Don’t take your ablity to exercise for granted

This past week has been a busy one for me work wise. At work we host the annual asia-pacific workshops for the IB, this year saw about 380 people attend.

My role is the ICT/AV lead and logistics co-coordinator, I get advised of the number of people attending and I have to allocate classrooms and ensure that each room is equipped to meet the needs of the workshop leader. I’m also responsible to ensure everyone can connect to our wireless network. Not always an easy job when you deal with locked down networks!

As always we have a few challenges and not everything goes to plan. Set up day was Tuesday with the workshops running Wednesday – Friday.
I was very mentally and physically active covering between 7-10km per day.
After being so busy and dedicated to supporting others I wanted to be totally selfish this weekend and was trying to work out what to do.

Today was one of my first “missed goal” days, I had planned to ride in a charity bike ride known as “The Big Red Ride” a ride from Glengelg to Outter Harbour, a distance of about 48km. Due to various reasons my training for this was off and I failed to register as I wasn’t ready.

So I’ve set myself new goals some very short term and some mid term goals.

Today I road from Haybrough “a suburb of Victor Harbour” to The Bluf, round trip it’s about 20km.

Tomorrow I plan to cycle from Harbough to Goolwa. I initially planned to do this as a straight road ride but I’m still building my confidence for on road riding and a large chunk of the ride the speed  limit is 80-100km. I’m not  familiar with traffic passing at 50/60 so was going to let that idea go too. I mentioned this concern to a work colleague yesterday and he mentioned that there is a bikeway part off road/shared/ on road that covers the same journey.

So that’s the plan tomorrow is to cycle one way, evaluate how I feel and either cycle back or catch the Steamranger train back

One way the journey is around 20km. So if I do return I’ll cover 60km for the weekend which will mean based on distance I’ll exceed the ride I didn’t make today.

The beauty of doing it “my way” is I get to pace it and can rest/stop whenever I please.

I’ve bought a second drink bottle cage for my bike and a new insulated drink bottle, so I’ll always stay well hydrated.

When I got back to my overnight accommodation today after my 20km ride I felt really good. Last time I tried to cycle in this area I really struggled. It’s  testament to the hard work I’ve put in the past year and the fact I’m now at a fitness level I’ve not had probably since my teens.

One thing I’m determined to achieve is to push forward and look into the future and where possible not look back too much in the past.

I recently had some counseling and about half an hour in I thought to myself “why am I here” we are talking about things I’ve moved past and talking about them isn’t going to help. Sure there are some things at the time I should have dealt with better and some things I would have done differently but the past is the past.

While it can be important to remember where you’ve come from, leaving the past in the past is also important.

Jumping topics again I’m trying to motivate a few people plus I take inspiration from a number of other people and sources too.

One of the best tweets I saw of last week is “don’t take your ability to exercise for granted” This little saying means so much to me, not only due to the set backs from last year but a reminder that not everyone affords themselves the time to get out and be active. I was thinking as I woke today that my plans for this weekly largely revolved around me getting out and exercising. Go back  a couple of years and you couldn’t get me out of bed before noon on a weekend.

Today as I cycled back enjoying a tail wind I looked around and felt to a certain extent in touch with nature. To the right I had the beach and the sea and while there was plenty of man made things to see, feeling the breeze and being out in daylight was just brilliant.

Mainly for safety I don’t cycling to music, and when I walk depending on where it is, is if I listen to music or not.

When I’m walking around my neighborhood I generally do listen to music, but when there are new surroundings or particularly on a beach walk I like to “connect” with the environment around me. Particularly on a beach walk I love to hear the sound of waves breaking on the beach. I have my Physio to thank for suggesting the “no music” as she likes to be in tune with nature.

I guess the thing I really enjoy on walks/rides is the lack of outside noises, I’m not listening to the noise of my car’s engine and I’m also traveling slower. It gives me a greater chance to take note of my environment. I find that during the week I walk around almost with blinkers on, oblivious to the outside world and surrounds and taking a moment to see what surrounds you. It’s this greater appreciation for the world around and the ability of being able to so freely exercise is something that I hold near and dear to me and encourage you to do the same.

