Friday, 28 September 2012

Random Things I Know

I was very sad to see that Dorothy is giving up Things I Know but I totally understand the reason why - it takes a lot to run a linky and when you have as much on your plate as she does, it is totally understandable.  I hope that someone else will be able to pick this up because I do like having to think about what I know each week !

This week (randomly) I know :

- that if I don't get my eating under control no matter how much I run / plank / go to PT sessions, the weight / cms will not move

- Maltese McFlurries are not as nice as Hot Fudge McFlurries (I may or may not have found this out when I had a Maltese McFlurry for dinner last night)

Mine didn't look anything like this !!!!!

- snoring can be stopped with a CPAP machine (Hallelujah !!!!)

This is pretty much what the one that A has looks like

- the same CPAP machine may, at times, be more annoying than the snoring - which, last night, resulted in A going to sleep in the loungeroom until I woke up at 5am from a horrible horrible dream that I haven't had for many many years and I ran through to the lounge, woke him up and got him to come back to bed and hold me tight

- waking up stiff in the morning is not because of the new mattress but rather because of the exercise that I have done the previous night (sorry mattress for wondering whether to send you back !!!)

- being held accountable through #operationMOVE and #ausplank has got me moving more times this week than I possibly would have moved

- my running times are improving every time I get out there and pound the road - this makes me happy !!

- my Fit Journal would probably work better if I wrote down EVERYTHING I ate instead of only the healthy food I ate (although I did list a Maltese McFlurry for dinner last night - thank goodness nobody other than myself - and my family if they were so inclined - get to see this !!!)


- that I am soooooooooooooooo looking forward to this long weekend.  Not that we have anything exciting planned as yet.  A may still have to work tomorrow - not happy Jan - but we are waiting to hear for definite on that sometime today.

- maybe go on a whale watching trip I can convince A that it is a good thing to do, if we do get stuck into the garden and need a break

- sometimes Dads forget what was like to be 20 and 20 year olds have no idea about anything that doesn't involve them or isn't about them.  Sometimes I wonder if there will ever be peace in our family again or will I be constantly playing peacemaker.  At least it isn't as bad as it used to be when the only way to get them to be nice to each other was to threaten to leave !

- it is good to have lull days at work because I know the storm is going to hit next week and then it is going to be bedlam

Have the best weekend ever - and if you are lucky enough to live in a state celebrating the Queen's Birthday on Monday - ENJOY !!!!  And Happy Birthday to the Queen (even though I know this is nowhere near the date of her actual birthday - it means a holiday for us and I am soooooooooooo totally grateful for that) !!

TFTD : If you settle for just anything, you will never know what you are truly worthy of

Monday, 24 September 2012

How are you doing in the planking challenge ?

Well here is the first table for the planking challenge - some of us keep improving, some of us go up and down and some of us have had other commitments and have missed a couple of days (which is fine - honestly - you can either plank more than once a day to catch up or just continue when you can).

Planking Challenge
Name 17-Sep-12 18-Sep-12 19-Sep-12 20-Sep-12 21-Sep-12 22-Sep-12 23-Sep-12
 Aroha 2 x 30 sec 1:00   1:15      
 Bek 0:32 0:46 0:50        
 Kate Y 1:02:07   0:40 1:07:08      
 Kylie 0:23 0:34 0:35 0:35      
 Lee 0:35 0:40 0:45 0:45   0:50 0:55
 Linda 0:59 1:10 1:25 1:18 1:26 1:30 1:31
 Lyndal     1:07 1:10 1:05    

To all the lovely ladies who are taking part, I want to say a big thank you for holding me accountable for this daily challenge.  There have been times when I have got as far as my bed before I remembered that I haven't done my plank and so I dropped and given my body the benefit of a minute plus change of planking - and got into bed with my core muscles aching and me feeling like I have done something that, in the long term, is going to help my body be the best that it can be.

Just in case you were wondering why
we are doing this daily challenge
To anyone who wants to join in, you are more than welcome - just drop me a line and I will add you to the daily (mostly) reminder that I send out and you can send your times back once you have done and I will add you to the spreadsheet.

Have the best week ever !

TFTD : When you truly love yourself, you don't have enemies.  They may hate you but you are too  big to hate them back.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Random Things I Know

Linking in with Dorothy from Singular Insanity who this week has some great tips about linky parties (thanks Dorothy - sorry I don't use your button but I have tried with a few linkies but all I get is some letters and no button - I am totally challenged in this department !!!!)

These are things that I know this week :

- if the weather stayed like it is always on the Gold Coast I probably wouldn't appreciate it so I know I am grateful when the cr*ppy weather that we sometimes very occasionally have, arrives (Thanks Badger for the reminder !!!!)

