Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I'm trying.

After yesterday's royal sleep in and totally missing out on the club Christmas ride, I decided it was high time to get my but back in the saddle again. Not for anything supremely long but just to get the legs accustomed to being worked everyday again.

So I took them back out for a Greendale loop. I sure hope one day that loop feels easier or I am in BIG trouble. But I know it's still early days and quite possibly I am expecting alot out of myself as I usually do - however you always want more NOW. Patience is a virtue I am quite sure I was not bestowed with. But - 

I'm trying.

As I was out riding I kept thinking to myself of all the beautiful things I was going to be seeing whilst on this journey to Melbourne and all the great times - challenging times- unforgettable times that will be had with everyone. I could feel my heart start racing with excitement - or maybe that was just palpitations because I was climbing a hill - who knows. The fact is it will be the journey of a life time - shared with great friends for a great cause. 

In trying to get myself to this journey I have started back on the nutritional supplements. It was a much needed part of my daily routine to be able to make it through all the training for Port and Yeppoon. I need my leg muscles to be nice and strong yet supple so as to avoid injury. Stretching is part of my day as well as I am starting to feel my quads, hamstrings and back tighten. God only knows I don't want my back starting to play up - so with that being said I cannot / will not forget my stretches.

I'm trying.

So today will do it all again - but first things first - shopping with my kids.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

It's back.

My spark that is. Loving getting back out on my bike and enjoying the freedom it gives me. Not to mention the fact that it is strengthening my legs again. I couldn't get over how quickly I lost all of that strength and stamina after only a few months of no activity. It takes so long to gain it yet how quickly your body forgets what you trained it to do.

However with only a few short rides under my saddle I managed to squeeze out a 92km ride out of nowhere. I was so proud of myself. All the self doubt I had got squashed on that ride. It took me 3hr 20mins and that was even with some some quick pit stops every 30kms to refuel with some gels. I really couldn't believe it - and even though I felt so very tired and sore I couldn't wipe the smile off of my face.

During that ride I had time to just focus on form and cadence - everything I had been taught for months to do for Port and Yeppoon. And when I got to the hills where I felt like I was going to die I kept saying to myself "After every uphill there is the glorious downhill run on the other side - so suck it up Princess". The ride to Melbourne will be no easy task and there will be many many hills to conquer so I MUST find as many hills as I can and ride them as many times as possible - and that is what I shall do.

I keep having these funny images of me with these MONSTER legs by the end of it all. And I can't wait. I love strong looking legs - they look amazing.

With the kids being on school holidays it will be a bit hard to get out and about on the bike so my trusty trainer will become a very good friend I do believe. But I have heard an hour spent on the trainer equates to 2 hours out on the road. And I have been using it quite regularly already. I have found a pretty cool spot out on the front verandah looking out into the paddock but having the benefit of my TV to scan through some good movies.
I feel very spoilt indeed. I can never get bored looking out at that beautiful view when it's all nice and green - watching the cows walk past and wonder what the hell this human is doing on a ridiculous contraption. 

So with Christmas all said and done and a few extra kgs added it is time to get back on my bike and ride. I hope you all got spoilt rotten.

Friday, December 16, 2011

My new words.

"SLOWING DOWN"

Seems to be what I am saying alot of lately as I make my way back into cycling - but not for long. On the downhills I am great - kind of funny that. But as I make my way up a small incline my legs have other ideas and one of them is not to go fast. In fact it is quite the opposite. Slowly but surely I get slower and slower till I have not other option but to yell out "Slowing down". Feels like I have started right back at the beginning again.

My body and all it's aches this morning is telling me "Girl, you's got a bit to go to feel like the old you". But I am so happy with being back out in the fresh air and taking time out for me in a positive sense that "I DON'T CARE".

I even backed up after cycling with Elissa yesterday afternoon doing the Greendale loop for which I am so thankful with her positive words to me and then did my regular Thursday night Sparta group. And let me tell you - last night I slept like a baby. Good to be feeling that kind of exhaustion again as weird as that may sound.

Number 1 goal is to get these legs ready for the long ride to Melbourne next year. Make sure you check our website - The Cycling Cerebellums - HERE. And scroll through all our tabs. You can donate directly on there or even purchase one of our fantastic bands or supporters T-shirts. These can be found on the "How to get involved" tab. We would love to have you on board.

We also have a blog, click HERE and become a follower. Follow our journey as we make our way to helping The Commercial Travellers Ward at the Children's Hospital at Westmead. The more the merrier.

Monday, December 12, 2011

I did it.

Yesterday I got "back in the saddle" so to speak. And I must admit I was quite nervous. Nervous about numerous things. My ability, my determination, my strength - BUT - I thought, "you gotta start somewhere right ?".

And it was just the perfect day for it. All week we have been having this horrendously unpredictable weather yet yesterday it was almost as though the God's were laying out the red carpet just for me. And how could I not oblige by taking advantage of it.

It was great seeing everyone's faces this morning. I have missed them all so much and it really pepped me up beyond belief. And as we took off I took a deep breath in of that beautiful morning air and had trouble wiping the smile off my face. Loved hearing everyone's chatter - thats the great thing about riding with people - you are never short of someone to talk to.

Elissa and I had planned on taking in about 100km so as we got to the Northern Road we said "Adieu" to the pack and wished them a safe ride. Rommel joined us on our journey to the M7 and back and so the 3 amigos set off.
I was really impressed with myself on the way out to the M7. I kept thinking "Wow, this old girl hasn't lost too much strength". But as we turned around and started heading back home it was then that things started to systematically switch off. The mind was definitely a willing participant but the body had other ideas. Especially as we started to go up long slow rises which I would normally power up.

