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Inspiration Motivation Preparation Elation

Updated: May 31, 2022

The lead up to the 2021 ICC finals held in 2022 was the most extended, nerve wracking and uncertain preparation for a comp, I have ever endured. After competition dates were announced and the location locked in, I knew things were going to look very different to what we’d previously been used to. No Opera House Concert Hall, no spotlight on the stairs, a new ticketing system, how was it all going to pan out?

Everything was new, unknown and the dark cloud of Covid-19 that had been looming for 18 months, was still hovering above us all.

It sounds strange to say that isolating a week out from comps with the ‘spicy cough’ would turn out to be ‘best case scenario’. However, it was one less variable to be nervous about in the lead up to performing, as I was unlikely to catch it again in the fortnight to follow which encompassed both Champion Girl and Senior Finals. I did what any dedicated physie girl would do in isolation, I donned my mask, slippers and started practicing in my lounge room. I sent practice videos to my mum, sister and dedicated teacher, Nadina who, in addition to running our seniors face to face classes, spent additional time to review and critique (very intently I might say) my videos so I felt as prepared and confident in my work, just as I would in a normal year.

Isolation ended but the practise went on, we started to get back into a cardio routine to rebuild any stamina and strength that was lost or had decreased after the unplanned extended holiday, and got ready for what lay ahead.

The day rolled around, and I was feeling super confident in what we had achieved and the strength and control I felt, I had applied to the syllabus. This would be my first year in the triple age group 25-27 years. I was already nervous to compete in a larger age category, when another speedbump appeared. It was at this time we found out I would be combined with the 28+ years, an age group full of physie women I grew up watching and idolising. I was terrified but also felt blessed to share the floor with these phenomenal ladies, drilling in heats, the calibre of grand sections. After making the final, I couldn’t wait to perform during the inaugural year at a new venue, in a theatre with seats that appeared to extend as high as the clouds.

The fact that I’d performed in 80,000 crowd stadiums before, didn’t stop the butterflies in my tummy.

Nothing compares to the feeling of hearing my number called to contest in the grand section for a second time, and to then hear my number called as a National Champion... for the first time!

It’s like the world stopped spinning for a split second for me to realise I had finally, after 20 years, achieved what 6 year old me had dreamed of experiencing.

I’ve been lucky enough to spend 26 years being part of a successful club full of women that inspire me both on and off the Physie floor. I have been in class with 4 Grand Champions, 8 National Champions and a 10-time National Champion Team. The same support and love I have always had for those women all came flooding back to me in the moments that followed. I am so lucky to be part of a club and sport where women empower each other.

I feel as though everyone shared in my elation the same way I had shared in theirs, a unique quality to have in a competitive sport.

While Physie may be an individual sport most of the time, it is nothing short of a team effort. I wouldn’t be the Physie woman I am today without being inspired by those who mentored me throughout my journey. Covid has taught us a lot.

It has reminded me of the importance of family.

The importance of my mum and sister who continued to believe in me even when I’d lost belief in myself. The special people who spent countless hours helping me practice in class, through Zoom or FaceTime who alongside my family never gave up hope that my day would come. They have supported me through all my Physie experiences and achievements, big or small, high or low and taught me that no matter how disappointed you may be with a result, you can come back stronger and with more determination to better yourself. Elizabeth Scott has the most extensive understanding and precision when teaching junior Physie girls in their foundational years. Brooke Davey and Kristin Scott have been the encouraging role models that keep you coming back year after year. They are the epitome of hard work paying off and are an absolute joy to watch on stage (cue the nerves to be in the same section as them).

Finally, Nadina Zappia, is still the same superstar performer I remember pushing myself as a small primary school aged child to stay up late to watch at the Opera House and being in absolute awe of. Her extensive understanding of anatomy and dance as an artform not only enables us to showcase our best performance year after year but keeps us following safe dance practices, staying fit, healthy and injury-free.

In the preparation and lead up to filming the 2022 syllabus training video, I knew I was in the best hands and I felt so confident in the way she guided me to perform the most accurate depiction of the intended syllabus.
I hope to inspire girls along their Physie journey this year through my presentation of the work, in the same way I was inspired over the years. Memories that are never forgotten.

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