- the man I married will qualify for seniors discount next year but that doesn't make me old

- people can be knuckleheads but that doesn't make me a knucklehead

- I am motivated by being held accountable for my exercise and am more likely to get out there when I don't feel like it because I have made the commitment to someone else

- next week I am going to get my fit journal started

- this weekend A wants to tackle the garage to clean out and tidy up - if he does that I will concentrate on the kitchen and the kitchen cupboards (what I really want to do is go whale watching on Sunday morning !!!!)

- make a cup of coffee using a coffee machine is more trouble than it is worth (imo - but that may be because I don't drink coffee but honestly, can't see the point in taking so long and then just drinking one cup of the stuff.  I hope I haven't bought a white elephant !!!!)

- I love this saying and am thinking that is definitley what I want to be (the unicorn not myself !!!) - especially today !

I hope today flys by - I don't know how much of it I can take !!!!

Have the best Friday that you can !

TFTD : Forget it enough to get over it, remember it enough so it doesn't happen again.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Thankful Thursday

Linking in again with the lovely Kate from katesaysstuff for Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful for the fantastic weather we are having on the Coast.

The glorious sunshine that we have every day. 

The warmth that comes from the sun (because sometimes - not often here - but in other places - it is sunny but as cold as buggery !!!). 

The joy that the sun brings to me.  While I don't like being hot, I hate being cold also.

The pleasure of being able to sit in the sun and read my book for 30 mins on Sunday (yes, I know it is bad for me but tanned fat is so much nicer than white fat - sorry Mom !!)

The rain that we had the other night that filled up our pool and our tanks just a little !!

The cool nights that make it pleasant to snuggle up under the doona.

Why can't we have this weather all year around ????

What are you thankful for this week ?
Pop over to Thankful Thursday with Kate and share your thankfulness !!
TFTD : Sometimes in our life good fortunes come early, sometimes they come late, but they always come.  And, they're always right on time !

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Our Holiday in NZ - August 12

I completely forgot about posting the link here to our absolutely fantastic holiday on the south island of NZ - sorry - I know I said I would.  Then, given how long it took me to get it all loaded up (the photos were a major mission so I hope you enjoy looking at them) I had just about forgotten all about the holiday !

For an honest recap of a great holiday in NZ - pop over to here.

This was our itinerary :
Gold Coast - Christchurch
Christchurch - Fox Glacier (via Arthur's Pass)
Fox Glacier - Wanaka
Wanaka - Queenstown - Te Anaeu
Te Anaeu - Dunedin via Invercargill
Dunedin - Christchurch
Christchurch - Hanmer Springs via Akaroa
Hanmer Springs - Christchurch
Christchurch - Gold Coast

Have the best day ever !

TFTD : Family is not about blood, it's about who will hold your hand when you need it most !

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Happy Birthday A !!!!

Today A turns 49 - the last year of his 40's - next year I will be married to someone old enough to qualify as a senior citizen !!!!!!

How did he get so old ?  And how did I get so old, I am only 2 years younger than him ????????

The funny thing is that I don't feel old.

When I was little, I thought anyone who was 20 was old and if you were 50, well you just about had one foot in the grave !

Now that I am 3 years off being 50, it doesn't seem that old anymore !!!!

I was having a twittersation with some friends the other night and the topic of bands came up at a conversation she had at work - apparently she was 2 when the band was big !!!! And, she is terrified of turning 30 (sorry my friend if you are reading this and know I am talking about YOU !!!!) and it was all I could do not to laugh out loud (although my family are getting used to sporadic bursts of 'out loud' laughter from me as I check twitter) - I can't wait to be 50.  I think to be 50 not out would be amazing !

Maybe the fact that I have found only about 10 grey hairs (of which K has pulled 8 of them out - now I guard them and don't let her near them because I wear them as a badge of honour - strange I know !!!) helps because I don't think I look as old as I would have if I had more grey hair.

I have noticed that my body doesn't heal as quickly as it used it, it doesn't recover as quickly as it used to and it doesn't process food/drink like it used to - it is slower in many aspects but it is also more likely to take chances now than it used to be.  Why else would it have said yes to doing The Stampede - and not only doing it but thoroughly enjoying it - so much so that it has signed up for Warrior Dash in November and the 10km Stampede event next year ????

The point of this is that we can't stop the ageing process but we can embrace it and enjoy the experience.  And the saying, you are only as old as you feel is so totally true because there are days when I feel like I am 80, but then there are the days when I feel like I am 20 again.

Linking in with Jess from diaryofasahm for IBOT for the first time !

Have the best day ever and embrace the process because you can't stop it !!!

TFTD : If you want your life to change, your choices and actions must change.  And today is the best day to begin.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Planking Challenge Starts Today !!

