Keira has taken to watching old videos on my YouTube channel. “You haven’t uploaded anything new in months,” she complains.

It’s curious how trends and moods change. We went through a period in which anything I said or did on this blog (and to a lesser extent photos/video on social media) was vetted with such an exhausting intensity I pretty much stopped writing about parenting or child-related stories. Now, I’ve heard mention that the blog was better in ‘the old days’ when I was being funny or confessional.

I threw up my hands and said, “I can’t win, can I?!”

But maybe I did.

Maybe by doing what I’ve done for so long with barely a pause, and with an archive bursting with history to show for it, has demonstrated the power of storytelling. That perhaps I’ve helped shape our family’s idea of itself – our strengths and failings – and we can appreciate how far we’ve all come along the way. I like to think so.

I mention the anecdote and postulate this theory because I happened to be in the room during one of Keira’s recent YouTube adventures when this video came on:

I embedded it here in case you want to watch, but, briefly, it’s a pretty simple talking head recap of my Spartan run last October. I sat down and listened because I hadn’t seen it since uploading and realised as I listened how much I’d forgotten about the entire thing: the training (well, lack thereof), the day itself, impressions and more.

I realised that whatever condition I thought I was in fitness-wise at the time was good in comparison to what it is now – moreover, the hip issues I’ve had lately are due to the fact I haven’t been exercising like I used to (so reckons my physio). My fibromyalgia has been much better, that’s always been a fine line to tread, and I’m ready to commit to something big. Do something good.

So, I’ve signed up to the 100KM Oxfam Trailwalker here in Melbourne next March 2019.

Our Team: Not Fast Just Furious

OXFAM 100KM Melbourne 2019

You might recognise that tall fellow at the back. That’s my husband, Adam. Yeah, I worry we’ll fight out on the path too. But I’m sure it’ll be fine! The other two are D & A.

All three have completed this event before. I’m the rookie.

The Oxfam website is – putting it mildly – temperamental. They’re still working out the kinks, so I’m almost hesitant to send people over there until the aesthetics are sorted out. But the important thing works – the DONATE button.

I would love it if you could donate to our team. Not only will you be helping Oxfam, but this next bit is important: if our team raises $3,800 by Friday 15th Feb 2019 we get to choose our start time. As you can see in the above screencap, this is double our initial target, so we’re ambitious! That said, it would be a terrific bonus to get to walk as many hours as possible in daylight on the first day.

There will be a few changes to this walk in 2019, making it (from my perspective) both better and harder. Harder because they’ve reduced the hours to complete the distance from a 48-hour deadline to 36 hours. Most people want to have it over and done with by that 36-hour point anyway, but having that buffer would have some psychological advantage!

The better part is that the course is different. More below.

The Map

2019 Melbourne Oxfam Trailwalker map

One of the biggest challenges of the Melbourne course is going up and over the Dandenongs, seen here between checkpoints 1 and 3. But I like how that’s done close to the beginning – in other years, that long, hot walk up started at about one-third of the way through the course.

What else I like is that we walk close to our home suburb by the end – in particular, checkpoint 7. By that point, we might be able to sleep and call on friends and family to bring us food and drink (coffee!) and for general moral support!

Last – and perhaps most important – I’ve heard tales of how inaccessible the forest was to emergency aid for those in need, during the deep, late night. As the course now roughly goes country-city rather than city-country, by that time walkers should be closer to services, if not the hospital itself at Heidelberg, near checkpoint 8. I find that comforting.


To bring this post back to where it began, Keira has also entreated that I begin daily vlogging.

“Uh, no,” I say.

I like vloggers – some are very clever and entertaining. While I’m curious, and even a little tempted, my answer is still no.

“How will I vlog when most of my days are me sitting at a computer? That will get boring very fast.”

(Not to mention the kind of time and labour that goes into editing. Many of those successful vloggers pay people to help them produce those videos!)

But I will try to document this experience. Not just the walk itself, and not just as a shameless plug for donations, but the training, the ups-and-downs (warning: it will probably be expletive-ridden), the aches and pains, the gear and more. In a similar way to the marathon.

I’m terrified. And a little excited.

I’ll check in again soon.

Care to donate?

karen andrews

Karen Andrews is the creator of this website, one of the most established and well-respected parenting blogs in the country. She is also an author, award-winning writer, poet, editor and publisher at Miscellaneous Press. Her latest book is Trust the Process: 101 Tips on Writing and Creativity