Wednesday, 31 December 2014

10 years ago today.

I make no apologies for writing this blog, which is mostly just about my recovery after the car accident I was involved in on New Years Day 2005.

Pretty much everyone who has known me will know the story, I was hospitalised following in a rollover. Despite my assurances I was okay, I ended up with a few cool scars and 18 months of physiotherapy, which in comparison to other accidents is okay, but when it's you that's going through that, it really isn't okay.

Then, fuel to the fire, my overactive mind got stuck on a few things which were mostly lies. In short, I really believed that the accident happened because I was being punished by God and/or because I didn't heed to my intuition which was nudging me not to go on the trip in the first place. In many ways I didn't see how blessed I was to make it out without more serious damage. Oh, I knew things could be worse, and I was so grateful to everyone who helped up on that day, but this was, according to me, something that happened For A Reason.

Now, lots of people talked me through this, and the only thing that really stuck was the fact that my friend who was driving never did it on purpose. It was just a mistake and mistakes happen. Despite everyone telling me things like 'sometimes these things just happen', I refused to buy into that.

2005 was also a bad year within my communities for road fatalities. A classmate of mine died a few months after my accident as a result of just being in the right place at the wrong time. It was, like the one I was involved, completely human error on the part of the poor soul who caused the accident. In many ways, her death impacted me in ways it didn't need to. We had a shrine set up to honour her and spent long hours in the chapel being sad. This was a safe place for her friends, but not really a safe place for me. They cancelled classes for a week and everything was put on hold for awhile, causing an unintentional divide. No one really knew what do do, and did the best they could. But it was tough. About six months later another friend caused an accident and this really impacted my world, but it also changed how I looked at things to do with making choices.

At the end of the day, all I did was make a choice to be part of a long distance trip with someone who wasn't experienced at long distances. But, before and after that, I made choices to drive with people who were intentionally making stupid choices in how they drove. And that's really when I started taking some control and started avoiding, and in some cases, telling people I didn't want to drive with them. Within my group of friends in Adelaide, lots of them had only just started driving, or couldn't drive, so I waited for a long time before I went with them.

Sometimes though, you don't always get to make choices, or have them made for you. I avoid night driving with anyone as much as I can, unless I'm in Adelaide. Not being able to see freaks me out, and I also can't drive at night in the country. You can't avoid everything though, but I've tried my best.

In terms of physical and mental recovery, I did two physio sessions a week for eighteen months with my very talent physio Olivio. My scars which are on my hands, ear and head, healed reasonably well all things considered. I found that I had a lot of back pain from standing two long and lifting which was not great for either of my retail part time jobs. I also found lots of beds really uncomfortable to sleep in.

The best way for me to manage the pain was using lots of heat packs and taking Panadol when I desperately needed to, which wasn't often - I really hate taking pain relief. I had a lot of assessments for the insurance company to determine the extent of my injuries from a long term perspective. In the end, I ended up losing between 5-10% of movement from my back - this is in layman's terms because I can't be bothered going to find all my paperwork to get the jargon/

When my pain was really bad, I would be a lot worse off mentally. I thought about what ifs, and looked for reasons and explanations. I seriously believed that I was jinxed whenever people in my life would be involved in traffic bungles. I would be sad and need to recount what had happened. To quote my dear old mum, I "become fixated on this accident", and saw my GP and a pysch assessor to determine the impact it had on me. I tried counselling which didn't work, I kept a journal which worked a lot better than counselling and I talked a lot to other people. I would become upset a news stories about road accidents and impassioned about road safety, particularly on the Dukes Highway which is an awful lot better now.

Then, seemingly overnight, my pain went away in September 2006. Part of this was to do with time being a healing factor, the other was to do with the fact I was exercising quite a lot. I still had pain every now and then, but avoiding things that aggravated it sure helped. A lot of my mental anguish and general frustration went away once the pain was more of a once-a-week thing, rather than several times a day.

So, why write this now?
10 years is a bit of a milestone for me, it's an extra bonus time as far as I am concerned. I am so grateful to everyone who had been on the journey with me, and some of those people didn't even want to be on it!

Do I still think the accident happened for a reason? It's a long answer. I think it happened, and not because accidents happen, but because of a choice I made and because of a simple mistake, whatever that was (I probably won't ever know). Did it happen to prove that everyone loved me and that I had a great group of people around me? Ummm, no. I didn't need something like that to happen to know how amazing my little world could be. Spiritually. I have learnt a lot, and not just in terms of avoiding dodgy theology. God has a plan, always, but it is really up to you to follow His will and not your own, even if your own probably makes a lot more sense. The accident didn't have to happen for that reason either, many other awesome mistakes I have made tell me otherwise.

I am a changed person because of this. I have more compassion and I have witnessed some of the best things humanity can bring. After we got out of our upside down car, there were already people there to help us. One man brought back all of our luggage to the hospital for us. An army medic happened to be there and applied first aid from the best stocked first aid kit I have ever seen. People called our parents and emergency services. Whoever those people are, I am forever grateful. I also also really grateful to amazing nursing staff, mostly at Tailem Bend Hospital. I sent them a thank you card and they sent me a huge bill.

Some things about the accident also impacted me in different ways. It started when a social worker came in with the most useless book ever about being in hospital and places my family could stay. It took awhile, but someone explained the compulsory third party insurance to us - not what it was, but what it meant for my treatment and compensation. Negotiating with the CTP provider was a huge headache as I got shuffled to different case managers and as they kept trying to get me to sign while I was still being treated. At times I felt I knew their systems better than they did.

I felt funny telling people about it, in the end I only had to tell a few people, but there were plenty of people who weren't in the loop, one girl I worked with was telling everyone it didn't even happen and I wasn't injured. Obviously she hadn't told my boss this, as he refused to let me work for two weeks due to having open wounds on my hands. I had people who weren't from my church come to visit and pray with me, which was lovely. I had a lot of visitors and cards and a lovely fuss made. Whenever I told people that I had been involved in an accident, I'd often say things like 'I wasn't driving, I didn't cause it,' and so on. Now I don't even bother qualifying it.

One last thing, and possibly one of my favourite and most vivid memories now.
My parents had to drive to Adelaide to pick me up (though at first they thought it was Tailem Bend until the doctor there said I needed to go to Flinders). They had no idea what they were in for, they thought they would just pick me up and drive back home again. My parents had only been to Adelaide a few times and luckily one of those places was the Marion Big 4. In 2000 a family friend had written directions on the back of an envelope to direct us there and for some reason we had never thrown it away. Without that they would have been a lot lost. As it was, my parents stayed in their car in the carpark and had pizza really hate at night, which Mum said reminded her of ''the good old days," and Dad said "What, when we used to sleep in the car?" and pulled funny face.

Anyway, my parents brought me home the next day and because they had left in a hurry, Matt who was 16 had to look after Trent who had just turned 9. I am pretty sure the boys only ate lollies for 24 hours. They went to the supermarket and bought me a mud cake and hung streamers everywhere. I really do have the best brothers in the world, even if I wasn't well enough to eat much of my mud cake.

I am grateful. Grateful for family and friends and good food and fun, and most of all, the chance to live and make it through another day.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Reasons, seasons, unrequited love and knowing exactly how it is.

In some ways this is a confession.

I have been a terrible friend, and have done things to intentionally hurt someone I really cared about, just because I couldn't cope with that feeling that comes with rejection. No one likes rejection and I deal with it a lot more poorly than others. It's not really a story that needs to be told, but I feel a lot better having verbalised it and then writing this blog. This, all of it, is old news, and my apologies to the people who know the rest of it or think they know who it's about. I have tried so hard not to share what isn't mine to share, and anyone who knows me should know what I mean by this. We get caught out telling other people's stories, but this one is mine.

What started as a simple search through the memory banks to find a reason for something triggered off something old and mostly forgotten in my mind. It started like this:

I was thinking about my reasons for wanting to be a chaplain and youth worker, both of which I did and enjoyed, but for me, this period of my life was just for a season. Whatever, I said I wouldn't write about vocation anymore.

