Shredded AF…

Around the start of the sugar cane crushing season I started training back at Tweak Fitness – the only place to be… with Louise Doughty and phoh! does she push me hard or what! But that’s what I want, I don’t want to be this nice piece of ass (for a lack of a better phrase). I want to be strong! I want to get shredded and create a piece of art.

It’s incredible what you can achieve with your body if you put your mind to it. Before my accident I didn’t take much notice, half the time I couldn’t keep track of my period – but now I have educated myself through the internet and reading and have started living consciously… with everything.

The other day I wore bikinis for the first time since I was 17! And you know what – my body looks better than what it did at 17! I am so incredibly proud of myself – This hasn’t been a year long adventure for me, it has taken five years. FIVE YEARS – People usually get to ten months and give up. What can I say – The only reason I’m still here is because I have a bloody HARD head!

It is the best feeling deep down FINALLY being happy in my own skin.

Today I am not in a very good head space, and that reflected in my workout. Louise pushes me hard, but I want to be pushed hard. At the moment, I am trying to be the most positive person that I can be but that is all slipping away very fast with everything that’s going on. Working out is the only thing, I feel, that keeps my mind from going back to dark places. BUT – that will be a forever journey for me living with a brain injury. Thankfully, we are about four weeks away from the end of the sugar cane crushing season -alleluia! This season was hard, for everybody, it’s definitely not like it was 10 or 20 years ago – the sugar is just not there, lack of diversification etc.

Today was one of those days where we finish all of our sets, but I didn’t want to stop, I had so much built up anger that I could have pumped out another three hours – I didn’t want it to end. Louise is helping me create a machine – and you know why I want to do this, I will prove all those chaps wrong, the people that say “there’s no way she can’t do it!” I told Louise, that I will be her little guinea pig and we are going to create something awesome! This is the only thing, that I feel, is for me at the moment, the only thing that keeps me from going bat shit crazy.

Since having my accident, I have proven everyone wrong, with everything and it makes me feel powerful – NOT invincible. The reason I push so hard is because there is always somebody worse off! Check out this video of Andy, this bloke is incredible!

Here are some other articles I have written in the past about this topic:-

Body image – the female perspective

How I rebuilt myself – Aquo 2.0

I’ll keep you all posted – you DEFINITELY haven’t heard thee last from me regarding this topic.

Until next time…

Aquo Xx

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Maraka Festiveal…

This year marked 60 years of the Maraka Festival in Ingham at the Rotary Park in the Hinchinbrook Shire so I thought I would take my boys down to the end of the street to watch the procession. They were both so well behaved which made it easier and Jack made some new friends – he’s usually alone dinosaur.

The procession was awesome! some awesome tunes played – I can’t wait till my boys are old enough to go on their school float! I don’t understand the random cruisers and patrols in the procession though? I get all the hotted up cars but if there’s utes in the procession don’t they have the Maraka queens and princesses on them?

I didn’t get one photo! ME who takes a million just to make sure there there for all of maybe half hour! BUT we had to go play on the swings on the way out, which we can do all the time haha.

So I was hoping this was going to be a write up on the event that would cop a million hits… But that’s just not the case sorry peeps!

It’s 8.00pm now and I’m sitting on my veranda listening to the festival and watching the fireworks. I’m contemplating walking back and getting ravs (My favouritist food in the world ever) and like a dozen canoli (like my second favouritist food in the world ever), but I’m sitting here thinking both my boys are FINALLY asleep and I’m not going anywhere!

So I made a tea… more like a rum and coke… Watched the fireworks and listened to the tunes pumping and went to bed. There’s always next year, and I promise if I’m able to there will be 20 million photos and a pretty smashing write up to boost our shire!

Aquo Xx

I’m not your everyday superhero…

I’m at the stage in my life where I’m taking on Ingham to make it a better place for our future generations, for my boys. It’s just not good enough at the moment. We have to work together, not against each other, for our kids – for the greater good! The biggest challenge for me has been starting a business from the ground up, after recovering from a brain injury.

