By day, Karolyn Menzies is a mild-mannered accountant. On days off she is a passionate SES volunteer and now a keen cyclist.
After being caught up in the passion, atmosphere and camaraderie of Cardiac Challenge as an SES volunteer four years ago, Karolyn has taken the plunge and will be donning the lycra as a cyclist this year.
“I was an escort vehicle driver for pack 12 and the riders in that pack were absolutely amazing … just to see every day people, some of them were older than me, just keep going to reach their goal. On the last day some of the gun riders from the packs up the front came back and helped push them along, that willingness to help was really moving, I still get emotional when I think about it.”
Encouraged and inspired by her friend, colleague and keen cyclist Joanne Johnstone, Karolyn has been steadily increasing her cycling training with an “L” plate firmly in place on her new pushie.
“I'd been thinking about it for a long time, then Joanne got a bunch of us riding to work, so I said ‘Right, I'm going to do it’ (Cardiac Challenge),” the 57-year-old said.
Ms Menzies has been following the Cardiac Challenge training program – doing stationary bike work in the gym, RPM classes and road riding. “I hadn't been on a bicycle for 45 years and found that the saying ‘You never forget how to ride a bike', is not right – I did,” she laughed.
“My confidence on a moving bicycle is improving and when I look back to January when I started training, I can see the progress I've made. I'm wearing clothes I haven't worn for five years and my legs are much stronger. My GP was thrilled with the improvement in my blood pressure. My back is not as sore as it is when I just sit at a desk. The recommended stretching and massage helps a lot too. I firmly believe fitness drives prevention of all kinds of chronic diseases and I think the Cairns Cardiac Unit is a great cause.”
FNQHF Fundraising and Marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said Karolyn was a fabulous example of the “every day people” she referred to, making a difference to not only challenge herself and improve her personal fitness, but doing her bit to fundraise for local cardiac services.
Every dollar raised by Cardiac Challenge participants goes to local cardiac services.
Cardiac Challenge is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland as part of a dynamic calendar of events throughout the state.
For further information, to register to ride or donate, visit cardiacchallenge.com.au
Back to all news