Then I remembered that some of this started from attending a workshop at Planet Shakers in 2002. The workshop was on school ministry and the importance it plays in the life of young people. I have pages and pages of notes of this session and the flawed statistics presented. I made a big statement after the workshop and it went something like "If This Guy had a Christian chaplain or counsellor to talk to, well, none of this would have happened."

And Gareth, bless him, said "You can't live your life on ifs, ands or buts." Which is kind of true, but I didn't believe him. In fact, I believed wholeheartedly the problems my friend had could be solved by someone from the Christian faith helping him work through all of his issues. Which, is again, probably not very accurate.

Where do I start, and where does someone else's journey take over my own?

Simply put, I had a friend who I knew through church and we spent every day together, literally. In my typical fashion, I discarded all my 14 year old friends to spend time with this guy. Fine, cool, whatever. We did everything together, he called my mum Mum, we had all these traditions and rituals and quirky things we would say and do.

He was a few years older than me and thought he was a lot wiser. My friend was the first person I spoke to about the future - what we would do when we left school, where we would live, our interests beyond music and movies. I had good friends before, and none of them were that superficial - we had talked about important stuff - but until that time of my life I hadn't had anyone to share my thoughts with on a regular basis.

It was like being in a relationship, except we weren't. He would say things like 'oh, I don't want to lead you on', but then spend hours at my house watching movies until 4am. He made me a birthday present and did favours for me and all the things that you kind of get in a relationship, but without any hand holding. Everything seemed good... but then, well, things started to get messy, and not in a jelly and Twister kind of way.

My new friend had a lot of issues, heaps and heaps of them. It didn't seem like that at the time, but eventually it got to the point where every week there was something from the past to deal with, or something from the present that had upset him in a major way. It wasn't that I didn't have friends with some kind of problem - I have always had a bit of a saviour complex - it was just that this stuff was too much for my poor little head to deal with. And when I think about this time in my life (and I was fifteen by then, you can probably start putting pieces together if you want to), I start reminding myself that I was only a kid and there wasn't a lot I could do to help. I could, I could distract, I could be there for my friend, but that's about all I could do, and I thought it was enough. Eventually he was referred to counselling, but he wasn't overly interested in this avenue of assistance either. Instead of dealing through talking and advice seeking his activities and interests and friends changed virtually overnight. I spent the school holidays mostly cooped up inside my house waiting for him to come around, which he kept promising to do and didn't.

Then, well, I have detailed exactly what happened in a blog I wrote awhile back about The Worst Day of My Life, in which I basically went cuckcoo-bananas at him for being a lousy friend. Because I just couldn't deal anymore, even though I really wanted to. Of course, my life got a lot better at this point because I was really surrounded by a negative and difficult situation I had no control over, or ability to help heal. The worst day was totally worth it just to be back to being a better version of Vintage Lisa.

What happened after my friend changed completely was difficult to be a part of. People I knew would say really useful things like 'we never see him anymore' and 'he's totally gone off the rails' and 'he's screwing up his life'. We have all said things along these lines about people we know, but it kind of pains me now to realise that a lot of this was really just an unanswered cry for help... and no one wanted to help him. Or perhaps they did, and couldn't or didn't know how to.

I told Stephen the story, and a much less condensed version, and he reminded me of two things, and I liked them so much that the blog is about this.

A heart made of stone.
Although theologically incorrect, it's pretty impossible to plant a seed in a heart of stone. Great parables, etc etc. Our new house has a dirt on top of concrete, and of course, what grows there? Weeds. That's it. Nothing actually useful.

My friend probably wasn't in a great place to be receiving help from people who weren't in the right place to deliver it. He needed professionals. My experience in this crazy world has been that it is really hard to help people who don't want to be helped or who really just want to deal with an issue their way. That's totally their right and it should be respected. On the other hand, it wasn't fair that so many people were saying that things had gone wrong for this guy but weren't interested in continuing their friendship with him. Why do we continue to do these things to ourselves and to each other?

Because guys are different to girls. And seasons.
"And then what happened?" said Stephen.
The long story short is that we weren't ever really friends again. Okay, so we saw each other a couple of times a year, but every single time it was like he was a Brand New and Improved Person with totally different goals and interests. It got tiresome and I wasn't loving it at all. It couldn't continue the way it was though because we were going off in two different directions and he wanted his new friends and to do cool and rebellious things.

After some discussion with my resident Boys Expert (yeah, that's Stephen), I learnt something new, or a least a new theory, that guys are different to girls in how they relate to other people in friendships. He said it's totally normal just to have a friend for a season, even a really intense friendship, and then move on. But, he also said that girls aren't like that at all. Yay, go girls!

The hard thing about this friendship was that I was the one who did most of the work, even after the intense stage was over and done with. It's okay to be chasing people... at least sometimes, but you want to know that they enjoy spending time with you too. And, also, you want someone to have your back. I have people I would drop everything for if they needed me. At one point, he was that person. Now, we haven't spoken for a really long time, and to be honest, he probably never had my back at all.

Now, back to the original topic, which was looking for a reason behind my career choices. I think a lot of what I believed during that stage of my life was driven and sometimes manipulated by emotions. Emotions I felt, other people felt and things some people I saw as leaders and mentors would suggest should be a guiding force behind my vocational search. I wish I taken a little bit more notice of what Gareth said that night though, or at least talked in out with other people to get a second opinion. What did happen, of course, is that I saw plenty of other events unfold during my youth, many of which had dire consequences. And, at some of those times, I was that person who said "So-and-so is doing the wrong thing, they have changed, they are screwing up their lives," when actually i could have been a much better friend by not saying these things. Hindsight, is, of course, a beautiful thing. Do I think a Christian influence could have changed the course my friend took? In my professional opinion.... probably not.

For a really long time I have been holding onto these months of my life. It was the beginning of young adulthood - I started working, I started doing SACE subjects and I was in the process of creating some really important spiritual connections. I had great friends who I quickly abandoned to spend time with this guy - who welcomed me back with open arms when it all went horribly wrong.
I can't say it is a time I miss, but one I am very glad I have experienced.

All the same, experience shouldn't come with a cost. I inadvertently hurt a lot of people through this journey of mine, and I have probably painted a really good picture of myself, when actually I was just a crazy kid who liked a boy a lot and tried all sorts of crazy ways to get him to like me, get jealous, get mad or realise that he had hurt me. Because, your first broken heart hurts the most, even when the person doing the breaking never loved you (or liked you in a romantic sense) in the first place. For a few months after this time a few of my friends from school did give him a hard time, but this probably wasn't just due to my influence. That makes me a bully, I guess. That word is used too often, but it all makes a lot of sense now.

For the four or five months we weren't friends, after our break up that wasn't, I had a journal which I used to use as an open journal. My friends would read it and write notes to me in it. Soon though, things got too much for me. Something big happened in my life and at the same time, the person this blog is about was going through some major changes. And so, I closed my journal to the world, so that only I could read it and be allowed to be honest.

When I was honest though, I found that I had a whole less amount of angst, and had fallen out of "love" with the person in question. Although I was still mad, I was a whole lot kinder to everyone else, especially myself in the process. In some ways, closing my journal was a sign that it was time to close down my innner-thoughts to other people, and to choose carefully who I shared them with. It was really hard to be honest with myself because I kept thinking that I should feel more than what I did, that his life and all the problems that came with it, should weigh more heavily than someone else's seemingly wonderful life.

My mum often says that the story should be a fictional novel as it's pretty darn good. And, these are just the bones of what happened. But it's a story I have tried many times to capture, and I can't. I just don't have the passion, and I know that the story ends badly, especially considering we aren't even friends anymore.

I am glad I made some of the career choices I did, and allowed myself to be inspired by the work and ideas of others. Do I think my path may have prevented more stories like this from being told?

No way.

We live in a fallen world, and people need to make their own choices. As soon as I started making my own, everything fell into place a little better. I regret how I treated people on the path to self-discovery, nor would I wish someone the same journey, but it's a story that will be told time and time again, because unrequited love deserves to be shared and felt by others who know exactly how it is.

Friday, 12 December 2014

The Night Before Fresh Meat testing!

