When it comes to getting out and giving it a go, there isn’t much that exercise physiologist and sport and recreation TAFE teacher Linda Davis hasn’t tried, and totally dominated. In fact, her philosophy is if you’re not out there falling over, flipping off and generally bleeding a bit for your efforts, you’re not pushing yourself enough. Here Linda tells us about her love of orienteering and outrigging and her new activity: canoe-polo.
Occupation: I’ve spent the past six years as a sport and recreation, outdoor recreation and fitness teacher at TAFE. I’m also working this year as the operations captain at Headquarters 11th Brigade. Outside of work, I’m head coach for the Magnetic Island Outrigger Canoe Club, secretary for Totally Tropical Orienteering Club (TTOC) and medical support for Australian Defence Touch Football Association.
” I love mornings — there’s nothing better than watching the sun come up from out on the water, or from a hill when you are on the bike” – Linda Davis
Tell us about orienteering. Known as ‘cunning running’, orienteering requires participants to use map reading and running skills to complete a marked course in an urban or bush environment as quickly as possible. Townville’s Totally Tropical Orienteering Club runs a range of events including the urban adventures, street-park events, CATI (Come And Try It) and bush cross-country events. We use maps that have been specifically developed for orienteering.
How did you discover it? My geography teacher in Year 11 was the team manager for the Darling Downs Schools Team and he targeted the school cross-country team that year to come and try orienteering. I had a ball and found out I was quite good at it. I have been involved ever since.
How else do you stay active? I’m a member of Magnetic Island Outrigger Canoe Club. We train three times a week in the OC6 canoes and often go out another two to three times a week on our skis or individuals outriggers (OC1). I also try to bike ride (preferably mountain bikes) when there are any spare moments. Plus chuck in a bit of white-water rafting, trekking, orienteering and canoe-polo and that’s me done!
Are you a morning or afternoon mover? I love mornings — there’s nothing better than watching the sun come up from out on the water, or from a hill when you are on the bike. It also means that when life gets on top of you during the day you’ve already done your training so you don’t guilt trip!
“Sometimes it’s just nice to go it alone and push the boundaries where there’s no competition except your own mind” – Linda Davis
What’s your favourite thing to do on a weekend in Townsville? Survive! My weekends are crazy — I seem to bounce from one activity to the other all weekend and, although I have a ball, sometimes I’m glad when Monday comes so I can have a rest!
What inspires your ‘get up and go’? Life is short, I want to take advantage of the opportunities that are out there. There are so many things to see, do, and experience that there isn’t time to sit on the couch and navel-gaze!
Most motivational quote? Never knock back an opportunity, grab it and run with it because you may find that door will never open again.
How do you pep yourself up when you’re craving the couch? I just remind myself that, whether I’m out there training in a team or doing a solo session, every time I miss one it affects not just me, but also my teammates. And I don’t like letting my teammates down.
Do you prefer to get active solo, or with a buddy? Both — there is nothing more motivating or fun than training or being active with a group of like-minded mates, but sometimes it’s just nice to go it alone and push the boundaries where there’s no competition except your own mind.
What’s your greatest fitness achievement? I’ve always been competitive in sports and been involved in a wide range of activities, but some of my biggest achievements have included adventure racing: seven 48-hour Geoquests, seven 48-hour/33-hour Cairns Eco-Adventures (The Quolls), two Southern Traverses (five days in New Zealand), more six to 24-hour long adventure and multisport races than I care to remember (AROC, Max Adventure24, On-A-Mission, Hells Bells 24, James-Grant, Arrow24, Adventurethon); but my proudest achievement is having completed six Australian XPD’s (seven to 10 day challenges), including the 2011 Adventure Racing World Championships. I also competed in the 2013 Na Wahine 72km Outrigger Change-Over World Championships in Hawaii with nine other awesome North Queensland girls. We were one of five Australian teams that raced and we finished 25th of the 87 starters racing over the Molokai Channel. Plus 2013 was a big paddling year as I also competed as a member of the Australian Women’s Whitewater Rafting Team at the Rafting World Championships in NZ, finishing 14th.
“If you don’t make mistakes — fall over, fall off, flip upside-side-down, wear the ‘wrong attire’, or end up covered in blood — then you aren’t getting out there” – Linda Davis
Best active moment? Overall, it’s watching the excitement and enthusiasm as teams finish the TTOC Urban Adventure — hearing their stories, course comparisons, good and bad moments! Personally, it’s finishing any race or event. When it’s been hard work, there is nothing more satisfying than crossing over that line!
What’s something we don’t know about you? I played European Handball at a state and national level for five years, mainly as a goal keeper!
What’s your next goal? I’ve just taken up canoe-polo, so would like to be proficient!
What are you doing to get there? Spending a lot of time up-side-down in the water!
Most embarrassing moment on the go? I don’t think I get embarrassed about much anymore! I believe that if you don’t make mistakes — fall over, fall off, flip upside-side-down, wear the ‘wrong attire’, or end up covered in blood — then you aren’t getting out there. And anyone making fun of you for trying just really isn’t important.
My best local fitness tip is… make a commitment to yourself, find something you enjoy, don’t make excuse, and get out there!