Off to Masters Games

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS -

IT is funny how one neg­a­tive sit­u­a­tion can open the door to some­thing pos­i­tive.

Yangebup’s Vicki McGrady was work­ing as an ab­seil­ing in­struc­tor in May 2015 when she tore a ro­ta­tor cuff in her shoul­der.

Two years later, the mother of four, com­puter sci­ence grad­u­ate, scouts leader and wildlife carer is on the cusp of rep­re­sent­ing Aus­tralia at April’s World Masters Games in New Zealand.

“I didn’t take the in­jury se­ri­ously un­til I was prac­tis­ing a res­cue in a lo­cal quarry and it fi­nally went snap,” she said.

“It ap­par­ently takes a lot of pain be­fore I’ll pay at­ten­tion.”

Mrs McGrady’s quest to get back to full fit­ness put her in the path of Bob Pavone, head coach at Rock­ing­ham’s Olympi­fit gym, and the rea­son for the Yangebup mum’s quest for gold in New Zealand.

“I knew af­ter that first ses­sion that he knew his stuff. I just didn’t tell him that,” she said. “He was amaz­ing.

“He not only had to con­tend with my phys­i­cal in­jury and my im­pa­tience at want­ing it bet­ter now, but also my con­stant psy­cho­log­i­cal bat­tle with my mind telling me I can’t do it be­cause it will hurt.”

Af­ter tak­ing part in an in­ter-gym weightlift­ing comp for a bit of fun, Mrs McGrady got a thirst for the sport.

“I kept plod­ding along at my gym ses­sions, then an­other in­ter-gym comp came up in Oc­to­ber (2016) and I thought ‘why not?’” she said.

“Af­ter my last lift in that com­pe­ti­tion it was an­nounced that I just qual­i­fied to en­ter the 2017 World Masters Games in New Zealand.

“I stood there on the stage aghast, much to the amuse­ment of the crowd and my smug coach.

“I then went home and told my fam­ily. I think they were just as dumb­founded. And here I am to­day.”

Mrs McGrady will com­pete in the 90kg di­vi­sion of the 45-49 year-old age cat­e­gory.

“I am so un­be­liev­ably ex­cited,” she said. “To be able to rep­re­sent my coun­try, how­ever cliché that sounds, is an ab­so­lute life high­light for me.

“I have been blessed be­yond my wildest dreams to get this far. I just want to do my coach, fam­ily and coun­try proud.”

Mrs McGrady, who was pro­vided a $400 spon­sor­ship from the City of Cock­burn to help costs as­so­ci­ated with the trip, will train six morn­ings a week in prepa­ra­tion for the com­pe­ti­tion, to­gether with cir­cuits of Man­ning Steps in Hamil­ton Hill in the evening.

Picture: Jon Hew­son d466982

Vicki McGrady hard at work.

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