Letters I never sent

Dear Mum

If I knew you were going to die so young I would have payed more attention to you when you needed me. I wish I appreciated you more, and relished your individualism. I only get this about you now I’m older.  I wish I sat down with you and asked you “What should I do if you die?”

I should have taken your opinions more seriously. Instead, my immaturity just brushed you off. I should have hugged you more and told you every single day how much I loved you.

Thank you for being a good mother to me. Thank you for providing everything a child could possibly want and need. Thank you for encouraging me to pursue my passion for creating artwork and expressing myself with confidence. Thank you for loving my father and my brothers.

I miss you. I love you, I wish you could see your grandchildren.

Your daughter xo


Dear Friend

I am no longer angry with you. Anger only leads to misery. Thank you for the great things that you taught me. Thank you for sharing personal things about yourself and that you trusted me. When all is said and done, true friendships are your best possession. If a friendship doesn’t last through the toughest of things, then it was never meant to be. Some people are never suppose to be together. It’s sad that we were not able to work through our differences.

I miss you, and I hope you are happy.



Dear Brother

Even though we don’t see each other, I still think about you. We had such a funny childhood. We were typical kids and full of energy. You were so clever. We had wonderful times together as a family. I’m sad that we still don’t share our lives with each other.

Even though we no longer see one another that doesn’t mean that I don’t love you. I hope one day you find peace in yourself.

Love, your sister.


Dear work colleague

You are a miserable, self absorbed woman who is just plain mean. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person you’ve treated meanly. I hope you wake up to yourself before it’s too late.

Thank you for teaching me the meaning of a cruel natured person. I now know what to look out for.

Goodbye, and good riddance!



Dear Grandma

Thank you for taking care of me and for showing me what the meaning of ‘family’ is. Thank you for showing me what a strong indendant woman is. Thank you for teaching me how to cook. You are everything to me! You will never be forgotten.

Love, your granddaughter.


To Whom it May Concern

If my Last Will and Testament has my signature on the base of it, then just fucking do what’s instructed you stupid idiot.

Yours Sincerely



Dear Me

I am what I am.

Love, me.


Left Radial to Axillary Nerve Transfer



How many times do you read stuff like: “The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Throw in a sunrise image with a silhouette of a woman with luscious long locks and flawless figure greeting the spirit world. You are possibly thinking I am being sarcastic. Correct. But as I am learning, its okay to be honest. White lies are normal, according to shrinks and statistics. Pathological liars are not. “Telling the truth and making someone cry is better than telling a lie and making someone smile.” ~ Paolo Coelho. This a quote I live by. So when you ask me “How’s your day?” its highly probable I’ll reply “I’m dead inside.”

As I am about to receive a few birthday cards printed “52” I am in a transitioning state of 50 plus and WTF happened for me to get here so quickly? My body is sagging and my brain is like mashed potatoes (not the creamy delicious Jamie Oliver type). It is so cruel. Yet, in my attempt to embrace getting older, rather than fearing it, I’ve stumbled upon some really cool stuff that I would like to share with you.

I wrote this and texted it to a friend. She received it super quickly thanks to our modern world. I didn’t even have to write a letter and post it! Just so she could ‘get me’. “Yesterday my client phoned me and left a message, asking to call me back. OH MY GODDDDD she’s going to tell me that the job I did for her wasn’t satisfactory. All I could think about were the things that I could have done wrong, instead of all the really good things that I did right. Is she going to put me on notice? Did she find out I did something she didn’t prefer I did? OH MY GOD I don’t want to phone her back, but I did anyway. Only to find out that she wished to apologise for not replying to a text I had sent her a week ago. And to thank me for a great job that I did.” This is how my brain works. All. Of. The. Time.

I think a lot of us self sabotage and beat ourselves up. Its a bad habit to break. But, rather than tearing myself down, I build myself up. How? By surrounding myself with those that support me effortless and without judgement. Its not easy to find these people. But they come along at the EXACT moment when you need them. So embrace that shit!