I try and be as organised as I can – calendar, notes everywhere! This enables me to accomplish as much as I do in a day. I set three blocks – morning, Lunch & afternoon. I try my hardest to have every subject I need to attack that day in order that they need to be done. Morning might say something like ‘draft email to x’ and I can do that on the couch while the boys are jumping over me bouncing off the walls with excitement – ‘I excited I excited’ because giggle and hoot has just started for the day.

I know people around the place look up to me, but I’m not your everyday superhero – I am just a mother, a wife, a daughter, a friend, etc. Yeah – I HAVE been through a lot of shit, but that now, seems like a distant memory. Well, not even that because I keep all of that in the rear view! It’s better for everybody like that – and I’ll just be here, doing my thing, always looking forward!

All of my experiences have made me a lot more humble with my outlook on life – and that’s a god thing! I’m going to make Ingham a place where our kids are going to want to grow up!

I absolutely love the following quote from Mother Theresa!

Aquo Xx

My hometown – Ingham…

I’ve decided to change the direction I’ve been writing lately to a subject I am extremly passionate about – my hometown – Ingham. The small town (that is rapidly growing) is situated approximately 110 kilometres north of Townsville and 1,437 kilometres north of the state capital, Brisbane. The town is positioned about 17 km inland within the Herbert River floodplain where Palm Creek drains the low-lying lands. The North Coast railway line passes through the town, which is served by the Ingham railway station. The Bruce Highway also passes through the town.

So there’s a bit of a geography lesson for you… haha I actually learn’t something at school – sorry that I gave you guys a hard time (teachers).

Ok – moving on… Ingham has been my hometown my whole life… Well – except for when I left school and hated everything… You know – that rebellious phase most of us go through, well… some of us. The suborn, hard-headed, independent little shits seem to be the ones who go far – look around. There’s no need to bring up anyone’s past, BUT, we all have a past. Ingham is the sort of town where some people forget their past and are possibly the most judgmental people you will find.

Ingham is the sort of place where there is more positives than negatives. Look at the support the town gave my family and I at the time of my accident, and still 6 years later they will lend a helping hand when need be. The 4 kids that live next door to me have become part of our family. My boys just love them – to the point my two year old yells out talking to them through his bedroom window – everyday… People need to change their perspective on the world. I would love for my boys to grow up here, to continue to build the empire their father and I are trying to build. What’s here in Ingham at the moment is unacceptable!

I’m not leaving the town the way it currently is – I want better for my boys. The best way to be in life to get what you want is to get out there and work bloody hard for it! That’s what I’m doing… Me – who suffers 24/7 chronic pain. I don’t want your pity… I want you to join forces with me to turn this town around! I love being busy! Being busy means I’m not focusing on the pain.

Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you. – Mary Lou Retton

Aquo Xx

Broadwater – Abergowrie State Forest…

My first memories I have down Broadwater was from when I was maybe, maybe ten years old and went down the rapids on my cousin’s boogie board and cut my knees up pretty bad on the rocks. Then there was the camping trip where Uncle Mickey got stung by a stonefish, or maybe it was Uncle Trev… I can’t remember.

The water there was always cold, even in the middle of the day. If your lucky you will see some pretty cool wildlife – I’m sorry but those goannas scare the crap out of me!

It wasn’t until just before my accident that I found out there was a lookout off the main road leading to the campsites. It was beautiful up there! It became a place I would go to think about relationship troubles and just life in general – Best thing about it was how quiet it was up there.

I had a mate who lived out Hawkins Creek way and there are some ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL places out that side of the Hinchinbrook Shire. It was lovely to go for a ride on the quad bikes (yes – I know that’s illegal, but It’s all about not getting caught right?) especially in winter, I’m talking about getting off and having to wipe your face because it’s frozen kind of winter… which is like two maybe 3 days a year here. 😜

The rates to camp there are so cheap – So it’s a good excuse to get the swags packed up and stock the eskies (proper Aussie style with more beers than food) and don’t forget your sunscreen! The UV ratings in North Queensland are crazyyyy!

