After 19 years of having a break from racing, Donna Fiorenza has signed up for the ultimate challenge, the Port Macquarie Ironman.
The Camden Haven resident said she moved with her family to the Mid North Coast from Sydney as she with battling with depression and chronic fatigue.
“Moving up here I thought being by the ocean and being free from the bustle of the city would save me,” she said.
“But it didn’t and I still felt the same feelings inside.”
Donna said she got herself involved in volunteering for the Port Macquarie Ironman in 2016 and 2017 and loved it.
She decided she would give the Ironman another shot.
“I thought if I fail it doesn’t matter, I’m going to have a crack because I need something to do in my life and to get me going again,” she said.
Donna went to see her doctor in Laurieton who gave her the go ahead for competing again.
Since Donna has begun training she has noticed an improvement in her health and she is feeling a lot happier.
“Every day I get out of bed with a purpose,” she said.
Donna said getting her fitness back has helped her heal, even though she gets tired sometimes and needs to rest.
“Getting outdoors every single day and having that commitment to do something off that checklist, has allowed me to forget about stuff,” she said.
“I’m always looking forward to something fun.”
Donna said she wants to help others who are struggling with mental health issues.
“Once you’ve got those small goals, you take them step by step and you realise you are achieving them, you feel absolute elation,” she said.
As part of the Ironman Donna will swim 3.8 kilometres, cycle 180 kilometres and run 42 kilometres.
Donna has got a set training plan in the lead up to the event. She also has a coach who guides her through weight training four days a week.
On the day she has off she will do weights and yoga.
After 19 years Donna didn’t expect her body to bounce back as well as it has.
“If anything my body has surprised me,” she said.
“Every run and every ride I come back from I always thank my body for getting me through.”
For more information or to register for the Ironman people can visit ap.ironman.com/triathlon/events/asiapac/ironman/australia.asp