Event Recaps Fitness journalism degree

Battling to get to the Border.. four weeks to go

As the title suggests, not all is well with my campaign to race the Battle on the Border event. The inclement weather that I discussed being the bane of a cyclist’s life morphed into a cyclone, which had affected Brisbane by Thursday, with dumpings of torrential rain. By the weekend, the deluge had made its way to northern NSW, resulting in an absolutely devastating flood for the residents of Murwillimbah, the town where event is based. The effects of the floods on the roads at this time are unknown. Feeling disappointed that I may not be able to race though is a first world issue, compared to the rebuild process that many residents of Murwillimbah and northern NSW are going to face after losing everything. In the meantime, I will cross my fingers, keep training and hope for the best.

The process of training to become fit to race is challenging. Competency in road racing requires speed, strength and endurance and the ability to be able to tolerate pain. In an event like Three Peaks, you get to choose how much pain you can tolerate. If you want ride well and want to stay with the bunch, there’s no choice – it’s going to hurt, because someone will always be applying pressure to get ahead or split the bunch. Therefore my training has reflected what is necessary, and has included some individual efforts, climbing work and harder bunch rides. It feels like I’m at the start of another unknown journey – the only way from here is forward.

Rather than discuss training, I thought I’d share my experience working as a student journo for the Women In Media Queensland event discussing the craft of journalism. Last year I volunteered for the event, only to be pipped at the post by another student. This year, I was delighted to be asked to fulfil the role. My job was to interview three prominent journalists and presenters in the industry about various facets of journalism and be filmed doing so. The idea of being filmed was a nerve wracking prospect and I take my hat off to the reporters and journalists that play this role for the news, day in, day out.

You see, the truth is that I was not only admiring these guys for their journalistic skills, but for their skill at applying perfect make up in a hurry. When I was asked to do the event, I examined my rarely used collection of make up and decided that my ten year old foundation just wasn’t going to do. Thus, I decided to bite the bullet and visit Napoleon Perdis, where another skilled make up artist applied several layers of mysterious creams, powders and pencils to afford me the “no make up” make up look. Helpfully, they had written everything down but upon actually having to apply it, couldn’t remember what was bronzer, blush or eye highlighter. I brushed it all on nervously, hoping that nobody would notice my lack of finesse in the area and decided to team my freshly minted face with a little black dress – on the basis that it’s a safe bet for almost any event. Then I squashed my feet into a pair of matching black pumps and was on my merry way.

When I eventually found the ABC studios, I knew immediately that I’d nailed the dress code. Everyone was wearing black and wearing “no make up” makeup. I wiggled my toes in my shoes. Blood was still circulating. I was going to be fine. It was a privilege to interview Richard Fidler (ABC’s award winning Conversations with Richard Fidler), Trent Dalton (feature writer, The Australian) and Paula Doneman (crime reporter, Channel Seven). It was soon obvious that my interviewees possessed excellent communication styles which is a cornerstone of good journalism/feature writing – all of our conversations had me feeling relaxed within minutes and helped me forget that I was being filmed.

After my interviews,a panel discussion,chaired by Kay McGrath,ensued about the elements that are vital to a journalist’s craft. Sometimes I’m a bundle of nerves when I think about making this career change. However,the speakers were so relatable,I forgot my worries and instead enjoyed the stories they regaled us with, and the scrapes they found themselves in. Although I’ve never been shown a bullet making machine owned by Ivan Milat’s brother, nor been punched out at a bikie bar, I felt a sense of “maybe I can do this too”.

My trip back to pick up my car was another story. By 9pm my feet were howling in protest at the thought of being cooped up in high heels any longer and said shoes were hastily removed on my way out. I must have looked like a reveller who had too much of a good time as I traversed the Arbour walk at Southbank in bare feet. Time to make a note to practice journalism that shares the dress code of jeans and sneakers – a girl can hope!

Back next week with another training report if Battle on the Border is going ahead!

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