Friday, January 20, 2017

Time, life and other distractions

SO much time. Getting distracted has this habit of really getting in the way of things. I rediscovered this long forgotten blog the other day and thought it was time to either delete or start it up again. So not being a fan of getting rid of things I am fond of, it's time to start writing again. Most of you know me and have a good idea of what I've been doing since October 2015, but for those who are curious, I'll catch you up in the next few posts. Let's just say there's been a  bit of action.

In the meantime, to stop from getting tense from anticipation, look at the beautiful photo I've included. Taken by Melvyn Nicholson, a landscape photographer and friend of mine who is in the UK. Most of you will know him for his "fogbow"shot that went viral this year.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


So I walked away from this in 2013. Lots of stuff has happened blah blah blah blah blah.

I am ready to start up again. Hold on to your hats, internet. A whole lot of crazy tree is back!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Anger management

Where to start? Hmmm... well I guess I should face a pretty ugly truth - I have allowed myself to become a person that I actually don't like very much. Angry. Judgemental. Blaming others. Feeling like a victim all of the time. Frustrated. Helpless. This is all adding up to a huge noise - its deafening me. Frightening me. And it is making me behave in ways that are frankly shitty and downright unpleasant. What is even more frightening is that I have also realised how it all started coming unravelled about 4 weeks ago.

What happened 4 weeks ago? I gave up drinking. Completely. And the anxiety levels have been building ever since. Looking back I can see I have been spinning my wheels at an ever increasing rate and my behaviour is rapidly approaching mania. It is farking terrifying. What has been the biggest shock is how much I was using alcohol to cope with these emotions. Or thought I was coping. What I was doing was drinking to a point where I felt nothing. The anger and pain was so much I was desperate to escape. Because 3 months before I had removed another "emotional anaesthetic" - binge eating and over eating. I have very deliberately and systematically been removing my emotional escapes. And for some reason thought that there would be no repercussions.

I think, to be  fair, I should list about what has bought me to a point of such anger and frustration. Actually this anger is building to fury. Which is spilling out - it's almost as if it can no longer be contained. And what is terrifying is that it is being directed at people who really don't deserve it. I hate this. I really do. But I am angry because...
I am watching my poor parents trying to adjust and cope with the repercussions of my dad's strokes. He has developed epilepsy from the scars the strokes have caused and it is still unstable at the moment. I want to fix it and can't.
My son has been horrifically bullied and assaulted by other kids in his year. The fact we had to talk to the police and sexual assault team still makes me want to throw up. I know that the other children who did the bullying need help too but the feeling of horror for my son and anger I feel towards these kids is causing me great stress. And staying "strong" is exhausting me. Yes I am getting help but I can't just block it out
I live with the love of my life who suffers terribly from PTSD. It has been that way since July 2001 and things are much better now. But he still suffers and as a result, so does the rest of the family. Living with this is beyond just "living in the company of the black dog". Because this dog NEVER GOES away. You just learn to live with it. And frankly, it sucks. It's not his fault. It's not any one's fault. But it doesn't stop me wanting to find someone to blame.
I want to be faster, fitter and healthier than I am. It has taken 18 months to go from 145kg to 116kg and yes, it's a great achievement. But it's not fast enough in my eyes. It's not been perfect. I am my own worst saboteur. And I get pissed off with myself. WHY can't I do better, go faster, be everything I want to be? I didn't say it made a lick of sense. It's what it is.

There's lots of other piddly crap too and that's what I focus on. The piddly, insignificant shit takes up the majority of my worrying time and stresses me right out. Because I want to ignore everything else. It's too much. too big. too difficult. And now that I have stripped away everything (very deliberately) that I had to distract myself (food, alcohol) I am standing in what feels like a very scary place with no defences, no shield, no fallback. SO I get angry and attack, lashing out and striking first because I can't run the risk of any more hurt. But all I have ended up doing is alienating those who mean so much to me and developing a (in the words of Mistress Pain) bullshit attitude. And it is bullshit. Everything that's happening and has happened wants me to howl in rage and frustration but in the end that's just more noise. And a shipping container or 6 of emotional baggage which is getting fucking hard to carry around. Anger isn't working. Anger doesn't make me feel better.

So what the fuck do I do now?

Well, admit I have a problem, for starters. This is not how mentally healthy people feel (according to Dr Google, anyway). So it is time to head back to the shrink to work out how best to deal with this emotional shit fight. I need to get this all out and in its place. I need to get this "noise" down to a level where it doesn't drown out all of the good that's around me. Because I know it's there - it just feels like I am observing it rather than taking part. Or even worse I am deliberately holding it away because I don't "deserve" to feel the good stuff. And before you ask, yes I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder years ago and no, I have not suddenly taken myself of my medication.

To those I have attacked, I apologise. I am well aware that does not make everything better. I know it is up to you to decide if you still want to be pissed at me for the way I have been behaving. But I am truly sorry. Fear, anger and a victim mentality has made the worst parts of me come to the surface. And it's ugly. Raw. Disturbing. I am out of adjectives, but you get my drift.

