Parton / Goodbye, good mornings

MARK PARTON ends his 16-year “ultra-marathon” on Canberra breakfast radio at 9am on December 18 when he steps down from 2CC. Will he miss the early mornings?

FOR 16 years I’ve helped to get Canberrans out of bed on the radio and now it’s over.

Mark Parton.

Mark Parton.

It’s a little odd to end a long-term breakfast gig without scandal, without tears and without lawyers. I’ve worked full time in radio since I was 17. It’s all I’ve known.

I started working at my local radio station, 6AM Northam as a casual announcer in 1983 before moving to Perth, regional Victoria, Launceston, Adelaide, Newcastle and Canberra.

Will I miss it?

Yeah, I think I will, but not for at least six months. For the next six months I look forward to feeling human again. Breakfast radio is like being the mother of three-month-old triplets who never get any older. It’s been a 16-year ultra-marathon.

In the end it was the 2.45am alarm that ended my full time radio career. Sure, I’m a morning person, but a quarter to three isn’t morning, it’s night time!

In these last few weeks I’ve been counting down the days like a “lifer” counts down to his release day from prison.

When I finally made the call to quit there were so many factors that contributed to it. One of the biggest was my health and wellbeing.

Combining my radio role with my new marketing business PartonMe had seen me working most days from well before dawn till close to traditional knock off time. So many family things, so many relationship things and so many “me” things had just fallen by the wayside.

I’m quite a keen cyclist, but I think I’ve been on the bike twice in the last 12 months. I just haven’t had the time. Most of the clothes in my wardrobe don’t fit me as a consequence, and that’s an annoyance, but if the situation were to continue I’m sure there would be much greater drawbacks.

My first regular workday after my radio career ends is December 21. I’m committed to riding the bike to my office in the city on that day… because I can. And to be disciplined and get on the bike at least three times a week from that point.

I’m committed to watching more movies, seeing more sunrises, climbing more hills, stealing more kisses and being unconscious much, much more.

In the past 18 months my work/life balance had become so lopsided that the “life” part never got a look in and it had to change.

I know there will come a time when I miss daily radio, but not anytime soon.

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