Personal Development

My Greatest Personal Challenge To Date

It seems only fitting that my 100th post on Buzzing with Ange is to share with you my greatest personal challenge to date. Seeing as this blog is about personal development, it is important that I let you in on how my journey is progressing and some of the challenges that I take on. I am involved with a fitness group who have organised to trek the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea in June of this year.

For Australians, this is the setting of an extremely difficult time during World War II where we lost the most number of diggers – 6000, in the shortest space of time – 7 months. The Aussie soldiers held the Japanese back from taking Port Moresby by land, retreating many times and firing back to exhaust the Japanese soldiers into re-thinking their strategy which saw them file back to the Northern part of the Island.

The Kokoda Trail is a single file footpath that stretches for 96 kilometres (about 60 miles) in a north/south direction, straight across the Owen Stanley ranges in Papua New Guinea. My good Aussie mate Allan and I will be combining our efforts to bring you some history of the Kokoda Trail, along with the training I am undertaking and most importantly, the mindset behind taking on such a feat.

Choosing to Trek Kokoda Trail

This is not a decision I made lightly and for those that know me on a personal level would know that I am not the kind of girl to get my hands dirty, camping and hiking in the outback is not something I do on a regular basis as I am a creature of comforts and I really, really like hot showers, clean toilets, meals cooked in a clean kitchen and a comfy bed with a cozy doona/comforter to snuggle into. So, do you think I am going to have to have a paradigm shift in order to get through this challenge and change my mindset around creature comforts? I think it will open up new possibilities for me in the way I perceive things, and I will definitely be in need of a Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel on this trip.

Kokoda Memorial 1000 Steps

1000steps-signSaturday just gone was our first official training day as a group and I was whisked off to the Dandenong Ranges here in Melbourne to climb the 1000 steps which are part of the Kokoda memorial. I didn’t count them as I was too busy trying to catch my breath. I have plenty of work to do on my fitness level in preparation for this adventure so stick with me and I will give updates on my progress.

I will leave you with a sample of what I am to expect once we land in Port Moresby… tell me your thoughts and if someone here has already taken this challenge on, please share your experience. There are many expeditions organised on regular basis through various companies.

Kokoda Adventure Video

EDIT: Thought I would add the links to my story as this post does get a bit of traffic.

My Excellent Kokoda Adventure Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

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40 comments to “My Greatest Personal Challenge To Date”

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  1. Spectrum108 says: March 5, 2008 at 1:24 am

    Hi Ange, this seems quite a challenge. I wish you well and much success! Do prepare for the stamina test though, so things go smoothly for you. I hope you’re being assisted with that. Always ask professionals for help. That’s what they’re for.

    One other spin off benefit is, you’ll be better prepared for 2012!


  2. Hi Ange,

    The hesitation to leave your comfort zone may be an indication of the hard wiring of your sub-conscious. The challenge this urge to be comfortable and go full speed ahead towards an expected rustic environment is a necessary first step in re-wiring your mind set. However, if your perception is that you’re willing to “sacrifice” so that you can experience and apply what you learned ; then it defeats the purpose.

    Knowing is an intellectual adventure, learning is an experiential adventure. In both instances, the mind should openly embrace the adventure to internalize and become the changed (re-wired) person. If in the back of your mind you see it as a sacrifice, you will embrace the adventure with the hardship which would erode its power and value in your sub-conscious.

    To set your mind on the experiential adventure, this could help: where ever you are, whoever you’re with, whatever you’re doing, find the fun in it, and focus on the fun of the adventure. Good luck! –Durano, done!

    Durano Lawayan’s last blog post..China’s Colossal Capabilities

  3. NextInstinct says: March 5, 2008 at 10:42 am

    I am glad that you acted on your next instinct, and didn’t shrink back from this challenge!

    Really Ange, it is wonderful. We are on the planet such a short time. Why not see as much of it as possible, while exhilarating and our spirit and raising our level of accomplishment.

    Enjoy the growth and have fun. Take many good pictures.
    BE Careful!

    Good Health to you,

    PS- Your headline for this worried me that it was something bad you had to fight. I’m really glad it is not!

  4. This is a good point you raise Durano… thanks for bringing it up!! “Sacrifice” is not my perception of this expedition, in fact, it never entered my head that this was a sacrifice of creature comforts. I was pointing out that this kind of expedition is not the norm for me and that I am willing to learn and grow from this experience of a lifetime. Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough on that.

    Re-wiring the sub-conscious mind into believing that I can complete this course as well as taking on the training seriously enough so that I am in as peak condition that I can be to see the trek through to the end is what I will be working on.

    Anything new and outside the comfort zone is a challenge and this is one that I have set myself to extend my beliefs in what I am capable of. I’m sure this trip will be a lot of fun together with new experiences and tears of joy and pain all rolled into one. Watching some of the YouTube videos on other peoples experience of the trek gives me goosebumps and is moving me along the preparation side, both physical and mental.