If you do happen to make it a plan on your to do list, I would love to see photos – @aquoonline and with your permission, they may become a feature in one of my blogs!

Aquo Xx

Calling the citizens of the Hinchinbrook Shire!

How about a coffee and a bit of conversation! – who would say no to a free coffee right? I’m currently writing about Ingham but I would love to make it more personal. I would love to hear your stories about the Hinchinbrook district’s history!

Contact me via Facebook or WordPress and we will make a time to sit down for a chat!

Who wouldn’t love this place!

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you probably know what I’m all about by now. Help me to build a platform that surrounds the Hinchinbrook Shire with a bubble of positivity and make our whole community flourish again.

Once people realize that changing the world is difficult, they begin to give up on those dreams they had. They let those dreams wash away and replace them with “realistic” goals that other people give them. Maybe you’ve even experienced this yourself. Let’s start today with a pledge to move past “knowing” and into doing. Because knowing may be cool, but it’s doing that will change the world.

I no longer ‘feel’ that those around me see me as “Amy Aquilini – The quad bike accident survivor.” I am now Amy Irvin, Aquo – Nice to meet you! I have been through the hard yards to be at where I am in life today, so now my next mission is to take on the world. The people that know me know that I can’t keep still!

“Maybe I can’t change the world, but I can affect the people around me; and if they in turn do the same, and affect those around them, then together we can change the world.” —Aaron Sheppard

It’s no longer about us – it’s about our kids! Let’s change the world for the better!

Aquo Xx

Welcome to Ingham…

The place where there is more sticks of cane than people – yeah Ingham! My hometown, the place where the sugar industry is 8th largest sugar industry in the world and the place where if you stop to talk to every person you know in Woolworths, you will never leave! We have a population of 4,357 people in Ingham according to the 2016 census.

The world’s Sugar Industry

10 LARGEST CANE SUGAR PRODUCERS
(2016 – in mln metric tonnes, tel quel)
1Brazil38.991
2India24.792
3Thailand9.263
4China9.084
5Mexico6.095
6Pakistan5.616
7Australia4.627
8USA3.518
9Guatemala2.909
10Indonesia2.23

My hometown is the best. We are located in the Herbert River Valley just north of Townsville and just south of Cardwell. We have an awesome 360 view and some of the best barramundi in the world. Our local beaches, the Great Barrier Reef, Wallaman Falls, Hinchinbrook Island, Mungalla Station, Tyto Wetlands, Mercer’s Lane Mosaic, Broadwater National Park, Tyto Art Gallery, Crystal Creek, the must-sees are endless! I have lived in this district my whole life and to date I have never seen Mungalla Station – But I hear Jacob Cassady is doing amazing things for our tourism industry!

I love Ingham, because it is a small town with a passion for all that is homegrown, sustainable and community-oriented. We are famous for our Sugar Cane Industry, our fishing (The brainwashing started in grade 5 from my teacher, Mr Gori), our wog culture, our amazing art and music scene. Ingham is actually home to some wonderful musicians – Joe Geia, Paul Tabone, just to name a few. It’s got a rich history and is also a bit rough around the edges.

I love where I live because of the combination of the laid back lifestyle and the amazing fishing spots. I remember somewhere at the start of 2013, I was asked to go fishing and the fish were going crazy! I was put in charge of making sure we stuck to bag limit. We were fishing for barramundi and mangrove jack that both have a bag limit of five – so ten of each fish… awesome I can do that! Yeah – no. One of the others checked when we got back to the hut and there were 10 jacks and only 9 barras! 9! You had one job missy!

You can drive 20-30 minutes from the main street of town (yes – we have one main street) to almost anywhere in the district. Pretty much any delays to the traffic in this town is due to a derailment (bins full of sugar cane come off the line – sugar cane everywhere!).

Certainly your attitude about where you live makes a huge difference. Ingham is the sort of place where you can walk up to a complete stranger up the street and ask them where anything is – if they can’t tell you, chances are they weren’t born here!

This is why I love where I live…

Aquo Xx