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

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

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

My scenery snaps over the years…

Something many people take for granted is how beautiful their hometown is until something serious happens. Take me for example – I just lived in the Hinchinbrook Shire fishing, camping and riding – living subconsciously – kind of like I was on autopilot. I never really considered how beautiful this area, The Hinchinbrook Shire was until the inevitable happened.

I say inevitable because before the 14th September 2013 came around, I lived life in the fast lane. A fast-paced, full of life, don’t care what anyone thinks of me but kind of cares what people think about me, loved Bundaberg Rum, loved to party, loud 21 year old female. P.S – I still love my bundy rum!

I had four near misses before my accident, the most serious being coathangering myself on an electric fence in the dark – I’m super lucky that the big fella upstairs had bigger and better things for me in life. Luckily it wasn’t turned on and must of been old because it snapped as I rode through it. I did fracture my wrist though, my mate at the time took me up to ED, it hurt so bad!

It wasn’t until I had my second child 6 years down the track that my mother said “There comes a time in life when you need to stop requiring validation from others and simply live your best life.” Ever since then I’ve started drinking, eating, living consciously, and it has changed my life for the better.

I went back on all my old photos and decided I would post unedited scenery snaps that I have taken over the years in the Ingham district. I would love for you to share one of your scenery snaps that were taken in the Hinchinbrook Shire!

My friend and his boat down Taylors Beach – Boxing Day ’07’
Bronte Beach
Bronte Beach
Gentle Annie
Broadwater Lookout
A farm up Stone River
Whale season – Gentle Annie ’13’
Early morning down the main headland on the Aquilini farm
Driving home from Forrest Beach
Gentle Annie
Gentle Annie
Gentle Annie
Bronte Beach
Bronte Beach
Bronte Beach
Beautiful sky down Kirkwoods Rd, Blackrock
Clement State Forest Beach
Mr Perserval (Storm Boy) down Lucinda Beach
Early mornings on the farm are the best!
Angry Skies are so pretty!
Beautiful night down Taylors Beach…
How nice is a fire on a cool night? so mesmerising…
Whale season down Lucinda…
Maxi’s at sunrise out Bamberoo…
There’s nothing better than the old school cane fires in the Herbert…
Pretty Sky down Bronte Beach…
Chillin in the harvester with dad…
I love sunrises that are this gorgeous!
When you need a change of scenery to write something great! Forrest Beach…
Sunrise Townsville Rd South…
Angry skies in the Hinchinbrook Shire…
My ‘Renee Vine’ looks amazing when it flowers!
Sunrise down Taylors Beach…
Sunrises down Taylors Beach…
Sunrises from Clay Street, Ingham…
A lovely day down Bronte Beach…

Aquo Xx

My favourite place in the world – Bronte Beach…

Bronte Beach became my stomping ground when I was about 13 years old when we would tell dad we were going for a ride, and ‘of course we were just riding around the farm.’ – We would tell him with our fingers crossed behind our backs. In all seriousness, we were lucky nothing serious ever happened while we were down there back then.

My best friend’s family had a hut close to main beach so we would always be down there, even if it was just for a day trip. Over the years, I have been down pretty much every track leading down there through Blackrock farms, there are millions!

The last photo of me down Bronte before my accident…

Fast forward five years and I would go down every weekend, even if it was just for a ride. I love that place! Pack up the quad, make sure you have more beers than food and meet us at the gates. If it rained heavily throughout the night you would have no chance in getting down there, it was a bit of a challenge even for bikes. I didn’t say impossible, I said a bit of a challenge. haha challenge accepted!

My now husband knew how much I love Bronte, so for our first Valentine’s Day together, he took me down at sunrise. Before kids I so was not a morning person, in fact, it was probably best not to converse with me until I had my morning coffee. There is two, only two things in this world I would be awake before the sun rose for, sugar cane harvesting and Bronte.

What an amazing place!

I would have been married down on the beach front if it wasn’t such a challenge to get down there. Actually, if it was possible to marry places, I’d marry Bronte!

I have so many awesome memories down there, many involving something completely stupid we could have killed ourselves doing – like swimming at the mouth between Cassidy Beach (smacks self in the head).

I feel sorry for kids these days, they will never experience half of what we used to. One being going camping down the hut! Some of the laws that have come into play lately make me so mad, but I’m sure that will one day be another story, and I’ll try not to make it sound like too much of a downer.

Humans have five senses – touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste. There is nothing better in this world than waking up to the sound of the ocean crashing against the beach; Nothing better in this world than the SMELL of the ocean in the morning; Nothing better in this world than FEELING the breeze against your skin first thing in the morning; Nothing better than SEEING the sun rise as you look out onto the beach and NOTHING better than all of that entwined with the TASTE of your first cup of coffee in the morning.

Not a very clear photo, but this was my life – brews and bikes with the blokes – I was the biggest tomboy ever!

Aquo Xx