I couldn't help but giggle as I watched my speedometer reading slow down until I am sure I got to the point where I could have walked faster. I would yell out to both Elissa and Rommel "slowing down, slowing down" to which they both would back off the gas and join me in the land of "slow poke". Thanks guys.

As those last 15kms were trying to be reached on our way home I think it was just sheer determination to get back to the Coffee Club for a well deserved long black. Thankyou Elissa and Rommel for making my first ride back memorable and for getting my backside back in one piece. The target of 100km was not reached but 73km was - JUST.

And as I sit here typing I think my Yoga class tonight will be a Godsend. My hip flexors are quite sore as are my Trapezius. So welcome back Barb to the land of pain and fun.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Better late than never.

Last Sunday was the day I was meant to conquer the Bondi to Bronte. Hmmmm, well that did not happen. Why? It's quite simple really - I got scared and freaked out. And I'm okay with it.

I didn't start off scared. I was really excited about wearing my new Bondi to Bronte cossie. I was even excited when we got to the beach. But that excitement soon changed as the wind started to pick up quite ferociously and the ocean started to get choppy. I could feel my anxiety levels start to pick up dramatically and no matter how hard I tried to squash them with positive affirmations - I just couldn't get over it.

Believe me I flitted from "I'm going to do it" to "No way, I'm outta here" more times than I would like to count. My cap went on and off equally as many times - but when push came to shove and it was time for the black caps to line up - the first thought that came out of my mouth was "I'm not doing it". And so it was there that my day ended.

So anyway, here is a very brief montage of my experience:
That is all.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Yoga and me

Cant even begin to describe what an amazing experience I have had over the last 2 Monday's. It has come just at the right time - thanks Matt. You really have brought clarity to my life by introducing me to this wonderful art. It is something I have always thought about but never really engaged in. And I must admit - it seems I am a bit of a natural at this gentle yet challenging art.

I love how it makes my mind just be still and how I am forced to focus on my breathing and every part of my body. And as Eva talks I can literally connect with every word and get in touch with every cell within my body to help restore calm and tranquility. Quite a new experience for this flighty Piscean.
I never realised how flexible I still was. As a child I could pretty much contort into any shape I asked my body to get into but obviously age and life have their drawbacks, if you don't continue to stretch things get stiff. But it seems my upper body and lower back are still quite flexible.

This is now part of my weekly routine - one I will continue for forever and a day. I really think this was made for me. The one thing I have realised though is that I have absolutely no balance on one leg. Especially trying the eagle pose below.
It was like watching a tree being cut down by a lumberjack. Slowly but surely I would start leaning to one side and before I knew it I would topple over only to regain composure and try it again. I couldn't stop giggling.

At the end of every class we lay on our backs and relax for a few minutes and go through a series of meditation. Eva places this beautiful balm on our foreheads that smells like heaven. I feel at home. Can't wait till next Monday.
If you haven't tried Yoga. I suggest you do. You will never be the same again.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Express Glass Ocean Challenge

Yep, that's my back. That looks like a typical swimmers V back but I am sure it's more the camera angle. Either way, I love my shirt and I earnt every thread, fibre in that shirt today. Why? Well, I overcame so much today and in the end came out of it a much stronger person emotionally. I beat those head demons for sure.

As usual I woke up super early but I did have a great nights sleep which is extremely unusual for me - as most of my friends know and my poor husband. I don't know why I wasn't super freaked out the night before but something inside me just felt at peace. I just kept saying to myself - Tomorrow will be okay. Believe in yourself and all will be good.

So when I woke up this morning, even though I was slightly nervous it was very different to other race day's. I knew there was nothing I could do to change the day - it was what it was and that was all there was to it. Breakfast went down easy too - I wasn't gagging or heaving to swallow my brekkie.

Arriving at the Coogee, I did start to get nervous. Thought's of Yeppoon came flooding back. I really didn't want this to be a repeat event. But I thought the only way to find out was to just go for it. Lucky I had my beautiful family there and can you believe it - no photo with my hubby. I felt so bad. But he later told me he was just happy to be there watching me do something that I love - swimming.
I quickly registered and got my arm marked with my famous "211" race number and sat around waiting for it all to start. I ran across Spot Anderson, as always that dynamic smile and personality made me feel comfortable and he told me not to forget about warm up with them and then Joey and Kristy turned up. So happy I was to see their smiling faces. So happy I was to be sharing today with them.
Pretty soon it was time to go and warm up but not before Kristy and I got a photo with Bondi Fit and Spot Anderson. It felt really nice to be included in their club shot. And then it was time to warm up.

WHOA, talk about freezing water. I think the water was 18.9 degrees but boy did it feel sub zero. It took my breath away and made my head feel like I had brain freeze. All I could think of was those poor people in the Titanic and how cold they must have felt. Yeah I know - strange thought - but it did cross my mind. And then I kept saying - just stay focused. It will warm up and if it doesn't - swim faster.

And then it was time to line up - Kristy and I wandered over and we gave eachother a hug and wished eachother luck. So glad she was there.
And then, we were off. I took off relatively slowly I felt and heard Spot scream out - "GO PANTHERS". With that I dove in and started swimming. Wave after small wave I swam through trying to gauge which way the current was taking me. But I couldn't feel any current, all I could feel was chop. And then I started to be pulled to the left as did everyone else. There seemed to be this cross current that we were battling so all I could do was keeping swimming on an angle to the first can.

I seemed to be doing pretty well in my breathing and timing it and kept remembering Spot's words "If you want more oxygen - breathe more", so I breathed every second stroke and then swapped sides when I fatigued on that side. I could just see that I kept passing people all the time and for once I didn't feel scared. I kept looking at the ocean floor and seeing it change from beautifully clear rippled sand to rocks with weeds to then total darkness as I hit the back end. The swell got a bit more intense and waves got messy and choppy and I just tried my hardest to stay focused on counting down the cans and then looking up to see how many purple caps were in front of me.

