I climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge!

A couple of months ago a friend of mine posted photos to Facebook showing that she had climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

It got me thinking that it would be a nice way to end the year as climbing the bridge represents a great little physical challenge

I was a little apprehensive so organized to catch up with Marian and ask a number of questions. She was great in answering the questions I had and emailed Bridge Climb a few additional questions.

I chose to do a dawn “The Bridge Climb” a journey of 1,332 steps. a journey of 3 1/2 hours.

The climb started at 3:55am which meant I needed to leave my hotel a little after 3am. I had my alarm and wakeup call set for 2:30am and in true form my body woke up at 2am.
Got up had a shower and shave (have to look good for the photos!) had a light breakfast of fruit and a zero sugar energy drink. After a couple of problems with taxi’s I was finally underway and I arrived and bridgeclimb. Checked in and handed over the medical clearance form my GP was all to happy to sign.

The clearance form was completed prior to my hospitalization for dehydration. I consulted with my GP the day before I left for Sydney and he was very keen for me to complete the climb as planned.

Because the booking of climbs is not able to be changed inside of 7 days of a climb I had to make sure I was over 110% positive I could defiantly do the climb.

Keep in mind the morning of the climb, the same day a week earlier I was in hospital. So from hospital bed to the top of Sydney Harbour in a week, yes that was the challenge and that goal was achieved.

The waiting for entry in the climb prep area my nerves started to get to me a little bit. A little big of nerves is good. I knew this but it turns out my mother of all people was awake and messaged me on Facebook. She actually blew the social media blackout I did around the climb.

The blackout was two fold, one because I wanted to surprise people (I still told too many people, but for enough it was a surprise) the other reason was I wanted to make sure everything went well and there were no complications.

Obviously I’ve completed the climb and I’m fine.

So lets get back to what happens when they call you in to get ready for your climb.

You get herded into a muster room, you fill out a consent and waiver form, get breath tested and everyone introduces themselves and says why your climbing.

Most people were climbing as it was a gift. For me it was to celebrate loosing 30kg of weight and recovering from ankle surgery.

After the forms and you pass the breath test, it’s time to bridgesuit up.

The staff member did a great job at estimating my size and the bridgesuit fitted perfectly.

From there you get your waist belt which tethers you to the static line on the bridge, then you get your radio, head lamp and fleece and hanky.

I may have the order wrong but I’ll keep going.

Once your kitted out it’s now time to make sure you can climb a couple of test ladders to make sure your safe on the bridge.

I was very keen to do everything spot on and prove that “yes I could do this” Happy to report no problems!

After this the climb leader checked in with climb control advised the number in the group, the fact they had one lady who was pregnant and the fact I declared an ankle injury.

After that he got cleared and we headed out. We got attached to the static line and were asked to keep our voices down as we were walking above a residential area.

We then had a long flat walk to get under the bridge and then we had 3 ladders to climb. We had another staff member supervise this section and that was fairly intense.

Once up the ladders we were on the top arches of the bridge. From there we slowly walked up the top arch to the centre part of the bridge, through one of the maintenance cranes.

We stopped for many photos and I was a little emotional as the weather in Sydney had been terrible (hot, humid and heavy rain) over the past few days. Today the weather was perfect, cool temperature, low humidity and a light breeze.

I’ll never forgot the feeling of seeking the sun break through the clouds and light the buildings and landscape of Sydney. It was also amazing to see the cruise ship Carnival Spirit sail and dock at the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

Once off the bridge we had to gear down and head out to collect photos.

The photo collection period was painfully slow as there were three climb groups after photos. After about half an hour I got 10 photos (see links below)

A truly amazing experience, one I’ll never be able to explain in text.

If you ever have a chance to get to Sydney do climb the bridge.

They advertise that’s it’s the climb of your life and your not wrong!

Click below to review photos.


P.s I forgot to mention the climb was done with no brace, tape or pain killers! Boo yeah 😉

Unplaned hospital admission

About two weeks ago in the middle of the week, I suddenly became incredibly sick.

By the Saturday morning I was so dehydrated I had to present to the Emergency Department to seek urgent medical attention.

It was clear to the staff I was so dehydrated that I required IV fluids. In the next 4 hours I had 3L of fluid via IV and then feeling better I discharged myself.

By the Sunday afternoon the benefits of that intervention had ceased and by Monday morning my body was feeling like it was cooking from the inside and various parts of my body started to shut down.

This obviously was quite a concern and quite frankly scared me. I did not appreciate just how shutdown my body was.

I re-presented to the Emergency Department where and additional 2L of IV fluid was given and then the decision to admit me for close monitoring was made.

I was an in patient for 4 days and in the first 48 hours the level of care and attention to my well-being was overwhelming.

I was focused purely on getting better and while I still shared a bit of what was going on with social media I cut all in person contact with family and friends I was incredibly ill.

Part of the problem was I lost around 6kg of weight in about 3 days which made me incredibly fragile.

The nursing staff charged with my care were amazing and I do credit my return to health to their care.

After the first 48 hours in hospital I started to so significant signs of improvement, although a bit slow. The first 24 hours was quite a concern for all involved.

One your body get badly dehydrated, the process the body goes through to “kick start” itself and get back to normal is a really rough process.

Because of the public nature of this blog, I’m not going to go into detail, however the road now traveled was quite the challenge and journey.

I now write this blog entry 4 clear days out of hospital and can say I’m feeling a lot better.

I have received detailed advise from my GP and Dietician how to manage my situation and have made a remarkable recovery.

I am so pleased that I have access to such a great health care system as for the first couple of days I was not in a good situation to take charge of my own well being.

I consider myself once again blessed by dealing with such amazing health care professionals charged with my care, doing their utmost for my benefit.

Words can not express my gratitude.

With that, it’s time to move on to a new goal and wrap up the year.

Merry Christmas all and hope you have a moment to reflect on the year that was and goal set and look to 2013 with optimism.