Category Archives: Exercise

Life Lesson Learned: Laundry Edition

So here I am, hanging out on my porch, well in the carport, hanging up my laundry.  See, I’d normally be on the porch, but it’s a touch windy today and the last thing I need is to have the laundry topple over (again!) onto the landlord’s daughters new flower bed.  Not good.  So instead, I’m going to take advantage of the carport’s wind-tunnel nature and put the laundry to hang in there, relying upon the not-quite gale force winds to dry my clothing.  Sure, they don’t get sunshine this way, but I also don’t spend most of my afternoon going out to pick them up off the deck and pick dried leaves and dirt from what were clean clothes.  And yeah, I could tuck them in the little space where E’s motorbike is parked, we get some sunlight there in the afternoons.  But the last time I did that and a big gust of wind came through, I was chasing the laundry down the driveway as the towels acted as sails for the Good Ship Clothing Drive that was careening towards the road.   Not a particularly fun way to spend twenty minutes.

 

So there I was, in the carport, hanging up the clothes when I came to this one shirt of mine in particular.  Now this shirt I’ve had for several years and it has seen it’s fair share of ups and downs.  It’s a gray shirt with an orange collar and orange sleeves and I got it from Old Navy, who knows how long ago.  It’s a comfortable shirt, well worn and well loved.  I use it mainly for around the house now and lazy weekends with nothing to do but relax with my man.  But today, something about this shirt made me stop as I was hanging it up.

 

I’m not sure if it was the voluminous amounts of fabric that were just not agreeing with me or the hangers.  Or if it was the somewhat stubborn seeming insistence that it would quite simply not stay on the hanger at all, thank you kindly.  But once I finally hung it up, I paused in my usual chore doing and looked at it.  Really stopped and looked at it.

 

“This shirt is huge!” I thought to myself, and half said aloud.  I turned it this way and that and then this way again, looking it over.  Now true, it was wet and it had just gone through a bit of a battle with me and the washer and a pair of pants that decided it was a great time to turn into an octopus, so it was slightly stretched out.  But no. Even accounting for that, the shirt was huge. Enormous. And that thought, of course, got me thinking other thoughts.

 

The shirt was a 3XL.  I bought it because it was comfortable to fit in.  It was nice and light, gave me room to breathe, but also room to hide. I never quite filled it all the way out, and I’m very glad for that, but I fit into it comfortably.  It was a nice second skin for me. The shirt allowed me to get service in almost every establishment I went into without really letting on just how fat I was. We were secret companions in an ongoing battle with reality.  And dammit, we were winning, my shirt and I.

 

But now, here and now, on this day, I am hanging up this shirt and it is huge. Giant. I could swallow a small child and not even notice it had eaten.  I remembered thinking the other night when I was wearing it, that it was almost like a nightgown, only a little shorter.  I looked down at the shirt that I was wearing today.  A black t-shirt. Nothing special, nothing amazing. Just one that came from those three packs of t-shirts from the Men’s department at WalMart.  it’s comfortable, not too snug, but also not too loose.  I could do my workout in this shirt if I needed to.  I can also do my dishes and still feel comfortable.  Just to make sure, I turned the shirt sideways slightly and I peeked a look at the tag.

 

XL.

 

Talk about your mind being blown.  It’s hard, sometimes, when you’re so close to everything happening, to really see the progress being made.  But I was standing there, obsessively staring at this old shirt of mine, not quite realizing that I was looking at the progress I had made.  I used to fit into that. Now, I fit into this.

 

I used to hide behind that fabric, now I’m starting to own this fabric. I used to wrap myself in security in that shirt, now I’m becoming more outgoing in this one. I did that. I beat that. I beat that old shirt.  And I’m starting to beat this new shirt as well.

 

I have a size large t-shirt hanging up in my bedroom.  It’s my Nanowrimo shirt that I bought last year.  It was way too small for me then, it’s still slightly too small for me now.  Next year, next year, It will be too big for me.  I have come so far, but I have still further to go.  But for the moment, I’m going to finish my laundry, and then have a cuppa tea.

 

Thank you, Grey and Orange shirt. Thank you.

Getting Back Up

Hi!

 

Have you missed me?

