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Another inspiring talk from TED

You know that stuff that can be hard to talk about? Brene Brown presents a TED talk which walks us through some research that helps define how we deal with our emotions. Nobody is perfect, interpret this how you will, at the end of the day being honest with ourselves and others is paramount.

Cycling around some Alps

One of the reasons for taking on a trip like this was to get myself in the best shape possible prior to donating one of my Kidneys to Dad. Anyone can get in a car and enjoy this part of the world, however the experience becomes so much richer on many different levels using a bike. As I edit this trip together I am counting down the days before I can snowboard again. I’m in Whistler, Canada and it’s been almost 5 weeks since the transplant and I feel pretty good to ride next week!

The video below is a documented video of Christina & I cycling around part of the Southern Alps of New Zealand. We enjoyed surprisingly nice weather considering the coast’s damp reputation, that was until the last day arriving home in Wanaka.

Powered by copious amounts of snacks including One Square Meals, Whittakers Chocolate and assorted nuts we claimed 1026km over 8 1/2 days.

Wanaka – Makarora – Lake Paringa – Fox – Hokitika – Arthurs Pass – Methven – Farlie – Omarama – Wanaka

Thank you to all our friends and family who met at the Federal Diner in Wanaka and supported us. Enjoy the 6 minute and 30 second to showcase the awesome trip we did.

Alps Loop from Richie Johnston on Vimeo.

Sister, Rose and her husband Jackson

My sister Rose her husband Jackson are not your typical couple who enjoy their mountain biking… Check out this little video I made of them enjoying some downhill tracks in Victoria Park, Christchurch two weeks ago.

Tandem Mountain Biking – Rose & Jackson Green from Richie Johnston on Vimeo.

Opening day at Whistler this week!

Getting super excited about the weeks to come. On November 30th, my plans to fly to Canada are still on. I’m at home in Wanaka doing lots of reading, editing video and enjoying the visits and pots of tea & coffee with visitors. I’m trying to ease myself off the pain killers, however the pain reminds me to slow things down and relax. At times it is difficult to ask for help with my independent nature, but it is there and appreciated if I need it. I’m able to get into town on a borrowed scooter and walk around, then off home for a nap.

The video below is a little different to the normal mountain video. A pretty cool way of representing an 8,200 acres of terrain. Have a watch

Mono Kidney

This time last week I was getting some anesthetic injected next too my spine and there were Doctors and Nurses scurrying around me making final preparations for surgery. The last seven days have been a blur, partly due to the countless vials of morphine and other opioids.

Six months ago Dad’s Creatine readings (to measure Kidney function) were at 500 and dangerous enough to start Dialysis. They should be between 85-120 depending on body composition. Two weeks ago it spiked above 600. He had a check up this morning and it has dropped below mine! It’s proof that the new healthy Kidney is very efficient at cleaning his blood and filtering out toxins. His legs are not puffy/achy anymore and his ability to sleep has improved. His medication tray is quite impressive though as he as many assorted pills to stop his body rejecting the new organ.

During my discharge on Friday, my surgeon and doctor knew of my energetic lifestyle and warned me to keep physical activity to a minimum for 4-6 weeks – especially lifting. The hospital staff have been wonderful and Dad and I expect a full and smooth recovery.

Below are the rest of the photos I took along the way, not so graphic this time – except of course the photo of the Dad’s kidneys in the tray…

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The count-down has started!

On Wednesday I received a call from Dr John telling me they have booked my Dad and I into surgery late October. I thought great! That will be enough time to recover before the Winter season starts in Whistler. So I went to visit friendly Jayne at Wanaka Flight Center and booked my flight for November 30th.

Today I get a call saying that one of the Doctors will still be on holiday and will not be back until a week later. That will then give me 5 weeks to recover before my flight. This is okay and I will be able to deal with it, however Dr John did say that there is a 6-9 week recovery time post surgery.

With my healthy and active lifestyle I am determined to be as fit and strong as I can be before and after the opp takes place. My Dad and I will be out on our bikes roaming the streets of Christchurch a few days before November 7th staying active! Luckily I have my my sister Rose and some friends who work at the hospital there to bring me assorted snacks and DVDs. My Mum (Janey) will be around to visit too which will be awesome.

I plan to start work for Whistler Adult Privates on December 15th so there is a goal to look forward too. Kenrae has been awesome and after visiting for 3 weeks here in Wanaka, she is helping me look for a place to live for the season.

Off for a bike ride to the gym…  50 days to go!

Words by Richie Johnston, WordPress

Competition shots from Canada

Coaching the Aussie kids leading up to the International Children’s Games last season inspired me to do some competing myself. I started following the BC circuit and was fortunate to hang out with a few local Kelowna teams and their coaches. I learned more about gates, maintaining speed and equipment tuning. It’s amazing what a good wax will do and the best way to prepare it for each race. My races were typically against 3 other riders each heat. The comps were held twice at Big White and once at Red Mountain. Thanks RIDE Snowboards for sorting me out with the sweet deck!