Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Is this the end????


For those of you who would like to follow Kipwil's adventures....you can find her new story here:


Come and Play with me!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Chapter 40: The Final Chapter or Graduation Weekend part 2

Kipwil woke confused at first, wondering where she was.  She blinked around the unfamiliar room and then suddenly remembered.  Today was the final workout and Finale party!  She smiled to herself and snuggled back under the covers.

When Mermaid Mel awoke, they dressed and wandered down the street to find a cafe for breakfast.  They had croissants and hot chocolate before separating....Mermaid Mel went to the movies and Kipwil ran the last few kilometres to the Brazillian Fields in Centennial Park.  As she got closer she could hear a familiar voice going through sound checks and Kipwil picked up speed.

As she rounded a bend, she saw a few tents set up in a row, with lots of blue volunteer shirts.  In the background was a stage and in front of the stage was  Queen Mish herself, wearing the Royal workout gear of black shirt and shorts.  She looked FANTASTIC in real life and Kipwil was even more determined in herself to work harder to look as fit and toned as Queen Mish.

Kipwil was dressed in her Camo gear to show which province of 12WBT land she was from.  She found several other camo tops and went over to introduce herself.  She was pleased to see so many!  Everyone was friendly and all got on like a house on fire.  Queen Mish finished her sound checks and came over to the tents for photos.

Kipwil scrabbled for her camera.
" Queen Mish, could I get a photo with you please?" Kipwil asked as people around were pushing to get photos too.
" Absolutely but it has to be quick, I've got to get back so we can get started!" Queen Mish smiled.

The call went out for all 12 WBTers to come to the field and they came in droves.  There were hundreds of men and women, all different shapes and sizes flooding into the field for the hour long workout.  It was a great feeling knowing every single person there knew what the last 12 weeks had been like, they had all experienced successes and failures and all picked themselves up and carried on.  The atmosphere was incredible, beyond description.  The closest Kipwil could think about it was it was as if the field was elctrified in a rainbow bubble of laughter and determination, and that the air felt as light as helium, holding everyone up so it felt as if you were working out suspended in space.  Just amazing.

The workout passed so quickly, Kipwil was surprised to learn an hour had passed....it had felt like they had just started.  The reality of this being the end of her stay in 12WBT was starting to sink in, and she felt a pang of grief. Don't spoil the day by sooking now Kipwil scolded herself and, mentally strengthening herself, she went off to find Mermaid Mel.

The two girls spent the afternoon looking through markets and having a glorious time just wandering.  When they went back to the Hotel, they spent some time tizzing themselves up and getting ready for the party at Fox Studios.  Nails were done, faces made up and Kipwil slipped on the dress she brought to wear....a black and red number which Kipwil was a little anxious about...it was shorter than how she normally wears skirts and it was RED!  You only live once Kipwil reasoned with herself and stepped out of the bathroom.

Mermiad Mel gave a cheeky whistle.

" It's not too short?" Kipwil asked laughing at Mermaid Mel.

" No!  You've got the legs for it, go for it!" Mermaid Mel laughed back.

After a pre party cocktail, the taxi arrived and dropped the girls off at the red carpet.  There were lots of people milling about, taking their turn to go in and be photographed.  At long last it was Kipwil and Mermaid Mel's turn.

The party was amazing.  So many people, champagne flowing freely, canapes circulating around, Kipwil and Mermaid Mel had a ball meeting other people and chatting away.  The awards for the evening were given out and Kipwil was so proud of all the winners....everyone had worked so hard.

But you know what?  Each and every one of us here have worked hard and I bet you we've all been told at least once that we are inspirational, Kipwil thoght to herself, gazing around at all the happy faces.

Kipwil and Mermaid Mel danced the night away and had a ball.

The next day, it was all over.  The end.  It was time to move out of 12WBT land and into a new adventure.  Kipwil wasn't sure she could do it alone, without Queen Mish beside her.  She thought about it all flight back to Hubba Hubba, full of what ifs, and I don't knows and a heart heavy with sadness. When the plane landed she thought she'd just ask to move back to 12 WBT for the next 12 weeks.

Hubba Hubba greeted her at the airport with a huge hug.

" I missed you so much!" he said to her, squeezing tightly.