I'm not freaking out too much, but tomorrow is crunch time. Do or don't I become a roller girl? I want to know the future already! Usually I would be seeking guidance but this really isn't a decision to make, it's simply a test of my current skills. 

The test!
* 4 point fall 
* Baseball slides
* Transitions – Turning clockwise and counter clockwise
*360 degree turns
* Tomahawks – from one direction only (you don’t have to do it clockwise and counterclockwise)

* Hopping over noodles – One on top of the other, taking off with both feet
* Positional Blocking and Leaning – Frontal blocking aka booty blocking (holding someone back with your butt)
* Pushes across the room – Giving and receiving
* Arm Whips (giving and receiving)
* Hip (giving and receiving)
* Hip and Body Checking/Hitting – Giving and receiving hits
* Pace line pacing – Adjust to increased and decreased speed without falling, overtaking and while using your plough stops and keeping arms length distance from the person in front of you.
* Pace line weaving – Weave through the pace line
* Pack Work – While in a pack, can you: fall small, knee tap, touch wheels, call out numbers, hit on whistle, avoid suicide trainers, snow plough, weave around others (move from the back to the front and vice versa), and be generally safe
*Backwards skating – 1 lap
* Speed – 1 lap in 13 seconds

*Endurance – 27 laps in 5 minutes

If my journey ends, or comes to a brief pause, I thought now would be a better time for reflection rather than when I'm feeling mopey. So, here is what I have learnt through raw and fresh meat training.

1. I am stronger than you know.
Not only an excellent lyric, but I think this time has given me a lot of strength, especially in the way I deal with things - falling over and a commitment to training. It would have been so much easier if I didn't go through these last six weeks while moving from Kadina to Adelaide and setting it up and tying up heaps of loose ends. BUT I have been to every single training session, as well as the fitness sessions. Discipline doesn't always come easy to me (actually, who does it come easy to) and this has been a great break through in how I use my time.

2. Fitness should lead to some desired goal.
I have always known this, but all this year I have been banging on about losing weight, and surprise surprise, I weigh exactly the same as what I did this time last year. I want to lose weight (again, who doesn't?) but I don't want to be guilt tripped into it. I want to be a better skater and do fitness activities that will help me on this course. So my fitness goal isn't just to be fit and thin, it's to be able to be the best skater I can be.

3. Get back up again
I am no longer scared of falling as I have done it a lot and will continue to - there are more spills and thrills when Fresh Meat move into their next roles as newies, and then mouldies. I am fast at falling down and much better at not crying when things don't go my way.

4. I can do this. (or, 'you got this!')
If it isn't tomorrow, it will be January, and if it isn't January it will be this time next year. It is possible, do-able and what I want in my life. And I want it, a lot. It's going to happen and that's all there is to it.

Fingers and toes crossed!


Thursday, 4 December 2014

MCRG Raw/Fresh Meat Intake Update Week 5

Just because I haven't posted much, doesn't mean I didn't pass Raw Meat. I did, just. I also have a LOT of work to do. I need to work at cross overs, t-stops and, worst of all, skating on my left leg (1 foot glide). I also need to get my endurance up and over 21 laps.

So we are now at the midway point of Fresh Meat. or Fresh Eggplant if you are veggie. (That's not a lame joke I made up by the way, we chanted "Fresh Eggplant" at the end of training yesterday to make the vegans happy).We are learning more advanced skills, especially in terms of making contact  which is mostly taking and giving hits as well as whips. There are new things as well, such as carving, backwards skating, transitions and tomahawks which are all really new skills to me.

These last 10 or so days since I passed the test have been so busy for me. I have been moving into our new house and cleaning both the old and new one. I haven't got half the amount of practice in outside of sessions that I expected and really need to do. Starting tomorrow I intend on correcting this and ay have to plead with the gym again to let me go for an el-skateo.

I am also really crappy at jumping.

I have a lot of bruises today, and I really do feel that I am improving. I can give and take hits and whips okayish, I'm much better at stepping and being in control on my wheels. Pack skating and pace lines are becoming a lot easier too.

I have had a wheel upgrade to Heartless in a push/pull combo. I don't remember the exact set up terminology but I'll post it another day.

I'm not going to think too much about if I don't make it. My ultimate goal is to be a roller girl, and my second best option is to become a ref for a year while I gain more confidence on my skates.

Honestly, this is probably one of the best things I have ever done, along with getting married, Guides, going to Tabor and travel. I feel like I am constantly pushing my own limits and learning to be tough and not compare myself with others. I have had a lot of pain in my right foot, and I'm working through that as well to help me get through training.

For the first time ever I feel like all the stuff I have ever been told about training and conditioning has a purpose. A few years ago when I lost a lot of weight really quickly, my only goal was to lose weight. Right now I am not stressing about that, I would rather be doing exercise to strength my legs and make me a much better skater. Yes, losing weight will make me a lot more agile, but it will come in time and isn't my ultimate goal anymore.

That's it for now. Over and out.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Losing the art of sentimentality

Two moments last week changed me. Juts a little change, but enough undent my soul just a little.

The first was seeing a friend from high school. I knew she couldn't really place me, but I knew exactly who she was and we said hi... but that was it. Mum had spotted her as well, and asked me if we had a chat, and I said 'Nah, I could tell she knew she knew me, but didn't know who I was'.

That, right there, is what it is all about. 

I loved my high school friends. I had spent the last four years of primary school not really fitting in, then hating my way through the first three terms of high school. And then I met my beautiful group of friends, and we were really just that group of kids who were a group because they hadn't found anywhere else to be. The sweetest day was leaving my school diary on a desk outside my home group room, only to come back and find all my new friends had written their names, addresses and phone numbers in the back of it. 

Most of my friendships didn't stick after school ended. Everyone says that they will always be friends, but really I only know one bunch of girls who have made it work. I still have people I stay in touch with, and a kindred spirit (that's Lorraine by the way). I went to work, and then moved away, and that was kind of it.

I had similar moments throughout the weekend - people I knew really well at one stage and I just didn't want to talk to or speak with. Because, what do you say to someone you don't know anymore?

Then, moment two.

For a long time I had really sentimental rituals. There is a spot outside my parents house where I used to stand at night and think about my first boyfriend, who passed away while I was finishing school. And I used to reach down and touch the spot where we broke up, which is just around the corner from our house. I don't know when I grew out of this habit, but I hadn't done this for ages... maybe even before I started teaching. There were other favourite places I used to have, and things that used to mean something, and they don't. At all. After visiting old stomping grounds and accepting change, I can finally claim I have lost the fine art of sentimentality.

Have I though?

In some ways, I have lost the connectedness I used to feel about my adopted home town.The only place I really like to be when I'm there is at my parents' house, because that is really my home and has been for twenty years now. But, I know that my real home town, Warrnambool, holds for me everything that makes me who I am. And I don't mean memories or weird rituals for someone I didn't even love, let alone really like very much. The things I love most about where I am from is not being, but doing. Scrambling around cliff tops, scourging for sea glass, pies from Chittick's and walks to Thunder Point, and my grandparents' church and bowling and making wishes that don't come true. My heart could burst with all the love I have for that place and everything it will always hold for me. 

In school I was always trying to cling to some memory. I took lots of photos because no one else did. I made scrapbooks with photos of people who don't remember my name. I wrote about them in a journal I hope no one ever reads. If you go to so many lengths to keep a memory, it isn't really worth it.

Where I belong isn't so much about location. It is about who I belong to. And I belong to Stephen and my family and my friends (actual friends, not people I haven't seen since I was 17) and my cat. That's what it is really all about. And if I need to take photos or keep menus from bad Mexican cafes, I have lost the point. Because, it's about being in the moment. All of me, right here. That's where I am.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Why I really hate running (and how I try to do it anyway).

There are two things I really dislike in terms of exercise - walking and running.

Walking - unless you have amazing company and a purpose, I just hate it. No reason why, though part of this probably relates to walking being my only mode of transport as a teenager. Also, I have a car, who wants to walk when it's hot, cold, dark, bright, raining or too far to go?

Running - I hate running because I suck at it.