 

Well life has been a series of busy lately, and while all of it has been fantastic, none of it really lends itself to being ‘blog-worthy’.  Or at least, not in a way that I can think of just yet.  So what has been happening in life down here in kiwiland?  Well, let me tell you.

 

A couple weekends ago two of our really close friends got married.  It was an absolutely fantastic day, the ceremony went off just as was planned and the Bride and Groom had a great time.  I was so very happy to be not only invited but to also be a part in helping them plan and get ready for their day.  Having only known them for a few months, it’s truly amazing just how close we’ve become.  I can’t express enough or in the proper words just how humbled and grateful I am to the pair of them for allowing me to spend time with them and share in their joy on that day.  Love you both R&K!

 

This past weekend, another pair of our friends moved into their new house! And we, of course, helped them move!  Now, I know that does not necessarily sound like a barrel of laughs, and it was some hard work, but it was also absolutely great.  We got to spend time with friends, help them move onto their next big step, and generally just enjoy everybody’s company.  And while helping them move, unpack, and settle into their new place, I had time to look back, reflect, and focus on just how far this life that I’m living now is to the ones that I’ve lived before.  Doing physical labor, but laughing and joking at the same time. Everybody coming together collectively to help out, and then sitting around a table (which is gorgeous!) for a well deserved dinner.  I am struggling to figure out if life gets better than that.   The house is gorgeous, the couple fantastic, and our time spent together equally precious.  Congrats R&E!

 

What else, what else.

 

The job hunt is not so much a hunt as it is shooting arrows wildly into the forest in every direction, only to have them shot back at you with no points and no fletching. Not helpful.  But! perseverance will prevail!  Employment will be gained! Somehow.

 

Now, the biggest new thing happening to me personally is that I’ve committed to a Personal Trainer. Tom is going to be kicking my butt left, right, and sideways twice a week for 45 minutes.  After 7 months at the gym, and a significant amount of body tightening up, It was time to get even more serious.  I’ve got weight I want to, must, lose and it’s not going to come off on it’s own.  And while I’ve stuck with going to the gym at least twice a week for 7 months, I need something more. I need to keep pushing myself even more, harder than before.  I must lose this weight.  The rest of my life depends upon hitting that healthy moment and then keeping going.  And that’s not an exaggeration.

 

Today was my second session with Tom and everything went well.  Really well, actually.  But it was the last ‘exercise’ that got me into a contemplative mood.  Essentially all I had to do was lay down on the ground on my chest and then stand back up again five times, and then lay on my back and get up again five times.  Sounds simple, right? Wrong.  It was definitely not easy.  There was so much involved, just so much energy and movement and muscles.  It was by far the hardest exercise that I did.

 

Just like life.  It’s fairly easy to get knocked down time and time again.  It’s the getting back up that’s the hardest part.  And all of this, the man who is supporting me, the friends that I’ve found and love, and the gym, this is all part of me getting back up off the ground.

 

And this time, I’m going to remain standing. And then, start running.

Round the Bays 2012

What an absolute crap day.

 

Oh the race itself was great, the company a blast, and being able to cross something off my list highly fantastic!  But I was just not quite in the mood. I woke up grumpy and it stayed with me pretty much all through the day.

 

I went to bed early the night before, but having been awake for far too long by that point I was not able to make up my sleep quota in just 7 hours, so I woke up at 7am on sunday morning, and I was grumpy. Cranky, and a few other words that end in -y and are not pleasant things to be.  But i was awake and there was no way I was going to back out of this now.  I made myself some oatmeal, had a mug of tea, and then our friends arrived for the carpool caravan!

 

We drove with them towards the end of the race track (because you see, you walk the 8.4km and then you have to get back to your car, which is likely at the start of the course.  So really, if you’re unlucky, it’s actually 16.8km walk. but only half of it counts!  But we were smart this year!  We carpooled with some friends and we each parked our cars at one end of the course!  Huzzah!  So after dropping their car off at the finish line, we drove back towards the start of the race and parked ours.