" You too!  Hubba Hubba, how about we just go back to 12WBT?  I don't know if I can do this without Queen Mish." Kipwil blurted out, and went on telling him of what she was afraid of.

" Well, I KNOW we can do this on our own.  It is time to look for a new horizon babe." Hubba Hubba said. " And to prove it, I have a surprise for you..."

He led her to the car and told her to look closely at the number plate.

 " I LOVE IT!"  Kipwil squealed and laughing, threw her arms around Hubba Hubba yet again."When did you get this!"

" It's a gift for you babe, I'm so proud of what you have achieved over the past 12 weeks, I KNOW we can do this.  It's time to put what we learned into action.  Are you up for the challenge?" he asked Kipwil.

" Let's Just Freaking Do It"  Kipwil grinned back and they drove off to the next big adventure.

Thank you to all those who have stuck with the story of Living Life with Kipwil!  Here endeth the first book. I'd like to thank my family for their support, the Facebook community of 12 Week Body transformation for advice, laughs and support and most importantly, Michelle Bridges for putting together a program that WORKS!  If you would like to visit 12WBT land yourself, go to www.12wbt.com  and change your life.  You only get one so let's LIVE IT!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Chapter 39: Graduation Weekend Day 1

Kipwil could hardly sleep....she was flying out to Sydney in the early morning with Mermaid Mel and they had a huge list of things to do!  She tossed and turned, worried she'd forgotten to pack something and finally dozed off five minutes before the alarm went off.

As soon as Kipwil heard the radio, she leapt out of bed and raced to the shower.  Excitement in her was so strong, she was surprised there weren't little sparks coming off her.  Hubba Hubba, on the other hand, was less excited and looked a little sad.

' I love you.  I'm going to miss you." he said sadly.  Kipwil hugged him hard.

“ I’m going to miss you too.” She said, “ but it won’t be long.”

They drove to pick up Mermaid Mel, who had by special magical powers transformed her gorgeous shimmery fish tail into lovely legs.  Hubba Hubba, packed her bags into the car with Kipwil’s and away they went!
The flight to Sydney was uneventful, and in the shuttle bus to the Hotel, Kipwil watched all the different people go by.  It’s definitely a different town,  Kipwil thought, as she saw a man walk by in a red glitter bowler hat and tracksuit pants.

Kipwil had arranged to meet another friend in Sydney.  Her name was Ruby.  Ruby was petite but she was strong, both in mind AND in body.  Ruby was one of the people Kipwil knew who inspired her to keep going.
Ruby whizzed up to the Hotel where Kipwil and Mermaid Mel were staying in a sexy little Fiat.

“ Hello ladies!” she cried smiling, flinging open the door.” Shall we swim?”

Ruby negotiated the roads until they arrived at one of the most beautiful scenes Kipwil had ever seen.
There at her feet was a wide sandy white beach, dotted with umbrellas, lifeguard flags and people of all nationalities. Up above here was a clear blue sky with a warming sun burning away lazily.  Kipwil could hear the surf rolling on the rocks and could smell the salt water in the air. They had arrived at Bondi Beach.  

Mermaid Mel had wanted to swim in an ocean pool and Ruby had brought them to Icebergs at Bondi for a swim.  While Kipwil and Ruby changed into their togs in the changeroom, Mermaid Mel, through secret means, transformed her legs into her beautiful swishy tail again and was off in the water first.

Kipwil approached the water cautiously.  She was unused to swimming in salt water and this pool looked deep and big…..and it was FREEZING!  She took a deep gulp and pushed herself in.

The water was so cold it stole her breath away.  Kipwil tried to swim properly but found her body numbing and unresponsive to the commands to breathe, so she swam with her head out of the water . They did several laps before even Mermaid Mel had to admit defeat against the numbing cold of the water.  But what an experience!!!!  Swimming right beside the ocean, the waves crashing over every now and then was something Kipwil had never experienced before.  She could sit with her arms on the edge and look down across at Bondi beach itself….a perfect view.

Ruby had the brilliant idea of eating at the restaurant above the pool.  The girls quickly got dressed and found themselves up on a balcony in the sun, sipping beers and watching the ocean and the swimmers in the ocean pool below. Perfect view from the pool?  This one was better!!!! 

They enjoyed a gorgeous lunch of chicken and salad or lamb kebabs and salad before it was sadly time to go.

