Carry & Connect participants

Want to start your Sunday with a rush?

Words by Robyn McCorkelle

Following the article in our 2nd Edition of the men’s Carry & Connect, it gives me great pleasure to introduce to you the fabulous women of our community who also participate in their own Carry & Connect group led by Rhiannon, a local herself.  She has family living overseas and wanted to meet new people, make great friends through exercise, mindfulness and togetherness. “Why should the boys get all the benefits”, she says, so she started a group for the girls / women. She has made some great friends, and has brought others together to do the same.  All doing something they love.  

I joined these inspiring women on a Sunday morning to experience what it was all about.

We met at the Musubi Dojo, Eltham Martial Arts Academy in Research.  They offer the use of their equipment: a kettle bell, sandbag, backpacks or whatever you are comfortable with.   There is a huge variety to choose from.  Rhiannon took me through the proper techniques of carrying each one.  I chose a sandbag for starters.

We then ventured along the delightful Aqueduct Trail.  Whilst enjoying the surrounds, carrying the weight added variety and benefits to the walk. It increases the demands on my heart and muscles while also boosting cardiovascular endurance, improving core and leg strength and assisting to build bone density. 

If you want, you leave your busy brain full of life’s challenges and of course accomplishments, (which are always important to celebrate), to focus on the self-awareness of your body, your breathing and movement.  Or, you can share with the ladies and empty your brain.  What a great way to start my Sunday!

Here’s what some of the group members say:


It’s incredible to be part of this group from the very beginning and watch more and more women join and benefit both physically and mentally. It is truly inspiring to see women challenge themselves and go beyond what they thought they were capable of.  


Carrying something heavy allows me to check in both mentally and physically. Connecting with like minded individuals affirms to us that we are not alone, and we can do this together. I believe it is a great way to end the week, and a positive precursor to start the following week.


As a busy mum, one of my favourite things about this group exercise is the opportunity to meet new people whilst looking after your health. Enjoying the beautiful bush surrounds of Research and Eltham whilst chatting about your week, discussing present challenges, getting a new perspective on something or simply sharing ideas … then finishing off with a refreshing ice bath that will invigorate you for the days to come.

The girls had said that, following the walk, I could finish off with an ice bath. I have never ever tried that before.  Rhiannon explained the process of this experience thoroughly.  I had researched the benefits of ice baths previously, which include the easing of sore & aching muscles, helping your central nervous system, assisting in better sleep and less fatigue, decreasing inflammation, making recovery faster, improving your overall performance.  It also trains your vagas nerve.  (The nerve is linked with the parasympathetic nervous system, and training it can help you face stressful situations more adequately).   

With all these benefits, I gave it a go! The girls provided the support and guidance I needed through the experience. Focus and breath control was a must for me. It was an invigorating experience.

To end this powerful, warming, and friendly experience I enjoyed a soothing cuppa with the girls.  I am so grateful for the welcoming vibe and overall inclusion I felt attending this inspirational and motivational group of women.  

You don’t have to be struggling with anything, you don’t feel you have to share your life story. There is absolutely no pressure for that in this group.  What you do get is encouragement, inspiration, and a sense of belonging with women who want to do a similar thing; to improve their minds and bodies through exercise and togetherness. The bonus benefits are meeting great new people and friendships.  I certainly encourage all the women out there to give this a go.  I met some fabulous women, completed my daily exercise in a different form and tried something new to me. 
Rhiannon would be very happy to chat further if you would like further information. Or you can just show up and be welcomed with smiles and open arms.  You can contact Rhiannon on 0404 528 125 or [email protected].