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Team Consano explore new frontiers at GWM Ironman 70.3 in 2023!

The start of December at Consano represented an exciting new venture for our close-knit team, as Jocelyn, Malina and I travelled to beautiful Busselton in the south-west of Western Australia to compete in the GWM Ironman 70.3 event.  This well-organised triathlon includes a 1.9km swim, 90km cycle and 21.1km run.  The reflections by our team on this event, inspired me greatly, and I carry this energy and openness into the New Year as we seek to expand our place of healing at Consano.

Jocelyn:

Why did I choose to participate?

Swimming almost 2km in the ocean is something I never thought I would do – I’ve never done an ocean swim before. Since having my two daughters I felt like I was on the sideline when it came to ‘active fun’. My back and pelvis were too sore, I felt too weak, I couldn’t run, jump, and play. The pain was a physical and mental barrier, and I took on the role of observer on the sideline. My daughters would even say to others that ‘mum is too sore to play’. And it broke my heart, but I just accepted it.

My journey at Consano has immersed me in an environment where I am supported to build and expand my emotional and physical capacity, not just accept that I ‘can’t do’ certain things anymore. This opportunity gave me a tangible goal to work towards, with two inspiring humans by my side.

I also wanted my daughters to see their mum taking on a challenge, not on the sidelines, working hard to achieve a goal and no longer making excuses.

What was my most significant learning from this event?

My main challenge was putting aside the excuses that have been my safety blanket for so long and just doing what I had to do.

I learned that I was already so much more capable than I thought. I swam 1.9km in 43 minutes, a good 10 minutes faster than I thought I would. I was tired, but also felt I still had more in the tank. I do feel I held back a bit because I thought I would be in pain and fatigued afterwards. But I wasn’t. That truly surprised me in the most wonderful way. It was a significant reminder of how far I have come in the last year, emotionally and physically.

 

Would I do this again, and why?

Yes!! I’ve achieved my goal of simply crossing the finish line, but there’s definitely room for growth. I want to finish in under 40 minutes, go harder, feel stronger.

I also feel that as a team we have unfinished business – I’m looking forward to all three of us crossing the finish line next year.

 

Malina:

Why did I choose to participate?

When Alison asked if I would like to participate in this event doing the cycle leg I don’t think I paused before saying yes, but the yes was laced with doubt at my ability to do this. It had been 10 years since I’d cycled 90km.

I was looking for a reason to get back on my bike. One of my favourite possessions, it had carried me thousands and thousands of kilometres as I pushed and sweated. It came with me from Kalgoorlie to Perth three years ago despite selling or giving away most of my belongings.  It has sat in my house waiting for me all that time.  What better reason could I have to get back on my bike than to participate in this event with two of the most wonderful women I know.  I was getting back on my bike a vastly different person emotionally, mentally and physically than the ‘me’ of ten years ago.

What was my most significant learning from this event?

I learned a few wonderful and difficult lessons from this event.

First, it is possible to find the time to physically challenge yourself.  When there is a will and you have support, there is a way.  Not only is it possible, but it is also important to reconnect with the things you love, and to continue to make time for them in your life.  I had quite forgotten the feeling of riding fast down a hill in the early morning air; the feeling of freedom, speed, strength – complete joy.

I also learned that it just takes a moment of not being in your body, a moment of distraction and things can change.  I broke my foot the night before the event and I was unable to ride the next day, I was devastated.  I felt disappointed, angry, sad.. and reflective. I also felt very loved and supported.  I think if there’s two people you want on your team when something like that happens, it’s Jocelyn and Alison.

The most important lesson I am continuing to learn from my experience is to slow down and ask for help. This is an ongoing physical and emotional challenge for me.

I feel so proud to be a part of Team Consano, proud of Jocelyn and Alison’s achievements, proud of my own.

Would I do this again, and why?

I think Jos summed it up nicely, the unfinished business.  I would love to cross the finish line in 2024 as part of Team Consano.

 

Alison:

Why did I choose to participate?

