22 Aug 2011

Big dreams, porkie pies and the truth of the sea...

I have been thinking today about my 'word of the day' which is truth. My super cool chum bought me this little bag of cards, you pick one each day and think about the word. Simple. Truth made me feel a bit uneasy. I'm not a major liar, but we all tell porkies, probably more often than we like to admit. I know that I tell fibs about all kinds of things, how good I am at something, what I ate on any given day, how I really feel about a situation. When I think about truth, I assocaite with honesty, integrity, core and inner value. My own *truth*.

Thinking about this idea of truth today has made me look back to some of my big life goals. I have been working during the month of August on leaping out of my comfort zone - so far I have completed my first sprint tri, attempted a cartwheel, given blood and eaten vegan for a week. The more I push my comfort zone, the more I am realising what my *true* goals are. And they look scary from right here, sitting on the sofa.

Can I really *said in a tiny whisper* complete the half marathon coming up in september? What about a longer tri? Maybe an ironman? Could I do this vegan thing more of the time? An ultra race? Crazy sports?

The truth makes us think hard about who we are, where we have come from and where we are going. My truth right now is scary. Its a crazy year of peaks and mega valleys. Its rebuilding relationships from their foundations. Its travel and love and joy and hope and fear.

The biggest fear is how BIG and OPEN our truth looks. How endless the possibilties seem. When looking at the sea this weekend gone, I wondered if the reason surfers are so chilled out [sweeping generalisation I know] is because they accept and embrace this big open truth. Some days waves will come, other days they won't. Some waves will crap right on your dreams and ambitions of coming out on top. Others will lift you up with more joy than you knew possible. Its all open..... Now to updating that big dream list........

21 Aug 2011


This has been a yo-yo week for me. UP down UP down UP down UP down....... JuSt AbOuT LeVeL.

Did the vegan for a week
Gave my first blood donation
Ran 15 miles
Petted a super cute puppy

Less Good
Some dufus in a car threw something at me while I was running
Another dufus made a sarcastic 'well that looks hard' comment while I was running
My motivation was flagging anyway

Why so people that don't know you, your journey or your situation feel they have some divine right to make a comment about you just because you are exercising in a public place? Are they suddenly an expert on how to exercise?

It is never another fellow exerciser. It is always a stroller, or an onlooker. And not trying to make a sweeping generalisation, but they are generally larger than me. Do I pass comment when you buy a doughnuts? How about when you are eating a pie? When your kid is screaming for sweets at the checkout do I say something? No. I don't. Because I don't know your story. I have no idea what happened in your day. And I am certainly not going to be the negative nelly that makes you feel worse.

So, please, don't do it to me.

10 Aug 2011

August : My awesome toolbox

 When I am sad, I stop being sad and start being awesome. True story.
Ok, so life isn’t as simple as How I Met Your Mother. Odd things happen. I get post happy event blues. Yes, really. After a fun time [[xmas, a race, holidays] I get a bit down in the dumps. Seems odd, but it is a mixture of a few things I think...
1. I am still me - I expect some loopy transformative effect from these events but low and behold, it's still me!
2. They put a [fun] pause in my momentum so I need an extra kick start to get going again
3. After the endorphin rush, everyday seems a bit dull!

Tonight I came to the end of my wallowing phase [while watching the sound of music with two guinea pigs on my knee!]. I decided to stop be sad and start being awesome. And there was a crazy sign on my *get back to awesome* run, just on the pavement in the middle of nowhere! 
 Top Five strategies for getting out of a grump
·         Try the jelly legs technique. A co worker suggested this to me and it WORKS! Walk everywhere as if your legs were made of jelly; wobbly, wonky and all over the shop. Try it – make yourself a brew, go to the stationary cupboard at work, or walk the dog with jelly legs and you will be in stitches.
·         Do something that makes you feel ‘on top’ of your jobs. For me, this is a strange one. If I have hairy legs and eyebrows, I feel like am I not taking care of myself and I have slipped to the end of my to-do list. A quick whizz with the wax and tweezers sets me right! Paint your toenails, fold the washing whatever makes you feel ‘on top’ on your jobs.
·         Make your next plan. I have talked before about my love of training trackers and sticker charts. I make one when in a grump, even if it is a plan to get out of the grump.
·         Wallow a bit. This is ok - just set yourself a maximum time to wallow in your grump. Mine is two days – any more than this and I need to call in some support.  As you learn to bounce back faster, this time will get shorter.
·         Talk to people. I’m not advocating being a moaning Minnie, but saying ‘yeah, I’m not myself today’ is no crime. It will actually help as you won’t feel the pressure to present a ‘I’m fine’ face. And this is exactly how I learnt some of my bounce back techniques! Grumps are going to happen, just know what you might do should one hit.

