulated him, he whispered in my ear that he did it for me. As usual he was extremely modest about his win, he spent more time congratulating and encouraging his friends.

Then Nalani ran she took off like a bullet and was leading the race then another girl was running with her over the next couple of laps and then Nalani took off and started to make a large gap between herself and the next girl. Nalani ran stupendously to come first by a good distance and she also ran a personal best time. I was so excited for her she showed so much determination she has had many obstacles to overcome over the years because of knee problems but she believes in herself and now she is the fastest runner in her age group at School, last year she came fifth so that is a huge improvement.

Jarrett and Nalani now go to ASC Zone Cross Country next Thursday at Weston Park, I am going to go and watch them and cheer them on. I hope that they will both go through to ACT's and then perhaps both of them then represent the ACT at the Australian Cross Country Championships in Brisbane in August. They received beautiful blue 1st place ribbons and then the PE teacher Mr Prowse came over to me and gave me my very own 1st Place Blue Ribbon because he said I came first in the Wheelchair category. I held the ribbon in my hand with pride and to me this ribbon will mean more than any other one that I may achieve over the next years.

One thing I thought about from today was that some people give up, there was someone who tried to cheat and others just don't participate and I really feel sorry for them because if they only stopped to think about how precious life is, or how lucky they are that they can actually run, or cheating never gets you anywhere it just gives you a bad name as well as making you feel pathetic and participating can actually give you some really awe-inspiring feelings. There are people that don't have courage, determination or integrity and I set them the challenge for next year to have a new perspective in their lives and they will really be worthier people for it.

As I sit typing this I am in agony not only are my bones aching and I have the most frightful pain on the inside and outside of my head similar to a headache but inside I am smiling a smile that would light the world tonight because of my superb effort today. Next year I am determined to at least jog the race and never give up no matter what hurdle is thrown in my path, because I have proven that they won't stop me!

' If you plant a seed of pain in the garden then it will grow into many beautiful flowers.'


Anonymous said...

i am soooo proud of u dainere. Paul Gordonxxxx

Anonymous said...

Dear Dainere
Congratulations on such a wonderful achievement. We of course knew all along you would do it though. We are so very proud of you and hope that the pain you are feeling goes away really soon. A big congratulations to Nalani and Jarrett also who did so well.

Now you have achieved this goal, maybe your next goal should be something less vigorous and we are sure Mum will agree with us. We think you both have earned a well deserved rest.

We are looking forward to seeing the picture of you making it over the line. Tonight we are smiling the biggest smiles with you and for you.

We love you very much.
Nan and Pop xxx ooo

OutbackWriter said...

Dear Dainere
I have just finished reading your book and what an amazing young girl you are. I am so thrilled you were able to complete your race -congratulations and also to Nalani and Jarrett for their wonderful achievments.
I know Tracey Hawkins which is how I came to hear about your book.
I publish a quarterly magazine for a voluntary Aust group and am going to feature a review of your book in the next issue so hope that spreads the word right across Australia and you get heaps more book sales.
Stay strong and keep heading for that rainbow.
with love and best wishes
Raelene Hall

Anonymous said...

Dear Dainere

Overwhelmed with pride and sending you the biggest congratulations gorgeous girl! You are an inspiration to us all.

Well done to you and all the winning Anthoney's today. You are all amazing.

Lots of love always
Tess xxxxoooo

Nalani said...

Dear Dainere,

I am so proud of your achievement! Watching you walk across the finish line was amazing, you did it :D

Thank you for cheering me on today. You inspired me to run my very best.

Lots of love
x x x

Dianne said...

Dear Dainere,

Well done, you pushed through the pain as a determined cross country runner would and finished your race. Tears of relief I think.

How is Mum? she must have great arm and shoulder muscles with all the practice she's had :) Your Nan and Pop have good timing - a pink sheepskin, what a comforting gift to send you.

Congratulations to Jarrett and Nalani for their great race results as well! I'm looking forward to the ASC on Thursday, let's hope it is a nicer morning than today.

I love your quote above "if you lack the courage to start then you have already finished" I will remember that one for myself.

Stay warm - I'll see you Sunday,

Lv Dianne xxxxx

luke said...

Wow ... SO pleased to hear you got across the line just like you've been planning to! Courage is certainly one thing you possess (among many other virtues!) and I'm so inspired by your accomplishment today :)



Anonymous said...

Hi Dainere,

We are SO proud of your achievement today!! You have been working so hard and have been so determined to complete this course. A splendiferous effort!!

Congratulations to you, and to Nalani and Jarrett - your parents must be so proud of you all.

As for your Mum's arms - I agree they must be very strong by now. Good work, Mum!

Have a good rest now on your beautiful new pink lambskin.

Lots of love and warm hugs from us all,

Anna, Tom and D'arcy (who is staying with us tonight) xoxoxoxoxox

Anonymous said...

I congratulate you too Dainere! Such an amazing spirit you have, you could conquer the world!! I send very best wishes to you and all your wonderful family. I will continue to follow your Blog and be inspired by your courage.
I have your book and I am about half way through reading it.

chat23 said...

Hi Dainere

I watched you race yesterday and you inspired me to run my PB. I can't wait to watch you again next year.

Love Tayla Hart

Anonymous said...

Dainere, congrats for finishing the race! I know it was not the 100m we had planned for, but next year I will come and jog the course with you (if you don't leave me behind!). Rhiannon xx

Anonymous said...

Dear Dainere, I am so happy for your achievement. Congratulations. I have been waiting to hear about how you went ever since my sister told me you would walk the final leg of the race. I wish i could have been there to see such an amazing moment. Well done to Jarrett and Nalani too. We are getting a copy of your book sent to us and I can't wait to read it!! I have a couple of friends from Canada that would also like to say congratulations. I sent them the link about your story, and they were so inspired as well.

Love Laura and Emma. XX