Bondi to Bluff - 5 years later Wayne's story

Hi crew, Hope you are all well. It’s the start of December again which means it’s Bondi to Bluff anniversary time! This year’s update pretty much sees my journey come full circle. Let me explain…

Back in 2009, just after my injury, I was told two things which felt absolutely overwhelming at the time. 1. The first was my physio saying “You are going to need to be stronger for the rest of your life than you ever have been in your life previously”, 2. The second was my spinal surgeon saying “The best-case scenario you can hope for is to be somewhere near to your previous capabilities outside of ten years from now”. Considering I was in agony, only mobile in a wheelchair and couldn’t reach down far enough to touch my knees, it’s fair to say I didn’t see any of this being possible…..

So, here’s the current state of things.

I mentioned last year that I had partnered up with Adam Bryant from TSN Total Sports and Nutrition to try and build some strength and sort out my nutrition. Well I’ve continued with that program and now I am able to squat 120kg and deadlift over 135kg. I find my self pretty much pain free and can still hear my old physio’s words everyday that I don’t feel like heading to the gym. I can’t see an end to the strength program, but if heading to the gym 4-5 times a week affords me a ‘normal’ life, then sign me up!

Also, last November I was picked up by Virgin Australia’s maintenance provider (Virgin Tech) as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer contractor to work on a project for eighteen months which saw me re-enter the work force. Well during this year, I completed a Boeing type course on Virgin’s Boeing 737 fleet and regained my position as a Licence Maintenance Engineer that I had held with QANTAS before my injury. I was issued my approval to certify for maintenance in September and have just secured a job in Virgin’s Central Control Centre in their Brisbane headquarters. My new role is a permanent position with Virgin Australia and is as a Maintenance Watch Engineer.

I find it amazing that the current situation is what it is and I’m not quite sure how it all happened. I know that I am tremendously fortunate that my injury didn’t end my life. I prefer to say that it merely only paused it and gave me time to focus on many different things that I had NEVER considered. Receiving from others instead of giving, learning how to ask for help, learning how to focus in order to achieve goals that seem absolutely impossible, the value of patience and calmness, the strength to never give up when the odds seem hopeless and most importantly how valuable my time is with my family.

So many ‘silver linings’ have come from 2 seconds of violence and I’m definitely a different person today. The guy that raced boats with you all never made it off the beach that day. Despite seemingly having lost so much, the gains from overcoming and allowing myself to live with my limitations have seen a change in my mindset that sees me appreciate life so much more than ever. I can’t say I’d do it all over again, but I’m happy to have gained the perspective that I currently have in my life, despite the way I came to it.

As I said last year, the challenges and sacrifices you all made in 2014 are not forgotten. You all still inspire me to keep putting in and to keep striving every day to be the best possible version of myself. It would be so easy to stop and give in, but knowing that you all gave so much for us keeps that urge at bay.

Love to you all and best wishes for Christmas from Linda and myself.

Kind regards, Wayne.

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