• Resthaven Murray Bridge Care Coordinator, Belinda, completes Ironman

    Resthaven Murray Bridge Care Coordinator, Belinda, completes Ironman

    ‘Anything is possible’ for Ironman, Belinda

    When Resthaven Murray Bridge Care Coordinator, Belinda Willshire, saw her first Ironman competition video 18 months ago, she knew instantly that it was something she wanted to do.

    Despite the fact that she wasn’t a strong swimmer, and hadn’t ridden a bike since she was young child, Belinda wanted to ‘show myself and my children, one of whom has autism, that anything is possible.’

    Belinda had certainly found herself a challenge! An Ironman competition consists of a 3.8km swim, a 180km cycle, and a 42.2km run, and typically takes around 14 hours to complete. However, as Belinda says, ‘Running down the finishers chute and crossing the finish line was the most amazing feeling.’

    Belinda finished her Ironman in 13 hours, 48 minutes and 35 seconds.

    ‘Ironman isn’t just about the race, it’s about the journey you take to get there,’ she explains. ‘It wasn’t always easy, juggling the training load of anywhere between 10-23 hours per week.’

    ‘My day would begin at 4am, and on double training days, I would be totally exhausted by the time I got to bed.’

    ‘There were days where I wouldn’t want to train, and I questioned my sanity, but quitting was never an option, I wanted to be an Ironman.’

    ‘Being a busy single mum and working full time as a Care Coordinator at Resthaven Murray Bridge, I had to become very organised.’

    ‘Ironman training is now just a part of mine and my children’s day to day life, and where possible, they are always included.’

    ‘Being alone with nothing but your own thoughts for countless hours in the water or on the road teaches you so much about yourself, and you grow as a person.’

    ‘It is this aspect that I believe has helped me in my professional life – Ironman training taught me to be strong, brave, healthy, focused, independent and driven.’

    ‘If I’m having a difficult day at work, it is these characteristics that I draw upon to help me solve a problem or work through a challenging situation.’

    ‘I absolutely love my role here at Resthaven Murray Bridge, where I have been for around three years.’

    ‘I am very grateful for the support of the staff and residents, who love hearing about my training or upcoming races.’

    ‘My huge training load also meant a big increase in food and nutrition, and everyone was very patient with my food containers taking up a lot of space in the staff fridge!’

    ‘I have worked in aged care for 12 years, and I feel very privileged to work with older people. Along with Ironman, it is a passion of mine.’

    ‘Every day, I see the complexities of ageing and illness, and know that there will come a day when my legs, or maybe my mind, won’t allow me to do the things I love.’

    ‘But until that day, I am determined to live this one life that I have been given to its fullest.’