On the way back in there was this lady in a wetsuit beside me with a blue cap and I kept focusing on her to make sure she didn't slip too far from my view. I deemed her my pacer. So thankyou blue capper - you kept me on track. As we got closer I saw 2 purple caps start to overtake me - one was male and the other a lady. We stayed pretty much on par until the very last minute where they both got a wave and I missed it. I kept swimming until I felt sand at my fingertips and then got up and started trying to run up the bank. Before I knew it I got smashed by a wave from behind and found myself spinning in a pretty circle and then trying to redeem composure for my run up the sand bank through the finishers chute.
It was great to see the kids smiling faces waiting for me and then seeing Stephen and Joey's face up top waving as I went through. Not far behind me was Kristy - she did amazing and came out smiling from the surf too. Well done Kristy. Such an accomplishment.
As we both walked back to the boys with the kids - what a sense of pride and accomplishment I felt. I had done it and conquered that which I thought I may never. I was on top of the world. It was great to feel hugs from Stephen.

It was then Joey's turn to do the 2.4km swim. He is so brave - far braver than I. And he did amazing. Well done Joey - you too accomplished an awesome goal today. I think we will all sleep soundly tonight.

As we were driving home I asked Taillah to have a look at Multisport Australia for my time. What a shock I got to find out I came 4th in my age group.
WooHoo. Just what I needed today. It was a real boost to my self esteem.

Now my next challenge is Bondi to Bronte 2.4km swim next Sunday. That one may require more self control the night before. But here's to me for trying.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Cycling Cerebellums

To the right of my page you will notice a pretty cool looking logo. I can hear all the cogs ticking over in your minds about what it stands for.

Let me explain.

Over a year ago in the lowlands of Richmond on a training ride, Elissa and I decided we would like to do a big ride for a cause. With all the different charity rides there are around we wanted one that had a personal connection to one of us. So it was decided that we would fundraise for the ward I used to work on.

The Commercial Travellers Ward
at
The Children's Hospital at Westmead.

The Commercial Travellers Ward is a Neuromedical/Neurosurgical Ward that deals with a group of pretty special children and their families. Within those walls alot of care and love is given but also alot of pain and heartache is felt too.

It's truly amazing how this ride and it's cause were embraced. It quickly went from 2 friends with a thought to a total of now 17 friends with a complete dream.

The Cycling Cerebellums aims to fundraise a minimum of $10,000 for the ward and hope to bring a little brightness to the lives of the children, families and staff. With the help of the community, friends and families we know this goal is achievable. All we ask is that you spread the news. And if you are able to - DONATE.

Below are all our pages for you to peruse through and like, follow, tweet about.

We would love nothing more than to have you following us. Go on, you know you want to check it out. We are nothing more than a click away.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Working my way back.

It's hard to know where to start. So much has transpired in the last 6 weeks that I kind of feel like it has all gone by in a blur. Probably good in a way - the mind has an innate way of shutting down to let you heal and look after yourself. It slows all processes down and gives you time to assess, prioritise, time to search and find yourself, time to feel and be again.

It is quite safe to say that even though during this time I was cared for immensely by family and friends for which I cannot even begin to find words that describe the magnitude of gratitude, I really felt quite alone. I wanted nothing more than to find me again and switch on the old me and get rid of that sadness and how low I was feeling but in the darkness I couldn't find the switch.

Eventually I felt hands grabbing hold of mine and leading me to that switch. And although the darkness was at first overpowering the light, the light has since started to shine again. Everyday that light gets stronger and stronger and everyday I am able to see a little more of me again.

There is still a lot to work on and I am ready to battle it out. I am clawing my way back - I deserve to smile again and with feeling. Not just a vacant smile but a smile that resonates from the bottom of my soul. A smile that truly displays and connects the mind, body and soul. I deserve to be me for me and my family.

And so it is here I find myself, back in my beloved Blog land. Looking after me and doing that which truly makes happy - writing, expressing, feeling, sharing. And I will get back to the sport I love - Triathlons, but in the meantime I have signed up for an 1km Ocean Swim this Sunday at Coogee.
So get ready to see me back. Hope you haven't missed me too much.

  • Beyond Blue - click HERE
  • Black Dog Institute - click HERE

Monday, October 31, 2011

TriShave Womens Triathlon 2011

What a day. And what an awesome place for the TriShave event to be held. Welcome to the Sydney International Regatta Centre. So beautiful and serene at 6:30 in the morning. Absolutely flawless. And so was the day. I think PTC had about 20 of it's finest female Triathletes competing across all the distances and a large number of volunteers as well. We did our club really proud. Not only did our members all finish with a massive smile on their faces because of their amazing accomplishment but some of our girls even placed and won overall. I could hear the letters "PTC" being whispered everywhere as I walked around supporting our girls and being the Promotions Girl for TriShave.
My job on the day was to help promote a product I strongly believe in. From my very first TriShave Race I did last year I have been using the products. It saw me through all my training for Port 70.3 as well as Yeppoon 70.3. So it wasn't hard to speak about something I really love. Everyone, both female and males alike were receptive to what I had to say. I spoke to Naomi W's husband and he has been using the Males product for a year and absolutely swears by it. Says he hasn't had that post shaving rash since using it. When I used him as an example to the other men you could see them really focus on the product. Thanks Robert.

I really liked hearing how receptive people were to the texture of the UV body defense post shave moisturiser. I know how light and non-greasy it is but seeing people's face's light up when they applied it was priceless. I think when you tell people it has sunscreen protection in it they automatically think "GREASY & THICK" - but not this one. Not only is it well absorbed you get the great UVA & UVB filters protecting you. Great for protection against our Aussie sun. Combine this with the TriShave 3in1 Shave Creme and you will have beautiful skin all year round. Thankyou Larisa for giving me this opportunity and I look forward to many more days working alongside you.
Throughout all of my walking around and chatting with everyone I was able to see nearly all of my friends cross the line and give them a BIG hug on their AWESOME accomplishment. When the photos get posted on the TriShave page I will make sure to add them here for you all to see.