 

And here is where my day started to go bad.  I had to use the bathroom.  I know I probably could have held it a bit longer, but that seemed to be utterly foolish.  So while scouting for a place I finally gave up and went into a petrol station with a line.  I was still standing in line when the race officially started, with cannon blast and everything.  I didn’t actually get to the starting line of the race until about 20 minutes after the race started.  Which was actually not too bad since we were still with a bunch of people at that time.  There were over 70,000 participants in this event.  That’s a lot of humanity.

 

 

So you see, we started in central Aucklan, right along the waterfront.  Walked up past the Port of Auckland, where the Portworker’s Union were standing out with signs about keeping the Port public.  And then all along the walkway that’s just been finished .  Up and around all of the bays. Mission bay, where I’ve spent some time, and others that I haven’t yet.  The views were quite pretty, but I did not bring my camera.  My big cannon just would not have worked well.

 

So, now that you know the route, let’s get back to me and my bad day.  Somehow I started off putting my left foot down wrong. Or at least that’s how it felt.  I tried to adjust my gait over the course of the day, but it just was not working well for me.  My big toe was hurting and I was getting cramps down the outside of my leg, along my knee.  I stopped a few time to try and stretch the offending muscle, but to no real avail.  It was just not a good day.My pace was not consistent as a result and by the last kilometer of the race I was barely moving.  I was running on absolute dregs of the dregs of fumes.  My tiredness from the day/night before plus the exertion of the race seemed to have caught up with me and I was just plain wasted.

 

I made it to the finish line though, and the official times haven’t been posted yet online, but shortly after I crossed the line, they announced it had been 2 hours and 28 minutes since the start.  So a little over 2 hours if we want to be technical and not count my being in line for the toilet.

 

Now there were some fun things along the route.  One radio station was apparently handing out sausages, and another was giving out/selling slushies.  They had packed up by the time we reached their trucks, but we were told that they had been awesome.  Cadbury chocolates had set up a giant water sprinkler at just about the halfway point for people to run under and cool off a bit.  Luckily, or not I guess, the weather was actually overcast and cool so there was no real need for the sprinkler, but it was really cool either way. And there were some folks from the Ice bar company (a new icy pop business) giving out samples of their lemonade icy bar.  Which was really welcome at that point in the race.

 

Overall, the race was good, and had I been in a better mood, less tired, and better prepared mentally I probably would have enjoyed myself even more.  But my mind was just not in it, and my body certainly was not quite ready for it.  Next year, I will be more prepared, and I will conquer it again.

 

had a good time with walking the race with E though, he decided to not run it, but instead hang back with me and our friends and do the course at a leisurely pace.  Which was greatly appreciated.

 

There were some good bits, like the sprinkler and the icy bar, and the army guys and their perfect jogging technique. Oh, and the firetruck that got stuck on the Start banner. And it did feel good to finish the race, walk to the bbq that his work put on and have some post race food.

 

But It was just not my best day, and not my best race.  It’s left a tiny bit of a sour taste in my mouth, but i’ll get over that soon.

 

Soon up!  Crochet projects galore!

Botany 10k Walk

Yeah.  You read that right.

 

10k.

 

Just about 6 miles.

 

And I did it. I set myself the goal and I completed it. Smashed it. Demolished and obliterated it.  I looked my goal in the face and I scared it into the atmosphere.

 

After crying, and whimpering and almost quitting, of course.

 

The day started out cloudy and overcast.  When we got to the race venue (which is really just a large mall/shopping center) we could see that a huge amount of rain had already come through earlier, and the sky looked to be promising more.  It was a bit brisk for a summer morning and the air was damp and humid.  So not the best thing to be walking in, but better than clear blue skies and sweltering heat.

 

The race started at 9am on the dot, there were just over 600 people there men, women, and children.  There were folks with their babies in strollers, a gentleman in a wheelchair and a father and his special needs son in a stroller.  And me.  I started off strong, matching my pace with a pair of older ladies and just keeping up.  but they soon passed me, and then more and more people passed me.  But that was alright, I was fine.  I knew that there were still people behind me.  I made it through the first 3k without any problems.

