Friday, 28 June 2013

TFIF.......Nothing Else to Say.

Friday again and another FFS.  Yes I missed last weekend, but I was on a high last Friday after meeting Annette and didn’t really care about the crappy things that happened prior to that.

This week on the other hand is an entirely different story.
So, it is last week of June and this means End of Financial Year….FFS

Everyone at work (senior managers anyway) go crazy this week wanting as many $$ in and as much product out…..FFS

Both sides of the business don’t care that sometimes this conflicts, that is my problem to sort it out….FFS

People that I have previously worked with but have moved departments miraculously forget how things work, causing further issues……FFS

They have also decided to carry out a system conversion this weekend over Year End…..FFS

How I felt when they told me I had to work Sunday

This means I have to work on Sunday morning at 7am……FFS

This means my half marathon training run may not take place only 3 weeks out from the event……FFS

I also have to be available in the afternoon for work to verify data…..FFS

Add to this my son’s football match was changed to a later time conflicting with when I need to be in the office….FFS

My wife is working an overtime shift on Sunday, which is awesome as it is quadruple time…..No FFS

But this overtime shift is also when I need to be at work….FFS

Found out today that I can do the afternoon portion from home on Sunday unless there are major dramas….crisis averted….No FFS

After my meeting last week with Annette I was even more determined to raise the $15K I need to take part in all 6 Ride to Conquer cancer Rides…..No FFS

Anyone wanting to donate, just drop me a line.

I have received donations this week that mean I am now definitely riding in Brisbane and Melbourne at this point….No FFS

I have had some businesses pledge cash that should also get me over the line for Sydney…..No FFS

It is the 8th anniversary of my wife’s car accident which changed our lives forever….FFS

Whilst she has been prevented from using her leg full capacity since, we have changed a lot for the better and our lives are better as well…..No FFS

School holidays start today…….FFS

This will mean I have to listen to a tirade of emails, SMS and phone calls about how said wife wants to kill one or more of the kids every day until they go back to school…….FFS

Thank god I will be working during those two weeks and will screen calls, Yes Julie I will be screening calls……No FFS

My bib for Run Melbourne arrived this week……No FFS

Has My name On it so they can call out to me when i pass out.

I have also been thinking about challenges for 2014 (yes I know it is still 6 months away) and think I will be running my first marathon mid 2014……FFS

Yes it is a scary thought, but Think Big, Do Big, Achieve Big……No FFS

All I can say is thank F… it is Friday and only 69 days until I go to Bali….NO FFS!!!!!!

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Eye Of The Tiger

All us kids that lived through the 80's know this song, many of us loved it and only know it as the song from Rocky III.  Nothing wrong with that at all.  I personally love it and my dad had the single to it.  Yes the old vinyl 45 (anyone not born in the 70's will be wondering what the hell I am talking about. This song holds a special significance for me as you will find out further down.

Regular readers of my blog will be aware that I am on a crusade of such this year to take part in riding all 6 Conquer Cancer rides in Australia and New Zealand thanks to my crazy group Vision Crusaders.  My reasons for doing this is due to a number of friends and family that are currently battling this horrible shitty disease in a number of different forms.  These people, in their own ways have shown me what the true fighting spirit is and what the will to fight and the determination to not let this disease win can do.  Their positivity and amazing outlook on life has been nothing short of inspirational to me.  It is for this reason that I choose to ride and raise money for awareness and research into a cure for cancer.

This post is not about me asking for donations, but if anyone would like to that can certainly contact me to do so.  I have further $9300 I need to raise for my rides.  This post is to explain a little about why I choose to do this.  

So I sit here in a little bit of a haze trying to find the words to do this justice.  In the last 24 hours this disease has managed to produce emotions at both ends of the scale for me, so it just proves even more for me the need to get this money raised and the rides done and promote these causes as much as I can. There isn't much else I can do for these fighters really.

One of the people I am riding for I have only found out about in the last 6 months.  She is the best friend of a very good friend of mine and I am proud to say she is now a dear friend of mine.  Annette is a true inspiration and please stick with me whilst I share part of her story.  You can also read her blog here. Annette is a survivor in every sense of the word.  9 years ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She beat that bastard and was then lucky enough to have triplets through IVF 7 years ago.  Sadly she now has cancer again and this time it doesn't look good.  In order to help prolong the inevitable and spend as much time with her munchkins and wonderful husband Annette has been travelling to China to get treatment for her cancer.  Now I have not done her story justice at all, but I am sure you get the picture.  Well yesterday I was fortunate enough  to meet this amazing lady and her husband.  They came to Melbourne to meet a friend of mine that works in oncology and see if there is anything that can be done here in Australia so Netty can be closer to her family.