Yesterday was also a great day because a few of our other PTC members when to Huskisson for the Triathlon Festival down there. They all did amazing. WOW. Couldn't be prouder of them. They all accomplished an amazing thing and nearly all placed. How cool do they all look, so chuffed and rightfully so.
Their smiles say it all.

Your going to hear it again - PTC ROCKS. We really do. The club and everyone in it really are just something special to me.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Braveheart

WOW, can't believe it has been that long since I last posted, and so much has gone on it is hard to know where to start. And I would love nothing more than to write about it all - heck I could get it all off my chest, but just at this present moment, whilst I am working through it all I think it better to just say that it got a bit DARK and HAIRY. And you have all probably noticed how I retreated, which seems to be my norm when I feel emotionally inept. But sometimes smiling when you feel so down is really hard work - so I hide.

So enough of that, and as I climb my way back to being BARBS, I have learnt a great deal of things. Mostly I have to listen to me and what my body and soul are telling me. And when it is getting stressed I need to stop and focus on me and do things that I haven't done in ages - or EVER. Things I have wanted to do and have never done for a barrage of reasons. Things that will nurture the soul and bring ME back. I think it necessary that we all get a chance to do that.

So, last week and this week I went into Bondi. Home of the BONDI RESCUE, and home of BONDI FIT. To say that I wasn't apprehensive would have been the biggest fib this side of the Southern Hemisphere. However, having been informed of Spot's knowledge and ability I have since felt so much better. I found out Spot won the Nepean Triathlon in 1988 alongside Louise Mackinley - then Bonham. To know that I am surrounded by such talented individuals is really humbling. Everytime I get around them I am learning a multitude of skills and tricks of the trade. My brain is soaking it all in.

Last week I think I was much more worried then I was this week. This week, I put my absolute faith, heart and soul into Spot's every word. And in doing so I swam so far into deep water that the only time I got really scared was when one of the surfer's looked at me and said "Oooooo, shark bait". I was like "You can't say that to me. Do you have any idea how much courage it has taken to make it this far". They all kind of smirked, but I then could not let my feet dangle 'just in case' some shark thought me a tasty morsel.

I got to see a pod of dolphins and a teeny weeny Port Jackson Shark and I also got to swim in swell up near the south end of Bondi that nearly made my hair stand on end. I am sure it was not that big BUT I found myself a few times having to pull out from catching a wave back into shore because I was scared it was going to dump me into the sand. YES, I am a chicken.

I also learnt how to dolphin dive well - check this out.
I'm so proud of me.

Last week there were a few more people who attended - Elissa and Clare from the club as well as others. But this week there was only myself and Barry as well as Alison and Alan who came to the beach with me to watch. Thanks so much for the company. It meant a great deal both times.

Then as I was heading back to see Alison and Alan after washing my wetsuit off in the ocean, Alison was like "What have you got on you". She said "Your dripping colour". Oh bloody hell, my hair dye was running even though I had washed it last night and I looked like I was dripping Orange Gatorade out of my head. It was hilarious. I was wondering why people were staring at me...... Spot probably didn't know where to stare whilst we walked from one end of Bondi to the other. Thats too funny. Here I thought it was because I looked fit....hahahaha.

I can't wait to go back. This is just what my soul needs. I am going to be an awesome ocean swimmer. I will not give in and I will learn to tackle anything mother nature throws at me. Barb will prevail.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Glad to be back.

Boy was I glad to be back. It was hard to motivate myself to get back there, but thanks to Paul and one phone call, I made my way there and was so glad to see everyone. There were many new faces which was good to see and then there were the regulars who I missed so much. They made my return so much easier, felt like I had never left.

There were a few reasons why I stopped going. Firstly I needed a rest - nearly a solid year of training and I was toast - physically and emotionally. Then came the foot issue - something which made me stop dead in my tracks for a bit but most of all I think I was just lacking the drive. With the issues I needed sorting and the fact that I was going to use the remainder of the year to get them all fixed I couldn't really see why I still needed to get out there all the time.

But the truth of the matter is, it is so important and needed for my mental health to be out training, socialising. I get such a high from being healthy and out in the fresh air, it's not something I can compromise on. And sure there are hiccups along the way but I can still cycle and swim that is atleast until I get my hernia repaired and then I will have to stop altogether for a few weeks. But surgeon reckons I will be back out there cycling within 3 weeks which is great news, so I can stay focused on the task at hand for my bike ride to Melbourne.

And when the New Year starts I will start running again slowly. Things happen for a reason. I am a firm believer in this. Life has a way of making things happen.

So with last nights return to windtrainer it was interesting to say the least about how quickly one loses their stamina and endurance. Not only were my legs hurting so was my undercarriage. I couldn't help lift my bottom off that seat. It was on fire. I need more saddle time to get used to that feeling again. Either that or have a baby fire extinguisher at the ready.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Definition of Inspirational

PTC Boys in KONA.

Never before have I been glued to a screen before for a sport. Ask my brothers and now my husband - whenever sport comes on - I'm gone. I think it's because as a child, and being the youngest - I never really got a say. It was always rugby league, rugby union, cricket or anything else that took their fancy. And with only one TV in the household it was either sit there and watch or make a compromise. And mine was if you make me a yummy salad I promise to sit quietly or otherwise I will pester you to till the cows come home - I was good at that.