 

It was around the 3.5k mark that things got difficult.  My feet were hurting, my back was aching my knees wanted to give up.  I started to cry. I could not believe what I was doing to myself. What in the world had seeped into my brain to make me think that I had anywhere close to a chance to doing a 10k walk?  I hadn’t even hit the halfway point and I was ready to die.  How could I go around and do it again?  And then, just as I was hitting the absolute bottom of depression, the knowledge in my mind that I just could not do this thing anymore, E was there.  He had found the 4k point of the race and was waiting for me with fresh cold drinks (powerade) and encouragement.  I stopped my crying, picked my head up, and instead of turning into the finish line, I kept on going straight to start the next lap.

 

I was alone.  Completely and utterly alone.  There were no more walkers in front of me that I could see and try to match with them.  And turning around I was completely by myself.  I could see nobody.  It was just me and this course.  And the cones.  And the cars.  And so I turned up my music and I walked. And I walked. And I walked some more.  I cursed and I yelled and I chided myself.  I hated my life and everything that I was doing but I kept on moving.  Had to keep moving.

 

Got to the water station and looked at the kid behind the table, I jokingly told him that I thought I was last.  He confirmed that I was.  He told me to take a break, take a rest, have some water.  But I had to keep going, I had to keep moving.  I couldn’t stop, not even for a brief breath and some water. If I stopped moving then, I would have stopped completely.  And so I moved on.  Full of the knowledge that I was the very last person out of 600+ to be out on the course.  The very last.  Everybody was waiting on me.

 

And even that knowledge, and the fact that I knew that I would show up last and everybody would know that I was completely incapable of doing this, did not slow me down. I kept going, kept moving. Singing and dancing and walking and cursing and crying.  I was soon joined by one of the race helpers, those blessed people who get up early to stand along the route of the race and cheer you on in their bright orange vests.  She joined me to ostensibly keep me company, but also to keep an eye on me and make sure I didn’t collapse.  Also, my own personal traffic cop.  Because there were still intersections to get through and cars to avoid.  Let me tell you a personal traffic cop is a handy thing to have when all you can do is concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other.

 

One kilometer to go and there was my E again, waiting with yet another cold drink and more encouragement.  So for the last kilometer of the race I walked with E and this orange-vested race lady.  It was quite something.  And as I got closer to the finish line I was greeted by more race personnel and they all offered congratulations and adulation on my continued effort. I was last.  But I had still made it that far.

 

I turned down the roadway towards the finish line and as soon as I appeared in that area the remaining racers and their friends and family all erupted into cheers and applause.  The MC of the event, a guy from the local radio station, announced to everybody that I was coming down the home stretch.  He announced me by name.  And the applause and congratulations and approval got even louder as I crossed the finish line and the clock stopped.

 

2:00:41

 

I was hurried over to a chair where the race workers took off my bib and put it into the box for the spot prizes and they removed the timing chip from my shoe for me.  I was then allowed to move into the crowd, where even more people offered personal congratulations on completing the race, and they decided to do the spot prizes and the big prize drawings.  Oddly enough, we were joined by some friends.  They had done the 5k run and had no idea that I was even there, but they heard my name over the speakers and were surprised and happy.  The prizes were awarded and then we left to go home.

 

I hurt. My entire body was aching and I could barely form complete sentences. But I had finished my goal, beaten it to the ground.  I had told myself that if I could finish this race in under 2.5 hours, I would be happy.  I blew that expectation out of the water.  And I was still alive and still breathing.

 

The applause from the other participants was the biggest mix of emotions that I have felt in some time. Pride in my accomplishment. Shame in how long it took me. Embarrassment at the attention. Guilt that it took me so long and everybody was waiting for me before the event could move on.  But mostly just relief that it was over. And then pain.

 

It’s two days later and I can say that even though I have blisters on both feet and my ribs ache as though I’ve been dry-heaving for days, I am glad that I did it.  I set myself a goal and I achieved that goal.

 

Now, I rest a bit, get my feet healed, and then back at the training.  I’ve got another big race coming up next month!

 

This one’s only 8.5k though.  Only. Hah!

Flying Time

Goodness Gracious where does it go!

 

Just a quick note from me today to inform you all that I am indeed still alive.

 

E had this last two weeks off, so we’ve been spending some serious quality time together, and that has left me less time for the writing!

 

But alas, the real world has called and he is back at work.  I’m still fighting with getting my immigration stuff sorted.

 

Upnotes!  I signed up to do a 10k walk next month! Because I am a complete and total nutjob.