Well today is the day - the 'Once A Day Timed Plank' challenge begins.  Thanks to the following ladies who have joined up :

Aroha from coloursofsunset
Grace from withsomegrace
Kate from katesaysstuff
Kylie from astudyincontradictions
Lee from mummyissues
Sammy from happyfamilyhealthyfamily

The challenge goes like this - time yourself planking once a day (either on your knees or in full plank) and then mail me to let me know your time.  I have a spreadsheet that I will send out once a week so everyone can see how they are tracking and give encouragement to the other lovely ladies taking part in the challenge.

I will send out a reminder email each morning (my reminders better work otherwise I will be in trouble !!!).

As always, if you have an injury or aren't sure of your capabilities, seek medical advice before doing this.

If anyone else wants to join in - please feel free to get in touch with me and I will add you to the list - the more the merrier !!!!

Have the best time working those core muscles and getting abs of steel !!!!


TFTD : Life is simple.  Everything happens for you, not to you.  Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late.  You don't have to like it, it is just easier if you do.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Random Things I Know

As usual, linking in with Dorothy from Singular Insanity for {Random} Things I Know this week :

- I will run again.  This morning I ran more than 2/3's of the 4.8km that I was out.  Apart from about 15-20 steps at the transition from walking to running in my left knee, it went really well.  My breathing sucks again - but that is OK, I am working on it and I know that I will get it back to where it was before I stopped running.

- I suck at buying birthday presents for the man who has everything.  Does a coffee machine with a free grinder count ?  Or is that a present for the house ?  Even if it is for the house - he's got it now although he may wish to choose a different one.  Plus a box of 4 different beers - not exciting but man, it isn't like when he is buying for me and can get a Pandora charm or perfume and I'll be happy !!  He really does have everything and every bloody year it gets harder and harder.  I'm thinking maybe I should just put a big bow around myself and give myself to him !!

- Work has been stressful but good this week.  I am really happy where I work - for the first time I truly feel valued as an employee and I feel like my opinions and ideas carry some weight.  I have job hopped reasonably regularly for nearly 30 years and this is the first job where I have felt like I matter !!  It is good.

- Eating and drinking well from Monday breakfast to Friday lunch in not condusive to losing weight if I am going to lose the plot in the food and drink department from Friday lunch to Monday breakfast !!!!  I need to do something to stop the self sabotage in the food department - it is undoing all the good work I am doing with my exercise

- I suck at trying to remember the things that I know - I had a whole heap in my head while I was driving around today doing everything that needed to be done and now that I am sitting down at the laptop I can't think of them - I HATE it when that happens !!!!!!

- I am loving the weather that we are having at the moment.  Days are just glorious and nights are still cool enough to be comfortable to go to sleep.  I love the coolness of the sheets on my skin when I climb into bed (a far cry from having to have them heated before I would get into bed - thank you menopause !!!!)

- I am excited about starting the planking challenge tomorrow - I will be in touch with everyone who said that they would be interested in joining me.  And, if anyone else wants to join in as we are going - you are more than welcome.

Have the best week ever - take care and remember to tell those close to you how much you love and appreciate them !

Have you got a great week planned ?  I am motivated to exercise
so that is what I am going to work on this week.

TFTD : Be so busy loving your life that you have no time for hate and regret.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Random Friday

Tonight I am blogging about random things that have happened recently because that is about all my brain can manage right now as well as linking in with Grace from With Some Grace for FYBF!!!

- on Wednesday we signed up for Warrior Dash on 10 November at Kilcoy - anyone interested in joining us we have entered the 12 noon event (the waves are every 30 mins from 9am) and this was the first wave available when we were entering

- I am having trouble trying to enter the 10km Stampede for next year - someone did get back to me today and I replied to their mail so am waiting to hear back from them before we can continue that registration

- tonight K asked me to go shopping for togs with her.  It seems like she has finally realised that maybe, just maybe, I do know some thing about what colours and styles suit her and I can pick something off the rack that will look great on her.  The acceptance and knowledge in her face when she tried on a top that I had chosen for her to wear with her Black Milk leggings was just priceless - I am so sorry I couldn't get to capture it on photo

- currently work is a great place to be - the work is kinda interesting (for a change), the bosses are being reasonable, I love the lady who works in the same office as me - we have so much fun and share heaps of laughter - it makes such a difference waking up in the morning and actually enjoying driving to work.  Would I rather win Lotto and travel the world ?  Of course.  But, until I do, I think I might just stay where I am (rather unusual given my history of changing jobs whenever I get bored !!!)