Back at the Hotel, Mermaid Mel and Kipwil tidied themselves up a little before heading out again.  They had another adventure tonight….climbing the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.

They arrived at the Bridge in plenty of time and met their guide Ben.  Kipwil also got to meet 10 other women who had been in 12 WBT land with her, she had seen them often on the communication screen but now it was in the flesh!  They all soon became good friends and it wasn’t long before the group was ushered into a dressing room.

Here, the group were given all in one jumpsuits to wear, with various tags hanging off it. They changed quickly and moved on to the next room to get the rest of their equipment.  A safety cable was latched on to the tag at their hip, as well as a pouch with a sweatshirt in it.  Kipwil had a special cable for her glasses attached to a tag at the back of her, a beanie attached also and sound equipment so they could hear the guide talking to them during the walk.  They had a practise run on how to walk with the safety cable and how to safely climb the ladders and then…..they were off.

The first part of the climb was easy, walking along metal paths attached to the underside of the bridge.  Ben joked with them all and told them lots of little trivia facts about the harbour and the bridge.  Everyone chatted as they walked and Kipwil could hardly wait to get right into it.  At last they reached the first of four ladders to take them up.

Once up, the path was in the open air and much wider and easier.  The climb itself, while appearing steep from the ground was not as steep as Kipwil had originally thought and the view….breathtaking.  Mermaid Mel and Kipwil entertained themselves as they climbed by waving at the party boats passing underneath and watching the sun set behind the bridge.  They spent some time at the top of the bridge, learning about the history, having pictures taken, watching the life on the harbour move from day to night, from business to party!  The dusk was beautiful and the moon, in her time, rose round and full, perfectly positioned between the two sides of the bridge. It was magical watching the lights of Sydney flare up in the dark and see what was once an expanse of concrete and building turn into a carnival of lights, everywhere you could see.

All too soon it was time to go down but there was one more surprise in store.

Beside the bridge was an old pub.  It was having a blast of a time judging from the music Kipwil and Mermaid Mel could hear as they approached.  They were amazed to see, once the pub came into view, there were hundreds of Santa Claus’ outside the pub, inside the pub, hanging off balconies, arriving in taxis. The group paused a moment to see the sight and Kipwil laughed.

Mermaid Mel said “LISTEN!  Do you want to dance?”

Michael Jackson’s music was playing…..don’t blame it on the sunshine, don’t blame it on the moonlight….. and Mermaid Mel and Kipwil grooved along to cheers from the Santa Claus’ and laughter from the climbing group.

And then…..it was over.  With aching legs Kipwil and Mermaid Mel made their way back to the Hotel and collapsed into bed.

 My legs are so sore…and I still have the graduation workout tomorrow! Kipwil thought sleepily and then her head was filled with dreams of moonrises and Santa dancers all swimming at Bondi beach.

Will Kipwil’s legs be alright for the workout tomorrow?  What will happen at the party?  Stay tuned for more pics!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Chapter 37: Saying goodbye.

At last the day had come.  Kipwil was about to fly out to the graduation workout and ceremony with Mermaid Mel. Her bags were packed and her belongings all boxed up waiting for the removalists.
“ Oh dear,” sniffed Nanny Nutrition,” Oh dear oh dear oh dear”

The recipes were all subdued, Kipwil was amazed there wasn’t even so much as a wriggle or hair pull from any of them.  The rest of the team stood by the packed boxes sadly.  Sergeant JFDI, Weekly Surprise, Cyril De Scales, Measuring Tape, Randy the Bike, even the stone grey man from the Mine of Need.  Kipwil looked at them all and took a deep breath.

“ My friends, you know I will miss you all so much.  I will miss living here so much. I don’t want it to end.  Queen Mish has been so generous and inspiring and she has changed my life….you all have.  She let me have one last wish before I left and I chose…….taking you all with me!  If you want to come that is!

Kipwil was met with stunned silence.  Then Weekly Surprise let out a loud triumphant trumpet sound, and the room erupted into excited chatter.  Even Sergeant JFDI unbent a little to crack a small relieved smile.  Measuring tape did continuous loop de loops in the air, Cyril kept bursting out with “My word, My word!” and the recipes went wild. Nanny Nutrition began crying again in earnest and flapped the sodden handkerchief in the air.