So while I’m loving the fact that I can so easily get out and about, I will never take my ability to exercise for granted and I again encourage you to not take it for granted either.




On your mark….. set…. we’re swimming!

So over the past couple of months I’ve started to swim again.

Not very well I might add, but you have to start somewhere.

At the SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre where I hold a membership, I’ve done a couple of their stroke correction classes. Over the weekend  the centre posted an offer on their Facebook page about free one on one stroke correction for members.

It turns out the general manager Adam Luscome is giving back to the community and members and providing up to an hour of instruction free of charge.

Now this initiative isn’t just Adam getting the staff to provide services to members he’s doing the instruction himself. Adam is a highly successful and qualified general manager, he’s also very experienced when it comes to swim coaching, up to very high elite level.

Now I’m having all sorts of issues trying to do freestyle and backstroke, but Adam was one of the most amazing people I’ve had the opportunity to work with.

I expect at most I’ll get an hour of his time, the tips and pointers he has provided has been great. Each time he spoke to me I was concentrating, listening and taking in everything he said. This was a very rare and unique opportunity, I sure as hell was going to take full advantage of it.

He even videoed part of my swim and plans to email through some video analysis back to me.

Swimming is big on technique and I have loads to do an learn. But even though I’m still getting my breath back as I type this it’s partly due to the physical  exertion it’s also from the massive adrenaline high I’ve given myself.

What a great opportunity and one I am so glad I embraced!

Goal setting

So yesterday afternoon I had my first PT session for the year.

Today I’m proud at what I achieved but I’m incredibly sore.

It’s always been about pushing my body to see what we can achieve and yesterday was no exception.

Because of how debilitating the ankle injury of last year was I’m taking great delight in having complete free movement. As a result for some weird reason I’m now looking to jog and run. I was on the treadmill at the gym a couple of days ago and I wanted to ramp up my endurance training.

It was especially important to me as I’d spent the past couple of days driving back from Sydney and while I had to stay focused on driving I wasn’t able to do any structured exercise.

So with the treadmill I started at a base speed of 5.5km./hr then peaked at 3x 2Mins at 9km/hr. Now I’ve never felt comfortable on a treadmill, until really yesterday. I had my phone plugged into the treadmill playing music and supposedly recording nike+ data.

The music was on pace with my stride and it all came together. In the past I’ve looked down when on the treadmill, when you get up to 9km/hr you have to look straight ahead otherwise you’ll face butt the deck.

So I was thrilled with that and finished off with a few laps.Back to goal setting. I start this year so much stronger and fitter than last year. without major injury this year it’s going to be really interesting to see what I achieve with the team.

Initially I had planned to do a charity bike ride mid January “The Big Bed Ride” but it’s around 50kms the weekend of the biggest week at work for me for the year.

While I could probably complete the 50km ride, there is a high chance that I’ll pull up sore and it could negatively impact my ability to work. There is also a concern that once registered I have to compete, also the weather could be very hot and due to recent hydration issues I’m not prepared to risk it.

As a result I will maintain the goal of riding 50km in January but I will do it by myself instead of with a group pack.

In 2013 I aim to register as a 12km runner in the City Bay Fun Run, the question will be just how much of the course I run/jog/walk.

I have also been lap swimming a bit, this requires most of my effort as I’m very poor at it.

What this all comes down to is that over the next year or two I will be looking to complete in a tr-athlon. It’s a big goal but with gradual increases in training I’m sure I’ll get there.

I gave my PT time frame of 2 years for preparation, he thinks we may do it in a year. the main issue is that they are only held in summer.

I’m not worried I’m just so happy to be pain free and have free movement in my body and look forward to the year ahead regardless of what it holds.

2012 was a good year

I think I posted about this a few week ago, but I thought it worth while mainly for my own benefit to write again.

A good mate of mine Leigh mentioned me in one of his blog posts that Ian’s had an interesting year in the proverbial sense. It got me thinking was 2012 actually really that bad?

2012 for me started on a cruise ship in New Zealand and the year started off strong, I’d lost weight, found new levels of fitness.

Then all of a sudden my left ankle became a bit sore. Being the stubborn male I pushed through the pain until I had to limp out of a aqua class in severe pain.