- in #operation move, I have moved 345 mins this week (total for September 463) - yeeehaaaaaa - gotta be happy with that - also happy with my weight loss over the past two weeks given how hectic things have been.  Am so glad to be motivated to exercise even on nights when we are going out for dinner rather than coming home and slothing in front of the TV until we go out because I don't have to cook dinner

- last weekend while we were away we asked my folks to get some vacuum storage bags for us from Aldi as they were on special.  We have our winter clothes that we used in NZ and nowhere really to put them so, for now, they are vacuumed and pushed under the bed.  But it got me thinking - and moving - and three absolutely over flowing, huge rubbish bin bags later, I have had a major clear out of winter clothes that I haven't worn in I don't know how many years.  K is going to take them to the Salvos or Lifeline or some charity tomorrow (I don't think she realised how much there was as I was only holding up one bag when I asked her !!!!) and I hope that someone will benefit from using clothes that I no longer wear or no longer fit me whether they are too big or too small.  It is such a great feeling looking at those three big bundles and knowing that there is a part of my cupboard / drawers that has been cleared.  A great feeling for me - now, if I could attack the hoarding gene that is A I could land up with the minimalistic house that I have always wanted !!!!

- YAY tomorrow is Friday and that means the weekend is nearly here.  Unfortunately A and K are both working on Sunday but that means I get to spend the whole day doing exactly what I want, when I want - what more could I ask for ???

- before I trained as a reflexologist and remedial massage therapist - I used to have my nails done.  I found a lady who was excellent at gel nails and did a great job - and I loved my nails.  I loved my hands and how they looked with nails.  Then I started to study reflexology and massage and had to get rid of the nails - oh man I missed them.  It's been over 5 years since I last had nails and so I decided to have them done before we went on holiday - I loved having nails again.  It's been too long since I had any nails worth looking at.  It was a sad today when I had them taken off and I am back to  my stumpy little nails again.  (Please note - this is very tongue in cheek - I know that there are a gazillion people around the world dealing with issues so much bigger than me having gel nails taken off - so please, if you are thinking about leaving a nasty comment in regard to this - don't bother to waste your time - I do get that it is trivial !!!!!)

- I am thinking about starting a challenge for my on-line friends. After reading about it at Fitness, Health and Happiness I wondered if anyone would like to join me in doing one timed plank per day - with the view to increasing the length of time that you plank for and giving those core muscles a really good work out.

So, are you in or are you out with regard to the planking challenge ?  Ask yourself - Do you want abs of steel ?  Do you want a really flat stomach ?  And then decide, can you afford to say no to the challenge ?????

TFTD : Pain makes you stronger.  Tears make you braver.  Heartbreak makes you wiser.  So thank the past for a better future !!

Another Random Thankful Thursday

Where do the weeks go to ?  It just seems like time is flying by so fast before I know it I will be 50 and able to apply for senior citizens discounts !!!!

Linking in with Kate from katesaysstuff for {a random} Thankful Thursday this week :

- for losing 2.8kg in two weeks which included a weekend away, and eating out two nights with friends at Mexican and Indian restaurants and the acceptance that every day does not have to be 100% for me to succeed - life goes on and I need to work out how to deal with that and my eating/drinking

- for my lovely on-line friends who are motivating and encouraging me with my exercising

- for my iPhone (yes I do like using it for this) for keeping track of how far and how fast I am walking / running

- for working out that if I run on the road rather than the pavement my knee likes loves me more and behaves better for me

- for my shoes and inner soles that are helping my knee behave like it should when I exercise

- for my trainer who pushes me to the limits that he knows I am capable of even when I am dry retching all over the place

- for FINALLY getting our NZ blog finished (I will be posting this on my blog soon)

- for the gratitude app that Lee from Mummyissues showed me - I have been using it daily and finding that it is doing me so much good taking time to reflect each evening on what I have to be grateful for - especially on the days when it feels like it is all turning to sh*t - when I think about it there are always at least four things to be grateful for

- for my pen and paper diary who have saved me more than once in recent weeks (even though it did a cr*p job yesterday - or maybe that was my fault seeing as I hadn't written said item in it in the first place !!)

- for my fantastic family who (most of the time) really do an amazing job with putting up with me

- for the opportunity to sign up for Warrior Dash seeing as The Stampede was so much fun.

Thanks again to Kate for hosting Thankful Thursday - as always, it is good to link up and share the blog love with others who are also thankful.

What are you thankful for this week ?

TFTD : It is not that those who are strong never get weak in the knees, or that they never hold their breath.  It's that while their knees are shaking, they force themselves to breathe and take another step.

Monday, 10 September 2012

The Stampede

In June this year, a couple of weeks before I ran the GC 10km race, I came across an event called The Stampede (I can't remember where or how but I found it) and I thought it would be a great event to enter to push me outside my comfort zones - given I was about to run a 10km race when I never, ever considered myself to be a runner, I wondered what else I could do that I previously never thought I could.