“ Ok!!!!” Kipwil shouted happily,” I take that as a yes?”

And each and every one of them yelled “YES

Now there was action a plenty.  The removalists were coming within the next 24 hours and Kipwil had collect Mermaid Mel from the river and be on a plane in less than that.  So much had to be packed!  So much to be organised!  Kipwil tried to help but Nanny shooed her away.

“ Dear, I know you mean well, but let us do the organising.  You have a workout to do, I’m sure” she said absentmindedly.

Kipwil smiled and went to The Workshop for the last 12 WBT fatburner class.  She knew wherever she went she would find another Workshop, very similar to this one and she could continue with Sergeant JFDI.  Hubba Hubba was going to be a huge help too soon.  He had taken some time to find out about trainer courses through the Fitness College and was keen to gain his qualification.

How far have we come? Kipwil wondered to herself as she made her way to the Workshop. Twelve weeks ago I was just wishing and watching, beating myself down and living every excuse in the book.  I never realised life could be so much FUN and colourful and full of so many things to do!!!  I have learned so many things, tried so many new things I never would have tried before. I am STRONG! WE are STRONG! She added thinking of Hubba Hubba and the children.

She turned to look back at her home for the past 12 weeks.

“ Goodbye home” she said quietly.  “I will miss you. I will miss chatting with Queen Mish.  I will miss your garden. But I have my team, and I have my memories.  I hope I can see you again one day.”

She turned and looked down the road towards the Workshop.

“ But now, let’s see what tomorrow brings!!!!

What will tomorrow bring?  What happens at the Graduation ceremony? How will this first book end?

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Chapter 36: The Final Fun run in 12 WBT

The day of the final fun run arrived.  It was a 10 Km run and Kipwil had the goal of achieving the run in under 1 hour.  But in the pre- dawn as she got ready to go to the start line with Hubba Hubba and the children her spirits sank. Kipwil could rain pounding on the roof and the wind blowing it up against the windows.  She hated running in the rain and it was so cold outside!

Sighing and thinking to herself,  Just Do It, Kipwil got into the car for the 40 minute drive to the Catani Gardens, a park set beside the beach in a place called St Kilda.  It was a beautiful place to see normally but in the dim light with the wind straight off the ocean, it was looking a little less than the sparkling jewel it usually was.  She shivered while she waited for the call to the start line.

Kipwil took her place on the start line and manoeuvred her way into the middle of the group.  At least it was warmer in there! The announcer was describing the course and Kipwil strained to listen.


Kipwil jogged a little up and down to get herself warm.  Well, do or die, she thought, I have set a goal and if I don’t achieve it, then I try again. The world will still turn after all!

A sudden surge forward indicated the race had started.  This race had an added bonus of having two special runners…..the Pacers.  These tall slender flags were marked with times such as 60 minutes and 90 minutes.  The Pacers were both a blessing and a curse to Kipwil.  She loved seeing them behind her but every time someone would pass her on her run, she would think it was a pacer and she was falling behind.  Kipwil spotted the 60 minute Pacer running easily up ahead.

I have to get past her and stay in front thought Kipwil determinedly.

It took a few minutes but Kipwil weaved and ran, dodged other slower runners and darted between groups of chatters until she was level with the Pacer.  She put on a little controlled surge and took the lead.
Now to keep it! She thought and pushed a little harder.

Kipwil made the first turn several metres in front of the Pacer.  The wind hit her full in the face and she felt like she was running on the spot.  Gritting her teeth she pushed harder against the wind and took advantage of every lull, few though they were, in between. 

As she ran, Kipwil could hear cheery music.  A band had set up and was playing some cool jazz to soothe their hot minds!  Kipwil applauded them as she went by and her spirits felt lighter.

The kilometre markers were not backwards in their excitement either.  As Kipwil passed each one, the Marker would clap, or cheer, or call out encouragement.  Each voice uplifted her tired mind and let fresh power flow to her legs so she could keep up the pace she had set for herself.  She saw Hubba Hubba clapping as she went past, and she smiled between puffs.

At last!  The final turn was ahead.  Kipwil could see the ocean in front of her and the clouds parted, making the water sparkle as if it had been sprinkled with the stars from the night before. The fresh sea air filled her lungs, making her feel strong and she picked up speed. She turned to see if she could find the Pacer but the Pacer was nowhere to be found.  Kipwil had the unsettling thought that the Pacer had passed her while she was focusing on just running. A little jolt of adrenaline hit and she picked up a little speed, trying to find the Pacer.