 

So i’ve decided to start going to the gym more often.  We’re talking like every weekday more often.  To do at least 30 minutes on the treadmill (I still haven’t fallen off! yay!) during the day and then go back at night with E on his gym nights to do weights.

 

Although, note to self, after last night’s first attempt at doing this program, I really need to eat/drink more sugar/carbs if I’m going to do this kind of training.  Last night resulted in a bit of an insulin crash and I had to stop about 1/3 of the way through my weights routine.

 

Bummer.

 

So that’s what’s been going on.  I’ll post up about the Botanical Gardens in a bit, but first, I gotta get to the gym!

The Treads on the Mill Go Round and Round

One time, a long time ago, I had a terrifyingly traumatic experience with a treadmill.  That is to say that I got onto the treadmill and since I had improper posture/walking/gait/whatever and did not pick up my feet while walking, instead I shuffled everywhere, the treadmill and I were very close in a short period of time.

 

Like face to treads close.

 

Suffice it to say that I have not since gotten on a treadmill.  The memory of that incident, the abject terror of repeating it again, only this time with other people around to witness my humiliation. I simply could not do it.  I would look at the treadmill and think that it would be easier to do, that I could do it and it might end up being better for me than the elliptical/crosstrainer.  I could walk for longer and not get quite as tired.  But I could not quite get the memory of that tragic faceplant out of my mind.  And now that I’m at this gym where I like the people around me? And have actually gained some of their respect?  To lose it all in a moment of utter ridiculousness that would be my flying off the back of the treadmill in a glorious  ball of not yet lost fat?  Yeah, not ideal.

 

So I stuck with the elliptical.  Even though I was feeling that it wasn’t quite doing it for me anymore.  For some reason I felt as though I was not achieving my goals anymore by doing just the elliptical.  Granted, the gym has bikes available, and I know that I can do that, but I’ve found that sitting on the exercise bikes usually ends up being ten minutes worth of trying to not feel like I’ve got the worlds biggest wedgie.  And that is not conducive to getting into the ‘zone’ for a good cardio workout. It’s just not.  So the next step, logically would be the treadmill.  But how do I get over my paralyzing fear?

 

This is where E steps in.  He has more ability to encourage and support me than I think even he is aware of.  His faith in me and his strength of support have been huge.  Also, there is no way I would have gotten onto a treadmill if he were not right next to me.  If I’m going to look like a fool, I want my scrawny-legged man right next to me to make me feel better.

 

Huge props also to the guys at the gym, especially Tom.  He has been huge for my confidence, and him telling me that he knows I can do it while not being overly pushy or insistent has been huge.  He makes me want to push myself to the next level just to be able to prove to him that I can.  If those are not great qualities in a personal trainer, then I don’t know what makes a great personal trainer, obviously.

 

Another big thing was something that I picked up somewhere, but I don’t remember where.  It sounds silly at first, but visualizing myself doing pretty much anything has been a huge help.  Whether it’s been making a dinner that I’ve been thinking about lately, or writing a post that’s been on my mind, or conquering a treadmill, I’ve thought about it for at least a few days.  I know, my posts still sometimes come out very disjointed, but those are usually the ones that were spur of the moment.

 

So after a few weeks of thinking myself through the process of getting onto the treadmill and staying on it I finally did it.

 

I climbed onto the treadmill and started off slowly, but i did it. I managed to do not one, but now two workouts on the thing.  I’m still working my way up to doing the ‘preset’ workouts like the ‘glute busters’ and ‘leg trainer’ but i’m just proud that I haven’t quite fallen off of the machine yet and caused a scene of epic non-awesome proportions.

 

A fitter me, here I come!

Race Recap

Wait what?  Did I read that right?

 

yes, you did.  Do not panic, you have not accidentally stumbled onto a blog that you did not expect to be at.  I did a race today!

 

The Sculpt 6k Run/Walk.

 

And not only did I start the race, but I finished it as well!  BOOM!  78 minutes and 2 seconds!   Yay! Personal best! (it comes down to just about 1k in 13 minutes).   Ok, so I’ve read my friend Andrea’s race recaps and now, I think I’m going to try and do an homage to her and her style.  In other words, copycat!