Well,  I was talking about it while looking it up and K said she would do it with me.  Then A piped up that he would do it as well - as you can imagine, I was rather surprised as I hadn't expected either of them to be interested.  Then someone who works with K wanted to join in as well so we had a team of 4 called Muddy Hell.  A few weeks before C came up with the idea of getting the horns from the $2 shop and having red shirts and black pants.  Well we didn't do anything about costumes until the day before when A and I went to the op-shop and bought red boardies and shirts.  I am so glad we did because on the day we really felt (and looked) like a team.

Team Muddy Hell
Our clothes all laid out on Friday night - ready and waiting

K had got a T-shirt and had written Muddy Hell on the back and offered to do ours as well which was great as it told everyone what our team name was.  We got quite a few comments/compliments from people as we were doing the course.

I loved that it wasn't a race - so much so in the Ts&Cs they state "If you want a trophy, bring your own." - I loved that line !  It was about participating and encouraging others to do their best and help anyone if they were struggling.

We booked accommodation at Caboolture for the weekend and so left after work on Friday night.  C arrived at about 8.15 on Saturday morning and we were all ready to go.  Got to Woodford without too much trouble.  On our way to register, A looked down and saw that he had a blister on his heel that was bleeding already !!!!  Not the best start to a mud obstacle course !!!  After he had popped into the medical centre we went and registered and then dropped a bag at the cloakroom before heading off to the start line.

While we waited for our wave to start, we saw the children throwing coloured powder at the people on the one side of the waiting area - so we went and waited on the other side.  This didn't stop A, K and C from going and getting powder and throwing it over us !!!!  Plus we were down wind so managed to get peppered with it on and off until we took off.

A and I told C and K to go ahead - we didn't want to slow them down even though there was no race on.  We ran for about 200m but my knee was really sore so we stopped running, held hands and walked the rest of the 5km together !!

There has been some discussion between us as to what the first obstacle was - A says a ditch that we walked through because there was supposed to be water in it (according to him) - K and I disagree !  So, seeing as I am telling the story here, the first obstacle was overs and unders - over hay bales (2 high) and under planks. 

K's shoes before and after

The next obstacle was fitting through wooden cutouts before going down the hill to the floating barrel pontoons that we had to run across before jumping into the most freezing water in a creek and swimming about 20m to the edge.  Well I over balanced a little while running on the pontoon so as I jumped off I managed to go sideways enough to land on the rope seperating the lanes !!!!!  I got such a fright when I hit the water as I wasn't expecting it to be so cold, I opened my mouth so got a mouthful of dirty water - I tried to spit it out but landed up sniffing more up my nose !!  By the time I got to the edge of the creek I could hardly feel my feet or my hands.  I finally managed to crawl out and turned around to see where A was only to find he wasn't behind me !!!!  Then I saw him bobbing under the water in the lane next to me - scrambling to get his horns and cap which had come off when he jumped into the water !

He got to the edge and climbed out and up the hill we walked - there was a fair bit of walking in-between the obstacles which was quite good as the view was beautiful along the way.

Our next obstacle was to leopard crawl under nets along 30m of thick clay mud which, for me, was a huge challenge but once I started was easier than I had imagined - apart from the horns which I was trying to save !!!!  Luckily about 2/3 through two people came past, one on either side of me, so they lifted the net higher than I was which made it easier for me to finish !!!!!

After that we had to wade through the foam pool which was great fun - even though we weren't throwing it at each other like some of the other teams !!!!!!

More walking brought us to the ice skips !  A wooden ladder up the side of the skip - and then a jump into a skip full of ice blocks !!!!  The good thing was that the ice was actually warmer than the water in the creek had been !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The problem was trying to get out the skip the other side as there was no step to help you get out - there was a rope that you could use to pull yourself up but I was hopeless at that - eventually I managed to get out of there and ran across to the nets over the bus so that we could climb up the side of the bus and then climb down the other side of  the bus !!!!!

The next obstacle was the dark room - where water sprayed down from the roof, things were hanging down from the roof and we managed to walk so far off course we walked into the frame of the room !!!! 

A long walk up the side of the hill found us coming across some spectators who we offered to hug but nobody was really keen - wonder why ??????  There were three little kids on the side who I offered to hug and two said noooooooooooo and one said OK - until I went closer and then he ran away saying noooooooooooooooooooooo as well !!!!

At the bottom of the hill we walked in front of 6 water canons being aimed by the local firies !  Man they stung and were cold !!!!!