The amazing and inspirational Annette

All I can say is that after meeting her, sharing a few tales, tears and laughs, I left there so pumped and inspired.  I knew that from that moment on I was going to raise the $15K I needed to complete these rides and do my bit.  She is such a strong, determined and amazing lady and her children will feed of this and be better for it.  I am constantly amazed at how strong minded people facing the ultimate battle are and how clear their thought processes are.  There is no grey, it is black and white, life and death.

Now with all ups there are the inevitable downs.  So some news that I was to receive later in the day was not the way I wanted to end the day.  One of my other reasons for riding was given some news yesterday about their treatment, which wasn't very positive.  Sadly this means there will be some rather invasive surgery and is devastating news.  I will not go into this as it is not my place to comment, but it has certainly shaken me up a bit.

Needless to say this has further strengthened my resolve to do what I can.  So this brings me back to the song "Eye of the Tiger".  These lyrics are about me standing toe to toe with arsehole that calls himself cancer.  I am Rocky and he is Clubber Lang.  Listen here Clubber.  You can swagger about being the curse of humanity but I am here with my Vision Crusaders and Team Fighting Back to knock your arse down for the count.

Risin' up, back on the street
Did my time, took my chances
Went the distance now I'm back on my feet
Just a man and his will to survive
So many times it happens too fast
You trade your passion for glory
Don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past
You must fight just to keep them alive
It's the eye of the tiger, it's the thrill of the fight
Risin' up to the challenge of our rival

This is my new anthem for the fight I will take up take up to this horrible beast that impacts far to many of us.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Rain Rain Go Away…….

With the crappy weather this week and the obvious constant black clouds, a black cloud has descended on me with a vengeance and caused a bit of havoc.  So here we go with this weeks FFS.

Managed to smash out a 14km run Saturday morning as my long run for the week followed up by a short boxing session No FFS

Went for a fantastic 52km bike ride on Sunday down Beach Road with my fellow Vision Crusaders team mates  No FFS

Week started with a public holiday for Queens Birthday.  No FFS

Spent the morning with my wife and 3 of our children climbing the 1000 steps in Ferntree Gully No FFS

My munchkins and I at the memorial mirroring the Isurava memorial

Was not happy about taking a 4 and 6 year old up the bloody stairs, especially when they were expecting to be piggy backed.  FFS

My little ones managed to walk to the top of the mountain (as they called it) No FFS

Realised afterwards that I need to not be so grumpy about these things and accept them for what they are, family bonding sessions and an excursion.  No FFS

Rain started on Tuesday and has not gone away.  FFS

Lack of opportunity to get out and run has meant I have had no motivation to do any other form of training.  FFS

What I should have been doing this week

Finding excuses from everywhere to not get out and do anything, scares me to say the least.  FFS

It was bucketing down on Wednesday night for Callum’s football training, but we went anyway and I joined in.  I had more fun than the boys.  No FFS.

Outside this week and inside my head

Work has been shitty all week and has me wondering why I am even here.  FFS

No direction, lack of communication and respect from up above makes it hard to be effective in the workplace.  FFS

Have had a nagging head ache all week which hasn’t helped my lack of training and mood FFS

Don't Mess with me, Not in the Mood

Need to have a timetable for this weekend for all the things we have on, which means a tight schedule for my son's Confirmation  FFS

So much on and so much to do means my wife will be her usual stress head self when we have a function at home and take it out on me FFS

Not looking forward to having a grumpy mumma bear yelling at me on Sunday because of the above no matter what I do FFS

Why do I agree to have functions at home FFS

How I felt this week

Oh that’s right, I don’t I just get told they are happening and then cop the flow on FFS

Just been told I have to travel to Adelaide next Wednesday for work for a 2 hour meeting. FFS

Looking forward to my training session tomorrow and my long run this weekend No FFS.

Hope you all had a more positive week, let’s hope the next week will bring more of the No FFS.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Climbing Mountains……

Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend in Melbourne usually means the opening of ski season and football over 4 days.  In the past it would also have meant a few days on the turps, lazing about the house not doing much and possibly watching a lot of crap television.  This year was partially different to those in the past.
I had originally planned a very busy weekend exercise wise with a couple of runs, usual Saturday garage session with my training buddies and a bike ride down Beach Rd with my Melbourne Vision Crusaders buddies.  This was to be topped off with a trip out to the 1000 steps in Ferntree Gully so Julie and a few other ladies we train with could complete this for a mini milestone challenge they had set themselves.