She ran, on and on.  Feet pounding rhythmically, chest heaving in time, her breath coming in regular bursts and her mind joined in with “ You can do this You can do this You can do this”  Kipwil wiped the sweat off her face and remembered how she was taught to breathe in yoga class.  She slowed her breathing down and could feel the oxygen flowing through to her tired muscles.

And then she was there…the finish line!  It was just up ahead!!  Kipwil surged forward and pumped her arms as hard as they would go she past4,5, 6 runners in the last 20 metres of the fun run and triumphantly flung her arms up as she crossed the line.  She quickly looked at the time…

54 mins 47 seconds!!!!  SHE HAD DONE IT!!!!  Hubba Hubba appeared with a bottle of water for her.
“ Babe, I’m so proud of you, you did it!  I am so proud of your running.  You inspire me.”  he said giving her a huge hug.   

Kipwil’s children appeared. “ Yay Mum!” they shouted and threw their arms around her in a huge group hug.  Kipwil smiled all the way down the inside to her toes.

It is good to be alive she thought as she squeezed right back.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Chapter 35: The beginning of the end.

It was a sunny day amd Kipwil longed to go out for an afternoon run.  She had her workout with Sergeant JFDI that morning and the endorphins had definitely worn off.  She sat forlornly, surrounded by boxes and used tissues....Nanny's used tissues.

Nanny Nutrition, Sergeant JFDI and Weekly Surprise were watching Kipwil packing her belongings.  It was the end of her time in 12WBT land.  After the Graduation ceremony, Kipwil was out looking for new horizons.  Nanny sobbed loudly but in a ladylike manner into a succession of limp and overused tissues.  Sergeant JFDI stood stiffly, a muscle twitching in his jaw every now and then.  Weekly Surprise slumped on the table, glitter pooling around her feet and a sad little music box tune emanated from her.

" Come on guys," said Kipwil, sniffing a little herself, " this isn't helping."

" No no, you are quite right dear.  I do apologise.  Come come Sergeant and Weekly, we must leave Kipwil in peace."  snuffled Nanny Nutrition, ending in a sob. She turned and, with Sergeant JFDI's arm around her shoulders, they left the room.

Weekly Surprise flitted wanly near Kipwil.

" Don't forget, your last tasks Kipwil.  Final weigh in, measurements and fitness test. I am going to miss you so so so so so so much."  The little envelope struggled to smile.

"I'm going to miss you too," Kipwil replied lightly hugging Weekly Surprise.  She had to hide a smile that even in the depths of despair, Weekly Surprise still found a way to be enthusiastic in her own misery. 

Kipwil watched Weekly Surprise float away.  

RIGHT! thought Kipwil I've had enough of this.  Lets do the fitness test. I'll weigh in  tomorrow morning.

Kipwil pulled on her uniform and her joggers and was out the door and down to the testing ground in a flash.

Stopclock smiled as much as his serious demeanor would allow.

"Welcome to your Final Test, Kipwil." he said deeply.

" Stopclock, I want to say thank you.  It has been a pleasure working with you!" smiled Kipwil and she flung her arms around his thick stony trunk.

"AHEM!  We should start." tolled Stopclock, a hint of embarrassment colouring his words.

Kipwil went through her paces. Push ups in a minute, sit ups, wall sits, flexibility test and the 1 Km time trial.  She was pleased with her results.  34 pushups on her toes in one minute, more than her first attempt 12 weeks ago which was 24 on her knees. Wall sit was  58 seconds,  her first attempt was 38 secs, flexibility test scored 15 cms, her original was 8 cms .  And her time trial.....that was completed in 4 mins 31 a whole 1 min 47 secs more than her first fitness test!!! She was very happy to see those results inscribed on the wall at home, and when it was bedtime, she was still smiling.  She reviewed her Goal map.  Against each mark for 3 months, was a neat spot, indicating achievement.  I've gone from avoiding goals to setting and achieving them! she said to herself amazed.

Day dawned in the usual way and Kipwil woke up full of energy.  She ran into the bathroom to find Cyril De Scale wiping his eyes in the mirror.