 

Looks! It was the starting line!  I have no idea how many people there were, but I did see some people with numbers in the 4000s, so we’ll go with that. Somewhere in that mass of 4000 estrogen filled bodies I am.  I was near the back.  Because, well, I’m not a runner, and that’s what walkers do! We stay near the back!

 

There I am!  It is fair to say that all of those lovely ladies around me, well I quickly got left behind by them.  Yeup!  Nothing like the feeling of being dropped to the back of the pack oh-so-quickly.  I started questioning myself at that point, very early on in the race.  If I was being left behind so quickly, by so many other women, what in the world was I doing here?  If I could be left behind just like that, even with walking at a fairly fast pace, was I going to be the very last one through the finish line?  Will everybody else have been packed up and waiting for me to show up so that they could leave?  Would I have the trailer car behind me, creeping along after me and picking up the traffic cones?

 

But nevertheless! I put on the Biggest Loser Workout Mix (Latin walking beats!) and I put my head down and walked.  I yelled at that voice in my head and told it to shut up and sit at the back of the bus and I kept going.  Because that’s what you’re supposed to do, right?  You’re supposed to yell at your inner demons and make them behave, right?

 

Ee waited for me on one of the street corners, just so that he could take some pictures of me ‘en route’.

 

This is me getting completely lapped by a runner.  Completely.  Ee said that the first runners started to show up for their 2nd lap within ten minutes of my leaving the starting line.  I know that I’m nowhere up to that particular speed, and I doubt I ever will be, but still that’s impressive!  At this point, I was still breathing and moving to the Latin Beat!  And Holy Cow.  Looking at this picture just helps me see that I really have lost some weight.  Especially around the top half of my body.  I still have a ways to go, but man, I have actually gotten a bit smaller!  Neat!

 

Ok, so maybe not that much smaller from this angle.  But look at that! There I go! Off towards the 2nd lap!  3k down and only 3k more to go! WOO!

 

So the weather this morning was a bit overcast, and somewhere around the 3.5k mark it started to drizzle.  Actually at that point it was fairly welcome.  I don’t know if my brain told me to do this or if it was something that I had picked up as a suggestion from somebody, but I found a group of ladies that seemed to be 1) used to this kind of thing and 2) keeping a fairly even pace, so I decided to stay near them.  I didn’t turn their trio into a quartet, but I did keep them in my sights and did my best to stay as close to them as I could.  They were my marker.  They moved to avoid a pothole, I moved to avoid the pothole.  I had decided that those ladies and I were getting to the finish line at the same time if I had to run to keep up with them.

 

Luckily, I didn’t have to run!

 

Those Ladies will never know just how much I appreciate them being there.  They were an anchor that helped pull me through the last half of the race.  The other anchor, of course, being Ee.  He stood on street corners to take pictures of me passing by.  And then he would run ahead to stand on another street corner.  He would walk alongside me for a minute, just to give me some encouragement and then race ahead to be waiting for me at the finish line.

What’s that you say? Finish line?

 

Oh yes, That is indeed what that says there.  Finish Line!

 

Whoo!

 

So the ladies in red sprinted a bit to cross the line in 1hour, 18 minutes exactly, and I was two seconds behind them.  that makes my new Personal Best for 6k; 1:18:02.  YES!  I told myself that I would be happy with anything so long as it didn’t go over 1:30:00.  And I didn’t!  I wasn’t even close!  Well ok, I was closer to that time than some others were, but still!  The point is, I beat the goal that I set for myself, I wasn’t the last person through the finish, and I actually did finish!

 

 

Lookit that smile!  That is the look of somebody who has achieved a goal, and doesn’t feel too tired about it!

 

All in all, the race was fairly, dare I say it, easy.  My feet hurt a bit right now, and I have a long way to go before I am overly happy with my body shape and the changes that I want to make, but I set myself a goal and I met, and surpassed, it.  And that is huge!

