My English teacher once told me “What one person could say in three words – you say in ten”. I’m not sure if that was a compliment or not, but I agree that my writing style can be a little long-winded. I can’t help it – I like to describe – I’m fascinated by words and their meanings and take much delight in stringing them together in different combinations to create some semblance of a piece of writing. Also – this blog – it brings out the rambler in me. Everything I would normally say, or more likely think, I just put it down in words.
I ramble at the best of times, babble when I’m nervous, murmur in my sleep and rant when I’m drunk or angry. So – it’s just me
So now that I’m 29, I’m meant to be all mature and wise and grown up yeah?
Fat chance of that.
It’s weird the amount of people that came up to me yesterday that when I told them I was 29, reacted in a way that was quite hilarious.
“You don’t LOOK 29!”
I’m not sure if I’m meant to take that as a compliment to my youthful aging or an insult to my obvious immaturity.
I got the idea from this lovely blog, who has the wonderful notion of writing a letter to your one-year-younger self, explaining with your one-year-older wisdom what they would learn in the upcoming year.
I thought, I’d give this wisdom thing a crack.
So here goes.
Dear 28-year-old Sig,
So…this might get awkward. In fact, it’ll get so awkward that when Evs comes and joins you in your studio apartment in Hong Kong in a few months time, you’ll be cursing the convenience of the bathroom vicinity to the bed and breaking every marriage rule in the book (#54 – if you hear noises and smell smells – you don’t talk about them. Ever. Even after the night out eating spicy Japanese food).
Ok, wait. Let me rewind back – you’re looking horrified.
So, this three month secondment to a far-flung city/country/Special Administrative region will come and go in a blur of colours, food and friends. That moment when you step onto the plane, leaving Evs, your family, your DOGS behind – don’t be ashamed to admit that you might not want to come back.
This trip WILL be the highlight of your year. You will learn that people aren’t really what they seem and learn that you can’t be friends with everyone. Sometimes, you just have to grit your teeth and tolerate people.
However, you will also discover that friendship comes in the oddest of all places (By the way – good on you for reaching out to a (haha – literally) virtual stranger and getting out of your comfort zone. You won’t regret it.)
While HK’s dazzling lights and blindingly fun social life will ensure you have the best three months of your working life, I think there is a part of you that you will discover is happiest at home. Don’t lose that feeling. It’s what tells you what you love the most.
You will travel. And find a place that makes you fall in love with it as soon as the heat and the monsoon rain and the steaming, sweet coffees and delicious fresh food hits your senses. And don’t laugh at everyone’s mistake of thinking you’re on your honeymoon – take it all in – because this IS a second honeymoon.
Yep, think three times in ONE DAY. I know right?!! I couldn’t believe it either. Phew!
You will also learn more about Evs in those two weeks that will delight you and smile secretly inside (and not because he did that thing you like three times in ONE DAY).
You know what I’m talking about (Ohhh yeah).
And that seed of thought, it will get stronger and stronger. Don’t ignore it. Don’t worry about it – yet. You still have time.
That seed, will actually take two forms and you will make a firm decision on one of them. This year will see you pursue and get onto the path of living it. Don’t be afraid. THIS is what you have been waiting for.
It will be hard, and it won’t be easy. But, have faith – keep strong. BELIEVE in yourself.
You will nearly lose one of your closest friends – by the way – it IS your fault. Be a better friend, Sig.
You will renew your belief in living a healthy life. Have you noticed Sig? That as you get older, those nuggets of wisdom that your father used to say when you were a girl – it makes sense now?
“Early to bed, early to rise – makes you healthy, wealthy and wise”
Wise old Dad.
And yes, like Dad insists – yoga CAN cure everything (Just not your stupid leg – work on those calves coz you WILL keep fucking it up).
Sig, you’re at a point where you have a crossroads looming ahead of you. Only you know which path you will take, only you can make that decision. Think about it, think long and hard about the memories you want to create and the future you want to have.
(And Sig – please get rid of that fugly dress you INSIST is cool. It makes you look twelve. I’m being honest here. Sorry.)
But in reality – it’s less guilt and more frustration.
Coz I’m never gonna run again…..
See what I did there? For the sake of writing that one line (which by the way has been stuck in my head for the last three days. Evs is on the verge of kicking me out of the house. It’s that and “Mooooooooooooves like Jagger”), I HAD to use that post title.
So why am I crooning away to annoying songs and feeling sorry for myself?
Well, because it seems my knee injury is not going anywhere. I tried to go for a very gentle 5k run on the weekend with Evs and it turned into a more 5k slow jog-excruciating pain-shuffle-walk-please-carry-me kinda of run.
It’s frustrating, because it means I need to start over.
Back to the walk-run combinations.
Back to the shorter distances.
I was asked how I got into running and while it’s not a hugely interesting story there’s a reason behind why I started to run.
I wouldn’t consider myself a runner – I’ve been doing on and off for the last few years and most of the time it’s a struggle for me to get the motivation to get out there and do it.
