Mental Health

Don’t Panic – Why I’m Doing the Mystery Box Rally

I was having a virtual stroll around the Interwebs when I noticed a post from my friend Claire. Her co-driver for the 2016 Mystery Box Rally had dropped out and she needed a replacement.
I knew she was entering and essentially what the rally was –

Teams will drive unknown cars along a mystery route in this unique 5 day challenge, all in the name of cancer research. The mad baby brother of Shitbox Rally, Mystery Box is smaller and shorter but no less ridiculous. You fly into the departure `location with no car and no idea of where you’re heading, but ready for an adventure.

As I read the post calling for a replacement co-driver I though to myself “I wish I was the kind of person that did this kind of thing”. It occurred to me a few short moments later that I could be! I had a quick look around the website to make sure I knew what I would be getting into and sent Claire a message.

This is not the kind of thing I would ever have had the confidence to do before. A mystery journey in a mystery car – it is impossible to do the level of planning (and associated worrying) that I would usually do even for a short drive to an unfamiliar location.

The entire thing is about raising money for the Cancer Council in Australia who fund vital research into curing cancer. This is a cause very close to my heart and to my family who have lost many loved ones to the disease.

The timing of this opportunity was uncanny. The day before I had been in a particularly challenging session with my psychologist.

We have done some great work dealing with my anxiety and depression issues and have developed a strong and varied tool kit that helps me maximise the potential in my life. My focus on mindfulness, kindness, giving and gratitude was born out of these sessions. As we have tackled more and more ‘surface’ issues we have been moving closer and closer to some deep emotional root causes of some of the ways I feel and think.

Losing my mother to cancer at age 3 had, and continues to have, a profound impact on my life. It was only in this recent session that we really got down to the core of these impacts and started looking at the ways I can move forward. 

I’ll save the rest of that story for a more detailed post in the future when I have figured out exactly how to share it properly.

Needless to say, to have had a very painful (yet hopeful) eye opening with its roots in losing loved ones to cancer had really set me up to leap at the chance to help raise money for cancer research.

Claire and I got chatting and decided to call our team ‘Don’t Panic’ and to both dress as Arthur Dent for the entire rally. We went shopping for matching dressing gowns and pyjamas and made a team photograph.13315490_1065378123520764_3757606222773116849_n

We plan on drinking tea, handing out biscuits and looking confused in our pyjamas for the whole event. This will be good for me. I will have no choice but to ‘just be’ as each day unfolds with it’s challenges and surprises. To say I am excited is an understatement.

I’ve seen videos from previous and similar events and I am looking forward to making new connections. The sharing of the experience with the other participants will be amazing. I’ll be driving Claire insane during the day in the car but we camp every night together as a group. I can see the opportunities for those filmic moment I always thought were for ‘other people’.

So now we have until September to raise a minimum of $3000 for the Cancer Council.


We are collecting donations at:

Every Day Hero Page

You can follow our shenanigans on our FB page at:

Team Don’t Panic on Facebook

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