Well it went almost to plan.  There was a reshuffle of the runs, which meant my long run was on Saturday morning and I was not going to do my initial run with my half marathon buddies, the amazing Western Warrior ladies.  They ran 4 laps of the Tan yesterday in an awesome effort.  Well done Warriors.  So I went out with my training buddy and new Half Marathon entrant Greg.  I convinced him to take on the challenge after he told me he had entered the 10km event.  We ran 14km on Saturday morning and he decided then that he wanted to have a crack.  Following on from our run we had a short 30 minute boxing session with some new moves, which hurt at the time, but thankfully for Kerry, no DOMS today.

My bike ride was amazing.  My new bike and I went for our first ever ride down Beach Road.  For those not in Melbourne, this is THE cyclists road to ride in Melbourne.  I never knew why, but it is such a beautiful ride.  All the way to the turn around you have the coast line, really good surface and some nice hills as well.  I managed to cover off 52kms for the day and will be going back there at some point in the future for sure.  So after 2 days I have managed to burn over 2500 calories.  Not bad at all.

Yesterday saw us up early in the morning for our 50 minute drive out to Ferntree Gully.  Julie had packed food for the kids, got out their warm clothes, which they would need being in the Dandenongs and off we went just after 7am.  Now I will admit that I was not the happiest of campers about facing the prospect of climbing the steps with a 4 year old, 6 year old and a 10 year old.  My daughter is probably the fittest in the house due to her doing 6-7 hours per week of ballet, but take her out of a tutu and she is normally lazy and whiny.  Not going to be fun at all.  The little ones were already expecting to be piggy backed up the stairs at some point.  Julie had never been there before so she had no idea what to expect either.  I had not done the steps for 7 years, back when I was training for the Kokoda Trail, but still remembered how hard it was and how much I disliked the first part of the walk up to the base of the steps.

The kids were excited that they were going to be embarking on this challenge, climbing a mountain, as we had told the little ones, pardon me for not sharing their exuberance.  We parked the car at the bottom of the car park, which was already nearly full at 8.20am and headed off up the hill to the top of the car park.  We found the start of the path and I explained to them that there was a little walk to the bottom of the steps.  The walk up the path was approx. 300 metres and it is steep.  I find this section harder than the actual steps.  This is where some of the complaining started from the little ones.   This was not what I wanted to hear.  We had not even started the steps and they were complaining.  Cue big grumpy bear with 3 little grumpy bears and this set mumma bear off a bit telling me off.  Going to be a long walk I thought.  Well it was longer than it should have been, but that is expected with 2 little men walking up some big steps.  We stopped a couple of times for breathers and thankfully there were a few seats along the way.  My youngest wanted a piggy back, but I told him that he had to walk the entire way so he could say he did it and tell his big brother when we got home.  He wasn’t happy, as you can see in the picture below, but he managed to walk the entire way up the 1000 steps and soon forgot the sore legs when he got there.  There were so many people commenting on how the boys managed to make it up and both Julie and I were so proud of them. 

The walk down was done via the path/fire trail which has been done up since I was last there to include blue stone steps on the steeper parts.  We decided on this route as it was less crowded and wider and we could take our time.  The boys and Paige loved it and were more excited about walking over the little bridges on the way down.

We made it to the bottom and had a look at the new monuments (well new since I was last there) and had a photo.  Just a pity my oldest wasn’t there to experience it also.  We then headed to the cafĂ© to meet up with the others that had done the steps.  Finished off with a snack at the car before heading home again.

I look back at this outing and realise that I need to look at these things a little differently.  Julie is such a  good mum and wants to include the kids in all of this stuff for the experience.  I on the other hand tend to go at these physical pursuits in a solo fashion using them for just smashing out calories or times and setting personal bests or ticking things off the achievements/bucket list.  This is fine for some things but others are meant to be just activities and outings and I need to learn to accept that and just enjoy the experience for what it is.  Yes this one had some physical activity as a component, but for me it should have been about sharing the moment with my kids.  This was a huge achievement for them and me being grumpy during it could well have soured the moment.  Thankfully looking back I can see what a great morning it was and the kids had a good time.  As far as they were concerned they climbed a mountain (who am I to tell them otherwise) and are learning to get out and about and do things rather than sit on their butts and get fat.

