From the corporate world to running ultra-marathons or solo hiking in the bush - Jaqui lives a life of adventure and wants to inspire others to do the same.
The pavement has gone There are no more streets, or cars or houses There is only dirt, and gravel and tree roots beneath my feet
Why the second lockdown hurts more
I love to run in the bush. Yep, people find it strange but I love the feeling of running. My mind shuts up and my body takes over and we go exploring. I like to find trails that no one else knows about – parts where you need to bush bash your way through thick bushes and try and avoid getting scratched by blackberry bushes (whilst stealing some blackberries to eat and praying they haven’t been sprayed) and wading waist deep through river crossings. It brings me such joy. To get back to my car covered in dirt and sweat and peel off my shoes and socks and eat whatever treat I have left in the car for post run. Then a hot coffee and a drive home for a hot shower. Or, if I am really lucky I carry a tent in the bush and hike over a few nights, so post hike it’s a hot coffee and a warm sleeping bag, sans shower. I smile sadly, even whilst writing about it because I am currently, like millions of other Melbournians, going through lockdown #2. It’s so much harder this time around and on this morning’s run I think I worked out why I feel like that.
The Ice Hero
Suzy took off her gloves and blew onto her fingers, rubbing her hands together to try and get the blood flowing and keep her hands warm. She grabbed her water bottle and wrapped her microfibre towel around the lid, twisted with all her might and managed to get the lid off. The weather was so cold that the lid often froze on tight, and she struggled with a few attempts to get it open. She took a sip, wincing as the cold water hit her throat. She sighed and looked around at the vast landscape. Snow blanketed everything around her, but the sun was shining, and the mountains loomed around her. Every time she stopped to soak it all in it took her breath away.
A new world
The sun rose over the mountains as Ash opened the zip to her little hiking tent. Still inside her sleeping bag she peeked out and let out her little terrier, Harry so he could relieve himself. She smiled as the warmth of the sun hit her face and closed her eyes to savour it all. She was alone, in her tent with her best mate, little Harry and enjoying just being a part of nature. She thought about lying back down and dozing for a while but she also really wanted a warm coffee inside her, so she reluctantly unzipped her sleeping bag, pulled on her yellow down jacket, put her feet into her teva sandals and slipped her beanie over her tangle braids. Harry came pounding up to her, with all the energy of a puppy first thing in the morning, despite being nearly 6yrs old. She grabbed some doggie biscuits from his pouch and put them on the tree log beside her and Harry greedily ate them up. She set up her jetboil to boil some water and made a coffee. Holding the cup in both hands she breathed in the smell and felt the warmth soaking into her ice-cold fingers. She savoured that first sip and felt it start to warm her from the inside out.
Julie grabbed her keys, threw her yellow scarf around her neck, picked up the lukewarm toast on sitting on the kitchen bench and bit into a corner. With the toast still hanging out of her mouth she slung her handbag on her shoulder, grabbed her travel mug full of coffee and headed out the door giving a wave to her little Maltese Yorkie who was already curling up in his bed, grateful that Mum was going to work and giving him a few hours to sleep.
Is it luck?
I was recently talking to someone about a networking event that I attended (Pre-Covid). The event was paid for by work and I had to entertain numerous clients and I was extremely happy with the breakfast that was provided. Being a food lover, I was going into great detail about the eggs cooked to perfection and the crispy bread and I could have talked about it for hours. Instead, my audience asked me if I get to go to events like this often, ‘yes’ I said. ‘Oh you’re so lucky’ was the response.
100kms through the mountains on foot
The air felt like ice with every breath I took. The fog had cleared, and the stars were lighting my way as I pushed my feet through mud, kilometre after kilometre. My head torch flickered off the frost on the ground, making everything look like a white winter wonderland. Kerry, my running mate for the past hour stopped dead.