As you may be aware, I have nerve damage in my left arm. I was left without a deltoid and a dodgy shoulder incapable of doing a good job of things. I can go around using this as my excuse for failure for the rest of my life, or I can use it to my advantage. Not dissimilar to meeting a Pathological Liar. I know that some of you will relate to this. As a child, or adult, it happened…

To the people that hurt me: I thank you for shoving me into REALITY. For showing me that I am powerful, beautiful, creative, intelligent with drive and spark and passion and that I am perfectly capable of showing the world that I was worth being born. I will not die a death by your cuts. I forgive you.




New Shoes


Since being asked to leave my last job (2nd worse experience of my career…and last) I’ve never been happier. I am now a Fine Artist and making an income. I don’t have a boss. I enjoy every day of the week, not just the weekends. Mondays are my favourite day of the week. I’ve never looked back. I have never doubted my decision and I have no regrets. I will never return to the Advertising industry.

At 50, finding an employer is difficult. Sadly, in a lot of cases, age is a discrimination. Being over qualified is not an advantage. When I decided to take a Gap Year I was pretty nervous as to how I would still get an income and pay two years of private school education, a mortgage and every day living expenses. Its not a decision that one takes lightly. I had to do whatever jobs came to me. It meant getting dirty. But, I did it and I am still doing it. Some days my body hates me. Its about survival and my parents taught me these skills.

Friends send me links to Graphic Design positions. I often wonder, do they think what I currently do isn’t ideal and that returning to my original profession seems the most logical thing? I always thought that once you had a profession that was that. To change it was something only the strong could do. It never occurred to me that I could be that stronger person. Until now.

Taking up Sculpture again was exactly like taking up bike riding. I jumped on and rode away. Lots of mistakes were made, through every piece a lesson learnt. I have now reached the most critical part of my ride, finding a style that expresses who I am. Creating a visual isn’t easy. Its something that you can’t simply pull off. I can’t download if from my head into an Sculpture Creating App. Its not like an advertising brief when you know what your client’s target is. It works or it doesn’t. I have had many pieces smashed down and rebuilt. I’ve had cracks and failures. Failure is a vital part of progression and growth. Research, drawing, visiting galleries, finding like minded artists and learning from others is an essential part of forming the relationship between myself and a block of wet dirt. In the early mornings, when I run a wire through a piece of clay, “Swoosh!” my skin tingles. The gritty sensation on my finger tips sends messages to my brain. Searching for the answer to turning a shapeless form into something of beauty, of character, a representation of a single thought in three dimension that provokes and moves. As I work the clay I wonder…where is this coming from? Me? It’s the craziest feeling, and looking at my work at the end of the day I think to myself…is this really me?

Its a long way from where I need to be. I have all the knowledge and tools that I need for the next phase, luckily my background provides the answers and solutions to being a successful fine artist. Patience is my weakness, perseverance is my strength. Knowledge is a work in progress.

I recently read an article from an Influencer. He built his life from nothing and from his experiences he shares his successes. His life is simple and realistic. Possessions aren’t important. I relate to him in many ways. I believe that if you really want it, then you can get it, even if you don’t have any support, its possible. Working a job that you despise for the rest of you life is not living!

Dreams do become a reality. With hard work and a lot of sacrifice, and doing the things you’ve never imagined yourself doing, you can take it. The only person stopping you is yourself. Go get it.














Being me.

I have lost some friends this year. I don’t understand how. I feel great sadness about the dissolving of these friendships. One in particular is a childhood friend. It feels like I am grieving. First comes sadness, followed by anger. Then regret.

I have tried to break things down, to better understand what happened and how I can stop this from happening again. I go through phases of hurt and it all becomes too much. I want it resolved, but the feeling I get is blank. Confusion. Frustration.

I read an article written by a woman who was going through something similar. She turned to a friend for help. Her friend told her that is wasn’t about her. That it is not about you and her. That it is about the truth and trusting in what you know to be true for you. The penny dropped for me. My whole life I have only known something was real when I had someone else confirm it for me. By having it confirmed by a friend, mean’t it had to be true. Well thats what I thought. I am a loyal person. Persistent, conscientious and I pride myself in maintaining friendships as best as I can. I have finally learnt how to say no. This wasn’t easy to learn.