Now as an adult I thank my lucky stars we have another TV or computer that I can submerse my head into for my husbands sake. I still don't really find those sports interesting. BUT, Ironman - now that's a totally different kettle of fish. And the fact that you can stream it live from Ironmanlive.com is even better still. You feel like you are there - in amongst all the hustle and bustle of activity and excitement. My dream is to hopefully one day be there - if not as a competitor - which I don't ever think I could qualify but to atleast be a part of that amazing day.

So after my bike ride yesterday morning - when I got home, it was time for a quick shower and then earphones in and eyes stuck on the computer to watch our boys cross that line. My heart was pounding so hard. I can only begin to imagine what their families were feeling and how excited and nervous they all were waiting to see them come through that FINISHERS shute.

I didn't get to see the Pro guys finish, but have since seen the photos and with a 1-2 finish for Australia Crowie/Jacobs - I cannot stop bursting into tears everytime I see this photo.

We also scored a 3rd Aussie male in the Top 10 with Luke McKenzie. Awesome work guys. We are all so proud of you here back at home.

Onto the women our very own Mirinda Carfrae fought like a true warrior to make up ground and came in a very close second to Chrissie Wellington. Again out came the Kleenex as I was a blubbering mess watching those 2 inspirational women hug at the finish line. If I was there I would have hugged them too - just for being the kind of women that they are.

But the proudest moment of all, for all of us back here at home was watching our 5 guys cross that finish line. All of them came in 10hrs and under. I am in AWE. Actually I think all of our home town did a little jig and drank a few beers on their behalf. You guys totally rocked it. It is now time to put your feet up and bask in the glory of what you have all achieved. And when you guys get back home I am sure there will be a party or two or more to commemorate the day you all raced in the HAWAIIAN IRONMAN.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pick your time

When to use pencil or pen. Sound weird? Here's my take. At the end of my last/first Tri season I went through the upcoming season - dates of proposed races and placed them into my diary in pen. If my last/first season was anything to go by, I was going to have a complete cracker. It's not that I was cockey, but when things go so good it's hard to see into the future and that things could go wrong or change for want of a better word.

That first season was everything I could have hoped for and more. Not just in terms of the races but training as well. Everything went smoothly apart from the occasional hiccups. So consequently I thought this following season would be an exact duplicate and I then went and placed all my races in pen throughout my diary.

What I am learning is that although this can make you very excited as you skim through your diary, it can also leave you feeling very flat when things aren't going as planned. Why? Well as things can/do change throughout the course of one's life - this neat little penmanship can turn into a big fat scribble as you have to start changing or deleting them completely from your diary. It leaves me feeling sad as I am missing out on things that I have so badly wanted to do. And have not been able to get to for one reason or another.

So my thoughts on this are that from now on I shall use pencil to update my diary knowing full well that things can and do change. If they are accomplished - I will do them over in indelible ink so they are forever etched in Barb's hall of fame. But those that are not attained shall stay in my diary marked in pencil. No scratching or erasing required - it is left in there for my next season to attempt and acquire and hopefully to one day be re-written in ink.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Shout out!!

Five members of Panthers Tri Club have made their way over to Kailua Kona, Hawaii to participate in Ironman. For those of you who know how tough it is to get in and how hard it is to qualify - our club is stoked that 5 of them have made it through. They have been tirelessly training through the cold of Winter to get ready for this event and have even been spotted going for runs along the river dressed up in their trackies on our warm days trying to acclimatise or belting out hundreds upon hundreds of kilometres on their bikes. I am sure the same could be said about swimming.

We would love for you all to keep our boys in your prayers and wish them all the best as they tackle an ENORMOUS feat in the original homeland of Ironman.

Leigh Chapman #1606
Ben Scull #1408
Adam Dimech #1767
Tim Edwards #1342
Shane Thompson #1555

I cannot even begin to imagine nor fathom their emotions at the moment. But I could only liken it to a soda bottle which has been shaken furiously yet it's lid is still wedged tightly closed. Come 8th of October when that bottle top gets opened at the sound of the canon - our boys are going to take off (like an explosion) waving the PTC and Australian Flag proud.

Your families, friends, club and country is proud of each and every single one of you. And we know you will be giving it your all - that is all anyone can ask for.

GOODLUCK BOYS.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Just take a chance.


What have you got to lose?

I used to be scared of taking chances. Always been cautious in my approach to things and really meticulous. It's not that I hated failing, it's just that I never wanted to lose that which I had worked so hard for.

I was never a person to have faith in my abilities and doubted my every step, even when I was really good at something. Ask my family, they will tell you. Everything I did took a great deal of coaxing from my family and closest friends. I am sure I was, and still can be totally annoying.

My inability to see the good in me I guess has always been my major flaw.
However, this is something I have been working on.

It's been a real work in progress. Starting from my 35th Birthday. If I hadn't of taken a chance that day - I may very well be in a very different place to where I am now. I am more than 100% sure that I would have still been in pain, and living a life which was not authentic. I would have been hiding from the world instead of living everyday as though it were my last. And I do believe that the real "ME" would have died. She was very close to being emotionally and spiritually lost FOREVER.

But since learning to take chances - and not just in everyday situations but taking a chance on myself, things have looked so much brighter. I have encountered opportunities far greater than I ever thought imaginable. My life has gone from "grey & lifeless" to being a "rainbow". I mean at times I have to really pinch myself to make sure that everything that is happening is for real. Things like this have never happened to me, I have never been that special - atleast not to me.

But why couldn't things like this happen to me - or you for that matter!!! They happen to people like the Gates', Branson's, Packer's, Murdoch's, Winfrey's, so really - why couldn't magical things happen to the likes of you and me. They are no more special than you or I. Sometimes you just have to take a chance. I believe the Universe has a way of setting things straight.

