Wednesday, October 28

The Bridge between Inspiration & Action

"You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place ? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know." -- René Daumal.

The words accompanying the picture are: "Challenge: Winners must have two things; definite goals and a burning to desire to achieve them."

To be frank, at the moment I have no definite goals and there's no burning desire to achieve them. It's a total turnaround to the last 18 months. Don't get me wrong, I still have goals, but they seem to be floating around in my head, with no definite direction. Nothing too concerning...just a phase I've realised. I'm happy toying with alot of ideas for the moment.

I think I'm just tired, ready for a break from pushing myself relentlessly. My body is in need of some TLC and it's time to capitalise on this time of rehabilitation and recuperation. I'm not too sure exactly what I'm going to do for the remainder of the year. What I do know is that I want to give myself some time to just chill, have a little fun and sought of go with the flow for the next couple of months. I keep thinking back to a recent post of LizN's, where she talks about not actually planning anything and feeling good about it. I think that's where I'm at.

I know that I still need to keep control of my eating, and in the exercise department I need to challenge myself enough to get the heart rate up, to prevent myself turning into a blimp, so that's why I've decided to do a bit more swimming for now to give my body a break. I've accepted that I'm not going to be as lean as I've been, however, I need to determine a safe limit as far as weight is concerned. I don't want to lose what I've trained so hard to achieve. And I don't want to use this period as an excuse to turn into a fat slob again.

So, I'm going to get back on track nutritionally, but I'm not going to get anal about it. I'm going to approach my fitness on a week-by-week basis, until my body is feeling a little stronger (especially the RHS) and I've eliminated the tension in my muscles, and fatigue I'm still experiencing.

Meanwhile, I'm going to think about what it is that I really want next year, in relation to my fitness goals, and what path I'm going to take to reach those goals. I'm still going to return to martial arts and possibly Crossfit, depending on whether my body tells me I'm ready, but until I return to these things on a regular basis, I'm not going to set any firm goals. Not this year anyway.

All that talk about putting on the 'Wonder Woman' training wheels is just Well, for now anyway. It's only a matter of time. I'll keep dreaming and pondering about what it is that I want to achieve, and I know that eventually, once I've set those definite goals that the burning desire that I've had, will return.

I'm still excited by the possibilities. I feel different somehow. It's as the first quote says..."One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen". You could say, that I've descended. It's time to rebuild, renew and once done, then refocus, set another major goal, and ready myself to ascend the next mountain and reach the next summit. Once you've set a goal and achieved it, you're no longer the same person. In that achieving, there's a great sense of peace and contentment. You know what can be done, and so you set forth to scale the next mountain, metaphorically speaking.

On another note, it's nice to be back doing some mentoring for Ideal Bodies Online. It's funny how things work out sometimes. The clients I'm currently working with I feel I can really help in relation to injuries and rehabilitation. Having 'been there, done that', it feels good to know that I can genuinely be of assistance and help them to understand that with patience and perserverance that you can overcome and go on to achieve your goals. Giving hope is so very satisfying.

In's great to be reading about how everyone is pushing themselves and motivated! I will continue to draw inspiration from all of you meanwhile. So...TRAIN HARD!, but remember to stop occasionally; take a breath; take time to reflect and remember where you've come from, and be proud of yourselves! :)

Monday, October 26

Back to Rehabilitation Mode

Last night I was in bed at 7:45pm. It was my first army weekend back, since Kapooka. To say that I was shagged was an understatement. I haven't done any formal exercise since coming back. My physio, as I've said earlier in the week has given me strict instructions not to run, and that I should ease back into exercise over the next 2-4 weeks, before resuming the level of exercise I was at 6 or so weeks ago.

Little did I know that while I've been away, we've had a temporary officer doing our PT sessions. So we've had PT every time we've paraded (worked), which is great! Saturday morning we did a circuit and I was so sore on Sunday with some serious quad DOMS. I didn't do the running part of the circuit, but we did lunges, push presses, lat something-or-other, tricep dips, step-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, push-ups, weighted punches, ab twists with medicine ball, and tyre lifts/squats. I was stuffed afterwards, but felt great that I finally did some serious exercise.

