Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Wrap Up

I thought I would do a really quick wrap up of the year that was 2013.

This has been a hard year for me and I am sure a lot of other people have had a rough time as well. There has been a lot of pain and splash of laughter and happiness. I am ready for 2014 to be a much better year.

This morning in RPM I thought I do not really want to make any New Year’s Resolutions for the single reason that every single day (even every hour, minute and second) can be a fresh start. I also do not want to set myself up to fail by putting a truck-load of pressure on myself with a huge list of resolutions that might not be achievable.

Really I just want to be a better person to myself and others. I want to be happier, kinder and more balanced. Most of all I want to be healthier and if that means losing some weight and getting fitter then so be it.

In February my father passed away and there are days when I feel his loss more than others. I thought that our first Christmas without him would be the hardest but in truth it was my first birthday that I really felt his absence and my heart just hurt. What I will say is that cancer is one of the cruellest diseases there is and it does not discriminate with who it takes. More than anything I was just relieved that when my dad passed away that the suffering for him was over. I strongly believe that he is with me every day (in my heart and memories) and that makes it a little easier.

It was a year of many firsts. 

I finally met my long-time online friend Pip from Invercargill which was super exciting. We have probably been talking for over 3.5 years and we met through Twitter. Pip was up for a wedding and so we made time to catch up and go for lunch. 

We purchased our first house together and although it was not without some major hurdles we have just spent our first Christmas here. There are days when I drive into the driveway and it seems surreal that we own this place and we are not just renting. We just had one of my oldest and closest friends and her husband come for a lovely BBQ dinner on Saturday night at our new house. It is so nice to have people come over and see how house and it is possible that we will have a house-warming at some stage.

I finally tried Body Attack (which I am slowly starting to enjoy more and more) and Bikram Yoga. I tried Paddle Boarding and also joined an amazing, supportive community of women (MotivateMe NZ). I did quite a few walking events and also two RPM/Spin events and a flipping obstacle course. I already have a few events booked for early in the New Year which is really exciting including my third year doing The Dual on Motutapu and this year Mark is doing it with me and we are camping there overnight.

I discovered that I absolutely love RPM and have been doing it pretty much every week since early in April. I am addicted and I have also encouraged the same addiction in friends…oops! I have established that stairs get you fitter faster despite the fact that they are EVIL!

A few of my friends have had beautiful children this year and my nieces and nephews continue to grow more beautiful with every month. In the last 2-3 weeks two of my friends have gotten engaged which is super exciting. Funnily enough Mark and I have 3 weddings to go to in 3 cities over a 10 day period. The second wedding in March is in the lower half of the south island which is am ridiculously excited about as I have not seen very much of the south island as an adult.

I attended a Tangi for the first time and met some truly amazing, caring, selfless people.  At the same time I had my heart shattered and I was taken back to being a 14 year old teenager in a heartbeat. What I have realised is that despite everything I am really strong and resilient even in the face of pure hatred. So, if you think you beat me…you did not and you will never have any part of me again.

I went to South Korea in June despite being completely freaked out in the beginning. It is an amazing country, rich in history and culture. I want to go back with Mark for a holiday so I can experience it with him and do the things that I did not get a chance to do. My dad would have been so excited (and proud) that I went to Korea and I thought about him a lot when I was there. Actually, my wonderful brother-in-law even asked me to write a blog for his website about my trip! No one has asked me to write a blog for them before.

I decided to leave Twitter after nearly 4 years which was both sad and liberating. 

I discovered some amazing new TV Shows including Elementary, The Walking Dead, Homeland and Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (very NEW favourite). Discovered some amazing new music via RPM and Julia. 

Finally saw Wicked!! Okay, so it was not in New York but I do not care it was amazing. It was the day that we were meant to go unconditional on our house and it did not happen that day. I cried during 'Defying Gravity' and I probably did not stop crying until the end.
I had the best birthday week with time down with Julia and Paul in Wellington and their fur baby family. Then in October I went to celebrate Julia’s birthday with her. These were two amazing trips that were filled with ‘pee your pants’ laughter, relaxation, good food and amazing company and a MILLION Piper, Vuk and Sophie cuddles.

I feel blessed to have a lovely group of friends who I consider to be my family. Life would not be the same and as rich without you all in it.  

So bring on 2014; a year of more exercise, better nutrition, more events and more happiness and calm.

Happy New Year to you all and let it bring you everything you hoped for and more.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Walking Stars

The beautiful, inspiring Liz and I

On Saturday night I walked a half-marathon (21km) as part of Walking Stars to support the Cancer Society.

It was an event that I signed up for way back in June and to be honest I always thought I would have done enough training so that it would not be a massive mission to do the event. Suffice to say I did not train for it with walking etc. After I did The Dual for the first time in 2012 I always swore that I would never do an event without training beforehand…oops! About 6 weeks out I knew that it would be really difficult or even impossible for me to complete the event and I wanted to pull out. A friend from MotivateMeNZ encouraged me not to pull out and so I went with trepidation in my heart.

It is the longest distance I have walked to date. Also, it is a night event which started at 8.30pm on a Saturday night. I would love to say that it was a beautiful starry night however it was overcast and showery at times. In retrospect this was probably good as it would have been hard going on a ‘hot summers night’ (yay Meatloaf).

I am not going to lie…it was hard and without Liz there I would have probably given up and caught a taxi back to the domain. At about 10.1km I was really starting to hurt; not muscle pain so much but my feet were aching. It probably did not help standing at a carboot sale from 5.30-10.30am that morning. I also moaned and slowed to a virtual crawl in some places. The long walk from under the harbour bridge to The Strand seemed endless and the point where I realised I had to do another lap of the domain just about brought on tears of frustration. The really good thing though was that I did not get blisters (thanks Kate for your Coconut Oil tip) and my joints did not really hurt like they have in the past.

