Month: February 2019

Obstacle cause

Fitness instructor Heather Morgan puts Tough Mudder entrants through their paces. Picture: Daryl GordonGetting burnt, frozen and shocked has never been popular. But now it’s something almost 20,000 Australians pay for. Daniel Tran discovers why men and women put their bodies on the line for challenges like Tough Mudder.
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Rod Currie doesn’t like a shock. But this weekend the Langwarrin resident will have no choice but to face 10,000 volts of electricity as he takes part in the Tough Mudder challenge on Phillip Island.

Believed to be one of the world’s toughest events, Tough Mudder is a 20 kilometre obstacle course in which participants navigate their way through a field of fire, muddy trenches, curtains of live wires and more than a dozen other hazards.

Developed by Harvard graduate Will Dean, the course has an average time of about three hours and only about 80 per cent of participants are able to finish.

The first Tough Mudder was held in 2010 and had 5000 participants, but since then the event has taken the world by storm.

In Australia, about 20,000 people have already signed up. The goal is not to get the best time, but to finish the course.

It’s hard to imagine why anyone would pay to have their senses assaulted by the elements, both natural and man-made. But for Currie, a Woolworths store manager in Glen Waverley, taking part in Tough Mudder is about making a positive change to his life.

‘‘For me personally, it’s turning my fitness levels around,’’ he says. ‘‘When I was younger, I used to be a lot fitter. I’ve let myself go. But this is the beginning of turning that around and just maintaining a good level of fitness.’’

In order to prepare himself for the gruelling event, Currie and his team of seven friends have been working with Heather Morgan from Seaford’s Health in Motion Fitness.

Twice a week the team gets together with Morgan, who puts them through their paces.

‘‘We’re all at various fitness levels. Most of us are a bit overweight and need to get fit. Heather’s been really good, she just knows what parts of the body to work and train to get certain goals. When we first started we could not run five kilometres or even think about it. But the body parts that she’s worked on has allowed us to build them up and lose weight. We’ve gone from running five kilometres now to running nearly 10 km,’’ he says.

Currie has already lost 15 kilograms and one of his team members has lost almost 20 kilograms.

‘‘If it was something we did individually, we probably wouldn’t have come as far as we have in such a short period of time. The team really drives you. You don’t want to let the other guys down.’’

Currie has no doubt the team will be finishing the course. ‘‘We’ve got determination,’’ he says.

‘‘The only part I’m worried about are the electrical wires. I think the rest of it — the ramps, the mud — we’ll get through. We’re a pretty tough group of blokes. If we get through this one, we’re also seriously considering the Sydney one in September and the Tough Mudder in Western Australia next year.”

But Kilsyth’s Jason Nichols is putting his body on the line for a much simpler reason. He just wants to see if he can do it.

‘‘It’s all about having a bit of fun and getting your teammates across the line,’’ he says.

Nichols, 41, runs the Sakura Karate Club and Tough Mudder will merely be a mental and physical test for him and his team.

‘‘We haven’t done anything like this before in terms of the obstacles and the running.

‘‘It’ll be true test of where we’re at,’’ he says.

‘‘Whether or not we do it in hours is another thing but I’m sure we’ll all get over the line at some stage.”

For Berwick’s Andrew Arnold, Tough Mudder is less about fitness and more about setting an example.

Arnold, 43, is a Cranbourne chiropractor. His entry into Tough Mudder is about being an example to his patients.

‘‘I talk about getting people to really strive, particularly when it comes to exercise and health. If I’m prepared to go there then I’ve got integrity when I ask people to do the same thing. I really wanted to show patients that I’m prepared to put my money were my mouth is.’’

Although Arnold has a strong background in fitness, he has also been turning up his training to prepare himself for the event. But even he is unsure that he’ll be able to complete every obstacle.

‘‘Some of the stuff is quite daunting, like going through a pipe submerged underwater. I’m going way beyond what I’ve ever done in the past.’’

Despite his apprehension, Arnold’s resolve is unwavering.

‘‘I think I should be ready to go. I could definitely do more but I think I’ll be ready. I’m going to be walking past the finish line.’’

Tough Mudder Melbourne is on March 31 and April 1.

Obstacle cause

Fitness instructor Heather Morgan puts Tough Mudder entrants through their paces. Picture: Daryl GordonGetting burnt, frozen and shocked has never been popular. But now it’s something almost 20,000 Australians pay for. Daniel Tran discovers why men and women put their bodies on the line for challenges like Tough Mudder.
Nanjing Night Net

Rod Currie doesn’t like a shock. But this weekend the Langwarrin resident will have no choice but to face 10,000 volts of electricity as he takes part in the Tough Mudder challenge on Phillip Island.