" Cyril!" Kipwil cried, concerned," what is the matter?"

" Nothing!  Nothing is the matter!  I momentarily was inconvenienced by a speck of dust in my eye.  Now quickly please, I haven't all day, it is final results time."  Cyril snapped and irritably settled himself on the floor.

Kipwil stepped on lightly and almost held her breath, waiting for the result.

" 48.5 kilograms.  Original weight 55.9 kilograms.  Kipwil, you have lost a total of 7.4 kilograms, 13.2 % weight loss. Congratulayay-AY-AY"  Cyril informed and ended in a wail.

" I will never see you again!  We will be parted forever!  Kipwil, you can jump on me all you like!  How will I ever face Weigh in Wednesdays without you!"  he shrieked in his grief, tears squeezing out of every possible crevice.

Kipwil knelt down gently and wiped his face clear.

" Cyril, you have been a huge part of my team.  I am so grateful to have had you here.  Thank you, for everything." she said quietly, dropping a light kiss on his brow.

They were interrupted by the measuring tape, fluttering in and around them, binding them all together in a group hug on the bathroom floor.  Kipwil giggled and squeezed them both.

" Let's get measuring!" she said smiling again.

The tape flitted here, measured there and flew around in circles until Kipwil was dizzy.  The final results were recorded as this.

CHEST          W1 88.5 cm    W12   81 cms
WAIST           W1  76           W12   68.5
HIPS               W1  87.5        W12   81
L THIGH        W1  45           W12   47
R THIGH         W1  44.5       W12   47
L ARM            W1   29         W12   27
R ARM            W1  30          W12   27.5

Total centimetres lost : 21.5 cms

The tape flew around Kipwil once and then hovered in the air in front of her, making a heart shape.  Kipwil grinned.

" Thank you, I love you too," she said and blew the tape a kiss.  As if blown by her breath, it twisted in the air and flew out the bathroom door.

The last thing to do was her before and after pictures.  This was displayed on her results wall, front and centre,  Kipwil was amazed at what she saw.

The rainbow screen flickered to show Queen Mish's face  smiling out and her hands applauding Kipwil.

" Well Done!!!  Look at you!!" she exclaimed!  " Kipwil you have done well, I am blown away by your pics and by the other before and after pics I've been seeing.  I am so proud of you all!"

Kipwil was surprised to see a tear in Queen Mish's eye.

" Kipwil, the graduation ceremony is coming up but I will speak with you before then.  I know you have one more fun run to do and I look forward to hearing about that one!  Now I must go find myself a dress for the party!  I can't wait to see you! " Queen Mish went on.

Kipwil smiled. It felt good to have her efforts appreciated, by the woman who inspired her to start this life changing event.

" I owe you so much Queen Mish, " Kipwil said seriously," It's not just my health thats changed but so much more.  My confidence is better, my mind is stronger and healthier, you have shown me I can do it and I can do it well.  The lessons I learned here are lessons that can be placed in every single part of my life to make a change for the better.  I cannot tell you how much that means to me."

Queen Mish put both her hands over her eyes and wiped. " Kipwil, you are amazing.  All my 12 WBTers are amazing.  I learn just as much from you all as you learn from me.  I hope you will come and stay with me again one day. But I will leave you with a gift....you may choose whoever you like from your team to join you in your new life.  It may be one or all, but you decide."

" I'll take them ALL!" Kipwil exclaimed, her heart suddenly much lighter. " I can't wait to tell them!"

" Well, I think you ought to tell Nanny Nutrition first, before she dehydrates from fluid loss!" Queen Mish laughed.

And with that the screen faded, leaving Kipwil sitting deep in thought on the floor.

What's the last funrun?  What will happen at the graduation ceremony?  Stay tuned!!!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Chapter 34: Another day, another run.....

Kipwil had signed up for a challenge of three races of 12.7 Km each.  She had run two of these, up the Hill of Heroics, improving on her time each race.  Now it was time for the third and last race.

The night before, rain flooded down from the sky, lightning flashed and thunder grumbled.  Kipwil was worried.

" Hubba Hubba, is it going to rain tomorrow?  I hate running in the rain...my glasses fog up and I can't see where I'm going!" said Kipwil as they sat together on the couch watching TV.

" I don't know, do you want to cancel?" Hubba Hubba replied.