 

And now, that I am basking in my glory of being accomplished, I really do have to thank some people.  Andrea and Ellen and Kati for being some of the most awesome sources of support in this.  I started to have doubts, but then you ladies picked me back up and put back on the right path.  You probably didn’t even realize you were doing it, that’s how awesome you are.  So thanks for that! To the folks at the end of the race, the ones who stood at the finish line and cheered and applauded for everybody else as they finished.  I can’t even being to say what that felt like.  Or what it meant.  That was amazing, to walk through the finish line and to have people cheering for you because you had finished something that you started.  Everybody should get that feeling more often.  Not all the time, but it was definitely a feeling of intense pleasure and accomplishment and a job well done.  Huge. Just huge.

 

And for Ee.  You woke up at 7am on a sunday morning.  You rolled out of the nice warm bed on a dreary, chilly weekend to drive me into the city.  You waited on street corners for me and took pictures of me doing something that I had been meaning to do and accomplishing that which I needed to accomplish.  You waited in the drizzly, rainy morning among all the other people also waiting, and at the end of the race you were there.  You hugged me, you kissed me, and you bought me frozen lemonade.  You have been such a huge support for me in all of this, in every little bit that I’ve wanted to get done and you have helped push me so much that I am now doing things I never thought possible.  You have made all of this that much better, and that much worth it.

 

So that’s it, my friends!  My first Race Recap!  Holy cow!

 

Thanks for sticking around with me on this amazing journey, It’s only going to get better from here!

 

Now, I’m going to go soak my feet in some epsom salts, curl up with some hot tea and a book, and enjoy the rainy sunday afternoon.

Mrs. Harris

Dear Mrs. Harris,

 

You might not remember me, it was a long time ago that you were my physical education teacher.  A very long time ago.  You pushed me to get those ten sit-ups done, you cajoled me to doing those push-ups, and you rebuked me for failing to even attempt the pull-ups.  You understood when I changed in the bathroom stalls, as opposed to changing in the locker room.  You listened when I cried about being fat and useless.  And you had sympathy for when I fell and sprained my ankle in the wrestling room.  You encouraged me when we played kickball, and showed me the best way to dodge at dodgeball.

 

I hated your guts.

 

I know, that’s not fair. It wasn’t really you so much as it was the subject that you taught.  had you been any other teacher I probably would have sung your praises for how well you managed the fragile egos of the charges given to you in those oh-so turbulent times of middle school. But you taught Physical education.  The most loathed class of any fat kid.  Kickball was a nightmare, always last for the team. Dodgeball was painful, almost literally, I never played baseball and touch football almost always ended badly.  But the more horrifying thing in the world, the terrible, awful, torturous event was the Physical Fitness Test.

 

Now, I don’t really remember if that was the actual name of it.  It was one of those things that I think started with President Kennedy and then continued on through the years.  Every year, every student, had to pass a physical fitness test.  This included everything. Height, Weight, BMI, Jumping jacks, sit ups, push ups, the sit forward and reeeeach for that ruler, pull ups, and the dreaded Mile.

 

Oh, the Mile.  On a dust and dirt covered track around the football field, one lap around was one quarter of a mile. Four laps.  You had to get 4 laps done, and the set time was 15 minutes.  The Mile. That dreaded torture device.  Pullups were easy, I couldn’t do them, I touched the bar and that was it.  I could get out 10 situps if I tried, and 10 pushups too.  I could never reach very far down the ruler, but nobody expected me to.  But the Mile.  The one thing that would get gym teachers from every corner of the school to converge on one spot in order to yell.  You encouragement sounded like jeering, your shouts to keep going brought only feelings of hate.

 

I hated the Mile and I hated you.

 

It wasn’t your fault. you were doing what you had to do. It was part of the national curriculum and that I understand now. But oh, how I hated you.

 

But, what brings this up now? all these years of repressed anger and hatred towards the dreaded Mile?  The one thing that I was never able to beat. Fifteen minutes.  I think the closest I ever got was seventeen minutes.  After which, I collapsed on the grass of the football field and promptly attempted to stop living.  Or at least breathing.  So what brings these memories up? what causes them to come to the forefront today?

 

Well, mrs. Harris are you listening because this is important, I walked a mile today.  I actually walked closer to 1.5 miles, but all the same, I walked a mile today.  And I did it in under fifteen minutes.

 

Did you hear that?  Fourteen minutes and forty-seven seconds!  Me!  Me who couldn’t even think about doing a Mile on that flat dusty track in under 17 minutes. Me who was so out of shape that the thought of more jumping jacks made me want to vomit.  I actually managed to do a 15 minute mile.  Without dying! Without needing an inhaler or a respirator or to have my heart restarted!