All the reasons I hate running:

1. I don't have a runner's body.
Being on the short side means I have short strides while walking and even shorter strides while running. For me, running seems to be an inefficient way of travelling. I also have wide hips. Yay for belly dancing, nay for running. One of my trainers has told me that no matter how much I practice, I'm just not built to be a runner. On the upside he did tell me that extra weight = extra strength in your legs. which is why my legs can lack the running, just the rest of me can't.

2. I can't get in the zone when I'm running.
People I know who like running seem to be able to get in the zone, or a dream like trance where their mind is free while they pound pavement. This is what I want to achieve in running, and I have done it once, four years ago, when I was running four times a week.

When I'm doing other cardio, I go find my trance state pretty easily, and it's a very happy place. So I can see the point of running clearing the mind, it just doesn't do it for me because I'm too busy trying to breathe and thinking about sore feet.

3. High impact + sore feet = cup of cement please.
I get really sore feet when I run, jump or do a Step class.

Much of this seemed to happen due to a terrible and stupid incident in 2007. I was at work and managed to drop a table tennis table on my foot. I iced it for half an hour, drove home in agony and did nothing to treat the pain, other than Panadol and occasional ice. Then, three days later I dropped a suitcase on the same foot. I couldn't walk very well for a few days, which was a great way to kick off my first massive roadtrip to the Gold Coast. The roastrip mean I had no access to ice, or the thought to get anything to treat it. I also had the biggest bruise in the world. This was the stupidest mistake I have ever made in terms of my health - yes, really. I have had x-rays and stuff, but as soon as I start running or jumping too often or for an extended period (say beyond five minutes), I will get pain. Scientifically this doesn't seem to hold up, but I know it's true.

4. I just don't like it AND I'm not good at it.
It's one thing to like something and not be good at it, it's another to hate it and suck at it. And for me, that's my relationship with running. It is totally hate/hate. I didn't like running as a child, I didn't even really like it when I've done City to Bay and other fun runs. For me, the thrill is always knowing that I've endured something I hate and have always struggled with. It's totally a mental game.

That aside, you must know this is going somewhere. How and why do I run anyway?

I mostly blame Bec and Julie who invited me aaaages ago to do their weekly beach runs. And I liked both of those ladies, so I said yes. If I hadn't, well I'd probably be sitting here bitching about why I hate walking. I'll leave that for another time. I also run because I like to be part of things. I loved doing City to Bay with Viva and I hope I make it next year too, though maybe with Guides, I don't know.

I run because it's good for me and it gets my heart rate soaring. The best way I can tackle the mental issues and physical pain is to do intervals.

Explain intervals!
For me, intervals mean running for anywhere from thirty seconds to two minutes, then having the same amount of time as rest, then running again. You can increase or decrease the intervals at your leisure. This seems to be the best way for me to start building up to run for longer amounts of time. I also really like shuttle runs - one end of the backyard to the other is good for me. I'll often do twenty runs, do some squats, do twenty more, do some lunges... and so on.

Getting over pain
Distraction - I crank my music or go to my happy place. It also really helps if you have a friend, and the best type of running friend to have is totally someone who understands how you think and feel about running and isn't trying to thrust their own agenda onto you. What do I hate while running? People who barely know you, or aren't trained in fitness telling you to push harder, run faster and so on. Seriously, give them a good 'fuck you' and find someone else. Or maybe don't do that if you actually like them. As one of those curvy girls I hear things like 'you can do better/move faster/run as fast as/higher knees/you can eat that cheesecake tonight' a lot and it is actually often untrue and hurtful... and more to the point, distracts me from running.

Buy awesome shoes - I wear the dorkest running shoes ever, They are Duomax and they are the only shoe which really support my feet. I highly recommend The Athlete's Foot (the West Lakes store especially) - those guys and gals really know what they're on about. Also, choose appropriate socks. I lose all concentration when my socks are uncomfortable and that means I need to choose better next time. Outside of running, which I don't do heaps of, but enough to write a blog about it, I kick around in Fit Flops most of the time. They are the best casual shoe I have ever owned and incredibly supportive.

Look after your tootsies - So obviously I have been in situations when I can't do intervals or shuttles. I trained for City to Bay for eight weeks with hour and a half long training sessions. It was hell. For the first few weeks I was soaking my feet in warm water, but then my right foot started swelling often so I was spending a few hours every Saturday with my foot up and iced. Sometimes I have strapped my right foot as well, but I had a very bad incident last year (it turns out mud + strapping tape is not ideal) and have been scared off doing so since then. I've rolled tennis balls under my feet and tried doing the walk in barefeet whenever possibly, followed by Always Wear Shoes... you get the idea. I have tried a lot of things do do with looking after my feet, and some work with limited success.

Choose where you run - I love love love the track between Henley and Grange because that's where I used to run with the Viva girls. What's awesome about this is that most of the track is paved with sand sprinkled in different parts. It also has very very small inclines in a few parts. For me, the sand breaks up the trip. I hate running on flat pavement, on concrete floors (unless they are sprung floors like at Viva) and on treadmills. Grass I like a little bit better.

Refusing pain
At the end of the day, you have to know your own body and what you are capable of, and capable of dealing with afterwards. This still means you need to be tough on yourself, but know your options too.

For high impact issues, here are some substitutes I like to use.

Running on treadmill: replacing this with walking on a treadmill on a very steep incline seems to keep me in line. Also, it gives you an awesome bum, and who doesn't want one of those?

Jump squats: using just the squats with better technique is a better option than jumping with poor technique. Jumping = increasing your heart rate etc... but it's squats. You want to have good technique, otherwise why bother with a jump squat?!

Jump jacks/star jumps: jacks are faster than jumps, but everyone knows what these are. The best option is a step tap while stretching out your arms as you would a star jump.

Step classes: There are so many loyal Steppers out there who would kill me for saying this, but Step isn't for everyone. I really like Step BUT it does my poor feet harm. The best option for this is to try to go to a class that uses the step within it for some things (like Body Pump) or a taste tester class. I have only ever walked out of one class before - a Body Step class. This was a month after injuring my foot and I struggled my way through half an hour when I realised I was aggravating my injury. Most classes you can take options to avoid this - say if you are struggling in Spin, you can turn down your resistance, but in Step you need to stay on the step most of the time.

Running in general: A different type of cardio. I love Body Attack which is aerobics. I'm not great at it, but it's a class which allows you lots of options.

Tellin' everybody
When you have someone like I do - achy foot syndrome (yes, I just made that up), it really pays to tell people who train or instruct you in any fitness activity. Not only do you avoid the 'come on, you should be running' lectures, you'll be shown different options or ways of doing things. This is an awesome thing to do, especially if you don't really know what you're doing. This also allows for people to make suggestions of how to best recover and treat your feet! Yay!

Despite all these things - I still really hate running. But, it's good for you. So, go do it.

If you got to the end of this post, well done. In case you're wondering, why yes, I do have Fitness quals, and no, I'm not in the right shape to come and work for your gym... yet.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Raw Meat Sesh 5 Test and little spin out moment.

Sunday will be a big day for me. Not only should I have almost everything signed off on my Girl Guides Leadership Passport, I'm also doing the Raw Meat Test.

On Wednesday we went through the test and I can do almost everything. So now I feel a whole heap better. I also know if I don't pass I have worked my arse off to get through in just five sessions. So, go me.

The test results mean that those who pass make it to Fresh Meat, those who don't will be invited to retest next year (in either 6 or 12 months) and might be asked to take on a non skating role in the league. Either way you get feedback which is awesome.

Just so I feel better about Sunday, here's what I can do in bold.

