Issue 1, Semester 2
By Tricia Ong
Over the last study break I went to Lorne for a day with two friends. We planned on going to Live Wire Park, Australia’s first ‘completely off-grid elevated adventure park’. It was meant to be a fun, destressing day. A day to forget all my problems and relax. A day of healing.
We started our day with unboxing birthday presents (which were a great success coz we are great friends who get great presents). Then we walked over to Maccas for hash browns and McMuffins. After Maccas, we began our journey to Lorne. It was a two hour drive to Live Wire Park and I only had a few months of driving under my belt. Nonetheless, I braved the road, ate some lollies and enjoyed friend 1’s guitalele playing (friend 2 was sleeping at the back, gosh). At one point we could see the brilliant blue ocean and I felt the stress flowing out of my body. But then I saw cyclists, a lot of them, cycling at full speed towards me and the stress flowed right back into me. I relaxed as they cycled past me, certain that I had not hurt anyone. However, the next minute, another 10-15 cyclists and a car driving towards me, halfway in my lane, came into view. I tensed again, checked that there were no cyclists on my side of the road and entered the bike lane. Again, I relaxed when we past the cyclists. This cycle repeated countless times over the last 45 minutes of the drive due to a cycling event (trust my luck that the first day I drive my friends somewhere, there’s a cycling event happening). Needless to say, I was very relieved that we reached Live Wire without harming anyone.
Live Wire was great fun with a lot of screaming, flailing and wobbly legs. By the time we decided to leave, we were the only ones in the sky and the staff seemed ready to go home too (whoops). I was buzzing on the high of the heights and all the built-up stress had left my body. We went into town for a late lunch/dinner of burgers. After that we got some ice cream and walked along the beach to the playground. While friend 2 was taking some great photos of friend 1, I watched on the swing eating ice cream, marvelling at how relaxed I was.
But it didn’t last long, I had to drive another two hours back to Melbourne. The utter darkness and spirally mountain roads brought my stress levels up again. As I got closer and closer to home, I started relaxing again, feeling safe with the knowledge that phone reception had come back and there were fellow cars on the road. When we finally reached Richmond Station and dropped friend 2 off, I started talking to friend 1. Friend 1 noted, ‘wow Trish, I almost forgot how much you usually talk, so much so that I thought the quietness was normal’. That’s when it hit me, I had been so stressed about driving that I pretty much didn’t say anything on the way back. But when I was back in the comfort of the familiar roads, the stress had completely dissipated.
Stress comes and goes, I can’t do much about it but I can enjoy the moments of destressing. After all, it is the memories of those moments that help me through stressful times. So, I encourage you all to take a moment to destress, to enjoy the liveliness of the world around you, and to let those moments gather in your memories and become strength to overcome the hurdles life throws at you. After all, a completely stress-free life is almost unattainable (how sad). Let’s work with what we’ve got – the power of our memories.
Disclaimer: I don’t hate cyclists, I just don’t want to hurt anyone. Also I was not sponsored by Live Wire Park (although that would have been nice).