I have now given myself permission to step away. I have not done this before. Confidently. Comfortable in the knowledge that it is my choice and that it doesn’t need to be validated by anyone other than myself. I have spent a lot of time trying to understand people. I LOVE people. I wonder why they do the things they do. I try to accept them for who they are, to understand what they are about. I have such a high level of expectation of myself. I place a large amount of pressure on everything I do. I beat myself up for the simplest things. I compare myself to my friends and I battle with this daily. Am I good enough for them? Am I good enough for me?

I am finding out now that it’s me, hurting me. It’s the truth. I know now that some people just aren’t a match. And when I learn this about someone I let them go. I am not putting them down. I am not criticising or judging them. I am simply stepping away and trusting in myself that I have made the right decision. I have made my circle small. My friend explained to me that I am no longer weighed down by the encumbrance of people that I don’t need to feel happy and loved. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life not realising this.

It’s a wonderful thing to find a way to express myself. “Aisha” came to me one day while I was looking out my window at the chickens in my garden. I had an urge to create a character who represented myself. In a positive and thought provoking way. I draw each morning and most days post my illustration and a message on Instagram. It’s so crazy how many people relate to Aisha. Me. Me and You.

Ride with Me


Have you sat on your bike and thought to yourself, there is something about this that I like. A LOT. For me, riding is my Freedom Machine. It’s cheap, easy to maintain, can take you anywhere, social, healthy, environmentally friendly, challenging. I started riding my brothers old bike to try to get fit and lose weight. I was 92kg at the time and pretty unhappy with myself. It was heavy and clunky and I was too scared to ride it on the road. I stuck to bike paths and quiet streets. My first ride was with my girlfriend. We rode to Woolcock Park, which is at the back of Ashgrove. Luckily there were no ‘hills’ and a lot of water bubblers! The return trip was around 10km. I arrived home covered in sweat and my heart pounding. But, you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face! I rode that bike everywhere, I even fell off it! There is nothing more embarrassing than crashing into a banana bar! Eventually I got up hills and extended the length of my rides. I couldn’t get enough. My brother bought me a Specialized Myca duel suspension mountain bike, the deal being that I would lose 25kg and stay healthy. I stuck to my end of the bargain, riding as much as I could, and through parts of Queensland with my dad on CQ rides. I did a few Westpac Chopper Charity mountain bike rides on the ‘ol Myca…it is what has made me mentally stronger.  Here, I found the joy of bike riding. Eventually I was lured into the dark side. Along came Beauty, my Avanti Questa road bike. It had to be pink. I didn’t care what the bike did, or how light the carbon fibre was. I still ride this bike today, having had quite a few modifications to fit around my body. A crash in 2013 made a pretty big dent in my body but the bike got away with a scratch on the gear hoods. I ride it and race it. It’s my companion and I trust her.

I look around at all the bikes out there. My eyes pop out at a few, I’d do anything to get a newer and improved bike! But for now, it’s Beauty and I. I think that it’s the machine on top that you need to improve, not the bike. Although, the wheels and gearing can assist if you are interested in racing and hill climbing! Yesterday on my group ride I heard a lady say “I’m not a very good rider.” It echoed in my head for most of my day. I was at the back of the group (this is my safe zone) and I watched her and when I could, ride behind her. She was a fabulous rider! If she were to ask me, “Caroline, how do you think I can improve?”, I’d give her a few tips that were passed on to me. In the case of group riding there are many thoughts to this. But in her example, if you want to finish your ride strong, then it’s like racing. Its all about positioning and efforts. I am not a coach, I have been coached, by a very good one. She taught me that I had to find my strengths and to use these as my weapon. In my friends instance, she spent a lot of time out the front, pushing in long and fast efforts with the leaders. Three quarters into the ride she was still in that position, the group wasn’t doing much in the way of rolling turns. She started to fatigue. She came to the hills and blew up. She was dropped. So in her mind, she is telling herself “I’m not a good rider.” She is in need of learning the strategies of how not to be dropped and finish with the group. I have provided a link on this subject (below). I have also provided a link to a great read on Bunch Riding.