However, I started running more seriously when I kinda got jealous when Evs started training for a half marathon last year and the weight just melted off him.
I started off small – just a loop around my neighbourhood. I had to stop multiple times on the way and could barely run non-stop for even 1 kilometre.
Plus it never helped that there is this mofo of a hill right after I leave my house and I nearly pass out trying to reach the top.
Slowly, I continued this route (which was about 4.5km all up) and every time I noticed I was able to do more and more of the distance without stopping. I was getting faster.
I ran this about 3 times a week – and yes, the weight melted off me too (not much but enough for me to go DAAYYYM!).
Then, I got injured.
Evs and I were heading out for a run and about 1 kilometre away from home, I TRIPPED over myself, rolled my right ankle and skinned half my left knee off.
This may be the most ridiculous way of getting an injury but I never claimed to be perfect. Or coordinated it seems.
There was so much blood, and I had to use my socks to stem the blood flow before Evs and I hobbled back home.
So, even THINKING about running after that gave me some sort of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and I holed up, ignoring the plaintive looks my running shoes gave me (yes, it looked at me).
I forgot I had signed up for the 10k at the Melbourne Marathon and having run my longest distance of 7k only twice prior to the race, I nervously finished it.
And I realised why I ran.
The music in my ears, the rush of wind, the feeling that I was working my body and my legs are getting a really good stretch.
I zone out when I run, it gives me space from everyone to think and breathe and RELAX.
I believe they call that a runner’s high.
I call that a combination of lack of sleep, adrenalin and jelly beans.
The endorphins only lasted a week after the race and I lapsed into my slothly ways.
Since then, on and off, I’ve tried to run the distances and the speed that I was used to and failed.
Every. Single. Time.
It was too fast too soon. Too long too soon.
And thus I got injured again.
So, this is a huge lesson in humility and patience.
I’m starting over.
A great program for beginner runners is the Couch to 5k program. It eases you into running through a walking/run sequence and by the end of 9 weeks you can run 5 kilometres non-stop. You can even do it on the treadmill if you so desire.
There’s a really good podcast you can download and a free iPhone/Android app to help you along the way as well.
I’m not going to be following this program strictly per say, but using the principles of the program to get myself and my leg ready again.
Also in the meantime, I have consulted my sister (who just so happens to be a Physiotherapist. SCORE!) and she believes it’s a balance issue. And that makes sense.
So I am taking up yoga for the next 6 weeks or so and also will be incorporating some more strength workouts (I miss lifting weights!) and other forms of cardio.
Slowly, I know I’ll get back up there.
Anyone interested in giving the C25k challenge a try – let me know! We can do this together
Ever tried running? Yay or nay? What’s your fave form of cardio (and shopping and going to the fridge multiple times totally counts too!)
WARNING: This is going to be a long post. Feel free to have multiple food and toilet breaks. Red wine is encouraged to get you through it.
Did anyone feel like this weekend just FLEW past??! I have no clue how Monday even got here because, not only the weekend, but the last couple of days I have been deliberately MIA as I have been clearly living THE life and drowning in writing reports, running around and making the occasional trip to Sydney.
Speaking of Sydney – it’s an ODD city. I was there on Thursday – flew in at around 9am which meant I had to be up at 5am and at the airport at an hour that really nobody needs to be functioning at (except a disturbingly large number of business people who judging by the looks of it probably got up at 5am FOR FUN. Way too chirpy).
(Plus I nearly wanted to go Donkey Kong on some woman on her phone who was loudly making kissing noises to her headset but made myself do something useful instead like find the biggest coffee I could get my hands on and then attempt to slug it down because the plane decided to board early).
I call Sydney ODD because it’s nothing like Melbourne.
Despite my sleepy haze, I swore the cab driver was taking me around in circles and then realised he really was because of the sheer amount of one-way streets in the CBD.
ODD I tell you.
And it’s kind of embarrassing of how much of a tourist I am in a city that is barely a 2 hour flight away from home.
After being in back to back meetings, I ventured out and found myself in the middle of Martins Place and George Street in search of another coffee place that would keep me from falling asleep in the afternoon’s lot of meetings. I stood gawking at all the shiny beautiful people that were clad in wheee!! COLOUR and not layers of black upon black.
After wandering around and getting hopelessly lost (somehow found myself in an office building, a hotel lobby and a supermarket), I found a little place about 20m away from where I had started.
Wait – I have to pause when I say this, coz this is important.
Your coffee SUCKS.
Sorry Sydney, but really…just, no.
You may have the glamour and the colours and the obnoxiously stunning view of the Harbour Bridge that makes me want to buy a yacht and sail away and the the glorious shinyness of just BEING Sydney, but we, black sheep of the country have AWESOME coffee.
And in the end, that’s what counts.