Lucky for them they have a mother that is thinking of this and it isn’t left up to me.  I am starting to get it, but still a work in progress on this one.  Perhaps some bush walking for the little ones is what is needed.  Who knows what mountains they will climb in the future, and how many more lessons they can teach their dad along the way.

Friday, 7 June 2013

What a Week!!!!!

FFS Friday

Been a very strange week, but thankfully looking back a more positive one than most.
I celebrated my 1 yr fitaversary this week and 50+ kgs lost in that time. No FFS

Also celebrated my little man Owen’s 6th birthday on the same day.  He is such a beautiful soul.  Massive No FFS!!!!

Here is the little man...aka Golden Boy

Put up before and after shots so far on Facebook and feedback was amazing No FFS

Friend of mine showed this to Margie Cummins ( winner of biggest loser 2012) and she put it on her Facebook page. No FFS

Collage in Question - Still a work in progress

That post had 226 likes and the same one on Instagram has 184 so feeling the love. No FFS

Had a new colleague start at work this week, whom I worked with 10 years ago and she told me that if our boss had not called me in she would not have recognised me.  No FFS

Kids have been a bit feral this week causing my wife a few problems. This lead to us having an argument on Wednesday evening which wasn't nice. FFS

Went for a run straight after the argument and smashed out my fastest 10km ever in 1hour 1min 30 secs No FFS

Very Proud of this run.

Did what the trainers tell you and channelled my emotions of anger, frustration and disappointment into my workout No FFS

Have had a nagging headache for a little while, so need to see the chiro. FFS

My Run Melbourne running singlet arrived yesterday. Only bought a large and it fits….Woo Hoo     No FFS

Training has been a bit hit and miss this week. FFS

New way to look at FFS

Big weekend ahead with running and cycling to correct things No FFS.

Had a colleague at work trying to get out of doing her own shit and accused me of not taking ownership of task to my boss FFS

Said colleague soon put back in box and told to own her own shit in future FFS

Boss was not overly happy with outcome, but understood where I was coming from. FFS

Had some feedback at work from new colleague that people they have spoken to have all had good things to say about my work and what I have done here. No FFS.

Had a couple of glasses of wine last night, which led to some late night snacking. WHY????  FFS.

Have changed my role at work partially in the last week, losing half my team.  No FFS

Still having that part of the business wanting me to do stuff for them when I don’t want to or shouldn’t be.  FFS

Had a couple of people come up to me this week asking for tips on health and fitness.  No FFS

This is true people, understand it FFS!!!

Same people were a little shocked when I explained what I had done and had to do in order to get fit and drop weight. FFS

Why do people think there is an easy way to do this and it can happen in a few weeks. FFS.

Had a chance to run my son’s football training on Tuesday night ( I was his coach until this year) and forgotten how much I loved it.  No FFS.

Friday night football sees my beloved Blues taking on arch rival (and my most hated team) the Bombers and the wife is at work.  Massive No FFS!!!!

Have a good weekend peeps.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

There is Light at the end of the Tunnel

Yesterday was a very momentous day in our house.  Not only was it my little man’s 6th birthday, it was also 1 year to the day that Julie and I started our transition from fat, unhealthy and unhappy people back to the land of the living.  This was when my journey out of the dark started.  I had no idea how it was going to go, or how long it was going to take.  In actual fact I was sceptical that it would happen at all and whether or not the 12WBT was going to actually produce the goods.

Fast forward 12 months and many that have read this blog are obviously aware of the changes I have made to my life and the sometimes bumpy road I have travelled to get here.  The important thing is that I am here.  I am fortunate enough that I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.  It has been there for a little while, but I have slowed in my progress towards it.  The key thing there is that I have only slowed, not stopped or turned around to head back into the dark.

This metaphor is an important one for me, because it highlights just how far I have come in the last 12 months.  Please do not think that I am referencing here any form of depression or making light of it as I know people that are suffering this illness will also use the term being in the dark of having a dark place.  I don’t believe I was ever in that state.  The reason I use this term is because I was exactly that.  I was in the dark about my physical health.  I paid it no interest, nor did I think about the issues I may have been causing myself in the future for not looking after my health.  I was simply living in the moment and slowly killing myself.  Sadly this continued after I met my wife and we had 4 beautiful children.  Whilst we had on occasion tried to lose weight, it was not a successful.  This is simply due to the fact that we would lapse back into our old ways and put the weight back on.  For 20 years I had no regard for what was being put into my mouth (it tasted good so it is okay) or the obvious lack of movement (not even exercise, just movement) that I was doing.  Then we get into the obvious vicious cycle where we are to tired and lazy to move and it keeps getting worse.