Another important part of bunch riding, is finding a group that fits you. If you are a woman, and it is mostly a male dominated bunch, then this isn’t a group for you. You need a group that nurtures you in at an average that is around 25 or so. We are built and communicate differently. Sure, some women will read this statement and disagree with me, but position yourself back the very first days when you started off and think again about this statement. If you are a strong and progressing rider then riding with men is the key. Also, riding with people who are better and more experienced than you will make significant improvements to your confidence and abilities. If you can work it into your budget, get a Coach or mentor. These people know their stuff. Technique is everything…but also is the connectivity between teacher and student. I you need a Coach I can recommend a very good one to you. I am working on a list of rides suitable to new to bunch riders. Contact me for further information.

By saying “I’m not a good rider, I am too slow, I won’t keep up, go without me” will make you this person. We all have to start off somewhere. Find people who will take you out and help you gain your confidence. Build. Build up slowly and find a group that you can ride with. It may take several groups before you find your fit. You will be dropped! But know the route and finish your ride. Keep going back to that group. You will be dropped a hundred times! Your level of fitness will improve. With fitness you will not be dropped. This applies to both group riding and racing.

Remember the reason why you started riding. Keep that feeling. I hope this guides you.






Little gold stars and my mothers wedding ring

Beauty Top Tube

Another goal checked off. 2016 Lifecycle Classic 40km Mini Classic CQ D Grade.

This event is my clubs annual road race, and they have kindly made the traditional 80km a 40km. To summarise…Our combined C/D started off in two lines of rolling turns until we reached the highway, friendly banter, a chill in the air, pretty country side. I was in the lead group as we crossed the dam wall. A C grade rider jumped after the wall on the climb. I went. Slightly too slow…so she got ahead. But I dug in and dropped the three girls that tried to go with us, 22 kms into the race. I looked back only two times until I reached the turn. I had a good gap. The C grade rider stayed the exact distance in front of me, right behind the lead car. I buried myself deep into ITT but I could not close the gap. On the last 10km I was hurting so bad I talked out aloud. Yelled even. If the three girls working together got me I’d lose my chance. So I had to go so hard I actually bled. Poor lady bits. I had to maintain 30 at least. I am glad I did because they averaged the same in a team of 3 as I did solo. The last 10 I did not look back. It was the most pain I’ve ever experienced, both physically and mentally. There was nowhere to hide. No-one to draft off.

The last 3 years I have spent rehabilitating my body from a bicycle accident. I have permanent nerve damage in my left arm. This has affected parts of my body that are normally healthy. There are days I find myself crying in the midst of a session at my gym. Grieving the loss of my former self. But there are also days that I say to myself: Be thankful you are alive! You can DO THIS!

Recently a dear young friend of mine posted a very personal message about herself on a social media forum. She suffers from depression and anxiety. I respect her on so many levels for her courage. From this I have learn’t that opening up your inner self can bring relief from a lonely world you feel tethered too. Which brings me to this point today. Only my closest friends know my story. At 40 I woke up in the ER corridor of the RWCH. I had no idea how I got there. I did, however, know why I got there. I was an alcoholic. I lost my mother in 1998, the year my first child was born. I used alcohol as my bandaid. Also at around this time I found out I had SVT. I had corrective surgery which unfortunately resulted in an error by the cardio surgeon. I bled from my Femoral Artery into my leg for a week until it was noticed by my GP. During this time I could not work, for months. Nor could I walk very well. It created a lot of grief for me. I needed more bandaids. It crept up on me slowly. Finally raring it’s ugliness shortly after my 40th birthday. As I lay in my bed at the hospital I had to make a hard decision. It was time to stop being selfish. Time to let go of the things out of my control. From that day forward I quit. Its been 9 years now. I have never looked back.