1. Stops
-Skater must come to a complete stop from a brisk pace within 4 seconds, using proper form and without losing balance. 
-T-Stops (so so so close!)
-Plow Stops
2. Balance and Agility
-Skater must demonstrate the ability to perform the following tasks without losing balance, stumbling or falling:
-Stepping and standing from a standstill, maintaining control of wheels (not rolling)
--forward and backward
--side to side in both directions
--shuffle (I still don't know what this is!)
--quick steps
--balance on one foot for 30 seconds

-Weaving through 10 cones in less than 6 seconds 
-Hopping over a fixed marker on the ground 
-Hopping from side to side from a brisk speed
3. Recovery
-Knee taps with both knees
-Double knee slides
4. Skating skills
-Posture (bent at knees with hips and shoulders back, centre of gravity low and down, skate with low, bent knees)
-Stride (steady, confident fluid strides, both feet pushing on straightaways, shifts weight from foot to foot without stumbling)
-Crossovers (derby directio
n and reverse direction)
-One foot glide
-Sticky skating
-Moves fluidly from one side of the track to the other
5. Pace lines
-Adjusts to speed in a pace line

6. Speed and Endurance
-13 seconds for one lap 
-20 laps in 5 minutes 

Monday, 17 November 2014

Being awesome at dreaming 101 (or How Do I Remember Dreams?)

I'm really awesome at dreaming - or at least, I'm really awesome at recalling my dreams. So, I decided to write a little 101 on Being Awesome at Dreams which has very little scientific merit but it works well for me.

How dreams work
Firstly, Google this.

Okay, now you're done that, you have probably read that dreaming occurs during REM sleep. There are plenty of theories about dreams, some suggest it's your mind rebooting for the day, others suggest it's your brain getting rid of junk. Like space junk, but for dreams.

Planning dreams
A little bit of reading about this goes a long way, but in my personal experience you can sometimes plan dreams. For example, concentrating on a good topic or goal you have before you fall asleep can help you visit this idea in your dream; while watching or thinking about something which scares you can also be played out in your dreams. This isn't any type of theory, but positive vibes are always a good idea.

Recalling a dream
This is all based on my own experience, but here's what I have found works.

Once you awaken from your dream, lie perfectly still and try to recapture the memory of your dream. Sometimes it helps to think about the easiest things to recall in your dream, other times it helps to go back to the start of your dream and recall it from beginning to end. In this moment, it is relatively easy to remember your dream because that's the only thing you have been doing! To help cement your dream, keep playing it over and over again. Then you can write it down or tell it to someone, or perhaps rehearse in your head how you would tell someone and then think 'okay, so that sounds kind of stupid, let's forget about it.' Dream journals are useful.

Revisiting dreams
It's often written in fiction that characters can go back to their dreams, but in my experience, you can't always go back to a dream where you have left off. Often in my dreams I will return to a similar dream situation and know I have been there before. I have also had reoccurring dreams or themes. For example, during periods of transition I have often dreamed that I am in the drivers seat of my car, but someone else is steering. The person changes, but the subject does not.

Dream symbolism
Many different cultures believe that dreams can symbolise or mean something in your every day life. There is some great and interesting research on this. One of my favourite dream symbols is all your teeth falling out, meaning that you are losing your money. I've only had this dream once and it wasn't accurate at the time!

My dreams are most often based in my previous workplaces, church and places in my home town. I have also had frequent dreams about West Terrace in Adelaide, though usually it starts there and ends up being a maze through a university that doesn't exist. I rarely have dreams in an unknown location. A lot of the time my dreams don't seem to mean anything, but then can stick with me regardless.

Spiritually, I have had a few dreams which I believe are from God and are confirmation of what I believe.

In terms of death, when I was younger I had dreams of death the night before the morning when Mum would tell me someone had passed away, which were mostly my great uncles who I didn't know very well. I haven't had any death prediction deaths since then, but they still scare me a lot.

My most vivid dreams
A reoccurring dream I have had is road tripping with one of my parents and finding a used book store which sells books I have always wanted to read but have never been able to find. I have this dream a lot (in fact, I had it last night). In these dreams either we don't have enough money or I wake up before we leave the book store.

A dream I had when I was nine was about my project I was doing on Spain. My project had gone missing in my mum's car and I couldn't find it in the dark. I go back inside, then come outside again. Mum is holding onto a walking frame and saying 'How do I use one of these old wive's things?'

In a series of scary dreams I have had, two stick out. One was an image of me eating a whole heap of small pins from a sequin kit I had. The other was pulling back the covers of my bed and finding a huge pile of matches. This still kind of freaks me out.

Every now and then I dream that I didn't pass Year 12, even though Dream Lisa knows I am actually a teacher. I have to go back to high school (note - my own high school, not some bogus dreamland one), where my friends are still enrolled and all the teachers know I'm a teacher but make me redo Year 12 anyway.

A reoccurring theme I have is totally unmanageable situations at work. These have included running several stand alone portable classrooms by myself in the middle of an electrical storm, doing yard duty while several children injure themselves (though, triage wise I did pretty well) or having to teach in my second and completely altered classroom, complete with a stage and a whole lot of mess.

Getting over scary dreams
I have never had night terrors, but I have had nightmares and dreams which leave me uneasy. There are three solutions which work well for me. The best one is to attempt to block out the dream memory and go straight back to sleep. The second one is talking about your dream and then trying to go back to sleep. The third is to get up, have a warm drink, do something to distract you (I like to read) and go back to bed when you're ready.

A few years ago I started measuring my sleepability on whether I was actually up to completing a task. You start off thinking something big such as 'could I drive to ____ (name somewhere at least two hours from you)?' 'Could I go to gym?' 'Could I read a chapter of a book?' 'Could I have a piece of toast?' Once you get a 'no' answer, work out if you have enough energy to do something small, and if not, go back to sleep.

Getting awesome at recall (or How to be an elephant) 
I have got an excellent memory for recalling event sequence, detail, quotes and experiences. This doesn't translate into being an organised person, I have to work on that. For a long time I thought everyone had great recall, it turns out, they don't.

Some ideas at creating an elephant's memory:
- Record things. Use a camera and a journal. Both are very helpful, but it is really the journal that helps you keep the memory in your head because you have had to process it it at least once to write it down, and can revisit it each time you reread it. This allows for further reflection.
-Talk about your experiences with at least one person. I'm so lucky that I have my husband, my mum and my gran to talk things through with every day. Talking with someone about your experiences also allows them to ask questions which is really good for further reflection.
- Revisit memories often in whatever form you choose.
-Allow your mind to drift and recall things. Make connections, comparisons and contrasts whenever you can. Obviously, I have been able to revisit some old dreams today because I have thought about them often enough to recall them.
-Don't be scared to block of memories you don't need to recall. I am often quite scared of nightmares after they have happened, but manage to block them out before going back to sleep. Doing this allows you to keep the memories you want and gives you permission to do away with the ones you don't.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

MC Roller Girls Raw Meat Intake Week 2

Updated my blog to reflect actual gains! Feeling sorry for myself today, but only in terms of life being crazy busy hectic and everybody I knew stressing me out majorly. I so want to curl up into a little ball and stay there. But, we beat on.

No stretching yesterday as a whole group, but did some myself and then went to Bounce with some amazing Olaves. Bounce was an incredible recovery session. Firstly, you only wear socks. Trampolines are good for keeping momentum and help contribute to the low impact of the exercise. Also, jumping, especially on a trampoline makes me wildly giddy and silly and who doesn't need that in their lives? 

This week my plan is to skate every day, have two weight sessions at gym and learn how to do t-stops and weaving a lot better. This is my last chance, and I have improved immensely. I'll do a proper update tomorrow to help soothe mt wounded ego.

Over and out,
Lissy, wonder woman and all around good girl. 

Please keep in mind that the track at Kilburn is smaller than Cambelltown :)

Week 1: Speed - 1 lap in 13 seconds
Kilburn 1 in 15 seconds
Campbelltown 1 in 16.5 seconds

Week 1: Endurance - 27 laps in 5 minutes
Kilburn: 18.5 laps
Campbelltown: 17 laps

Week 2: Speed 
Kilburn:  Speed: 13.5 secs
Campbelltown: 13.5 secs

Week 2: Endurance 
Kilburn: 20 laps. 
Cambelltown 17.5 laps

Raw Meat Test - Things I can do are in bold.
1. Stops
-Skater must come to a complete stop from a brisk pace within 4 seconds, using proper form and without losing balance. 
-Plow Stops
2. Balance and Agility
-Skater must demonstrate the ability to perform the following tasks without losing balance, stumbling or falling:
-Stepping and standing from a standstill, maintaining control of wheels (not rolling)
--forward and backward
--side to side in both directions
--quick steps
--balance on one foot for 30 seconds

-Weaving through 10 cones in less than 6 seconds
-Hopping over a fixed marker on the ground 
-Hopping from side to side from a brisk speed
3. Recovery
-Knee taps with both knees (ALMOST!
-Double knee slides
4. Skating skills
-Posture (bent at knees with hips and shoulders back, centre of gravity low and down, skate with low, bent knees)
-Stride (steady, confident fluid strides, both feet pushing on straightaways, shifts weight from foot to foot without stumbling)
-Crossovers (derby directio
n and reverse direction)
-One foot glide
-Sticky skating
-Moves fluidly from one side of the track to the other
5. Pace lines
-Adjusts to speed in a pace line
6. Speed and Endurance
-13 seconds for one lap (13.5 baby!)
-20 laps in 5 minutes (17.5)

Friday, 14 November 2014

Two to tango (And lots of footnotes.)