If I look back at what has happened in the last 12 months, I am blown away by the changes, achievements and goals I am setting for myself.  This is a huge leap forward for me and my family.  I have been very fortunate that my awesome, supportive and loving wife has been along for the ride.  Between us we have dropped 70+ kilos in 12 months.  We have changed our attitudes towards a lot of things, diet/nutrition for all 6 of us (yes the kids eat most of what we eat), our outlook on exercise and the way in which we prioritise our weekends/holidays, so we still get exercise in.  Julie and I went to Sydney for a weekend for our wedding anniversary and proceeded to do a 12km walk from Maroubra to Bronte Beach because we could.  If we had went 12 months earlier we would have found the first pub and stayed until closing time or when we were kicked out, which ever was first.

I have mentioned previously about the support I have received from the 12WBT community and without this it would be a lot harder to succeed. Perhaps that is part of this issue with what we have done previously, we never had the external support.  I will say that my wife has been an amazingly supporting during this last 12 months and without her I would not have achieved half of what I have.  Thank you and I love you dearly.   I have also made some amazing friends and they keep me accountable on a daily basis.  Dayna and Bec are always there making Julie and I check in, training with us and spurring us on.  Dayna is responsible for getting me out to do my first fun run in February this year.  So I blame her for me now taking on crazy ideas like running a half marathon, which I did 8 weeks later.  I also thank her for making me get of my shrinking arse and DOING IT and proving to myself that I can and I am a runner.  Sadly that was the same day she injured herself, which she has not come back from.  Both Dayna and Bec are awesome friends and we are glad that we met you in Perth at our first finale.  Outside of the BFF’s, I have been fortunate enough to have a hugely supportive local group that we have found and bonded with.  My Western Suburbs Warriors are an amazing bunch of people.  Whether we get together to train or not we are all in each other’s corner everyday.  I thank you all for your ongoing support and I can’t wait until the group of us (8 or 9) smash out the Run Melbourne Half Marathon in 7 weeks.  What an achievement that will be and what a great bunch of people to share it with.  “Once a Warrior, Always a WARRIOR!!!”

Finally, I can’t talk about the support network without mentioning the wonderfully amazing people in cyberworld.  The facebook groups have been incredible.  Admittedly I have distanced myself unintentionally from the forums, but have found these groups amazing for pepping me up, giving me an opportunity to assist where I can but also just be astonished at the support.  I am fortunate enough to have made a number of awesome friends in here who keep me accountable and up the top of that list is Cathy Sheargold.  Besides being an inspiration herself, she keeps me on my toes.  She is always setting me challenges (thank god they are nothing like her and Miss McGee carry out) but the constant reminders and support are appreciated.  Sarah is another lady that keeps me going. She is the quiet assassin in my books.  Starting a new life in a new state has seen her become very quiet on social media but she is still there for the support and reminders and still amazes me with what she has achieved.  Finally we have the lovely Cocogirl.  Yes Kate, I couldn’t do this post without thanking you.  You have been amazing support for both Julie and I and we love you dearly.  It is awesome how it is only 3 months until we get to catch up each time.
The last part of this entire 12 months that has blown me away is this little blog.  I only started it due to the weekly surprise in week 2 of my first round.  I was fortunate enough to be nominated for the weekly surprise and then have my blog put on the 12WBT facebook page.  Following on from that I was lucky enough to win the blogger award for the round and got to be on stage with Mich and 19 other amazing 12WBTers.  I have found the blog very therapeutic and have been fortunate enough to build up a few readers/followers, which I have been very grateful to meet at the finales.  Thank you for reading this and thank you for having my blog reach over 18,000 views in 12 months.  That has blown me away.

So with the light at the end of the tunnel clearly visible, what will my journey bring when I get to the opening and can see what the world has to offer?  Well this is yet to be determined as I have so many ideas about what I want to achieve, most of them around athletic achievements at the moment.  I have my 6 Ride to Conquer Cancer rides between August and November.  I have plans/dreams to take part in the Geelong Half Ironman triathlon in February 2014 but after that the world is my oyster.  I am still trying to work out where my new healthy outlook on life will take me from a personal sense though.  Will this mean a change in career?  I honestly have no idea.  There are a lot of PT’s out there at the moment and it is a tough market.  Not sure I want to go down that path, but there is a lot to ponder over the next 12 months before my 2nd Fitaversary.