I knew I had to do something to replace my addiction. My brother encouraged me to ride a bike. I started off on a mountain bike, rolling around parts of Queensland with my dad. I progressed to a road bike, finding the joy of both social and road racing. Which brings me to now.

This year I declared ‘My Year’. The year I will turn a half century. I have no team. I zipped on my Club Kit and made some plans. I mix both road riding and the gym together. I have it almost tweaked! I don’t have a coach but I do have friends and my family. They are my team. Top of the check list: Lifecycle Classic Mini 40km.

LC Classic 2016 Mini Results


Next: Mardi Bartlett Classic 54km Road Race. And final: State Team Time Trail WMAS5. This complete’s ‘My Year’.

From this post I know it will open up wounds for some. And it may change your view of me. I know that some will feel sorry for me and some will avoid me. That’s okay. That’s your story not mine. My story is only shared by way of showing others that we are not perfect and we are all damaged in some way. Life can be a facade. Don’t make up stories about people you know nothing about. When you have a win in life celebrate it! You don’t need to feel shy about it. Embrace the moment and relish in it. The support your friends and family offer is imperative to your well-being.

The gold star earring’s are a gift from a special girlfriend of mine. Always cherished. The wedding band is my mums, and the sticker came out of a book my husband bought me on Self Love. These guided me to the finish line of my race.

The people you meet in your life can either make you flourish or make you wilt. Chose them wisely. Be courageous. And don’t be ashamed for the bad choices you make. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Love yourself.

How I stepped out of my comfort zone

This gallery contains 20 photos.

“Thank you for your application for the recently advertised position of Graphic Designer. Unfortunately on this occasion your application was not successful. We wish you all the best with your future career.” Losing two friends and my job has mean’t losing a … Continue reading

Driving Miss Daisy


Hi Caroline, take a seat. So how can I help you today?

I’d like you to assess me for my Medical Certificate for Motor Vehicle Driver. I’m going to be a cabbie.

Jeese…that came out weird. I never thought I’d be a cabbie. Driving drunk people around late at night, sweat, garlic breath and vomit. Or suits who want the fast and quick cut to the airport to catch a flight ‘to a conference’.

So, Caroline, can you please do a urine sample? Off I pop to the loo, walking through the middle of the waiting room, people looking at me funny, carrying my little jar. Seriously, I’m an athlete being drug tested! Squatting over the loo I delicately aim into the little plastic jar, wondering, exactly how much do I put in there? A trickle or a stream? I look down at the cloudy liquid. YUK. I empty it into the loo and proceed to fill it up, feeling very satisfied by my ability to control my bladder so well. Which reminds me I need to do more pelvic floor work.

So I trot back into the Doctors room for which he pops in a litmus paper. I look at the colours processing, nervously. He kindly tells me I do not have protein or glucose in my wee and that I am not Diabetic. *PHEW*

Running down the list he stops at “Any psychological history?” I blurt out NO! I’m normal! Damn. I wonder if they actually check that stuff out? I do see a shrink, and on a Ten Pass Medical discount card. But he didn’t ask “Are you a lier?” so as my friend says, that’s his fault!

Do you consume alcohol? No. He pauses. Looks at me. Ticks the ‘NO’ box. Well that was awkward.

Now stand over here and look at this eye chart. Are you Fcuking kidding me? That’s not a normal eye chart. That’s an eye chart for a child! Place your hand over your right eye. Now read this line. I get my focus. At this point my forehead was building up some sweat. I very slowly say the letter as he runs his finger across the line. Put your hand on your other eye. Now this line. Again. I repeat the process. I really am blind. But he assures me I got these right. Okay, now stand on one foot and close your eyes. WTF?! That’s easy! I do it. I wobble. OMG I really do need to work on my core. At this point I was sure I was going to fail.

He kindly offers me a seat. Now, do you have any history of heart disorder? HOLY MOTHER OF GOD. I had SVT. So he says, what did you do about it? I told him I had an oblation to the node and that my heart is as good as apples, only every now and again it goes into the Extreme Suffer score on my Strava upload. He stared at me blankly, ticking a box. And the result? Well actually, besides the surgeon screwing it up and making my femoral artery bleed into my leg, the outcome was relatively pleasing!