Believed to be one of the world’s toughest events, Tough Mudder is a 20 kilometre obstacle course in which participants navigate their way through a field of fire, muddy trenches, curtains of live wires and more than a dozen other hazards.

Developed by Harvard graduate Will Dean, the course has an average time of about three hours and only about 80 per cent of participants are able to finish.

The first Tough Mudder was held in 2010 and had 5000 participants, but since then the event has taken the world by storm.

In Australia, about 20,000 people have already signed up. The goal is not to get the best time, but to finish the course.

It’s hard to imagine why anyone would pay to have their senses assaulted by the elements, both natural and man-made. But for Currie, a Woolworths store manager in Glen Waverley, taking part in Tough Mudder is about making a positive change to his life.

‘‘For me personally, it’s turning my fitness levels around,’’ he says. ‘‘When I was younger, I used to be a lot fitter. I’ve let myself go. But this is the beginning of turning that around and just maintaining a good level of fitness.’’

In order to prepare himself for the gruelling event, Currie and his team of seven friends have been working with Heather Morgan from Seaford’s Health in Motion Fitness.

Twice a week the team gets together with Morgan, who puts them through their paces.

‘‘We’re all at various fitness levels. Most of us are a bit overweight and need to get fit. Heather’s been really good, she just knows what parts of the body to work and train to get certain goals. When we first started we could not run five kilometres or even think about it. But the body parts that she’s worked on has allowed us to build them up and lose weight. We’ve gone from running five kilometres now to running nearly 10 km,’’ he says.

Currie has already lost 15 kilograms and one of his team members has lost almost 20 kilograms.

‘‘If it was something we did individually, we probably wouldn’t have come as far as we have in such a short period of time. The team really drives you. You don’t want to let the other guys down.’’

Currie has no doubt the team will be finishing the course. ‘‘We’ve got determination,’’ he says.

‘‘The only part I’m worried about are the electrical wires. I think the rest of it — the ramps, the mud — we’ll get through. We’re a pretty tough group of blokes. If we get through this one, we’re also seriously considering the Sydney one in September and the Tough Mudder in Western Australia next year.”

But Kilsyth’s Jason Nichols is putting his body on the line for a much simpler reason. He just wants to see if he can do it.

‘‘It’s all about having a bit of fun and getting your teammates across the line,’’ he says.

Nichols, 41, runs the Sakura Karate Club and Tough Mudder will merely be a mental and physical test for him and his team.

‘‘We haven’t done anything like this before in terms of the obstacles and the running.

‘‘It’ll be true test of where we’re at,’’ he says.

‘‘Whether or not we do it in hours is another thing but I’m sure we’ll all get over the line at some stage.”

For Berwick’s Andrew Arnold, Tough Mudder is less about fitness and more about setting an example.

Arnold, 43, is a Cranbourne chiropractor. His entry into Tough Mudder is about being an example to his patients.

‘‘I talk about getting people to really strive, particularly when it comes to exercise and health. If I’m prepared to go there then I’ve got integrity when I ask people to do the same thing. I really wanted to show patients that I’m prepared to put my money were my mouth is.’’

Although Arnold has a strong background in fitness, he has also been turning up his training to prepare himself for the event. But even he is unsure that he’ll be able to complete every obstacle.

‘‘Some of the stuff is quite daunting, like going through a pipe submerged underwater. I’m going way beyond what I’ve ever done in the past.’’

Despite his apprehension, Arnold’s resolve is unwavering.

‘‘I think I should be ready to go. I could definitely do more but I think I’ll be ready. I’m going to be walking past the finish line.’’

Tough Mudder Melbourne is on March 31 and April 1.

VSDCA: Young and old unite for Bayswater flag

Off the legs: Bayswater’s Campbell Craigie plays a shot during the thirds grand final. Picture: Rob CarewYOUNG, old or otherwise – Bayswater thirds claimed a memorable premiership in their Victorian Sub District Cricket Association south-east grand final on Sunday.
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The Waters beat Elsternwick by 141 runs at Bayswater Oval and captain John Salter praised his side’s commitment and contribution to the victory with the team made up of veterans like 53-year-old Salter, along with six teenagers.