 

So, Mrs Harris, from so long in the past to this point in my life right now, I want to say thank you.  Thank you for your understanding. Thank you for your kindness, and your encouragement.  It might have taken me almost twenty years, but I have finally made it past that point!

 

You can mark me off your clipboard now!  I am on my way to physically fit!

Sculpt 6k

Well. I’ve gone and done it now.

 

I signed up, registered and everything, to do a 6k run/walk in december.

 

6k?!!?  Holy smokes!

 

It’s pretty much a flat course, down in the CBD, 2 loops around a 3k block, with some chance to look out over the harbor on what will hopefully be a gorgeous summer day.  The plan to get ready for this?  Well, the website had a 5week walking plan set up.  Which basically involves walking 3 days a week for 15, 20, 25, 30 minutes a week respectively, and then taking week 5 a bit easier since that’s race week.  Well considering that for 3 days a week i’m going to the gym and walking on the elliptical for a total of 25 minutes a day, plus all the walking that I do around the house, I think I can manage that. Also, it’s in the CBD!  Which means there’s plenty to look at while walking!  I don’t intend to be leisurely about this, and I am taking it seriously.

 

But who says I can’t admire the architecture along the way?  Or marvel at the view of the harbor as I truck my big butt past it?

 

I am not going to be coming in first.  I am not even looking to ‘place’ or whatever. I am more looking to just be able to say “I finished!” And if I can say that I finished a 6k, then I can finish and do pretty much anything and everything else.  There will be no negativity about this (oh I’m sure there will be, but I will fight it), only positivety.

 

I can do this. I have what it takes.  I have some amazingly inspirational people out there.  There’s Genny who is on Facebook as “My goal to loose 100lbs in 1 year”.  There’s Kevin, over at http://350andfalling.blogspot.com  His pictures of before and current are amazingly helpful.  And there’s Andrea at http://runeatdatesleep.wordpress.com  .

 

Plus the friends that I have here in Auckland, and other parts of new zealand, friends and family back home, and the group of crazy guys from the Penny Arcade Forums’ Weightloss Challenge.  If these guys can do this, then so can I.

 

Look out world! Here I come!

Abby Normal

So.  As if I didn’t have enough motivation before.  Went to the doctors in order to get the physical done for the immigration paperwork.  And going through all the tests and things, you know, breathe here, does this hurt, deep breath, look past my earring, that kind of thing.  You know, a typical physical.

In doing this I found out that I had lost 3kg since starting at the gym (YAYYYY) about a month ago, and that my blood pressure and pulse rates were fine and that there was nothing bad in my urine.  Awesome.  As we’re heading out, though, the doctor says to me, “The only thing that might hurt you is the weight.”

And then, we get home and I look over the paperwork and on the back of the physical form, I see this:

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  It’s probably close to what I thought.  Yeah, i’m obese, but it’s not that abnormal!

And then i realized.  It is.  Just because a big part of the population of the world, and especially the USA, is obese, doesn’t make it any more normal.  Seeing that there, written as it is, and knowing that my future happiness is riding on this just goes to prove one thing to me.

For once in my life, I want to be considered Normal.

It’s abnormal to be this heavy, to put this much strain and weight on my bones and muscles and joints.  It’s abnormal for a human being to get this big, and to weigh this much.  I am abnormal.  A freak. Something that should not be.  And I’m not entirely sure just how to handle that.

I’ve known all my life that being ‘heavy’ and ‘fat’ and ‘overweight’ is something bad.  And it’s something that I should change for the betterment of myself and my family and everything else.  But to have it explained, to have it written down and see it described as ‘abnormal’, that’s a bit much.  It’s a shock to the system. To the brain.  I am not what I am supposed to be.  This is not what I am supposed to look like, or what anybody is supposed to look like.

Well, I’ve never once tried to be normal before, but this time.  this time i want to be normal. I want to be what I am supposed to be.  I will fight this, I will be stronger, move better, and live healthier.  And goddamn if in 2 years, when i go back for the next physical, I will not be abnormal.

I will simply be me.