  5. Spectrum108!! Nice to see you here 🙂

    I am in good hands as far as the physical training is concerned. My friend Marc of is organising this trek and he has set up a 15 week plan of exercises including endurance, stretching & flexibility, leg strength and climbing and group training at the Dandenong Ranges Kokoda Memorial walks. This is not something I could do on my own so coaching is vital to the success of my trip!

    As for 2012… I never thought of that and there are so many differing opinions as to what will actually happen at that time. IF it includes walking up mountainous terrain, then I had better keep this kind of training going 😉

    Thanks for your support!

  6. I am glad I didn’t shrink back on my “Next Instinct” either… it would have been so easy to say “no way” and not even consider the personal challenge. Life is short and to experience something like this I think is must for me. I can talk all I like, but unless I take action and improve myself, it won’t mean a thing and to show my integrity at what I am creating here is of utmost importance.

    My goal for Buzzing with Ange, is to share my journey with you the reader, of my personal growth and steps I have taken in order to show you that anything is possible and to live a life without limitations. I have a way to go yet and if you want to hop on board and create magic in your life, then give me your ideas… this is for everyone reading here and not just my friend Ed!

    I apologise if I gave you a fright with the headline… I didn’t see it that way… oops!

  7. Ange, congratulations on taking on the this challenge. Physical challenges have a way of getting past all the bullshit in our heads which we can get away with when we are enjoying our creature comforts.

  8. aussiecynic says: March 5, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    You go girl

    I would if I had the ready’s, it is suppose to be one of the most amazing things to do next to gallipoli
    soul search and character building are two of the things I have heard it called but always in positive light…. many find out things about themselves they never knew and others things they wish they hadnt but all in all a very positive experience…. I do hope you will be posting log of your journey through PNG when you back…. with loads of photos…

    aussiecynic’s last blog post..Happy Days

  9. @Dan… thanks for your support… take good care of those dogs 😉

    @Aussie… I have the intention of taking lots of photos and perhaps some video and will definitely post about my trip when I return. For now, lots of training and other preparation to work through. I’m sure that I will find out many things about myself that I like and dislike and put them to good use when I get back. Keeping a journal will be helpful so I don’t forget anything of this memorable trip!

    I’ll be dropping in on the cheese board at flower’s later… see you soon 😉

    • Hi Sandra, you’re right!! I will enjoy that hot shower once we complete the trek… for now it’s into training mode 😉

  10. Ange:

    This is an incredible adventure you are about to undertake. I didn’t know much about Papua New Guineu, so I did a little background research. I know that you’ve done your homework, but I just feel impelled to remind you of the following:

    There is a high degree of risk for the following diseases:
    Waterborne: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever.
    Vector borne diseases: dengue fever and malaria.

    Please take all precautions.

    Aside from that, I congratulate you on your decision to do such a huge thing. It’s a great way to honor your veterans.

    Good luck.

    Swubird’s last blog post..Chapter One, Part 1: Alva’s Secret

    • @Swubird… They are such awful diseases and there are vaccinations to be had before I go… YUCK!! I don’t care much for needles, we need to take water purification tablets, and I am also not a fan of the malaria tablets. The right precautions will make the trip easier to get through and being in as peak physical condition as I can be will also help. Thanks for caring Swubird… yes it is a great way to honour our veterans and to also to find out more about myself under such extreme conditions.

  11. Hi Ange,

    I’m glad to hear that your resolve is much better than I understood it to be. You’re on your way then. Take care and good luck. Your success here will make you proud of yourself and will lead you to more challenges.

    I can’t wait to hear about your experience. Have fun! 🙂 –Durano, done!

    Durano Lawayan’s last blog post..Clinton’s Clawing Comeback

    • Durano, you will hear about it alright! This is only the beginning of such adventures. I know there will be many more to come and I say “bring them on!”

  12. Hey Jack! It is quite an intrepid footpath and from some of the video’s I have been watching from various expeditions, I am in for a real challenge. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  13. Peter McCartney says: March 11, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    Good luck! A friend of mine completed this course recently and came back with malaria. It was touch and go for a while. Just a tip, don’t drink water from any river or stream as he did!

    • Thanks for the heads up Peter… I will not drink any river or stream water! We have to take water purification tablets with us so I think I will be right. Cheers

  14. Hi Don, yes I will be taking some meds in regards to Malaria. I hear they are pretty awful for some but I have never had bad reactions to any meds so I’m pretty sure I will be good. I have had them a long time ago when traveling so I am not particularly worried. My main focus is making it to the end of the trek healthy and in one piece. I have to get back to see my partner and kids so my mind will be on that! Thanks for caring 🙂

  15. Hi Ange, very nice post, I enjoy eading it. Its fuul of postive thinking and yes, we need to live each day as it our last one. I can see you are enjoying life as much as you can. Good for you. I am trying and do my best to.