Shane (Warnie) was a legend in Australia – a true Aussie legend. A brilliant cricketer, strategic, incisive and sometimes controversial. I did not agree with all of his public statements or his lifestyle choices- but – that was his opinion – his truth – his perceptions – his life!
I grew up watching cricket. The television was often on during the summer holidays with predominantly Test matches in those days (late 70’s to early 80’s).
As a teenager I remember heading to the NTCA ground on my own and watching the English team play in Launceston. I got the autographs of greats such as Ian Botham, Derek Randall, Geoff Boycott, David Gower – a star studded team.
I would wake up around 3 am to watch the final session of Ashes when being played in England on a little black and white portable tv perched on a stool in my bedroom.
I had my small portable transistor radio tucked away in my blazer pocket during the final few hours of the Centenary Test in 1977 – in my English class. What a match and result. My cricketing heroes back then were Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson. I loved hearing the chant of the crowd when they bowled.
In 2005, I recall a trip I took with my then 14 year old son Luke to Melbourne. It was a mother/son trip. We were watching a one day match at Etihad stadium – Australia vs the World XI . Warnie was not playing, but he just happened to be within metres of where we were sitting, fiddling with his mobile phone.
There was a glass screen between where he was and where we were. An attractive female stood on our side of the screen with her mobile, making it look like she was texting (Warnie for the sake of the photo I presume). She had a friend standing maybe 5 metres back taking a photo of her, with Warnie in the backdrop also texting – hence suggesting that perhaps they were texting each other.
I felt really sorry for Warnie and viewed him in a different way thereafter – it was not that long after all the furor regarding his mobile phone and women. How easily perceptions can be distorted! Two totally different stories playing out – but ‘perceptions’ can vary depending upon whom is looking, with explicit and unconscious bias playing their part when one ultimately viewed the resulting photograph.
Tony told me of a story this week that was shared to him by Dave, a work colleague. It concerns a former member of the Victorian Labor Party – someone I have never heard of, Philip Dalidakis.
Following the sudden and untimely death of Warnie, he arranged to get a cardio check up, the result of which was an unclear scan, subsequently resulting in an angiogram.
During the angiogram it was revealed that he had a severely blocked artery that could have easily brought on a stroke or other catastrophic heart failure.
They found a 95% blocked artery – this guy had ZERO symptoms.
Quote: “I only got checked because of Warnie”.
Now I am certainly no Warnie – but I continue to be overwhelmed by the personal support and messages as I have shared my own, very personal and emotional journey. I’ve been hit for six – and right now I am scoring a few singles where I can.
I acknowledge that I have a profile higher than some others courtesy of Zwift and the 200,000 km I have ridden resulting in me being a Trek Ambassador. I have over 11,000 followers (Zwift, social media, strava etc – notwithstanding there would be numerous duplicates within that data).
I have always tried to use that following responsibly, and overwhelmingly, most agree that I do. I wear my heart of my sleeve for sure, and I know that a few have found my forthrightness and openness unpalatable and unacceptable. I am but human and have many quirks and foibles and scars. For that I apologise. The first two posts were highly emotionally charged given my highly distressed state at that time and in hindsight, if I was more stable, would have tackled them differently. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
I will continue to use my profile to raise awareness of issues and right now to encourage you to get your checkups (heart health, mammograms, prostate, bowel, blood screenings and so on).
I am me. The sum of my life experiences. I am proud of me and what I have achieved.
A very sweet 8 year old girl made my day earlier this week. Evie is the grand daughter of a neighbour and is wise beyond her years. Her hand written note speaks volumes.
I have had many people share with me their journeys, fears, genetic background and that they have already made/will be making those medical appointments. TICK!!
Thanks again for your support,