Time to wrap up. I know this has been heavy but I needed to write things down. This is how I let my emotions have a "voice". I think they have wanted to speak for some time, but I kept ignoring them in the hope they would go away.

Friday, March 15, 2013

that was "fun"

now as you know, I have been training with Mistress Pain (aka Oli from HypePT) for a while now and she is a great trainer. She works me hard, kicks me in the bum when I am stuffing around and on the whole really is incredibly patient when it comes to putting up with my whinging and crapping on. Especially when it comes to doing shoulder press (Oli calls it "The exercise you always lose your shit in"). Grumble.

There is really pretty much only one thing where we don't see eye to eye  - maybe two things, but I am not going to talk about our differing opinions on egg white only omelets here. The main thing is this - her idea of the word "fun" and mine are pretty much as polarised as you can go when you are talking in an exercise context. My idea of fun is something like maybe doing an egg and spoon race or perhaps going to lawn bowls where you drink lots and no one gets overly excited about the actual "sport" you are playing. When I bowl up to group training, I am not expecting either of these but I do find it somewhat cruel when Oli announces we are going to have fun. Before I get the chance to whip out the sunscreen or even a spoon, she then chucks approximately 1000kg of weights in the form of barbells onto the oval and my dream of a "fun" exercise session dies a quiet little death as outwardly I smile and mutter something like "awesome. I am sooooo pumped". And this is what we look like at the start of a class - the one looking most happy is Mistress Pain, because she knows EXACTLY what she is about to do to us

The list is long, but here are a few things that have come under the "fun" banner in Oli's workouts
  • Burpees - these are not fun, they were invented by some sadistic bastard whose mum either didn't hug him enough or too much. I came to this conclusion because doing burpees as a girl has a whole new level of suck than for boys. Unless they have man boobs. Because let me tell you the slapping noise your boobs can make as they slap down into your stomach was enough once for one person once to turn to me and say "what that your knee cracking?? that sounded really bad!" was waaaaay too mortified to admit the truth. Even if you have a flat stomach, the "girls" jump around in a most unladylike and frankly uncomfortable way. I am slowly coming to the conclusion that they were originally called "boobies" but it got changed to make it sound less rude.
  • skipping - seriously???? I am one of the most un-co people I know and skipping just fills me with dread. My sense of balance is terrible and let me tell you, lives are in danger once I am armed with a skipping rope and an instruction to "jump out 50 as hard as you can". I am pretty sure I look like some kind of demented rodeo rider who has lost their horse and instead has decided to use her lasso to whip herself and those around her until sheer exhaustion and being tied up in knots forces her to stop.
  • Running - of pretty much any description. My most memorable amount of "fun" that I had was in a fitness test involving "suicide runs" or "malcolms". In Mistress Pain's world, it goes like this - witches hats set out every 10 meters up to 100 meters. Run to first hat, do three squats or pancakes then run back to start line. Then run to second witches hat, do 3 squats, run back to start. Run to third hat etc etc until you have run and back to each of the farking witches hats and back to the start line. As you get back to the start after the witches hat set at 100m, that is 1 lap. I GET TO DO 4!!!!!!!!! some of the really fit people in my group can do this in 16-18 minutes. I take around 26 but I feel like  complete shite the whole time. Plus once I finsihed and promptly threw up - into my pony tail, which had fallen forward over my face. The lovely Nicholas very gallantly offered me some of the water from his bottle to wash it out. So yeah. NOT FUN.
And just in case you were wondering, this is how we looked at the end of the class that day

By the way, Mistress Pain, the lovely Trishy, Jon "call me Austin" and I are off on the Kokoda Challenge. Like us on facebook and please, please, PLEASE sponsor us. I am sure it will be F.U.N.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