Fast forward to the weekend and I spent it in yet more lack of sleep but this time by cramming a Zumba Bollywood performance, running a 10km in the Melbourne Marathon and celebrating Ev’s birthday by stuffing myself with food.
My sister, Mani has a friend who teaches Zumba. She got herself certified about a year ago, and in celebration of that milestone had a Zumba night where she had guest performances, taught some Zumba and cut a cake.
Mani and I were the token Indian friends who were asked to do a Bollywood dance.
Now, I haven’t danced since Mani’s wedding, and over the years my Bollywood prowess has deteriorated as my waistline has expanded. I was hesitant to do this knowing I’d most likely make a fool of myself.
PlusI couldn’t fit into any of my old Indian clothes. Ahem.
So somehow, in only a few hours, we managed to almost pull out our collective asses a dance (Dhoom Tana/Aaja Nachle mix) that in the end wasn’t half-bad. (I was really gunning to do a dance to Munni but Mani thought it might be a little too…uhh…suggestive considering the audience were mainly middle aged women).
We also choreographed and taught a Zumba Bollywood routine to one of my favourite songs ‘Ari Ar’i’ which I found hilarious that they had turned it into a fitness routine. The actions were pretty simple, but MY GOD, I was dripping with sweat after doing it.
Whoever says that Bollywood dancing is not a workout needs to come to me and I’ll show them this routine.
This was the night before the Melbourne Marathon and Evs and I were staying over at Mani and her husband’s Sam’s house as Sam was doing the half marathon for the very first time this year. Evs was planning to do it as well (this being his second time) but due to an injury had to pull out and was going to be our support team for the morning.
Plus it was also his birthday and who doesn’t want to wake up at the crack of dawn on their birthday??!!
Mani’s friend was pretty grateful for our awesome dancing abilities and I scored a free bottle of red wine (woohoo – she knows me well!) before we went home and collapsed in bed, not really looking forward to the 5:30am wake-up the next morning.
We woke up on Sunday morning to the sound of heavy rain and I contemplated pulling the covers over my head and pretending I didn’t hear Sam knocking at the door. But, a slight thrill of excitement and anticipation got me up and we made our way into the city by 6:30am.
It was cold and wet, but the rain held off for my race. I only did the 10km – reason being that I didn’t have much time to train since I came back from Hong Kong and I’d been battling a niggling knee injury every time I did try to run.
So my training really was pretty non-existent with my furthest run prior to this being 8km where I pulled the injury and had to rest for a week after. So, not really in the best shape but I thought I’d go out there – give it a go and see how I went.
I started off strong without any signs of my injury but as the kilometres passed, I made sure to take plenty of walking breaks every time I felt a twinge. I wasn’t fast, but I was plodding along.
At the 8-9km mark, my knee just screamed at me and I had to stop. It was fucking painful.
I was hobbling and watching as streams of people passed me by. It was one of the most frustrating things and I nearly was about to cry as I knew that, mentally, I was ready and I could do it but my body had given up.
I managed a sort of run-walk type rhythm whenever I felt I could go on, but I had to resign myself to the fact that I’d be walking the rest of the way to the finish.
I am not a fast runner, but I was secretly hoping that I wouldn’t be too much slower than my time from last year.
Oh – and halfway through the course – my feet fell asleep as well.
Yep – they went numb.
I was practically falling apart! This is something that happens to me fairly often when I try to go for runs and finally Google informed me that it’s not actually that uncommon and it’s probably to do with the lack of circulation to my toes or something. Maybe need wider shoes.
The last bit of the course was a torturous slow incline near the Melbourne Cricket Ground where we were to finish. I somehow was able to focus on something else besides the pain and just slowly made my way up the hill.
One by one, I passed people and confidence rising, it was at the top of the hill that I could see the end in sight.
Angels sang, the clouds parted and the sun streamed down onto the road. Finding a burst of energy, I sprinted across the finish line and then nearly collapsed trying to find water.
I found orange slices instead and stuffed my face.
This year’s time: 1:07
How was this compared to last year’s time ??(also done with minimal training…hmmm I see a theme here)…
Last year’s time: 1:04
Only 3 minutes slower!! I couldn’t believe that!
I am pretty proud of this medal, knowing how much pain I was in when I did this run. Granted, I didn’t train properly and sorted winged it for the most of the run which is probably why I got the injury in the first place but I am happy that I didn’t give up and made it through.
It being Ev’s birthday and all, we spent the rest of the day eating food at the various family member’s houses. For dinner, we went to my parent’s place where we cut the cake.
(Mum, Dad, Evs and not-so-little bro)
I DESERVED that cake and you can clearly see I was getting ready to stuff it all in (TWSS).
It was a long, tiring but fun-packed weekend. My knee is still hurting like a motherfucker but thanks to my Dad’s miracle muscle cream that he swears can pretty much almost cure cancer, it’s been feeling a little bit better today.
Already thinking about my next race – details on that soon!
So, purple-people-eaters – how was your weekend? What’s the most ridiculous injury you have ever had?