When I first heard about this event, it was relatively close – just a few months away.  I suggested it to our team, knowing Jocelyn had been a swimmer and Malina had been a cyclist – both some years past.  I was delighted when they both agreed to join me in doing this half ironman, as I thought it would be a new and profound experience for our team.  I presented the idea knowing it would challenge us all – Jocelyn to get back in the pool, and Malina to get back on her bike – and myself, to open to a new experience of ‘team’.  This was my first triathlon, having previously only run solo.  For the three of us, it also presented one of the great challenges faced by all working mums – making it all work!  Being there for our kids, and all the logistics of day-to-day life; being present at work; fitting in training to extend our physical capacity; and opening up to the emotional challenges in all of the above.

What was my most significant learning from this event?

At the start of 2023 I had excitedly set out to expand Consano as a place of pelvic health healing, with these two women by my side.  Then what I seemed to observe over time, was contraction, as members of our team came and went.  It was confusing, frustrating and at times, very stressful.  Now, on reflection, what I can see is that the expansion was within us, our core team.  The three of us rose to the challenges that came our way during the year, as we opened up to feeling the lows as well as the highs, and continued to ‘walk’ together.  We built capacity in this way – by opening up and feeling.  I already knew I worked with two incredible women – intelligent, dedicated, passionate, healthy – are words that come to mind.  What I learned after this challenging half ironman event, the ‘icing on the cake’ in 2023, is that our capacity is greater than any of us knew.  We have grown, we have expanded, and that is ongoing.  I also learned that I am not alone as I carry our Consano vision forward into 2024.  I am part of a team.

Would I do this again, and why?

Running this distance is never easy for me, and yet I keep going back for more!  I find that I face significant physical, mental and emotional challenges in every long distance run.  I  also find this to be the most wonderful opportunity for growth and learning.  When I run I am challenged to explore pain on every level, and have changed my relationship to pain in this way. On a daily basis I encourage patients to open up to feeling their bodies, including their pain.  I am committed to the idea that humans need to feel, to heal.  With this in mind, and with a supportive, energetic, passionate team, I am curious to see what we can achieve as we approach this event together again in 2024. Bring it on.

I’m also really looking forward to seeing Malina ride like the wind 🙂

All about breastfeeding

In November, both Alison and Malina attended Abreast conference at the University of Western Australia (UWA).  Abreast is a one-day showcase of research presentations exploring breastfeeding in many of it’s wondrous facets.  Topics were broadly categorised into milk production, mastitis, milk composition and outcomes.  This year’s conference opening also marked the opening of the Centre for Human Lactation Research and Translation at UWA – a world-leading centre of excellence for breastfeeding research.  Consano is proud to have sponsored this conference.   We are grateful to have benefited over many years from the translation of this quality research into our clinical practice – helping women at the coalface, to work their way through breastfeeding challenges.  A few take-home ‘nuggets’ that stayed with us:

-colostrum IS breast milk!  So often we hear about waiting for a woman’s milk to ‘come in’ after she has first birthed her baby.  However as Professor Valerie Verhasselt (UWA and Telethon Kids Institute) shared passionately with us all, this beautiful protein-rich fluid is the FIRST milk, and is the ideal ‘body-builder’ nutrition for newborn babies!

-a mother’s own milk is the best nutrition for preterm babies, and is unique for each baby.  Dr Marie Bendix Simonsen (University of Southern Denmark) made a case for antenatal expression of colostrum to facilitate feeding of preterm babies immediately post-birth, where their mothers may not otherwise be able to provide this valuable source of nutrition.

-a new point-of-care breastmilk testing device may help better target treatment for mastitis.  As Melbourne physiotherapist Emma Heron (UWA and Curtin University) completes her PhD we will hear more about this interesting device which easily measures both sodium and potassium concentrations in breastmilk, to determine the presence of mastitis in breastfeeding women.

-over the past century most of the research into lactation and breastmilk has been in cows, due to the importance of milk production in this industry.  Dr Luoyang Ding (UWA) explored whether we can transfer some of the research findings from low milk supply in cattle, to humans.  Watch this space!

 

 

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Our name CONSANO is the latin word for ‘to cure, heal, remedy and restore’.

This is the essence of what we do.
We use our specialised pelvic health physiotherapy training and our unique holistic approach to cure, heal, remedy and restore the pelvic health of our patients

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