Up and down the next hill and we came to the mud pit - crawl through 5 hoops (each getting lower to the ground) over this sludgy mud pit before fitting through some more wooden cutouts only to find the next challenge which is the one that I really battled with.  Crawling through a short tunnel on my stomach and then through tubing at the end of the tunnel.  I got part of the way through the tubing and then stopped because I couldn't breathe and felt like I couldn't carry on.  Luckily A was watching for me and saw me stop and so came and picked the tubing up from being around me, I managed to get my breath and then crawled the rest of the way - man, was I pleased to see the sunshine and breath the fresh air when I got out the other side !!!! I did not like that obstacle one little bit !

Then it was climbing through and over cars after running through some tyres.  I picked the front seats - bad mistake as it meant I had to go around the steering wheel and over the hand brake and middle consol - A took the back seat - much easier !!!!!  The next car we had to climb up the back, over the roof and down the bonnet and the third car we had to either climb through again or slide over the front bonnet - we both slid over the front bonnet !!!!!

We were really lucky with the weather - it had been blowing gales when we got up in the morning but the wind seemed to have died by the time we were on the course.  The sun meant that we did manage to warm up in between getting wet - I just hope that A has no long lasting effects from getting wet and being cold and then warmed up again - will see how he goes this week - with a bit of luck he won't need any more anti-biotics.

The only obstacle that we had to queue up for was the slippery slide - down a reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllly long hill !!! Luckily there were two lanes - a competitive one and a fun one !  We chose the fun one (again, I wonder why ?????)  Anyway, A went on his stomach, head first, I went on my butt, sitting up.  As we were on the fun one, there was less water so I slowed down and had to give myself a push to get going - A managed to stop himself and, as I got close to him his caught my hand and then let himself go and pulled me with him so I landed up going down on my back with my head down and my feet up the hill !!!!!  Luckily we slowed as we neared the bottom before going into the mud pool at the bottom of the hill !!  We had to move quickly out of there before someone coming behind us hit into us.

This is where the 5km split from the 10km event - we turned and headed for the finish line.  As we neared a corner, A saw K & C coming towards us - they had finished and then come to see how we were going.  They ducked under the tape and did the one of the last three obstacles with us - jumping over the logs that were on fire - the trick with them was to jump high (clearly they hadn't done that the first time around !!!!) - then they ducked under the tape as they didn't want to do the mud buffet again !!!! I  don't understand why actually !!!!  This was the mud obstacle that I think most people lost their shoes in - it was so thick and sludgy !!!  First you had to walk through a whole heap of it - and then you had to leopard crawl under barbed wire - I did give some guy a bit of a mouthful as he pushed passed me - and A nearly landed up with his face in someone's butt as they stopped along the way !!!!  The funny bit was I got to the end but then couldn't stand up as my foot/shoe was stuck in the mud - literally !  I pulled and pulled and got nowhere - eventually I turned around, then sat down, then turned around again and stood up and A came and helped me pull my foot out.

The last obstacle was the run through the 10,000 volt bug zapper.  I still am not sure exactly how this one worked - there were a whole lot of electrical wires hanging down and you had to jump over hay bales and try not to get shocked.  A said he got a really good zap about the third row in - I can remember getting one shock but didn't think it was that bad.  C said he was knocked down with the shock - so all in all I really don't know what it was or how bad it really was - it wasn't that bad for me is all that I do know for certain !!!!

And then it was over - 5km through mud, bubbles, water and ice, over and under obstacles, down slippery slides and across freezing cold creeks - and it was AMAZING !!!!  It was so much fun I couldn't believe how much I had enjoyed it.  It took me so far out of my comfort zone - it was really fantastic for me - to look those fears in the eye and do them anyway - to get myself so dirty - and then get myself clean again.  Dirt has always been something that I have had difficulty handling - I am not OCD about it but I don't like being dirty - as a child I battled to let K get dirty and not keep washing her and putting clean clothes on her - this felt so liberating it was unbelievable !

Finally finished

One of Al's shoes (or what is left of it anyway)
 Me waiting to shower

Once we finished we went to try to clean ourselves up. They had mud baths where we jumped into these skips full of muddy water to wash the bulk of the mud off ourselves before heading to large communal showers for the ladies and tiny little showers for the guys !!!!!  We were totally unprepared for this having just brought some towels to dry ourselves and some daggy clothes to put on in case we didn't get all the mud off, but no soap or shampoo to wash ourselves or our hair !!!!! Next time we will be better prepared !  We all managed to get mostly clean and dry and then we headed off to get something to eat - a hamburger and coke never tasted so good !!!!!  We each got a free beer but nobody was too fussed about having them.

