Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I know

Completely my second Round the Bays and according to Mark I did not moan like I did in 2012. Well done me! Apparently, I was already moaning 1km into the walk last year “ugh my legs”, “ugh the scooters”, ugh the teeny hill”. We only improved our time by 4 minutes however the first 2km were tough as there were just so many people walking. I know that I am fitter despite not having walked a lot.

The thing that still bugs me is the scooters. Then I realised that this is a family event and 8.5km is a long way for younger children to walk…so I got over my ‘anti-scooter’ stance.

On Sunday we I did the Coatesville Classic 8K and it is the first time that I have done this event. It was 8km and it was quite pretty. It ended up raining quite hard near the end and I looked like a ‘bedraggled-Ness’; I basically struggle to peel off my leggings when I got home. We go to walk through Dotcom Mansion which was a bit different. I was quite pleased with my time of 1:33. Saw Jan from MMNZ which was really nice and she walked over the finish line with me.

Raewyn has suggested that from now on in I register as a runner and then run a bit/walk a bit when I do my events. This also means that I need to start doing the Couch to 5K on the Treadmill at the gym.

This weekend is The Dual on Motutapu….I am FREAKING OUT. Raewyn pointed out that this is really because last year I did not know what to expect and this year I do. I figure it is only 3 hours of my life so now I am just crossing my fingers/toes that it is not ridiculously hot otherwise I will be a ‘Melty-Ness’.

When I was seeing a personal trainer I would constantly annoy her by saying “I know” when I was finding things hard or she was trying to tell me how to do a particular exercise. She used to pull me up on it constantly and explained that it was quite infuriating and upsetting when she was just trying to help. During our Shake Up sessions I realised that I did not say “I know” the whole time we were training. I did not say it when we did the stairs for 10 minutes, or continuous boxing, or walking up the hills backwards or bear crawls etc. I just said “really” and put my game face on and got stuck in. Apparently, I was mostly smiling as well. I cannot wait to start our Shake Up’s again!! I miss Delane and the girls.

What I will say is that if you are struggling to find motivation then just start; do not wait for it. Organise to do your exercise with friends and pick them up on the way. Knowing that I was carpooling with Lesley twice a week made me get out of bed no matter how much I wanted to pull the covers over my head.

As Nike says…Just Do It!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Believe, Belong, Become

Support is absolutely invaluable if you are going through tough times. A co-worker acknowledged the other day that I have had it tougher because I am only child and I have to agree with that. That is not to say that I have not had the support of my amazing family and extended family. Sorry guys…I internalise A LOT! I think that it is because I need time to process things by myself. All your offers of help did not go unnoticed; however it was easier to soldier on, on a daily basis.

I truly believe that friends are the family that we choose for ourselves. The support from them has been absolutely invaluable especially when I lost the plot. They were there to help me get back on track after a massive rant or meltdown. These friends (you know who you are) are people that I have known for over 20 years and some that I have only known for a short time. You are all so very special to me and you were the first people that I told about my dad.

To the MotivateMe NZ crew
Where do I start? Seriously, I wish I had found you when my dad first got sick. When people ask me if I'm doing ok and I say "yes" they seem dubious. However, when they ask the first thing that actually comes to mind is MMNZ. The reason for this is the support, motivation and strength that these women provide.

They give this to others without hesitation and often without even knowing them in person. When Makaia enabled me to join Delane and the Waitakere girls (Liz, Kiri, Steph and Lesley) for the last fortnight of the Summer Shake Up I realised that this group got me through some of my toughest moments. This training meant that I focused more on physical pain (figuratively) rather than the huge emotional pain that was threatening to pull me under. Every week there was something to focus on and strive toward; walk faster at Albany, try Ludas Magnas (despite being scared), keep walking the stairs at Shake Ups and trying a full push-up.

What really blew me away were some comments after the second Albany Walk (when I wanted to cry; it was the first event I had done since my dad died). Tracy mentioned that she was absolutely inspired by Ronnie and I and that actually stunned me. Here is this gorgeous, strong, fit woman saying that I was a person that inspired her. It was really humbling to read. I never thought that I would inspire anyone…ever.

“So many times in my life I have felt like you did today and instead of continuing I have sat down and cried and then just walked away. I am slowly learning to just keep going because finishing is always a better feeling than not, even if it is hard and it sucks. Next time I want to sit down and cry you are going to be my inspiration to keep going”

To Ronnie; you are amazing. You inspire me daily to be a better person and to take each day it comes. I am so, so glad that I met you at the first Albany walk; you were the reason that I joined MMNZ.

