Nothing can keep her down!

From Melinda…

So I thought I’d start 2016 recapping the good, the bad and the many things in between of 2015.

It has been one of those years with lots of learning particularly with triathlon, work, and the new Nucleus® 6 upgrade.

This year, I moved to the Gold Coast to start training with the National Performance Centre, under head coach Dan Atkins. The program was hard from the get go and it took me a while to adapt to the intensity! I felt so unfit (however I was coming off an Achilles injury) and my squad mates were like spring chickens, being able to bounce back after each session unlike this old duck!

However, I enjoyed the challenging aspects of training despite my body not agreeing! It took persistence and resiliency and by October I had finally I adapted to the program. Unfortunately, come November, things took a nasty turn…I was involved in a freak bike accident, which cut my 2015 short.

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A novice rider had cut across from the other side of the road without looking behind to see us (bike group) approaching, and I was right at the back of the pack and didn’t get the warning signs until it was too late. I slammed on my brakes to avoid hitting the squad mate in front and went flying off the handlebars, landing hard on my right hand and back. It was such a shock to see my right fingers all dislocated at 90 degrees. I didn’t like the appearance of it so in the adrenaline of the moment, I pushed them back into position (think James Franco in 127 Hours, but in 2 seconds)! After ambulance and hospital check ups, I had been diagnosed with 3 broken fingers and a slight but stable fracture to my spine. From that moment, I knew my season had come to an end, but I was determined to continue training and getting through it to the end of the year. It also meant I was out of action on a working front, being an Occupational Therapist (I work part time in Aged Care) and relying on my hands to treat my clients. On the positive side, it meant more time to fill up with training, rehab and strengthening my way back to former fitness!

I have achieved some good results over this year with triathlon (this year was a rebuilding year coming back from the Achilles injury), when I only raced over 4 times, compared to over 13 times in 2014.

  • April: 4th in Luke Harrop Gold Coast Triathlon (comeback race since Oct 2014)
  • July: 8th in Osaka Asian Cup sprint
  • September: 1st in Murakami Asian Cup Olympic distance (Japan)
  • October: 5th in Nepean Triathlon in a stacked pro field

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I want to thank coach Dan Atkins and Cochlear for this year’s results. They have improved my skills across the three disciplines and the Nucleus 6 processor with Aqua+ has enabled me to hear in the water (swimming sessions) for the first time ever, and train through those hard and sweaty sessions without the worry of sweat damage to the hearing device! These newly developed skills have replaced my toolbox with better quality tools! #upgraded

I was also lucky enough to have access to the AIS performance centre on the Gold Coast and utilise the Alter G (anti-gravity treadmill) while rehabbing from Achilles injury and work with the strength and conditioning staff, dietician and psychologist on site, who have also given me a greater depth of knowledge and development towards my triathlon goals which I will take on board beyond 2015 #thankful

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Also, I have been working with great people behind the scenes, especially over the last few months: Gold Coast Physio and Sports Health (all year!), Gold Coast Triathlete bike shop who have given me excellent service and advice towards my bike and skills. I have also become a part of the Cervélo team’s ambassador program which has been a fantastic incentive to be a part of! I have been working with a great mentor in Peter Robertson who runs Elite Performing Minds, an athlete mentoring program, which has helped me during these challenging times with injury, coaching/ training options and developing a better athlete mindset. Last, but not least, I want to thank Cochlear Asia Pacific for their generous support towards my triathlon career and giving me the opportunity to work with Cochlear Global, Cochlear Japan and participate in various media events over the past year. #backbone #support #unit

I look forward to new beginnings in 2016, to continue chasing my dreams, getting back into hard training and ready to bring the goods come race day along with the support of my crew. As they say, “Bring on #2016!”

Mel 🙂

 

 

Amanda breaks her hearing record!

Hi everyone!

Cochlear Nucleus 6 Blog  It has been a while since my first blog post and so much has happened. I am especially excited to tell you about my recent upgrade to the Cochlear™ Nucleus® 6!