I am amazed at the power of the human body and what it is capable of. We finished in 4 hours and 50 minutes.

However, it was the people along the way, the supporters, the volunteers, and the random high fives from people in bars, the toots and yells of support that made everything a little bit more bearable. Then there were the people who were in pain in the final few kilometres of their journey and they still managed to dig deep and be supportive despite their own struggle were amazing.

So many people took the time to really think about their outfits and we were surrounded by men and women wearing glow sticks, Christmas lights, bunny ears with lights and stars…it was amazing! I had outfit envy a lot.

I do not know if I will ever walk that distance again; if I do I will definitely train for it physically and mentally. However, I did realise that I never want to run a half-marathon as it is simply just not me. I thought I did and now I know that running is not necessarily for everyone. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Becoming a home owner

After months of stress and road blocks we have finally bought a house and we moved in on Wednesday. It does not quite seem real at the moment as we have been moving and ferrying things between our old house (a rental) and our new one. Mark and I have also been cleaning like maniacs and we both managed to get pretty nasty colds and unfortunately we just had to push through it to get everything done.

I have realised that even though we have problems from time-to-time that when things are full on we somehow manage to balance each other out through most things. It is quite funny that the things that stress me out do not faze Mark and then vice versa. So when I am in full on meltdown mode; Mark is calm. I really have to apologise for not being myself and being a total bitch for the last few months; we were really just trying to hold it together until we managed to get across the line. Also, there were a lot of RPM classes that usually ended in tears for me.

A week out from moving I had a massive anxiety attack during Body Attack (how timely) and had to leave early. I went and got Wendy’s and bawled my eyes out while eating my burger. In retrospect I think that it was a combination of doing my second ever B.A. class on my own and I have realised that when I am with strangers my anxiety goes WAY UP. Also, who new trying to co-ordinate my feet and arms would be such a mission and it’s not like I have not done aerobics in the past!

Thank you to the people who helped and supported us; you have been AMAZING and without you we would not be where we are now! Huge love to my work colleagues who have put up with me through this process!

So here’s to our house! It also has a hobbit wall!

Working Out Away from Home

When I went to Korea I had the best intentions to exercise at the same frequency as when I am in New Zealand. Suffice to say this DID NOT happen! I went so far as to find local gyms that did Les Mills classes and then I found one around the corner that actually offered Spin and Hot Yoga etc.; when I went there though I could only join for large blocks of time. I was really gutted.

When you are away from home be it for work or a holiday then be prepared for the hotel gym to not be great or even just being too tired to workout. I worked really long days and by the time I got back to the hotel I just wanted to rest, relax and recharge.

I did go to the gym once (once I actually found it) and can I say that working out in 19 degree heat at 6am in the morning is not pleasant. Plus I was the ONLY women there…talk about uncomfortable.

This is what I think:
  • Have some workouts that you can do either in your room or outside (there are quite a good selection online)
  • Use the outdoors as much as possible; running, walking, cycling, stairs, body weight exercise etc.
  • Listen to your body and if you are still adjusting to time differences then go with it and exercise early morning or later in the evening if that is what works for you
  • Plan to do it
  • You might not be able to do as much as normal however try and do something

Just keep moving and if you cannot move as much as you would normally then adjust your eating.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Events 2013 vs. 2014

Before The Crank 13/09/13

I can’t actually believe that it is the 1st October…seriously? Where did that time go? Our RPM instructor today said “7 weeks until summer” to motivate us to work harder; I am sure I pushed myself a bit harder after that!

This year I wanted to increase the number of events that I did vs. 2012 and by May I had already done the same amount that I did in one year. Then I went to Korea and everything kind of fell over from there.  On the plus side I have continued with my RPM journey and tomorrow night I am going to try Les Mills Body Attack for the first time; yes I am FREAKING OUT. I do need to start walking etc. again otherwise in November I am going to DIE with three events!!

So this is 2013 vs. what I plan to do in 2014

2013 (3 x events still to go)
20th January - Westfield Albany Lakes SummerSeries Race 1 (10km) Time: 1:47:33
10th February - Westfield Albany Lakes Summer Series Race 2 (10km). Time: 1:51:02
3rd March - Westfield Albany Lakes Summer Series Race 3 (10km). Time: 1:48:05
10th March – Ports of Auckland Round the Bays (8.4km). Time: 1:36:49
17th March - Coatesville Classic (8km). Time: 1:33:07
The Crank 6am 13/09/13
23rd March – Partners Life Dual Motutapu (#1620) – Rangitoto Traverse (10km). Time: 2:37:18
14th April - Whenuapai Half Marathon (#0071) (10km). Time: 1:47:01
21st April - Orewa Beach Half Marathon (10.5km) Time: 1:59:20
12th May - Mazda ORock 6K Obstacle Course - (6km) Time: 1:14:14
20th July - Charity Spin Cycling Ride
13th September - The Crank
17th November - Sculpt 6K (6km) Time: 107.14
30th November - Walking Stars (21km) Time: TBC

2014 (so far)
26th January - The ColorRun™ (5km) Time: TBC
23rd February - Mazda ORock6K Obstacle Course - Time: TBC
9th March – Ports of Auckland Round the Bays (8.4km). Time: TBC
22nd March – Partners Life Dual Motutapu – Rangitoto Traverse (10km). Time: TBC
TBC April - Whenuapai HalfMarathon (10km). Time: TBC
13th September - The Crank
XX November – Adidas Auckland Marathon (10km). Time: TBC
XX November - Sculpt 6K(6km). Time: TBC

So there we go! Bring on 2014!

Who is with me????