" No", said Kipwil firmly," I said I'd do it and I will.  I'll wear my new JFDI hat and the Vic crew uniform shirt, that should help keep the rain out of my eyes at least."

The day dawned gloomily and threateningly.  Kipwil kept casting glances to the sky as they drove to the starting line.  It was surprisingly empty.  A tree next to the river start line noticed Kipwil and her family standing looking lost. It shivered and out of the trunk stepped a gnarled figure of a man, small and knotty.  His hair and eyes were a living brown colour, his skin and clothes, he was a picture of every shade of brown you could think of, but glimmering with contained power of life. It was a tree spirit, known to help those lost in the bush and in need.  kipwil had no idea why it was here in the city so far from home but she was glad to see him.

" The track has been flooded, the Hill of Heroics cannot be negotiated" it crackled to her in a dry whispery voice.

" Oh no!!! Has the race been cancelled then?" exclaimed Kipwil.

" The race is still being held, but you must walk further along the path to the Great Garden.  There the race will be run." crinkled the whispery voice again.

" Thank you," said Kipwil bowing deeply.

The tree spirit bowed just as deeply in reply and stepped back into the trunk of the ageing tree.

Kipwil and her family found her way to the start line.  The race would now be run in three laps around  the Great Garden, an area set aside in the city as a refuge for people and animals alike, to relax and restore themselves in the deep shade of the towering trees or to lie on the soft green grasses near ornamental lakes.  There was one problem though.  The Great Garden was famous for an obstacle much harder than the Hill of Heroics, in fact it went by a completely different name....Runner's Hell.  Four hundred metres of hill ascending steeper than Kipwil had ever run before, it sucked the will and strength out of many runners attempting it.

Kipwil took her place and was soon running when the starters gun went off.

At first the run was pleasant, no rain, shady trees and the fresh green smell that plants have early in the morning filled the air.  She rounded a corner and was faced with Runner's Hell.  She gritted her teeth and ran all the way up, reaching the top gasping for air.

One down, 2 more times to go Kipwil thought determinedly.

On the second lap, Runner's Hell started to exact its toll on Kipwil.  She was gasping when she reached the top and her legs felt rubbery.  Her neck muscles had begun cramping and the pain was intense. Kipwil tried stretching the muscles as she ran but to no avail, soon her neck felt like it was frozen facing forward. It caused far too much pain to try and turn it.

She wanted to give up, how could she do that ascent again in this pain?  She could feel it throbbing in her ears.  Kipwil steeled her mind and with tears slowly tracing and drying on her cheeks she kept on running.

The thrid time up Runner's Hell, Kipwil was barely jogging.  Her feet shuffle ran upwards her eyes cast downwards, her chest screaming in pain.

I could walk faster than this she thought and nearly stopped.

NO!!!! I WILL NOT LET THIS BEAT ME! It might be the slowest run in the world but I WILL RUN IT! were her next LOUDER thoughts.  Kipwil pushed herself hard and with every muscle in her body screaming.....she finally reached the top.

The rest of the final lap was easier, but still a struggle.  The pain in her neck muscles lessened and Kipwil was able to focus more on her breathing.  She noticed the gnomes popping up everywhere with their cameras and was finally able to take the time to appreciate the beauty around her, the fact it hadn't rained,  the determination and positivity in the other runners and the rhythm of her breathing.  A final sprint to the end and she was DONE!

" Well Done Babe!!!" shouted Hubba Hubba as he approached the finish line, Kipwil's children throwing themselves on her for sweaty hugs.

" Oh Hubba Hubba, I am so sore, my neck" she said her eyes filled with pain.

Hubba Hubba immediately began gently massaging the steel out of her neck and she was gradually able to turn her head more freely and with much much less pain.

" That was a great time" Hubba Hubba said to her as she began to relax. " You beat the old time again....1 hr 11 minutes this time!"

" I can't believe it, I thought I had stuffed it up completely," Kipwil smiled,"I can't believe I reached my goal and now I can relax"

" Only until next week, " Hubba Hubba grinned at her, " you have a measly little 10 Km run next week"

" Easy peasy," said Kipwil as she relaxed into his arms. " Easy Peasy Japaneezy"

What else is in store for Kipwil in her final week here in 12 WBT land? Wait and see......