Last night sparked something for me last night. I watched the trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey*, which was helpfully followed up by a suggestion from Google** for a movie called Old Fashioned. The trailer for this movie explained the plot - good Christian guy finds a lovely lady who is rather unconventional, and decides to court her and be super-spiritual to protect himself. I kind of like the sound of this movie. It sounds honest and real, even if no Charlie Tango is involved***.

I wondered by Christianity is always doing battle with the secular, and of yes, Fifty Shades is that. And, by rights, they probably should. But why do we Christian kids feel the need to take something of the world, and try to make it not of the world, but enough like the world we can fool people into thinking it's the same, but enhanced?

So. With all that in mind, I recalled a really weird time in my life, which, on reflection, has probably done more damage to me than any other relationship I've ever had.

No names. And no blame, not really. The people of concern in this are no longer, in any way, part of my life, and that's their choice.

Before I left for Bible College, I had some people speak into my life that I would meet the Man of My Dreams there (long story short - I didn't). And, more than anything at that time, I wanted to be in a relationship. And then I found myself in one. Yay!

The first week was great. And then I got kicked out of my flat, left my job, moved into a youth hostel for a few weeks, moved into my new house and started living by myself for the first time, started a new job and had pretty much no money. So, understandably, I turned into crazy hyper sensitive psycho princess bitch face. Deliriously happy one minute, cranky pants the next. Was I the most annoying person to deal with? Yes. Even I know that, and did at the time.

I used the term relationship loosely. We were together for maybe two months, and then had a two week break****, followed by a break up. If you're a big believer in fate, destiny, God stuff, whatever, you'll know this was totally for the best. At the time, well, let's just say I wasn't so sure. I knew that our relationship ending was completely my fault, and I hadn't even intentionally sabotaged it*****.

When it ended we had all these dumb deals like who could tell whom, and what we would say, and God was calling us not to be together. So, I just didn't talk about it, and he did, and suddenly I found myself on the outer with a few people until that year ended. Like all break ups, life is almost always better without the person (except when you need a plus one to go to a party or something, then it sucks). Except, for the first and last time, I really really really wanted him back. Mostly because I had this false belief that I had done all the damage, it was my fault, and I wanted to prove I could be awesome enough to go out with him.

But. That didn't happen. And if it had, what would it prove?

The tough thing about this relationship, and it was the last of it's kind in terms of this, was that a lot of it was based on the spiritual stuff. So, here are some whacked out things I have realised:

1. Just because you feel hurt and rejected, doesn't mean your identity is not based on the Image of God.
I could tell you until the cows come home that I know I am made in the image of God. My identity is, and always has firmly rooted in the fact that I'm a Child of God. But I take rejection badly, and to feel sad or ashamed that someone doesn't want you in their life doesn't mean you don't know who you are in Christ. Jesus himself felt rejected and shunned by his friends, and look how they treated Him!

2. Being in a relationship doesn't mean you have to be somebody's everything.
No one told me this at the time. But when you're part of something where people aren't dating, they're courting, and where marriage sooner rather than later is the norm, you rely on this all or nothing thing a lot. This was my biggest downfall in this relationship, and I have struggled again and again to get the right balance. Being married is totally different to playing house on the weekends together, even if it's really fun (except when you're really broke and you eat soup for seven meals straight).

3. People don't always have their hearts in the right place.
I had been seeing a counsellor before, during and after this so-called relationship, and during our last session (I made it our last because of this), all she wanted to do was talk about The Break Up. Totally not the reason I was there. People also tend to speak into your life at this point, which can be harmful to the process that comes with facing rejection. At this point, I didn't care about how many fish their were, I was in a glass bowl and all I wanted was the one other fish who had no interest in me whatsoever.

4. It's okay to be mad, but it's not your place to fix it.
After all of this, some pretty crappy things started happening. When you end a relationship, you really do end the friendship as well, at least for awhile. You don't really get a say in what the other person does with their life, unless it's to do with you, and only you. So, as pissed off as I was, I probably didn't have the right to go cuckoo-bananas on MSN Messenger, but what I should have done was say 'You need to stop leading me on by doing this, this and this.' This false hope giving started the on-again-off-again four year saga that was 'but what if we were meant to beeeeeeeeee?' (Yes, the word 'be' is written exactly like that in my journal, circa 2008.)

5. How you express your sweet lovin' is not up for Every Man's Battle to decide.
Oh, how I hate this book.
No, that's not true. I like the values and actual practical suggestions these books, and others like it. But, like all books, you need to decide for yourself what you want to take away from it. And then you need to express this to the person you're seeing. Boundaries are so so so important, and setting them is a really good thing. But you have to decide together, because boundaries set just by morals and what you should and shouldn't do 'as Christians' needs to be decided before you arrive at a point of no return.

To be really honest, I haven't had too many discussions since this time about what I should and shouldn't be doing, but it has really affected the way I have seen myself, and basically implies I'm a scarlet woman or something to that effect, even though I'm just an ordinary girl who has made decisions that aren't just based upon what I read in one book.

6. When you decide you don't like someone any more, don't tell everyone why.
Why did it end?
Because I was a princess bitchface. Because I couldn't adhere to poorly drawn boundaries. Because I was an unhappy person. Because I was jealous.

All these things are true. I am jealous, I can be horrible, I love boundaries, at that time I was really unhappy. No one really needed to know this. Why couldn't he have just said 'It just didn't work out. Hey, now let's change the subject?' Simply because at that time we were all accountable to one another, and it didn't seem right to just ignore such a question. My refusal to deal at the time was a good thing because it meant I didn't have to pull apart and analyse the relationship right there and then. Because, that's what I'm doing now, and now it doesn't hurt.

These last four years have been tough. I haven't been part of a church family for a long time, except for my home church. And I'm missing that, a lot. I've tried to find my identity in church, in work, in relationships and I have failed, miserably. Part of this comes from the idea that the Christian Church will be your home and family, when, really, most of what I have seen has been ego-driven, self serving, marketing mayhem, competitive spirits and holier-than-thou attitudes. And if that is church, and relationships, I don't want that. I just really like Jesus. I like his mission and purpose, and presence in my life.  

I said that this has had a huge impact on me. Yes. Because I thought I could change, that we just had bad timing, that I was totally at fault, that I... it goes on. But, really, I wasn't, and shouldn't and didn't. I just couldn't be what that person, as lovely as he is, wanted from a girlfriend. However, what I really failed to see for a long time is that I didn't really want him as a boyfriend. I just wanted to prove that I was worthy, to make up for the rejection I felt. This is not a clever move, and one that did not serve me well.

What does this have to do with those movies I referenced at the start of the blog? Basically, nothing, except some reassurance that I don't need to star in either of them. Except the chick in Old Fashioned has some pretty wicked clothes.

*As in, the movie for the first in the trilogy of the Fifty Shades books. Poorly written and possibly almost completely unseen by an editor, EL James could have condensed the plot line of girl meets guy/guy makes unreasonable demands of virgin/guy and girl fall in love/girl changes guy instead of having stupid subplots including a creepy bossy named Jack and a heap of easy to place twists with no actual surprises, hence, not a twist.