Two performances stood out from the rest as middle-order batsman Adam Watt made a stunning 125 in the first innings and medium-pacer Liam Thomas took 5-25 from 21 overs on day two to lead his side to victory.

Salter paid tribute to his whole side for their efforts during the finals along with the impressive efforts of Watt and Thomas.

“Watt didn’t play from Christmas through to February because he had work commitments in Western Australia,” Salter said.

“He got back just in time for the last game of the season and then the finals. He has looked like getting a big score but hadn’t done it yet, he certainly picked the right day.”

Watt formed a key partnership with Campbell Craigie (46) and Salter (65) scored some key runs early in the innings.

“Craigie batted with him for a long time,” Salter said. “I told the boys after the game that everyone in the team had contributed something worthwhile in the finals series.”

Salter said Thomas had returned to the Waters this season after a couple of seasons playing local cricket.

“Elsternwick got off to a good start at 2-57 then Thomas got a a couple of wickets in a couple of overs,” he said.

“He knocked over their two most important batsmen and he had a lot of bowling to do as we have limits on how much we can use our younger bowlers where he doesn’t have that restriction.”

The premiership was Salter’s first in 16 years with the Waters.

Salter said his premiership players had a bright future ahead of them after the majority of the sides’ younger players had a game in the second side during this season.

“I would be surprised if they don’t play a fair bit of seconds cricket next year,” he said. “The biggest thing is hanging onto them, hopefully they all stay with their mates and move into the higher sides.”

Metcard off the rails

METCARD ticket machines on the Belgrave and Lilydale train lines will begin to be switched off from next month, the Transport Ticketing Authority has announced.
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Machines at Bayswater, Boronia, Ferntree Gully, Upper Ferntree Gully, Upwey, Tecoma, Mooroolbark and Heathmont will be turned off from Monday, April 9.

Machines at Box Hill, Blackburn, Nunawading, Mitcham, Heatherdale, Lilydale and Belgrave will follow on April 16.

Not all commuters the Weekly spoke to this week are ready for the changeover.

Angela, 25, said she only used public transport once a month and had no plans to purchase a myki card. “I’ll probably just catch public transport only when I can be bothered now.”

Another passenger said removing the ticket machines was not a good idea because if the myki system was ever inoperative, a ticket would still need to be purchased.

Another regular train commuter, who started using a myki card before Christmas, said she was taught how to use the card by helpful staff at Heathmont station, but was concerned how the elderly would adapt.

“It takes a bit of time to learn how to use, and the elderly especially may get confused when there’s nowhere to purchase a Metcard any more.”

Public Transport Users Association outer east convener Jeremy Lunn said yesterday the switch-off was likely to confuse commuters. “There hasn’t been a lot of information about the switch-off so many people won’t be aware.”

He said people who didn’t use public transport regularly would get a shock when they turned up at a station. “Now there will be absolutely no option to buy short-term tickets. The only way to travel will be if you have a myki card.”

A full-fare myki pass costs $6, concession $3. Passengers can then top up with the desired amount needed to buy a ticket.

Myki cards can be purchased from train stations, 7-Eleven stores, myki南京夜网.au or by calling 136 954.

Mental health line closure ‘a blow’

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KNOX’S mental health resources will be stretched further by the state government’s decision to close Victoria’s only dedicated 24-hour mental health line, a leading outer east health service claims.

Eastern Ranges GP Association chief executive officer Kristin Michaels said the organisation was disappointed with the government’s decision to close the Mental Health Advice Line.

“There are real access issues for those in the east. They live so far out they can’t physically get to a clinic so the phone line was a good option,” she said.

The line closed on Monday night last week after almost two years in operation because it had not “met expectations”.

Regular callers to the line will now hear a message asking them to contact Nurse-on-Call (1300 606 024), visit the health department’s website or call triple-0.

Figures from the Department of Health in 2010 showed that Victoria’s south and eastern suburbs – including Knox, Maroondah and Yarra Ranges – recorded the second highest number of calls at 22 per cent.

In January last year, the line received about 1117 calls, more than a third of which needed urgent attention.

But the service has been branded a disappointment by the government.

“The Mental Health Advice Line has not met expectations since it started in 2009,” a spokesman for Mental Health Minister Mary Woolridge said.

“Discontinuing the service will help reduce the confusion in the community around the number of telephone lines people can call.”

Ms Michaels said her association had received positive feedback about the advice line and the service was often used by GPs as a secondary consultation.

The service often made a “significant difference” when additional support for mental health patients was needed. “Mental health is not well supported, funded or organised.”