I am still adjusting but so far I really like them. The main difference is the SmartSound® iQ, which manages different types of sound automatically so you don’t have to worry about changing to a different program. The programs you have in older processors (i.e Everyday, Focus, Noise and Music) can now be all automated!

And another pretty cool thing is that it has wind reduction! It is perfect for where I live – Wellington, the windiest city in the Southern Hemisphere. I haven’t had a chance to experiment with it too much as it’s been winter and I haven’t been outside much. I’ll be sure to let you know when I do.

The first week after the upgrade, it felt like I wasn’t hearing a lot and I was missing background information, which was unnerving. All this is normal while you adjust, I have always been used to having background noise so having less of this now takes a bit of getting used to. I did notice, however that I could pick up speech much clearer and easier.

Last weekend I went out for brunch with a good friend of mine, usually I would have some trouble hearing in the café, but I didn’t. It was great! I was picking up on everything she said. Win 🙂

The Nucleus 6 also comes with optional wireless accessories. There is the mini microphone, a TV streamer and a Bluetooth phone clip.

I have the wireless mini mic and let me tell you – it’s amazing! It is so cool to finally not have to wear ‘special’ earphones or hooks when listening to music – this means when I am using the mic, all I need to do is activate streaming on the processor or Remote Assistant/Control and it’ll connect! I have total freedom moving around with no wires or external receivers; you just have to be within seven meters of the MiniMic.

I have tried placing the mic in front of the TV speakers and found the speech clearer; I have listened to music with it plugged into my phone or iPod and I loved it. I have yet to try it in formal situations but I have meetings at work coming up where I will try this, again I’ll keep you posted. Both the remote and the mini mic stays in my handbag all the time as it’s so easy to whip out when I need it. Cool eh?

The Nucleus 6 is a lot smaller than the Freedom® and slightly shorter than the Nucleus 5. I chose a brown processor to match my hair colour but you can also order coloured covers to snap on. I have the pink (this is Barbie pink, guys!), blue, grey smoke and black swirls. I’m going to customise a set to match my NZ kit so I’ll be sure to post this when it’s done!

Cochlear Nucleus 6

I’ll be back soon once I’ve tried out a few more features, but in the meantime if you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below.

Amanda 🙂

Melinda Vernon’s latest win

From Melinda…

It’s been a few weeks since my last post, and there have been many exciting things happening behind the scenes with my Cochlear™ Implant! I would love to share some pretty special and ground-breaking news… I have access to Cochlear’s latest technology and have finally upgraded my Freedom® sound processor to Nucleus® 6! I have been using the Cochlear Wireless Phone Clip and the Aqua+ waterproof casing as well.

When I heard the news that my generation of Cochlear recipients were eligible to get the upgrade to the Nucleus 6 model, I started thinking of all the new opportunities and experiences I will have from that day forward! Life was certainly about to get a whole lot easier and definitely more interesting! I couldn’t wait! #pumped

Photo Kevin Koresky training San Diego Feb 14.11

I got the upgrade (thanks to Audiologist Sarah at Sydney Cochlear Implant Centre, for making the process a smooth one!). When I was first “switched on” I was instantly amazed at how much clearer it sounded in comparison to the Freedom model. I don’t really like loud noises and can get quite overwhelmed and stressed out; but the Nucleus 6 gave me that much needed relief with a quieter sound cutting out a lot of the previously interfering background noise. I had peace at last! I was lucky to try out the Phone Clip which pairs and connects to your smartphone, enabling wireless and automatic connection to the phone when someone calls or when you call someone. It was so amazing being able to hear my sister’s voice so clearly on the phone through my Nucleus 6 processor.

Playing my iPhone music through the Phone Clip is so cool, I don’t have to worry about all the cords such as with the telecoil (which is like ear phones) and I can listen to music without others hearing it ,(in the case I might have poor taste in music!!!)

I started thinking of all the new possibilities that I could put into everyday life with the Nucleus 6 and Wireless Accessories! I could go to the gym, and play my music wirelessly leaving my phone in my bag and not have to listen to some boring pop music (no offence to pop culture!) playing over and over on the radio in the gym!

Thanks for reading,

Mel.