My message to a troll

“Hooray she can do a burpee but what kind of person ties their hair in pigtails with ribbons in it? I’d rather have a brain” 

This was a comment I found in an online magazine article relating to this photo.

Now usually I don’t care what people have written because:

  1. I don’t want to waste time reading about what other people think of me.
  2. I don’t care what other people think of me.

However, this is one I’d like to respond to, as this photo reminds of this day, and..

This day was AMAZING!

I’d love the opportunity to sit down with the person who wrote that comment and tell them all about it.

I’d love to describe to them how it makes you feel inside when you do something for someone else.

I’d love to tell them how this in turn enabled me to create my own business, work from home and spend more time with my children.

I’d love to tell them how deciding to wear my hair in pigtails with blue butterflies in it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made….

BUT…. I have no idea who the person is.

Instead I’m going to tell the story here, assume they’ll read it and their lives are instantly filled with happiness and my job is done.

I shall title my story:

“The day I decided to wear my pyjama bottoms, tie my hair in pigtails with blue butterfly ribbons and do 300 burpees”

It was 2014 (I think) and someone tagged me in a FB post that was advertising an event in King George Square in Brisbane City the following day.

This was a promotional event for Spartan Race Australia and included a 300 burpee challenge where you could win all sorts of great prizes.

Initially I wasn’t interested.

I’d have to arrange kids, travel during peak hour, I had never done 300 burpees in a row… and a lot of other excuses.

Then someone else tagged me in the same FB post and it got me thinking:

Here was an opportunity to be public in King George Square in the middle of Brisbane. It was being heavily promoted, there would be a lot of media attending and this was the PERFECT opportunity to raise awareness for autism.

Now you may be thinking:

“What has 300 burpees got to do with autism?”

…and that is a very valid point.

However, my daughter had recently been diagnosed with autism and I was now on the board of directors for an autism charity… and it just so happened that we had just been discussing how we were going to raise funds for the charity.

I decided to do it.

Since the event was the following day, I didn’t have a lot of time to plan, so this ended up being my plan:

  • Get a tupperware container to collect donations.
  • Make a handwritten sign stating: “I’M RAISING AWARENESS FOR AUTISM”.
  • Tie my hair in pigtails with ribbons to stand out.
  • Find the organisers and tell them what I was doing.

Not the greatest plan, but I had enthusiasm to make up for the lack of … everything it was lacking.

As I was leaving the next morning, my daughter decided she didn’t like the red bows I had in my hair – she wanted me to wear the blue ones (in the photo) as they had butterflies on them and she was going through a butterfly stage.

Since she was the reason behind this whole exercise, I changed the bows to the blue ribbons…that hung down to my shoulders … which in hindsight was a very bad move when you’re going to be doing 300 burpees!

I caught the train in to the city by myself, planning to arrive an hour early because I knew the organisers would be there without many other people around.

Sitting on the train I text my brother:

“I’m on my way into the city to do 300 burpees and now I’m having second thoughts.”


“Because I haven’t even trained for this event and I don’t even know if I can do 300 burpees”

“You will…..Is anyone else going in with you?”

“No, everyone’s working………”

I arrived in the city an hour early and walked to King George Square. Within 5 mins I’d noticed a girl who looked as though she was doing a lot of organising. I went over and introduced myself to her and low and behold, she’s one of the part owners of Spartan Australia! I told her my story and she asked me to find her following the event so she could introduce me to another one of the owners.

Brilliant start to the day.

Eventually all the participants pile into the burpee arena and we’re away.

I have positioned myself to one side so I can be close to my tupperware container and people can see me.

As I’m burpeeing away I can hear people calling out to me

“Go the blue ribbons”

…and I can see people donating money.

I was feeling great!!!

Until about 200 burpees in … and then I didn’t feel so great.

My legs hurt, my back hurt, the bloody ribbons were annoying the hell out of me… and then I hear:

“Just remember who you’re doing this for.”

I looked across and it was my brother!

He’d travelled in all this way just for me and to offer his support. I almost started crying.

I made it through those last 100 burpees (mainly because I didn’t want him to see me fail) and I felt on top of the world!

Following the presentations, my new friend introduced me to her business partner and we spoke about the autism charity I was working with.

After 10 – 15 mins they then asked if we’d like to be the official charity for their next big Spartan event!!!

This eventually led to a couple of thousand dollars being raised which went directly to the autism charity and passed on to families to subsidise early intervention therapies (and let’s not forget the $70 odd dollars from my tupperware container that also contributed to that).

Not only was this great for the charity but I also benefited from the experience.

This photo went into several magazines, my social media lit up and people started asking questions about health, fitness and diet.

It all had a ripple effect in raising awareness of who I was, what I had to offer and eventually enabling me to leave the Police Service and focus on my business as a full time job.

But the BEST part of the day was…

My brother!

He always has the right words. He’s always there when it matters most and he always puts family before all else.

I was absolutely blown away that he’d sacrificed his morning just to support me, because he knew the reason why I was doing it.

So there you have it my little friend out there in cyber space.

I hope you read this and are now feeling all warm and fuzzy inside like I am.

I want to thank YOU for reminding me of this amazing day and the amazing opportunities it created.

I’ll even leave you with a few take away points:

  • Positive actions ALWAYS create positive consequences (maybe not immediately, but eventually).
  • Amazing things happen when you venture out of your comfort zone.
  • Family is everything.
  • It’s “their hair” not “there hair” I fixed the punctuation for you.

You’re welcome 🙂

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