A's shoes didn't make it through unscathed.  Our clothes all landed up in the skip they had got for the purpose of throwing muddy clothes away - A brought his home but I told him he has to wash all the mud out before they go in the machine !!!!!  I don't think my knees or elbows will ever be the same again - they are full of scratches and cuts from crawling on them - next time I will definitely be dressing differently and try to protect them a bit more than they were this time around. K's feet didn't fair to well no matter how pretty her shoes were to start !!!!  She has really bad blisters over most of her toes - I guess walking in mud and grit etc with no socks will do that to you !!!!

For anyone considering doing The Stampede - I TOTALLY RECOMMEND IT !!!  It was so much fun !  So much so we have been trying tonight to register for the 10km race next year.  Would we do Tough Mudder ?  I don't think so - I think that they physical challenge of that is much more than this - I think that this event is a 5km or 10km course with some obstacles along the way rather than the bootcamp type of event that I imagine Tough Mudder is.  But, I am proud of what we did - what we achieved and how we did it.  Next time I will be fitter and more capable but that won't take away from my first experience of The Stampede !!!!

What can you challenge yourself with that is outside your comfort  zone ?  This is my year for pushing the boundaries of my comfort zones - what will you do ?

TFTD : You can't keep running away from your fears.  At some point in life you will have to build up the courage to face and overcome them.
(I could not believe it when I read this about 5 mins ago - how appropriate given the post I had just written - sometimes the universe works in strange and mysterious ways - and I LOVE IT !!!!)

Monday, 3 September 2012

Online Friends

This week just gone as been a wonderful week for me - I got to catch up with some on-line friends in real life - and it was just lovely !

First up (while I didn't actually get to meet her) - my postcard from Kate at Our Little Sins arrived in the mail.  I felt very privileged to receive postcard #98, considering I started following this project a little late in the piece.  I would love to do something similar (and Kate said she didn't mind if I did which I thought was very nice of her) because I know how much I love getting snail mail that isn't a bill which needs to be paid.  I have this postcard at work and it reminds me every day that there are people in the world who do things just to brighten someone else's day.  I hope that somehow I can brighten someone's day too.

On Saturday night I caught up with Carmen from Musing n Mayhem down at the double header roller derby at Carrarra.  She travels down from the Sunshine Coast and this is the second time that I have met up with her at roller derby.  I am thankful that she very kindly lets me tag along with her on the suicide line and is very patient at explaining the rules (more than once) to me.  I love that we can chat away about a whole heap of things all the while she is busy taking photos of what is happening on the track/rink/floor (sorry, don't know the right terminology for this BUT I do know that the match-up is called a bout and not a match !!!!)  You often give me a different perspective on topics that we discuss which I love !

Then on Sunday morning I had breakfast with A from Colours of Sunset.  We were going to meet with our husbands except mine woke up sick and so didn't make it (the last thing I wanted to do was pass the germs onto a friend !!!!).  Anyway, this is the second time I have met A - the first time being after a 5km run down at Main Beach (A was running, not me !!).  We sat and chatted and chatted and, while we only spoke for about 5 mins the first time, on Sunday I felt like we had known each other forever and could have sat chatting for ever if we didn't have other things that needed to be done.  I loved how natural it felt.  As a rule I am not that great at chatting with people - I am really shy and because A and I tend to stick together, my social skills can be lacking at times.  So, for me, it was great to be able to just sit and chat (I did tend to dominate as I was telling her and M about our holiday given I haven't finished blogging about it yet !!!) with another women - something I don't do often enough.

So to my on-line friends who I have met IRL - thank you.  Thank you for taking the time to meet.  Thank you for taking the time to chat.  Thank you for wanting to meet IRL as well as connect over the net.

Have the best week ever - this week I have the next 'out of my comfort zone' experiences to look forward (?) to - The Stampede !!!

Have you met any people IRL that you originally met on-line ?  Was it a positive experience ?

TFTD : There are two ways to spread light in this world.  You can either be the flame or the mirror that reflects it.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Out of My Comfort Zone

Linking in with Stacey from GetOnWithItAlready for Team Friday (one day late I know but better late than never I figure !!!) on how to get out of your comfort zone without even trying !!!

Yesterday was Gold Coast Show day which meant a day off work - great to ease back into work with a four day week thank you very much !!  Anyway, I had great plans of sleeping in, getting up and getting our NZ blog done, then a leisurely shower and get dressed session before having to go and get A from work (he finished up at the company that was closing down so didn't have a ride home) at about 4pm before heading up to Brisbane to have dinner with friends who are moving to NZ.

How does that saying go ........... the best laid plans of mice and (wo)men ..............