An amazing thing that has happened to me of late is that I am now going to be working with Larissa - the owner/director of TriShave Australia. I will be helping on the day of the TriShave events starting with the TriShave Womens Triathlon the 30th of October. I will be helping with the promotional aspect on the day and help hand out samples and tell people all about this wonderful product and how it can help them. I love the products. Out of every sunblock/moisturiser on the market, it is the only one that doesn't react with my skin and it is light and refreshing too. It literally was in my pocket/bag on every ride/run I did for Yeppoon and Port.

I am sure you are all aware of the fact that my very first event EVER in this world of Triathlons was the TriShave Womens Triathlon. And I am sure you are all aware of how much I love the products - have been using their 3in1 UV Body Defense SPF 30+ Post Shave Moisturising Lotion since then. I even won a competition and was able to purchase my much loved GoPro
helmet camera with my winnings. Fantastic things can happen. I am a true believer. I cannot wait to be a part of it all. What an exciting adventure I will be on. My life is just AMAZING. Can you feel the excitement?

I guess what I want to say with this post is that great things can happen to you. By believing in yourself. By giving yourself every opportunity to succeed in this world. And sure taking chances can be scary - sometimes more so than other times.

But what have you go to lose?

Are you not worth it?

GO ON, TAKE A CHANCE.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Cycling Cerebellums go for a swim

Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.
~ African Proverb ~


I absolutely love this quote and find it to be so true. If all we were faced with were the same old situations day in, day out - then how are we meant to adapt, adjust, progress, learn, overcome, rise above.

Life is all about growing - not just in the physical sense, but also emotionally, spiritually. I am a firm believer in this now. Instead of focusing on the many negative things which we are faced with on almost a daily basis, I now choose to focus on only positive things and what I can learn and get out of the negative.

Like for instance this foot thing - I could get all chocked up and SAD about not being able to run, but strangely enough - for once in my life I am NOT sad. I actually am looking upon this as quite favourable. This atleast gives me time to now focus on my cycling. Getting ready for this HUGE bike ride to Melbourne. That's where my efforts are being focused. I need health and wellness to make it to St Kilda in 7 days.

Will I miss competing in club events - without a shadow of a doubt but this is only short lived. And I will get great pleasure out of being a supportive member of our great cheer squad. This way I also get to share in each individual accomplishment in every sense. I love watching my friends race and accomplish great things for themselves. Nothing makes me smile more. Actually me racing makes me smile more - but cheering is a close second.

But in the meantime I shall swim and cycle like a crazy woman. And take loads of swimming and cycling footage. My GoPro camera rules.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

This could take longer

Than I am thinking to heal. No pain upon resting does not equate to being totally healed as I found out yesterday. Not that I did anything silly like running or cycling or swimming for that matter - I have been extremely diligent in that regards. However, I went for a brief shopping interlude with the family and it seems the foot hates being walked on or stood on for any length of time. And because it hates being walked on I then walk funny - like I am putting pressure more on my heel and then my heel starts to hurt. At this rate I should be walking like the "Hunchback of Notre Dame" in no time at all.
The pain I get is located where the Peroneus Brevis tendon attaches to the base of the 5th Metatarsal. And if I am not careful my little veiny foot will go back to looking like it has elephantitis again. Check out the before and after pic.













Quite a noticeable difference from one foot to the next I say. And even though the pain has settled remarkably, the foot still hates being walked on for any great length of time - even though I stilled have it supported with a thermal ankle brace. So, here's my thought's. I am out for the majority of this year I think in terms of races. And whilst I am out nursing this foot to health I may as well use the time wisely and get my other complaint looked into as well and have it sorted so I can get to my bigger goal for this year. And that is - my bike ride from Sydney to Melbourne in April of next year.

So this other ailment is the issue of an Epigastric Hernia I have. It's not big by any stretch of the imagination but enough that I can feel it everytime I touch my stomach. And the surgeon said that it won't disppear, if anything it will get bigger and I don't want it interfering with my cycling training. So it's time to get this baby fixed.
I asked the surgeon if he thought this hernia was related to the pain I kept getting everytime I ran up under my rib - and although he couldn't quite say that it was 100% related he didn't dismiss it either - considering everything else had been excluded. And seeing as my hernia still only has fat protruding through into it, he thinks that it could cause a pulling effect from the area thereby causing that stitch pain I get everytime I run.

He also said that because it is fairly small at this moment that they would normally fix it with a few stitches to close the hole, however because I am so active he is quite possibly going to use gauze to cover up the hole to make sure it never returns. But the even better news is that I will be able to return to cycling within 3 weeks of surgery - and so start my training. That's very good news indeed.

So when am I getting it done? Quite possibly within the next month. The quicker I get it done, the quicker I am back out there. And quite frankly I am going totally nuts waiting and not being able to do anything. Atleast by this Friday I should be able to go for a bike ride and see how the foot holds up. And if it holds up for cycling then I am very very happy. Atleast there is 2 legs out of the Tri I can do. And if I can never run again because of my foot - well then I really wont know what to do. And it's not something I want to think about right now - so I won't.

So in the meantime I shall let all of my other little projects consume my every thought and be happy with what I have happening in my life. And know that atleast I am mending and looking after me.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Just my thoughts

When a defining moment comes along, you can do one of two things.
Define the moment, or let the moment define you.
~ The Tin Cup ~

Rummaging through quotes as I do on a daily basis to find one that best encompasses the mood I would like to reflect on the day, I stumbled across this one and it struck quite a chord with me yesterday. Not just because of everything that has gone on in the last week, but because of the many defining moments I have had in my life. Some were magic, ones that have left an indelible mark on my soul for all the right reasons, whilst others did the same in a painful, tragic sense.