This is getting serious

So in my last post (no pun intended) I wrote about the Kokoda Challenge and why I am walking it. Well, I sort of did. I burbled on about Sam Worthington with his shirt of a fair bit too. I also said I'd put up the more "serious" reasons why I am doing it. Serious reason #1 I love a challenge and seem to excel at picking ones that end up freaking me right out and causing more than a little stress to those who love me. I'm just that kind of gal. In January 2011 I realised I had to really make some major changes in my life - I was tipping the scales at 144kg and feeling pretty FARKING crap-tacular about myself. So I started the long, slow slog that is losing weight and getting fit in a way that was sustainable and healthy. There were quite a few trips, falls, stumbles, romping around in chips and gravy and general carry on I am not overly proud of along the way, but I am now down to 118kg and am healthier than I can remember being in over 10 years. In Jnaury the lovely Emma McLaren asked if anyone would be interested in doing this walking things called the Kokoda Callenge and of course I went "hell yeah!". Fast forward to now and I have spent the last 5 months doing lots of walking, trying out things like endurance gels (I have puked a lot too), learned how to tape up my feet and experienced the joy that is walking like a cowboy because I thought I didn't need chafing cream for a long walk. Serious reason #2 Like so many people, I had relatives who fought in the Second World War. One who ZI got to know very well was my Great Uncle Ken, who I knew fought in the war and was in North Africa and PNG campaigns. he didn't talk much about it and it was only later, near the end of his life, that I found out what he did. To me he was just UNcle Ken, who had an awesome model railway set and always gave us chocolate when we visited. It turns out news a major general and his "job" on Kokoda was to command the 25th Brigade. It was his decision to withdraw to Imita Ridge and in doing so, gained a strategic advantage over the Japanese advance. I had a chance to talk to him a bit about this and I asked him what it was like ot be in that position. his Answer is one I will keep saying to myself when I get tired on the challenge "You make a commitment, you do it. No matter what". This is a picture of him taken in September, 1942. I am proud of him and those like him, who serve our country today. It is them I will be thinking of as I walk. serious reason #3 Ummmmm. No idea. Seemed like a good idea at the time?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Kokoda challenge, motivation and Daniel Craig

So, some of you know I am doing the Kokoda Challenge in 7 weeks time (it's ok, that noise you can hear is me freaking out). And some of you have asked some great questions and I thought I'd put some answers up here for you 1) there are 4 people in your team - is it a relay? I WISH!!!! No, the 96km have to be covered by all four of us at the same time. So we will either be best of friends or not by the end of it. I reckon the friendships will be more tested by the distressed donkey noises you begin to make (completely involuntarily of course) after 50km of non stop walking. 2) as there is a 39 hour time limit, will you run part of it? Obviously this question has been asked by people who DON'T know me well. Let's just get something straight - I DON'T RUN. I can get enough of an undulation going when I'm walking. I am a woman of generous proportions, running kind of makes people think they are seeing a motion that closely resembles a lava lamp on PCP. I also really hate how I feel when I run. Giving birth was more fun, mainly because I was given lots of drugs if I wanted them. Morphine may not make running any easier, but it means I don't notice the discomfort as much. There are a FEW things I MAY run for on the challenge (a) if a lion, tiger, Ray Warren or some other scary animal is chasing me. I will run then, but only until I pass someone and then I'll slow down. As the old joke goes, you don't need to outrun a lion, you just need to run faster than the person who's with you ;) (b) if I get word someone is waiting at the next checkpoint with a glass of champers or long island iced tea. Preferably both. You are fairly likely to see me pick up the pace then. (c) I get word that Daniel Craig or Sam Worthington are waiting for me at the next checkpoint. With their shirts off. Waiting to rub my legs. With their shirts off. I can pretty much guarantee a quick jog for that. (d) if Daniel Craig and Sam Worthington are waiting for me at the next checkpoint, with their shirts off, holding champagne AND a long island iced tea and are waiting to rub my legs, I am likely to set a pace that would give Usain Bolt a run for his money. 3) Why are you doing this? BECAUSE I'M LOONY!!!! I'll tell you the real reasons in my next post. Really

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

More of a POBGPAD than a JFDI kind of gal

I have made no secret that I am doing the Michelle Bridges 12 week body transformation (12wbt) program. I am on my second round now and enjoy the results I am getting. It is NOT like biggest loser, with me standing on the scales crying every time I drop 500gm or getting voted out of my own house (although that may be up as an option if my PMS keeps getting bad, but that's a WHOLE other post). You can lose huge amounts on 12wbt if you want, but I have found that a slow and steady approach is a better way for me to go rather than the hell for leather, train until you puke (ok, YES, I tend to puke when I train anyway but running and I have NEVER been good friends. Especially after lunch) crazy lose-weight-so-fast-you-leave-fat-droplets-behind-you kind off thing. Soooooooo...
A mantra of sorts on the 12wbt program is JFDI, which means Just Fucking Do it. Ok. Fair enough. That works. Sometimes. But not always. I have had people say it to me and they mean to be encouraging but they have sometimes, quite unintentionally, come within a whisker of me shoving a brick up them sideways. Seriously. Tough love DOES have a place but not for everyone and not all of the time. I am also a quite simple soul and really, I need a BIT more direction than JFDI. JFDI what exactly? Go for a run? Or eat a chocolate eclair? I tend to subscribeomorrowe to the view of "put on (your) big girl pants and deal" or POBGPAD for short. Nowhere near as catchy as JFDI, but it's early days. Could be the new black!
Anyway, this is what I tend to keep in my head when my resolve to go for a walk falters or I just want to fill the bath with chips and gravy and then jump in and swim around in it. POBGPAD. Seriously. And when I look at my old knickers (size 28) those a fairly huge FARKING big girl pants. Not only were they once knickers, they can now also double as an emergency tent or backup parachute. With Big girl pants that huge, there isn't much you can't deal with. Really.