To Delane; you are the most incredible, warm, motivated person I have ever had the pleasure of training with. You care about fitness and health so much without being focused on weight-loss. You never yelled and you pushed me to my absolute limits and beyond. I cannot wait to train more with you and the girls. 

To Kiri, Liz, Steph and Lesley; thank you so much for being part of an awesome group. You some of the strongest, most focused women I have ever met. When I am feeling tired I just look to all of you for strength and keep going! Training as a group is so much more fun that struggling along alone and we are getting stronger together.

For me MMNZ is so much more than just cleaning eating and exercise. I truly Believe that I do Belong to something incredible and I cannot wait to continue my journey to Becoming the woman that I am meant to be and the woman that my dad would be even more proud of.

Thank you all.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Being strong for you

I want you to know that I was strong and I think that wherever you are; you know that.

In August last year when the doctors discovered melanoma cells in your lung fluid I knew that all our lives would never be the same. We were heartbroken because you had finally been given a date for your heart surgery which meant your hip replacement could follow. The melanoma diagnosis meant that none of these restorative operations could take place.

I knew that week, that I would write your life story with you, and I read it at your service. I finally realised that this was my time to honour you. We were told to plan for a month and if we got more; that would be a bonus.

After that first month I got complacent and stopped making notes for your life story. I should have kept writing things down. You told me so many stories about your life that I did not know and showed me the 100’s of pages of writing about your life. I knew I would use some of these stories.

I wish I had spent more time with you in the months leading up to your death. What I have realised that the worst thing about sudden death is regret. I believe that regret comes from feeling like you did not spend enough time with that person or say the things that you wanted to say or even love them enough. At least we had some time with you to celebrate your life.

I was not there when you passed away and I only missed your last breath by about 2 minutes. For a brief moment I felt regret and then Mark said that perhaps you had not wanted me to see you slip away. I think Mark is right.

That first night I managed to phone a lot of people to let them know that you had died. I did not cry. Then we started to organise your funeral as we had mere days to get things sorted. I am glad that I went and saw funeral homes when you were still alive as it made it slightly easier. We chose photos, readings, music, a celebrant, and flowers and somehow managed to pull everything together.

We were able to spend time with you the day before the funeral and I realised that while you looked ‘at peace’ you did not look like the ‘you’. I held your hands as they were the same and felt comforted.

I still had not really written your life story.

The day before the funeral I was starting to get a bit stressed. I am a procrastinator and I could not believe that I had not really started writing and also that I had not written it with you. That evening I started to feel ridiculous sick (it was possibly stress and sugar-overload) and had to have a sleep. I got up and still felt terrible and Mark told me that I had to write for an hour; which I did. Then I read the life story and knew that it was not even close to being finished. Suffice to say we were still writing/re-writing and proofing in the morning.

At your funeral when I stood to speak I did not know how it would go. I dug deep into my heart and soul and found the strength. I think I spoke with conviction, with strength and I honoured your life. I did not cry. The moment I started to waiver I looked to Mark for strength; he was crying. I turned and looked to my mother and she was smiling and she gave me the strength to continue.

On the night of the funeral, when I was alone in the dark my strength fell away. I held your photo close and wept until sleep finally found me. The following night I curled up with your jersey that still smelt of you and had your hair on it and wept some more. The cats curled around me to lend their warmth and support.
The other day when I was really struggling emotionally during a walk and felt that I wanted to just flop down on the ground and continue bawling I thought about you and then I dug deep to find the strength to continue. I did just that and then unbelievably it rained. So I guess for me the rain that day was like you being there giving me strength to push through the emotional wall. Neither of us subscribe to a religion so I will choose to believe that you are all around me in nature; supporting me on the rest of my journey through life.

There were people that kept me sane when you got sick and then when you died. Mark, Rachel and Julia put up with me when I was ranting about things. They kept their cool until I got a grip and could see clearly. Other close friends added their strength and also the MotivateMe NZ women were amazing without even knowing how much support they gave me during this time; they need a separate blog.

I have refrained from writing this out of respect for you and our family during the last 6 months. It was really tough as I am a writer and writing is how I process things that I am dealing with.

I miss you every day. I miss your voice. I miss your touch. I miss your strength and courage. I feel like a huge part of heart has been ripped out and will never been replaced.

I read this blog the other day, it is amazing and it made me think of you. 

This is the Hollie Smith’s song ‘Bathe in the River’ is one that I wanted played at your funeral, however we chose music you loved instead.

My father was a loving man with an adventurous spirit and a brave heart.