At the time I can remember saying "Why me", "What had I done wrong". I mean, there are much more sinister people in the world but somehow life's events panned out that I should be stuck with a back condition that has been my affliction for 15yrs. I remember letting that moment define me when it was at it's very worst. I was not a happy camper - a total contrast to the person I am today. I never smiled, I was sad to the very core of my existence. When people asked how I was, it always revolved around my condition and how it was affecting my life. I was sick of living my life.

I got to the point where I became such a recluse because I didn't want to hear myself repeat that same damn sentence, those same damn words. It felt better for me to be on my own as it hurt so much to watch others do the things I wanted to do so badly myself. I wanted to and was doing a great job at letting the moment define me.

Finally it all came to a head and I realised or accepted for want of a better term my back condition. I spent years trying to fight it and emotionally I think it was destroying me more than physically. I knew that if I was going to move forward and get better (or atleast manage it) I had to grab the bull by the horns and dance the cha cha with it. I was never going to beat it but I was going to have to learn to live with it and be the best I could be with it. And so, after a few years of finding the right balance - I think I have finally got it nailed. And it's not to say I haven't had hiccups along the way and gotten sad and upset and frustrated - but I think I have pulled through each of the hiccups having learnt something new about myself each and every time.

Defining moments are placed in your way - to help you grow I believe. Even in the saddest of situations I do believe there is something we can all take from it. And it may not be right at that very moment, but when given the chance to reflect - I am sure there is something good that will have arisen from the dust. Whether that be the realisation that you are stronger than you have ever given yourself credit for, or that when you feel at your most alone there are the hands of many helping you to your feet, so that you too can one day be the hand that helps another. There is always something good.

Maybe it's me being an eternal optimist. But I now look at everything that happens in my life with renewed vigour. And if I can't do something for a while for whatever the reason - I find something I can do to replace it till I can get back out there. And if things aren't going quite right at that very moment, then there will be a time when they will. Till then I have to make the most of it. Things always have a way of coming good. It's what we do in the process that makes the waiting worth it.

Are you defining your moments?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tough

Whoa, it's been a tough few days. Wish it all was a bad bad dream and that I will wake up and it will all be back to the way it was - but I know that is all wishful thinking - and the reality is, it won't and our family has to cope the best way it know's how.

I think I posted some months ago about our little Foxy "Milo" when he got bitten by the brown snake in our yard and the ordeal we went through to get him back to health and wellness. We would have turned the world upside for him to have him back with us - and as it turned out we were very lucky that he survived that bite.

Sadly though, this Monday just gone - my poor Milo got bitten again by another Brown Snake. Only this time he was unable to fight the venom and he passed away. I tried so hard to get him to the vet on time - yelling and screaming at every slow car that was in my path, but to no avail. The venom was so strong and powerful that he was seizuring the whole way to the vets and panting so heavy, and by the time I got him there the venom had a hard grip on his little body and the antivenom they gave him was not able to help. Within minutes he succumbed to the venom and passed away due to a cardiac arrest.

It's hard to go outside into the yard and not see him running around or sunning himself under his favourite She Oak Tree. And even though his incessant barking at birds in the tree would at times get on our nerves, it's his bark I want to hear most. He knew if you were sad and would come and sit beside you and just stare into your eyes waiting for you to give him that scratch on his back and tummy that he dearly loved. But now he lies in his own very private spot in the paddock with our beloved horse (Nibbles) who passed away some years ago from Colic and our 9yr old chook (Henny).

Not sure if there will ever be another dog like Milo. He always had our safety and that of our home foremost in his mind. Such a brave little soul he was. We love you Milo. What I wouldn't give to have you back home again.
I have also been struggling since last Tuesday to walk properly on my left foot. Not sure what I have done to it, but the thing swelled up like a balloon some days ago and after and Xray showing nothing, I am now off today to have a bone scan. Check out the Humpbacks foot:
The swelling has gone down quite a bit today but there is still pain on the outer aspect of my foot. Hopefully the bone scan shows nothing and it is just a passing thing but until the results come back I am on crutches. No weight baring allowed. Thats hard going and I am missing my training like crazy. Not sure if I am going to be doing any club races, Womens' Sprint Tri or Nepean for that fact. I am really trying my hardest to stay positive but I feel a little upset and really hope it's nothing. Fingers crossed.

I just wanted to say thankyou to everyone for all of your care and concern with everything that has gone on in my life at the moment. You all make me feel so loved and cared for. THANKYOU.

Friday, September 16, 2011

What not to do.

Since starting to ride my bike over a year ago now, I have been very VERY lucky to have not had an accident. I have crossed my fingers and toes every time I have gone out and although have had extremely close encounters I have never actually been injured.

I have been lucky that I have clipped out on every occasion and have never found myself on the ground. That was until Wednesday.

Wednesdays ride was awesome. Absolutely beautiful weather and company was to be had. I was initially going to go to a certain turnaround point and come back without taking in the hills, but how can I say NO to my friends when they asked me to come along for the whole ride. So with the commitment made - it was off to visit Greendale in reverse. I really do find going that way alot tougher than the other way, but what doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger. RIGHT?
As usual my quads scream at me. It never ever feels easier - or is it maybe that I am pushing a bit harder everytime the fitter I get. Whatever the reason, it still hurts. Actually my breathing still hurts as well. I am sucking in air like a lunatic heading through the hills but lucky for me I can still manage to talk. I think it will take alot more than that to stop me from talking, maybe when I do the Hawkesbury Lookout - which I have heard alot about, will I then be made silent.
video
Then as the ride was coming to an end is when the funny drama unfolded. I was slowing down checking over my right shoulder to make sure there was no cars coming so I could cross over to my car. I did this a few times and as I looked over my shoulder for the last time and turned to look ahead again I quickly realised that I had not slowed down quickly enough and I soon found myself almost mounted on Jen's back like a baby koala.

