Monday, 2 September 2013


Why is this post about distractions? It's not because I can go walking down the local beach and get distracted by the good looking young fella's on the beach...its more about dealing with my health.

I need distractions in my life to take my attention away from my pain. To help me deal with the pain and to help manage it. The pain is always there, I just need that big enough distraction to keep me moving away from focusing on it.

For me, I have two distractions: Photography & Sports.

Sports have always been a HUGE part of my life. I follow just about every sport, I am a self confessed sportsnerd and passionate supporter of many sporting teams!! I own more sports clothing than I do normal clothes!!! So while some girls focus on labels of clothing or shoes, I just want the newest Qld Maroons polo jersey or Brisbane Roar playing jersey! I lose a lot of sleep trying to keep up with all my favourite teams, as they travel around world and some international teams that I follow!! And I'm the biggest, one-eyed Queenslander and Australian supporter (even when we failed in the Ashes cricket yet again!) And no, I dont follow sports because of the hot players (thats how I drag my friends along haha) its a passion I have shared with my Papa & my Dad, I just took it on and have gone completely sportsnerd!! When I eventually find a guy who'll put up with me, I do hope he likes sport, or he'll be getting used to it pretty quickly haha!

Up until I shattered my leg 15 months ago, I also played sport - particularly hockey and futsal (soccer). I was an active Division 1 hockey player, who went from defender to goal keeper when we needed it. My team have made the grand final for the 5 years I've played in the club, we've won two! One of which I coached from the sidelines last year, breaking my heart that I was not out there when the game went down to 5 on 5 sudden death!! I umpired, coached and did everything in between for my beloved hockey club. Then I broke my leg, I went from hockey 3-4 days a week, to nothing. Sitting on the sidelines with my leg elevated yelling out my support. I had to learn that playing was not an option, that even umpiring was out of the question. During summer off season comps I continued to try and get involved, umpiring on crutches with a cast on my leg, from the sideline, but it of course was never enough. Over the summer season, my leg got progressively worse, as the CRPS took over. It came to pre-season time and the messages and emails began to flow in, at the end of January I had to make the huge decision and say NO, I was not able to play this season. I cried for days following this decision. For someone who played games with more injuries than I could count, who played on despite anything, the tough lil bugger; this time, something bigger was stopping me. So I told everyone I was taking the year off, going to focus on getting better and maybe occasionally come down to watch some hockey.

But, hockey cannot leave me, even if I tried. My club, Nambour Blue Demons Hockey Club & a lot of wonderful people within the Sunshine Coast Hockey Assoc, have been the most amazing support one could ask for. While many do not understand why I am still injured or sick, they encouraged me to keep involved, so I did. I took a few coaching roles, took on helping on the committee and put my energy into developing myself off-field to learn and help others more. I challenged myself to learn and become a better coach, plan strategic coaching sessions, get my teams together at training and push them to achieve high: and they did!! I had to learn to turn my player brain into a coaching brain - it sure was a challenge! But every week, on Tuesdays and Saturday/Sundays I would put all my energy into getting out and distracting myself with a challenge. This often meant I spent many days in bed recovering, or I would get to training and be too unwell to take training, or I was on double meds, but it was worth the distraction, even for an hour or two. To watch the players I coached, mentored and helped, develop and achieve: this is one of my most proudest things in my life. It is worth the pain and is such a great distraction! I also was able to take on a bit of umpiring within the junior games, something I also missed, has been a great challenge to get my often slow brain and unreliable legs to go again, but the adrenalin works well at kicking it into gear!

While hockey is almost at an end for the year, I am looking at the chance of playing a low key, smaller & safe version of Summer Comp Hockey. While I still need to work this through with my Orthopedic surgeon (due to fractured bone fragments and defected bone chip on my Talus, plus the bone strength & metal work) I am hopeful and positive I can get out for a bit and hopefully get back into the sport I so love. If not, I'll be sure to umpire from the side on my crutches yet again!

My Photography is perhaps my biggest passion and my biggest push in life. I am an creative person and my love to grow within the industry continues everyday. I would love to get back to shooting full-time one day, but until then, I will take each day as it comes, each day I can pick up the camera and continue to grow!
I push myself too much to get out and shoot sometimes, which comes with exhaustive consequences, but it's always worth it :) I love to get out shooting landscapes, especially with other photographers for a catch up! But early mornings or late afternoon and walking even short distances to capture those golden hues of the morning glory are such a big effort. I have to pick my good days and often pull out last minute, waking up to an uncooperative body, but understanding friends helps :)

I love being able to improve and continue to grow my love for portrait photography, in so many different ways! I love to capture children, in family environments; especially within the beautiful natural environments the Sunshine Coast offers. I love working with pets, I am such an animal person, nothing is too big, too small or even too bizarre for me!! I have three beautiful dogs and a few birds myself. If I had the room and time, I'd have a small farm of animals for sure!! I'd love to get back riding one day, that's another big goal!!

Being unwell has cut back my photography big time. I often cannot walk, I often cannot carry the weight of my camera bag (which everyone who's been out shooting with me knows is NOT light) and sometimes, even picking up one of my camera's is a struggle. I have turned down my wedding bookings, unless they are friends, because I want to keep myself from overdoing it. I have discovered a love for mini-session photoshoots, where it's nice, quick and super easy, with lots of fun involved! Even though I can still have major flareups at any time, it's always worth a bit of pain to capture beautiful images. Hearing such beautiful words from clients and their friends, and creating my style.

I have also discovered the love of the photography world, making so many new online friends, from around Australia and even around the world!! Some now, whom I have met in person, becoming friends with bonds that will never break. Friends who I know I can count on at any time for a good rant or a good giggle!! Friends that understand the pain I go through, watch me struggle yet still love to tease and make me laugh!!! I also love the respect I have found from other photographers. I love to chat with anyone who will, especially photography. As a friend described over lunch one day "your eyes just light up and sparkle whenever you talk about photography, its just so you". I love to help others learn and grow, because it helps me as well. It also provides that distraction for me, to focus on something to keep my mine off the pain. Those amazing people who I talk to most days or nights, help me get through some very dark days, some very painful days and I cannot thank them enough. They will most likely read this, so thank you!

One day I will get around to writing my CRPS story, but for now, I'll ramble on while I try and think how to write it in a positive way to educate others!!!

On that note, its now nearly 3am, so it may be time for some shuteye :)


  1. Beautiful Kate! I got tears reading this. XO

  2. Kate, I talked to Kyle. He believes that he can help you with CRPS. Uncle Trevor went to see him yesterday with a frozen shoulder and got so much relief. We both want to pay for you to see Kyle and talk about relief. What do you have to lose??? I am sure if he can help you then he may be able to help other sufferers. Please consider giving this a go.