**Google is also known as Googs in my house. Of course, it doesn't respond to my 'Ok Googs' command, or realise when I have said thank you, but everyone in this house (myself, Stephen and the cat) all have eleventy nicknames, it's only fair to include Google in that. If we had a Siri, she would probably bee Seers, but, that sound stupid, and also, it's Apple.

***Charlie Tango is the name of Christian Grey's helicopter. Christian Grey is also known as 50 Shades, also known as Mr Grey and also known as Fifty Shades of Fucked Up. Which is depressing.

****I only know one person a 'break' has worked for, and a whole heap of people who tried breaks and got the old dumperoo.

*****If, like me, you hate being mean to anybody ever and can't face the thought of breaking up with them, bitchface tactics work really well, except they basically hate you.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Raw Meat Test: Those who can will!

Sizzla posted up the details of the Raw Meat Test, so I've decided to go through it with a fine tooth comb. Everything in bold I can do. Everything that isn't in bold I can do (with the exception of t-stops, pace lines and reverse crossovers), but not to the level I need to demonstrate.

1. Stops
-Skater must come to a complete stop from a brisk pace within 4 seconds, using proper form and without losing balance. 
-Plow Stops
2. Balance and Agility
-Skater must demonstrate the ability to perform the following tasks without losing balance, stumbling or falling:
-Stepping and standing from a standstill, maintaining control of wheels (not rolling)
--forward and backward
--side to side in both directions
--shuffle (I still don't know what this is!)
--quick steps
--balance on one foot for 30 seconds

-Weaving through 10 cones in less than 6 seconds (uuuuuh, close but not yet 6 seconds.)
-Hopping over a fixed marker on the ground 
-Hopping from side to side from a brisk speed
3. Recovery
-Knee taps with both knees
-Double knee slides
4. Skating skills
-Posture (bent at knees with hips and shoulders back, centre of gravity low and down, skate with low, bent knees)
-Stride (steady, confident fluid strides, both feet pushing on straightaways, shifts weight from foot to foot without stumbling)
-Crossovers (derby directio
n and reverse direction)
-One foot glide
-Sticky skating
-Moves fluidly from one side of the track to the other
5. Pace lines
-Adjusts to speed in a pace line

6. Speed and Endurance
-13 seconds for one lap (13.5 baby!)
-20 laps in 5 minutes (20 at Kilburn, woot!)

I feel so much better having got this out and organised in my head and on my blog. And breathe.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Raw Meat Update_halfway point

Today Sizzla posted a list of things we need to be able to do for the raw meat test. I can do about half of them ok and the other half I can so, but not to the required level. Yet. Last night I felt so crappy and cranky because there's stuff I'm just not getting as yet. Which will come, but it still made me cranky.

This morning I had a pedicure (too long toenails are not good while skating) followed by a remedial massage. I was cursing internally throughout the massage, and I'm still not feeling great but I certainly can move a lot better.

I am completely and utterly nuts.

Testing last night:
Speed: 13.5 secs
Endurance: 20 laps.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Saying no to hate posts clogging up social media.

I'm a pretty tolerant person.

Okay, I put up with a lot of rubbish. My calling isn't generally swaying the opinion of others, especially when their mind is made up. I don't enjoy debating contentious topics if there is not outcome because of it. And yet, I like activating for change and being part of a group who demands social justice.

What I'm struggling to tolerate is fear mongering, hatred and righteousness. This is a blog, and if you're reading this, it probably means you know what I'm talking about.

I'll be honest. I don't know what to do about it.

There is, of course, the delete or block or report option on Facebook. But, unnecessary. We are all entitled to our opinion, whether it is right or wrong. Also, I like these people. That's why we are connected on Facebook. 

I think my current option is to unfollow or hide their posts. I'll see how Fcebook reacts to that.

All the same, I wish I was better at this stuff. But fear mongering is the climate of the day, and I really can't change the minds of that many people through social media.

Monday, 10 November 2014

I wear my heart upon my sleeve like its a big deal.

Let's talk about being homesick for your country.

Oh, I have been homesick for my own corners of the world ever since I was nine and my parents decided that South Australia was an awesome place to live. I have moved on and forgiven them, though it may have taken a decade. Even now I still feel a bit annoyed, but in the long run, it's all worked out for all of us. And I get homesick for Mount Gambier and Adelaide, and I miss other places I have been in. But being homesick for your own culture is completely different to missing faces and sights and shops.

Last time I was away I was Aussie Prepared. I even packed Vegemite and rice cakes and all the fun stapley food I eat most days. And Cooks is similar to New Zealand as most of the stuff they sell gets imported from there, food wise at least. Despite having freedom to drive around tiny islands, sit on beaches and read a lot, I really felt homesick. 

And yet, India is so vastly different to our culture, but I only felt homesick on the last night when I knew I had to make a very crazy trip home. Two cities, two planes, two days, pretty much no sleep. And that's before I knew I probably shouldn't be flying with Mayalsian Airlines. I think part of it is that being somewhere so different is tiring and you don't get a lot of time to reflect on things you miss, more just time to make comparisons. Which is okay, until you just want to go home.

I have spent so many hours wishing I was somewhere other than where I am. This is frustrating for everybody who knows me, or is aware of this longing. But the longing to be in your own country is different to wanting to be with your family or the Pankcake Kitchen (or whatever).

Things I miss while I'm overseas:
-Aussie food. Now, I'm not a fussy eater, but I'm really distrusting of food brands I haven't eaten before and packaging I have never seen. Call me crazy, but I do struggle with this. I even miss diet Coke while I'm away (I have had the unpleasant experience of having Coke Light and it's not at all the same). It's not like I want someone to whip me up a pavlova, but give me Vegemite on toast any day over some weird western omelette that I'm supposed to apparently like.

-Free phone calls. I'm so lucky I am on prepaid, but there is a horrible thing that comes with it - always running out of credit. Even receiving calls is expensive (it was free for Mum to call me, but three dollars from my account came off for every minute we talked). Recharging with my MasterCard has only worked when I've been in Cooks, and usually someone has to bail me out of the No Credit Fiasco. 

-Highways and trees. When Stephen and I went on a cruise a few years ago, I was really craving some red dirt and gumtrees. I miss the wide open spaces I have been blessed to call my home for the last few years.

-The news. Stephen kept updating me with South Aussie news last trip, which wasn't very exciting but, most of the time I go away and have no idea that planes disappear from the sky and so on. I don't usually have access to the Internet, and usually I don't want to, so news is hard to come by.

-The lifestyle to which I am now accustomed. If you watch The Embassy, which I like to, it's a good reminder that their ways are not your ways. Laws are different overseas, safety is not always taken as seriously, toilets are never a given, hygiene can be questionable. I've only ever travelled for twelve days at a time, and this is the thing I struggle with the most.

Okay, I just got some good news, so I have to leave it there, but all the same, I love being an Aussie and travelling. Also, Tim Tams are an excellent form of currency.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

MC Roller Girls Raw Meat Intake Week 1 Update

What a mouthful that title was!

I'll break it down and then actually get to business.

I'm part of the Raw Meat intake for Murder City Roller Girls (MCRG/MC Roller Girls). Raw Meat is the very basics of skating - stopping, turns (or transitions), how to fall, etc. In two week's time I will be tested on my Raw Meat skills, and I have to say I'm incredibly anxious about passing the test.

After Raw Meat, Fresh Meat begins. In Fresh Meat you learn lots of derby drills and skills and develop on the skills you learn in Raw Meat. Fresh Meat's test is even more challenging to pass successfully. MCRG are in the process of becoming members of WFTDA members, which means we have to successfully pass their rulings AKA Minimum Skills to get through Fresh Meat. Two of the biggest tests as a skater is Speed (one lap in 13 seconds) and Endurance (27 laps in 5 minutes). Speed I am not so bad on, I only need to shave two seconds off my current PB. Also, the track at Kilburn is smaller (maybe 80% of a traditional track), so I'm keeping records of both just so I know how I have improved. Endurance is tough, but mostly because there are a lot of girls all on the track at once, and this leads to more thrills and spills when you don't actually want either.

