Yes, I’ve been a slack bastard. After promising weekly updates, I’ve let more than two weeks roll by…not cool. I’m sure you’ve been checking emails hourly while you tangle with the inevitable symptoms of severe frustration and expectation. Take a breath….here it is…
The last two weeks have been a rollercoaster, no doubt….a few highs and a few lows….as we all have, I guess. We’ve been busily dealing with the stuff life throws around like birthdays (Angus, 13), university enrolments and a new job (Liam, 18), wellness and illness (Marcelle, age withheld or I’m a dead man) and training (me, 42 but still think I’m still 30).
Gus’ birthday was a good one….he is now the happy owner of an Arbor Axis 40″ longboard. Thanks to the guys at RPS The Board Store for looking after us with that one. This is the same store in Elwood where the owner loaned me his own Xcel wetsuit to test out for WTM12 before I purchased one on-line. How good is that?! This made a huge difference to my prep work and I was really glad to have the opportunity to give Warwick some business. Give the board a click to hit their website if you’re looking for a board sport of any possible discription.
My gift wrapping skills were tested this time around with the skateboard and a canvas painting of one of Angus’ favourite Calvin & Hobbes captions…I was completely paranoid about putting my finger through it or something. Gus also…at his request of course….scored a fair bit of cash from grandparents, aunties and uncles. He had to work for it though…a few “Minute to Win It” style games and apple-bobbing (cash stapled to the apples…hilarious). Armed with these fresh bills, we pounded the floor of Chadstone Shopping Centre together on Saturday afternoon to see what he wanted to pick up. A couple of hours later he was carrying a new XBox game (Far Cry 2), Mini Pro-Ex controller, iPhone cover and a few lollies for good measure. He did a great job hunting out the best buys and still has around $100 left to blow.
Now the best part of his shopping expedition is this….last year a good buddy of his from school very kindly bought him a pair of knock-off Ray Bans after his trip to Greece. Gus LOVED them. Sadly, as things tend to do in the hands of young boys, these eventually broke. The screw securing one of the arms disappeared and they were rendered useless. Before we hit the shops, I suggested we could take them with us to get an optometrist to fix them up. He was happy with that idea and we eventually walked into OPSM and explained it all to the young girl and she happily offered to fix them. After a few minutes of waiting, she returned….red faced.
“I’m so so sorry, but it looks like I’ve broken them.” Sure enough, the section that takes the screw had snapped off. They were stuffed. She was lovely and very apologetic…explaining to us that while they did not carry that particular design in store she would be happy to order a replacement pair, or he could just select another pair off the shelf. Trying to remain calm, we politely elected to choose a pair from the shelf. To cut the story short, their manager acknowledged that Gus’ pair were knockoffs but agreed that they had been handed in for repair in good faith and we should have been warned that damage could occur in the process. He was very gracious about the whole thing and we all agreed that this just needed a solution that was fair for Gus. So in the end he very happily walked out with an awesome pair of $230.00 Ray Ban WayFarers.
On the way home in the car I explained to him that this was what good karma feels like. He is the kindest, most thoughtful kid you’ll ever meet. He spends his money buying gifts for friends and is really sensitive to others around him (except when he’s tired when he then becomes a spawn of the devil). I told him he completely deserved this “lucky break” and it should only encourage him to continue being the kind of guy he is. High fives all round.
Liam has been going really well. Loving the independence of living out of home and has finalised all his subject selections for uni and scored himself some casual employment in the CBD. We’ve been trying our best to make the most of the great weather by getting him to some nice spots down the Mornington Peninsular to keep his love of diving alive and well too. It’s not a cheap past-time but so worth it. Our collective digits are all crossed for him to do really well this year…lots of change to cope with but he’ll have a ball, I’m sure.
Marcelle has been through a hell of a time over the past couple of weeks. Desperate to push herself along and contribute, she worked 7-days straight (some full days, some short days). While this was a hurculean effort there’s no doubt it knocked her about. Subsequently, she struggled quite badly with a wide range of symptoms confining her to bed for a few days and making every day tasks extremely difficult. I won’t go into the full detail of it all as I think she’d prefer not to read it (x) and just have it behind her. What we have discussed though is for her to write something herself to publish in this blog. I think it would be an eye-opener for many people to hear how it really is….I can always re-tell the stories, but I often feel I need to censor some things so as not to upset her. It is very different when the account of events comes directly from those that have been inflicted with ME/CFS. I know Marcelle is keen to do this so stay tuned.