I slammed my brakes on and quickly unclipped - but not fast enough. Before I knew it I was coming down on my right hand side in what seemed like to me as slow as a scene out of the Matrix. I tried to shelter the impact by putting my right hand down but to no avail. My elbow buckelled and what was supposed to help me take the brunt of the impact ended up being the bit that winded me. My elbow came into hard contact with my ribs and then it was my knee, hip and shoulder making impact with the road.

As I lay there taking inventory of what hurt - everyone came hurrying back to see if I was ok. I couldn't really talk cause my ribs hurt as did my knee but as I looked to my left I heard Kate call out if I was okay and as she was looking over her shoulder to see if I was ok she fell down too. Thank goodness she didn't hurt herself. Once I realised what hurt and what didn't - I was kind of laughing about the whole thing. And the thing I realised most is that I probably ride a little too close to the person in front. Lesson learnt.

Will I be back out - you bet your bottom dollar. My knee is a bit sore and crusty so bending it is a bit difficult, and my ribs and hip ache a bit too. But all is good.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The week that was.

Where do I start? What a week! A great week but busy nonetheless. I have been slowly getting back into things when I can fit them in and really enjoying the pace. The last couple of weeks before were really busy with the kids being sick with colds and Kurt fracturing his arm so haven't had much of a chance to do simple, easy training. Which in a way was good cause I needed to be resting.

This week I had a really enjoyable bike ride on the Wednesday. I felt fairly pleased with my cycling and think I am improving the more times I do it. The hills still hurt like crazy and at times I feel like my legs will implode BUT, obviously they don't and I seem to be managing them at a slightly faster pace. The 60kms we did, didn't feel too bad. And normally I feel really had it for days afterwards, but this time I only had a feeling of heaviness rather than pain.

I need to get back to my swim squad on Saturday. I think it's going to hurt though. I feel like I have lost alot of stamina and possibly a little confidence in myself, but will get back into it as of next week. With Nepean being a little over 8 weeks away, I want to be feeling fit. However, that being said, I need to get this hernia checked out next week. I have been procrastinating like crazy and am kind of scared that the Doc will say I need to have it repaired - and if thats the case, when do I fit that in?

Do I wait till after the Nepean? Then that only gives me about 4mths of cycling training for my bike ride to Melbourne. And if I do it now, then I miss out on a tonne of other races, like club ones, the TriShave Womens Sprint and the Nepean. Kind of torn in my decision. I guess it's probably better to do it sooner rather than later. Everytime I run now I end up with a stitch under my right rib which hurts like crazy and think it's because I have that weakness in my abdo wall. Sometimes it brings me to a grinding halt, and other times it is just this lingering sharp stitch that won't go away. So I think I have just answered my own question. It needs to be sorted out NOW.

Last night I participated in the Woodford to Glenbrook Night Run which was organised by the Blue Mountains Marathon Clinic. It is a 26km run through the fire trails and run by moonlight, obviously with headlamps on. I went with a few friends - Sarah, Cloe, Sonia & Paul and we caught the train from Glenbrook up to Woodford and the started out run back. At the end I met up with Ben who is the organiser of this run and his friends. Really great people.

I must admit I was nervous about this run. I really didn't want to trip and snap an ankle like I have in the past. That ankle twist plays heavily on my mind and to this day has left me with a constant swelling in the anterior aspect of my ankle. But the more of this run that I did, the more I enjoyed it. I really got to have all of my senses come alive. With impaired vision due to it being night time - my sense of smell, hearing and touch were on an all time high.

I loved it. And I got a PB in distance and time. With 26kms under my belt in 3hrs and 15min, I couldn't be more stoked. Might I add though - this morning, my legs are very sore and stiff. Check out the route and elevation map:
Would I do this run again, you bet. Here is some video footage.
video
I also have another Triathlete of the Month for you all: Click on his name.

The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man's foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher.
~Thomas Henry Huxley~

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Cycling Cerebellums

The Cycling Cerebellums



Not sure if you were able to view the video's in the last post. I seem to have had an issue with Blogger. You can check them out here and on the next post.

I have a SPRING

In my step - and yes because SPRING has finally arrived and not a moment too soon. I also have sooooo many new adventures in the wings that I am not quite sure which way to turn - and in a good way.


The Cycling Cerebellums is moving forward. We have our first meeting this Sunday and have a few things in the woodwork - much to my excitement. My folder is getting nice and full with information. It's mostly just random thoughts of what could potentially be needed for the ride, however I am sure that when we get to our meet-up this Sunday that there will be a bookload of info I didn't even consider. Am looking forward to picking everyone's brains - as there are a few who have actually done these EPIC long rides for other fundraising charities. So far everything is pointing in the right direction and looking very promising indeed.


I have also had the opportunity to do a ride with my GoPro HD Hero Helmet Cam. The photos are amazing and the quality of the video camera is second to none. That camera is so tiny, yet its capabilities are AMAZING. Should you happen to be asked "What do you want for Christmas or your Birthday" then please, don't go past the Go Pro HD Hero Helmet Cam.


Check out the footage:


We have also held our first Give-a-away and Mr Warry is the proud owner of 5 Satchets of Chamois Butt'r. Congratulations - this stuff is MAGIC.


I also have another Triathlete of the Month scoop for you: To have a read, press on this Triathlete's name.

Tim is also fundraising for the John Maclean Foundation during his training for the Hawaii Ironman. The foundation raises funds to help improve the quality of life for young underprivileged wheelies. Should you wish to donate - please press here.

I have also managed to go out for a bit of a run today. Believe me, it was nothing to write home about, but gees it felt nice to be out and about on a beautiful Spring Day.

Your hard work will be rewarded.

"The path to a dream is paved with sacrifices and lined with determination. And though it has many stumbling blocks along the way, and may go in more than one direction, it is travelled by belief and courage and conquered with a willingness to face challenges and take chances" Barbara Cage