Well I did sort of get my sleep in - I had threatned A with death if he woke me but I actually woke before him - you know one of those days where because you don't have to get up you wake up earlier anyway - yes that one !  So I got up and started on the blog after checking mail and tweeting and reading a few blogs !!!!!  By the time Al left I was just padding out the commentary on our holiday.  His parting comment as he walked out the door

"So I'll see you for lunch about 12.30."

"What ?  No.  I have my day planned."

" Oh well we are only going in to hand back tools, computers, phones, utes etc and then we are going to lunch and we can go after that."

So I am thinking - well this isn't going to work because it means I have to leave home by 11.45 plus I have to get ready - definitely not going to work.

"Luv, why don't you go to lunch with the people from work - they don't want me there as well - you are the one who works with them."

"Oh it doesn't matter what they want - I'd like you to join us."

"I don't think so - what about you go to lunch and I'll collect you at about 2pm and we can go to IKEA" (cos I'm thinking that the thought of IKEA might entice him to let me stay at home playing on my computer for longer !!!)

"I don't know if we will have time - we have to get through the traffic to get to G&S for dinner"

"We are only meeting them at 7pm."

"Yes I know but it's Friday afternoon - traffic is shocking."

"OK - I'll see you are about 2pm and we can see whether to go to IKEA or not."

11am I get a call - "I'm finished at work - coming home to shower and then go to lunch - do you want to join us ?"  (He is nothing if not persistent !!!)

"No thanks - see you here."

He gets home and I am still in my pj's - I mean it is a public holiday after all !!!  He dashed in - showers - and dashes out again.

K wanders through and says she is helping a friend decorate his cafe (Really - OK) so off she goes - peace and quiet at home with the dogs sitting on the blanket.

Next thing she is back - "What happened to the decorating ?"

"Oh - he is only starting to paint and I don't paint so I left."  (Well that was nice of you darling !!!)

So she curled up on the couch next to me and promptly fell asleep.

(I'm getting to the point of my comfort zone dilemma soon, I promise !!!)

I shower and get dressed in my uniform of jeans and top and boots and then think to myself - can I pull off a dress and tights ?  Hhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmm not sure I can.  So I get changed into a dress that I bought in NZ after going into and out of the shop about three times as A didn't really like the colour but as he said afterwards "obviously you can see something there that I can't" !!!!  Anyway, I put it on with a black long sleeve T underneath and black tights and ballet flats.  The tights are always a joy to put on and for some reason on the few occasions when I do wear them I always try to put them on standing up and land up falling over and then think - maybe if I sit down it will be easier to put them on (alternatively if I work my core muscles really well I might be able to balance and put them on !!!!)  Now I am not sure so I go into the lounge and try to wake K to ask her opinion.  Eventually she opens one eye and says "That looks OK" and goes back to sleep again.

Now I am stuck - do I wear it or not because I am certain that her "That looks OK" doesn't actually mean anything as she is probably still asleep.  So, hopping from one foot to the other with indecision I go back to the bedroom.  Then I look at the clock - it is already 1.30pm - I haven't done my hair or my make-up (because I came through earlier to see how K was and CSI was on so I sat and watched the end of it figuring I had plenty of time !!!) - so I figure I am going to have to go with the dress and tights because I just don't have time to change again.  So I run the hair dryer and straightener over my hair, throw some make-up on and am out the door by 1.50pm - given that it is about a 35-40 min drive to A's work and I said I would pick him up at 2pm (and he said 1.30!!!) - I am now going to be late.  I call him.

"Hi Luv - how's your lunch going ?"

"Good thanks - we are finished. Where are you ?"

"Uhhm - just left home."

"Oh OK - see you just now."

"Do you want to go back to the office with everyone and I'll pick you up there ?" (Cos it turns out that I have no idea where they are having lunch and the only road in the GPS with that name is in Red Hill which is I don't know where - turns out the GPS was taking me to a place nowhere near where he was !!)

"No, I'll wait here they are still having a few beers."

Ten minutes later I get a call from him.

"Can you get me from the office - they are all leaving now ?"

So I head to the office and get him there.  And as I stepped out the car, I saw his face and I knew that I had made the right decision to stick with the dress (never mind that I never had time to change again) - as far as it took me out my comfort zone (more so now because of the weight I have put on over the past month) it was worth the look that I saw in his eyes.  The appreciation that I had done something that he knew I was not comfortable with when I could have chosen the easy option of jeans.

When he got in the car he said that he was more than happy to wait for me especially when I turn up looking so good !!!!
(Now I am sorry I didn't get a photo - next time I wear the outfit I will take one to show you !!)

Do you find you don't do things because they are outside your comfort zone ?  Can I challenge you to do just one thing this week that is outside your comfort zone ?  My challenge this week for myself is to get through The Stampede next Saturday - what's yours ?

Have the best weekend !

TFTD : All things are difficult until they are easy.
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