Moving onto the next question. Okay, what other surgeries besides this did you have? Well that was a day surgery so really that surely cannot be counted as a proper surgery which involves knives? Poker face…okay so yes I have had a bit of surgery on my arm. I dislocated, tore my rotator cuff and ripped a bit of bone of my humorous. Oh, and have permanent nerve damage which makes me deltoid-less. FARK! He was looking at me funny now. How many surgeries on this arm? Two I reply. Can I see your arm? I present him with it and say, hey totally rad scar don’t you think? Yes, that is a decent one! Do you have an automatic car or a manual, he asked? OMG. Okay. So I have a manual car. Pause. So it’s for the benefit of my arm so it doesn’t get lazy? He pulls a smile. Okay so I think I got him.

My heart rate was perfectly normal. Winning! Off I go to pay. The receptionist kindy asks for $150. I gasp! Is there a Medicare rebate? I’m unemployed! No, I’m sorry there isn’t…I pause…I draw my hand into my wallet…she says, just a moment…she is on the phone. The Dr said $100 will be okay. I was gob smacked! I showed her my appreciation and was on my way to the transport department for Lodgement of an Industry Authority Application. Number D332! Counter 2!


Ain’t no mountain high enough

I have this thing about doing something that I fear. It’s like a drug. I want it. The way it makes my palms sweat and my heart skip a beat. Will I? Can I? Should I?


I am not a small person. I joke about my spare tyres I carry around my waist. I dislike it! I’ve always had big thighs. I figured, I’d put them to good use. I know I hold power in their muscle.

Since climbing mountains I’ve discovered this: I’m a great short, sharp climber. If I get my gearing right, I can burst up a hill with speed and roll over the top and hammer the descent. This kind of hill is my favourite. I use the body type I have to achieve this. When I hit a long steep climb I go slower than a snail. GIMME MORE GEARS! I grind up, I don’t look at the top for fear of falling. I tell myself, it’s flat if you look at it at the right angle. I find myself with Tourettes. Since having received new wheels I roll faster, which means I can reserve. This helps me to recover.

This year I participated in the Buderim9 Challenge. I made 7 out of the 9 climbs. 57.8km, 1,233m, 2:41:43 moving time. The day, prior, I drove the course. I was pretty shocked with what lay ahead of me. I couldn’t turn back. I decided I’d do at least 5. Having set that goal, I pushed beyond to make the 7.

In the build up I rode weekly Coot-tha’s, Nebo, Binna Burra, O’Reilly’s and the 2015 Ride for Westpac Chopper MTB Mudgee to Tamworth challenge. These rides made me stronger both physically and mentally.

Another discovery. You have to find your ‘inner animal’. You cannot do anything without it! I’ve tried to explain it to a friend. I don’t think she gets it, just yet. I visualise my greatest fear. That thing that gets you fired up. I use it as my fuel. When I have it engaged I find myself in that moment. If you can find that moment then you know you have put in 100%. You’ve emptied your tank.


This photo captures everything. I look beyond the shape of my body…my left shoulder. Instead, I visualise the things that I know I can do. I use the pain as fuel to propel myself into the future space I have created.

I am on a mission to climb as many mountains as I can in 2016, with the goal of a Peaks challenge on 2017. I have mapped out my year to include both type 1 and 2 fun, with a new edition, type 3 fun. This I learnt from my friend. Type 1 Fun: Pure fun. Type 2 Fun: Post-fun. But, my new found discovery is: Type 3 Fun: Storytelling Fun. This experience is definitely not fun in the moment and really isn’t personally fun for you to reflect on. You probably still cringe looking back on what happened, whether it was embarrassing for you or just terrifying. But, it makes a good story and that brings a new positive memory to the experience. Watch out for my blogs!

I have watched and learned. I have failed, lost, been dropped, won, come last, succeeded, cried, laughed, yelled, sworn, giggled, sweated, had tantrums, given up, picked up.


The view at the top is worth the pain of the climb.