My Physio treated it as a mild ligament sprain, but after a number of weeks and x-ray & ultra sound it was getting worse.

It was when my physio said I needed to go onto crutches alarm bells started to ring. Now I’m not going to write more about my ankle as that is now well and truly in the past and I’m at a point where I’ve moved past that.

All I’m wanting to do is say that despite the crap I went through with mis-diagnosis and then the change of specialist and the late surgical intervention. The run up and recovery from surgery was brutal.

Despite going into a fairly heavy depression when I had no idea what was going on with me and no idea of the path forward after the change in surgeon that all came together.

Through the post op rehab I had a couple of set backs and at one point I was almost inconsolable when I “lost it” when I got so totally frustrated at  my lack of ability to do the most simple exercises.

This is where I set the the goal of doing the 6km walk in the City Bay Fun Run.

Again I had set backs and my Physio was quite concerned about my ability to do the 6km. A month out from the race my surgeon was ready to pen paperwork saying I was medically unfit and I was still only part-time at work.

After two incredibly painful coritzon injections within 5 weeks, like a switch the pain was gone.

With additional help from my Physio my rehab continued to the point now where I completed the 6km walk and have moved onto other goals.

After the City Bay I felt lost I had no idea or concept of what lay ahead and I desperately needed to goal set.

A recent friend posted how she had climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge and I have an overseas holiday  booked at the end of March 2013 and at that stage had no plans for Christmas.

I caught up with my GP and he was very keen for me to climb and signed the medical clearance paperwork.

Everything was going along fine until gastro hit out household.

Despite being very careful and doing almost everything I knew to do (Hydrolight, good nutrician etc) I became so dehydrated I was hospitalized.

A week out from the trip and I was gravely ill in hospital, to me it seemed unimaginable that driving to Sydney and climbing the bridge would happen.

The Saturday of what would be the week before we were due to leave I presented to the Emergency Department and began treatment. Saturday night I returned home to rest. By late on the Sunday I felt exhausted and weak and my body had started to shut down.

On the Monday morning I re-presented to the hospital and knew this time I was going to be in for a few days.

Unfortunately I was right. On the Tuesday morning after having a hellish night in hospital the nurse said that if I didn’t pick up my lunch time I was headed for a whole pile of scans as they were very worried about me.

Thankfully my body started to behave and while I didn’t need scans I was being very carefully monitored.

On the Tuesday I caught up with my doctor and he told me that discharge was going to be either tomorrow, but more likely Thursday.

I got my hopes up and it was quite disappointing when discharge was held back to Thursday. It was quite the bumpy ride and waiting the extra day was very much worthwhile.

On the Friday morning I visited my GP for advise as I was only 24 hour away from a big drive and I didn’t feel well enough.

I had an injection which I was told would help and my GP was keen an eager for me to continue as planned (I initially didn’t share his optimism)

Finally worked out that I was safe enough to travel and that I would write off the first couple of days in Sydney as rest days (turns out this wasn’t such a bad thing as the weather was terrible)

Did a number of things, but the stand out was the Bridge Climb and standing on the top arch of the bridge with only a harness holding me on, free to move around not behind a barrier was just amazing.

The climb I did is known as “The Bridge Climb” a climb of some 1,332 steps.

When I realized I made it to the top it really did validate to me that I had achieved everything and more that I set out for myself in 2012.

I feel blessed that I have such an experienced and dedicated medical team. The injury saw me meet and consult with a Physio I hadn’t previously seen and her treatment advise and support through out the year has been invaluable.

My personal trainers have and continue to be outstanding in their support and dedication to my goals.

My dietician has been a great help, particularly in some 11th hour advise of how to deal with the holiday and “getting back to normal”

I learnt a heck of a lot in 2012 and from that it was a good year.

I start 2013 without injury and today I’ve just upped the anti again with my interval training.

While 2012 was a good year, if I can avoid seriously injury I just wonder what the heck I’ll achieve this year as looking back 2012 was quite a year of achievements.

It’s going to be quite something looking back over this year to see what my team and I have managed to get my body to do 🙂