There are a lot of people trying out at be in MCRG, and plenty of them have already been part of local leagues, such as Light City, or defunct leagues such as Gawler. This is good because they are encouraging and you can learn from them. MCRG wants to teach people their way to play, which is totally fine, but you have a HUGE range of abilities during the intake, and this also puts me off quite a bit as some of the ladies have been skating with leagues for a long time and that's intimating! I have been really lucky that Becca had already covered everything we have learnt during Raw Meat while I was training with CCRD. So, nothing is new information, I just have rubbishy form most of the time. I also feel like I came in thinking I was really speedy, but actually I'm middle of the range, if not slower, and I'll just have to deal with that.

In terms of commitment, well, the intakes are for six weeks with two training a week (one at Kilburn and the other at Campbelltown). This means I'm driving down until we have a house in Adelaide, which is fine except last night I really don't know how I got home in one piece, so I might need to start doing sleepovers with my parents-in-law again. The sessions themselves involve a pre-training fitness session (15 mins-half an hour, depending on the day), time to get skating gear on (for me this means knee gaskets, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, helmet and mouth guard) and then two hours on skates, followed by a long stretch. The trainings are run by a group of trainers - T1 is the head trainer for the session, T2s are the back-ups and give the T1 a heads up if they miss anything important out and T3s are extra support. All of the trainers demonstrate the moves and join in with us to give us tips and hints along the way as well as supervising drills.

My body feels pretty shattered this morning. Thursday I was pretty much fine, but last night everything hurt and I was in bed far too early and went straight to sleep. I haven't felt like this since I did back to back to back classes at Viva, and that was only after days with no rest days off!

All in all, I'm grateful for this crazy time. It's taking a lot out of me (I just cracked some bone in my leg and have no idea how that even happened), but it feels good too. I'm pretty happy with the way everything is going. I'm keen as beans for Wednesday night.

Of course, there is the thought of what happens if I don't get through? There are a lot of options and other leagues, but I really really want this, so I won't even consider the options until (or if) it comes to that.


Week 1: Speed - 1 lap in 13 seconds
Kilburn 1 in 15 seconds
Campbelltown 1 in 16.5 seconds

Week 1: Endurance - 27 laps in 5 minutes
Kilburn: 18.5 laps
Campbelltown: 17 laps

Saturday, 8 November 2014

The Way We Was: 1999

In 1999 I was so many things, but mostly just a painful thirteen year old who liked shopping, boys, Grease, rom coms and Sweet Dreams novels. Actually, things haven't changed too much except for my taste in books.

Here I am on the Spirit of Warrnambool, which is a little boat which goes up and down the Hopkins River. This is about as exciting as it sounds. (It isn't.)

Also, I wore this shirt everywhere, and when my Granny saw it she described them as spunks. Which, most of them are, except for Kevin.

We got shipped off to Warrnambool because Mum got really sick over summer for a few days. Gran and Pa took ups to see the Great Ocean Road and I fell totes in LUV with Port Campbell, mostly because they have cool markets and it feels kind of like Bryon Bay without the green stuff.

Also, this is probably the last time I wore short shorts.

Happy Birthday to... uhhh... someone. This could have been taken when I was 12, but it still makes the cut. Also, I miss doing my hair in tiny plaits, except I can't do cornrows and then I have to wear a hat so I can see and stuff.

Oh yah, this hat is a velvet poor boy turned backwards, because peaked caps don't suit me and I really like berets.

Things we said today.

Today I've had some time to think about my relationships with pretty much everyone in my life right now. For a long time I was a very closed person, and I only shared my thoughts with people who would appreciate them.

Now though, I'm pretty open and say what I think most of the time. This is good because it makes me honest and happy and all of those things, but it sometimes makes me wonder if I give too much of my heart. I still have my secret thoughts and dreams, who doesn't, but what's happening to my blurted thoughts after they have been said? That's what is really bothering me the most.

I'm very blessed to have friends who support me in different aspects of my life, and not just have one friend who is there for everything. I am that person sometimes and it's hard to be someone's everything. So, I think in the last few hours I've grown up, if only just a little. It's closure for the little stuff I don't need broadcast to the wider audience. And, more journalling, because journals make me happy.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Silver spoons, getting what you want and living the dream.

Titles don't mean a lot to me.

All the same, I've just had to turn down an amazing opportunity and it really really sucks.

What I am finding hard right now is that soon I'll be getting what I want. I'll be in Adelaide, I'll be Fresh Meat with MC Roller Girls (and will hopefully make the cut), I will be away from country life, I've applied for uni... I think I have my life on track, kind of.

And I have some really new and not so vague plans.

Things suck all the same right now. And it's probably just tonight and this week and the last. I haven't been sleeping, I'm teaching full time and I'm packing up an entire house. And the packing is almost done, hut my heart feels heavy with all the confusion. But not just that, all the questions. And all I really want to say is:


I seriously have nothing to answer for. I know this is supportive, but still it isn't helping.

What will you do if...

We have Plans A, B, C and D. Seriously, these plans have plans. But, all the same, I'm an adult and I don;t care how old you are, I won't justify myself to your social norms.


So you don't have a job yet?

Yes there is a job (that has been a bit pooh-poohed because it's OSHC and not teaching), but not collectively, and not for teaching salary.

Well why aren't you apply for things?

Nothing suitable has been offered in terms of teaching, and outside teaching, I have been applying my sweet ass off applying for any job that's going.

You should give teaching a better go.

What for? Has this four year exercise proved anything? There are so many teachers out there, lots of slack principals, some TRT and only a few schools hiring. And most of the schools who are hiring have either a high staff turn over or are advertising for The Perfect Teacher (which is not me).

And you should live here, here and here.

Just no. We will live somewhere we both like, near the things we are already involved in but not to the point where we will spend all our savings on rent.

Renting is for idiots!

You haven't had to rent before, have you? I'm not the magic money fairy and we don't have the type of positions which readily lend themselves to loan lenders.

But country life is sooooo fun.

You haven't lived in the country, have you?

This is why, despite all the really bad bad baddy bad bad things going on with most of my nearest and dearest, I don't want to talk about myself. Because all I do is go around in circles and try and prove myself.

And, honestly,
I have nothing to prove.

I just gave up that opportunity, and I know there will be lots of other, different ones I haven't even heard of before. My heart is just heavy and I just needed to vent. And I feel like I have written this post before, but, meh.

Monday, 3 November 2014

The Way We Was: 2009


It was the best of time; it was the worst of times.

The best: BTC (Now called PUSH (Body) Transformation Challenge), Viva Fitness, moving back to Lockleys for another 12 months, spending time with my dorky and non-hipster friends, doing really well in uni during Semester One, watching Twi-lame at midnight with Spring and Rhioons, meeting Stephen and Narelle (not that they should be last!).

The worst: Failing prac and most of life in general, including my job (it was divine intervention or desperation no one fired me), finding out I had to add another year onto my degree to re-sit my prac (2010 was the best year of my life all the same, and because of this), make ups and break ups and having no money and a weird fight with Marie because I didn't go in a hot air balloon (or something).

These photos were from about this time in 2009.

I love these Edwardses. And my other favourite Edwards family. Maybe I should name my first child after them? Maybe not.

Also, the best bumper sticker I saw that year said 'Beware: I drive like a Cullen'. Would have been pretty hot if it wasn't a girl driving it. Just sayin'.

My most epic unit of work yet: a film study on Napoleon Dynamite. The kids LUVed it.

Spring and I have a whole series of photos taken with Jon and most of them are poses in which he tried to show off his pecs, biceps or 'buffness' in general, and fails most of the time.

Matty Moo (Medwards) would have taken this photo. I don't know why Sy is trying to strangle us and also why Spring and I are holding hands with Jon. What the actual fuck?

What a spunk. Being Pebbles on Halloween with this bloke. Matt was some important character from some novel I hadn't read, maybe a vampire, but not committing to that statement.

My fridge! Details of pics from top LH corner: terri and Myles; Matt and Honey; Maries graduation, Spring and Sy, my family (and Steve), Mark and Matt, Schoolies 2006, Vivs at Tabor, my Anti-marriage party group photo, Marie and I at Clispal, Lockleys ladies at back to Bethlehem, Christmas Party 2007.