Back in the *awesome* game after my post race blues!

I can tri : Race report 7/8/11

Yesterday I completed my first triathlon.
It was a sprint tri – 400m swim, 20k bike ride and 5k run. I completed in 1 hour 56 minutes. I feel really shell shocked. I am not the girl that does triathlons, I am am not an athlete. I wear a size 12 [US 10 I think]. My body fat is 23%. I weigh between 147lbs and 140lbs. I am no skinny minnie. My thighs wobble, I mean really wobble [they smack together when I do star jumps!], my arms flap when I wave.

Yesterday I completed my first triathlon.
I have to keep saying it, it doesn’t feel real. The week before I was excited, nervous, scared, anxious, sad every emotion under the sun. The day before I was quiet. Anxious. I felt like crying a lot. I did cry a bit.  I painted my nails in the colour of my charity – Tyneside Rape Crisis. I laid out my kit. I went to bed early, I felt nervous. I woke up on the morning at 6am – I felt excited and wriggled about in bed to get rid of some nervous energy. I got up easily [normally it takes symbols to get me even awake]. I ate my breakfast and drank a pint of water [an equally rare occasion].

Yesterday I completed my triathlon.
I arrived, set up my transition as I practised it. I felt... different. I put on a swim cap for the first time and chatted to a woman who learnt to swim at Christmas and was nervous too.  The man in charge of swimming informed the whole group when I asked if it was ok to swim on my back that ‘it’s DANGEROUS’. Nice welcome for a first timer. I had a lovely lane – mixed level of swimming ability, ages and shapes but all lovely. 8.10 to 8.30am went fast. I looked up, saw my cheering team of four and it was time to set off. My first lap felt good. Strong. The swim flew by and I was outside! Transition one was smooth, quick and I remembered where my stuff was on the rack! I got on my bike and set off fine [I was most worried about a wobble on my bike start]. The bike started a bit shaky – I was convinced I had out my shorts on the wrong way round, and my fuel bag fell off in the first ten minutes. I also saw a dead cat by the side of the road, and couldn’t go past without checking to see if it had a tag so we could go back later and take it to its owners. It didn’t L  I came up the first big hill and my cheerers were there, I hopped off my bike to whip my shorts around the right way, and was undressing in the street when my Dad started shouting ‘they’re on the right way, get back on!!]. Back on, and going, the bike was ok. My computer didn’t work so I had no idea how far I had been! There were no way markers... I kept going and the end came fast. I sang *firework* out loud and thought of Magda and my rock*stars. I noticed every blue object and sent a joyful smile to Emersyn and all SMA babies.

Yesterday I completed my first triathlon.
Transition two went well too, I still felt strong and happy that my little low point of thinking *how much further??* on the bike ride was long gone. Shorts on, haribo in hand [or rather down my top!] I set off. I thought I was doing my usual plod speed of running.   It was good, went by fast and the finish was 200m away! It all went by too fast. I loved having my supporters there, I loved knowing that I was moving because I CAN and because I SURVIVED and to show others will too. 

Yesterday I completed my first triathlon. My race number was fifteen, the age at which I was raped. I did not plan this, just a little sign from the universe telling me *kismet* [fate] knew I would make it here. Right now I still feel in shock. I am an athlete. I am a triathlete.  I wonder how long before it feels real!

Swim 400m – 14:59 min
Bike 20km– 1 Hour 02min
Run 5km – 39:24 min

6 Aug 2011

Tomorrow I will be swimming, biking and running.... supah far.

I am trying to distract myself from this fact. It is not working.......
I made a little picture of my outfit.... I am still nervous.

2 Aug 2011

How do you feel about the R word?

This is a thorny topic. I'll just come right out and say it : Rape. It's not a nice word, it makes me squirm, take a quick sharp breath and my skin feels a bit pruney. This is normal - I have met few people who don't have this reaction [how about you? throat clam up? anyone else have the pruney sensation?].

We don't talk about. It's hard - there are enough tough things in our day without thinking about rape. What might happen if we did think about it? What good things might happen if we talked about it? With our kids, friends, partners...

At least 1 in 4 women in the UK will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime (British Crime Survey 2009/10)
Almost 1 in 5 women will experience sexual assault in their lifetime (British Crime Survey 2009/10)
Almost 1 in 20 women were stalked last year [2010]
At least 1 in 5 women will experience stalking in their lifetime (British Crime Survey 2009/10)

One in five. Do you know five other women?

The more people talk about rape, the less we shy away and the safer we will be. The less we shy away, the more survivors will come forward.

Please take a look at why this matters so much to me.


Thank you!