On top of all this, she is still determined to try and complete this weekend’s Spartan Sprint. This 7km adventure race features around 15-20 obstacles and boasts a more “hardened” approach to racing than other obstacle races….including a 30 burpee penalty for any participant failing an obstacle. Participants best have their shit together because the prospect of a 7km trail run plus more than 450 burpees is not an idea of a fun day out for most people. The guys at Spartan Australia (thanks Sarah & Sean) have been nothing short of fantastic. They appreciate what this race means for someone like Marcelle and have bent over backwards to help. Given my somewhat delicate condition, I’ve been allowed to run alongside Marcelle for support and encouragement, while afforded a pardon from entry costs and the burpee penalty as I just can’t risk my shoulder at this stage. I’ve become rather proficient at exercising self-restraint lately, so I’m hoping I won’t be tempted to think “WTF!” and do something stupid.
Worst case scenario is that Marcelle won’t be able to compete, in which case we throw Gus into the mixer instead. Now THAT will be interesting! I know that if I kitted him up with my GoPro camera, he’d be pretty keen to roll. We’ll see what eventuates. At the very least, I’m looking forward to seeing some familiar faces from WTM12.
I have this video embedded on other pages in this site where I talked about the reasons behind my fund raising and eagerness for the big adventure races, but I thought I’d drop it in here anyway for those who may not have seen it. It is pretty blunt, to the point and sadly accurate. If you find yourself in a position where you have some spare coin, think about donating via the PayPal link at the bottom of the page. We’ve contributed over $6,500 to ME/CFS Australia so far….a great start, yes, but I know they need our on-going support. Don’t be shy.
Having trouble viewing this video? Click here to head straight to YouTube.
Finally, my own training and rehab. Yeah, it’s progressing but I’ll be the first to admit I’m pretty bored with the narrow scope of exercise I have a green light for….but at the same time, grateful I can do anything at all as my recovery is apparently well ahead of schedule. I’m basically restricted to painful range of motion (ROM) stretches for my shoulder, running and spin bike. My shoulder mobility is definitely improving which is encouraging, although my sleep quality is still not as good as I’d like because of the aching that tends to kick in overnight. But progress is progress and I’ll take every bit I can get as I’m a bit paranoid about ending up with ROM restriction in what used to be highly mobile shoulders.
I’m seeing my physio next week and am hopeful he’ll at least allow me to introduce some resistance band work to start stabilising the shoulder as we secure all the foundations before subjecting it to the kind of training I love. I’d be happy enough with the prospect of running with a weight vest or loaded packpack for now.
So, aside from the occasions where I might spend time on the Kaiser M3 spin bike currently sitting in our lounge room (massive thank you to Life Fitness Australia for the loaner….such a huge help), it is running, running with a bit of running thrown in for now. I’m trying to keep the distances at 10km and under to allow my ankles the opportunity to recover and aclimatise to the mileage. It was a very painful lesson learnt from WTM12…condition your connective tissue or suffer terribly! I have a nice circuit from work that clocks in at 7.3km around “The Tan” and a 10km loop around Albert Park Lake. My times aren’t too bad for an old bastard, but there’s definitely good opportunities ahead for improvement.
I didn’t get a chance to train as much as I would have liked over the past two weeks as I copped a bit of a calf strain that needed to rest and repair. I did manage to get plenty of ROM stretching done though and even got a chance to get out and let my hair down on the weekend to catch a Miguel Migs gig. VERY cool. Loved it. It’s been ages since I’ve been out, so I had an absolute ball with a great bunch of people. Thanks guys.
2 WEEKS WORTH OF TRAINING
Distance Run 25.2 km | Distance Ride 15.0 km | Training Time 190 minutes
Average HR 149 (84%) | Energy 2,389 kcal