I’m now on my way home after spending 6 days in Spain. We’ve just lifted off Bilbao for Munich then it’ll be two long haul flights back to NZ.
So what was I doing in Spain? To keep a long story short, my reserve pilot Kirstie James needed to race in a UCI para-cycling world cup to be eligible to race at Rio if she was to be called up (ie if my main pilot, Hannah van Kampen gets injured and can’t race with me or if she called up to be a reserve for our another stoker), and the cut-off date to get Kirstie qualified was when the last round of para-cycling world cup was to be on..
So Stu (coach), Kirstie and I headed to Bilbao, an old city north of Spain near the border so there are mountains surrounding the area which was pretty. It was where the final UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup before Rio was to be held. Exciting!!
As the purpose of the trip was a simple one, it meant the trip would be short as we had a tight turnaround to get back home and focus on training on track (which is my target at Rio). Kirstie and I were due to race in three days after arrival but disaster struck and our luggage didn’t arrive with us! Lucky I always make sure to have everything for few days in my carry-on luggage… Including charged and disposable batteries!)
It was a nervous wait for us but my single bike and the tandem finally arrived the day before racing. Half our luggage was still missing and it meant we didn’t have wind-trainers, tools or disc wheels but at least we could race.
Despite me not having a lot of focus on road racing, we finished 6th in the 21km time trial and 7th in the 70km road race, both results I’m really pleased with. It was also Kirstie’s first two tandem races after having only taken up piloting little over a month ago.
In between racing, the three of us got to do a little sight seeing and relaxation. Even when you’re busy or anxious, it’s important to take some time out and enjoy the scenery around you. As I’m a nervous person, I often have to be reminded to breathe and be in the moment. This is a cool short clip with captions (only about a minute long) on meditation. This is something I do often, especially when nervous or stressed (like before a race!) but it’s great to do every moment you can.Meditation – The Huffington Post
Anyway, nearly at Munich! I will write another update soon.
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
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!
My name is Melinda Vernon, and my Cochlear™ Implant has been my right ear’s best friend for 20 plus years and I don’t think they will be parting anytime soon!
This post will be the first of many posts to come, where I can share experiences of life with a Cochlear Implant, and tips/ advice that I can impart to fellow implantees or those interested in being an implantee sometime down the track. I hope these future posts will enable some feedback, discussion, identification of similar experiences , inspire, motivate or provide some fun entertainment 😉
Firstly, I’d like to introduce myself before I get to some serious experience-sharing business!
I have been involved in sport all my life – the competitiveness and physicality of it – is just in my blood! I was previously a distance runner for the past 12 years representing Australia at the past 2 Deaflympics for the 5000m/ 10,000m double, being a current world record holder for the respective events, competed at many mainstream World Championship Cross Country events. But my most noted running achievement to date was winning the 2009 Sydney City2Surf. I switched to triathlon 2 years ago and have not looked back, rising in the international rankings from 300 and something to going within the top 100 by the end of the 2014!
I have intentions to represent Australia at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and have recently been earmarked as a potential Olympic hopeful, being named in the Australian Shadow Olympic squad. The next year will be a tactical one – training and planning specifically for the races and having great performances, could put me in a prime position to be selected for the team. On the side, I have an Occupational Therapy degree, and have worked on and off over the past few years, but professional triathlon has been my main focus especially in the lead up to the Olympic year.
I hope you will follow me on my journey to get to Rio, as well as joining me on my experience-sharing posts regarding life with a Cochlear Implant.