Anyway...we rocked up for another morning PT session on Sunday, before starting our normal army stuff. On the agenda...touch football and soccer, after a slow jog (for me) to warm up. I did say NO RUNNING, but somehow during the course of the morning I had to run. I was quite enjoying it all. My mucles was very sore and still tight-as, but I managed to get through it all without any niggles. That was until our slow jog back to our unit...felt a sharp pain course through my groin and I had to drop to the side and walk the rest of the way back to the unit...F*&K! So the rest of the day was a real struggle, because if I walked too fast or tried to lift anything I'd get this damned sharp pain up through the groin into the base, and up through my pelvic muscles. So I'll be ringing my physio this morning. He will not be very happy! I know exactly was he's going to say...too much too ja vu!

So yesterday we finished work early and AW picked me up to go to a 3yr old birthday party. I managed to get through it okay and felt fine, though very tired. However...I was so sore and stiff, it was a struggle walking up the hill to the front door of the birthday got home about 6pm and I just flopped onto the recliner, and that's where I remained until I got up to go to bed at 7:45pm, because I'd fallen asleep.

So I woke up this morning to find Miss Phil in bed, and I was very sore and sorry indeed! It even hurts to bend over...ouch!

I'm not upset or angry, or even frustrated. I've been through this all before, but I know that this time, it won't take me long to get back on track and resume my fitness regime. Then, and only then, will I reset my goals for the new year. I anticipate I will be in basic rehabilitation and fitness mode until the end of the year, slowly building my fitness.

I realised I went too hard too soon, and I will have to opt out of PT altogether until my body is up to par. I can't do things in halves, so I might as well just say NO, rather than risk further injury. So it's back to the drawing board, and there won't be any martial arts or crossfit until I can eliminate the muscle imbalances and overcompensating responses. I will have to be very strict on the nutrition side and I think I will have to get in the pool and swim to get the heart rate up, until I can resume my normal exercise activities. I've put on weight and it's around the tummy, where it always goes first. Nothing major at this stage, but I'm feeling very soft and the warning bells are starting to go off, so I have to get things in order and get on top of these injuries quickly.

So there's no definite plans ATM, just concentrating on doing alot of stretching (after I know the diagnosis on my groin strain), physio isolation exercises, gentle walking and swimming. And it's our annual beach holiday in 4 weeks and I don't want to be flabby to get into my new monobikini (which I haven't bought yet). So from here it's head down and bum up!

Thursday, October 22

Delusions of Grandeur

"Creative people are often accused of having delusions of
grandeur, often by people with delusions of adequacy."
Source: 'a Thousand Paths to Creativity' by David Baird

It's nearly two weeks now since returning from Kapooka. I've been in recovery mode, or so I've been telling myself. Who am I kidding? Hell...I know how to work hard, but I have no problem chilaxing. My exercise has been non-existent and I've steadily been eating more crap. I've been eating everything in sight! And ya know?...I'm not stressed about it.'s time to move on and upward again.

I've been pondering this - why I haven't found the motivation to start training and watching my diet. Actually, It's not that I haven't found the motivation - I just haven't started looking. The last 12 months I've been so damned focused and motivated...hell, my shit didn't even stink!

The last 12 months has just been about overcoming my injuries, getting fit again, and training specifically for Kapooka. My life revolved around this to get me to Kapooka and get through it. it's complete, where do I go from here?

I need to set a another major goal to keep the motivation and focus high.

I've revisited my goals, first just my maintenance goals, and then my 2009 goals. And what I've found is that Kapooka took so much out of me, that I think at this stage, it would be detrimental to set any major goals for the remainder of the year.

After a visit to my physio, it's back to basics and getting myself back to pre-Kapooka strength and fitness levels before taking it to the next level. I lost so much strength and those muscle weaknesses which I've been working on for over 12 months, have resurfaced, as I had very little opportunity to do any separate rehabilitative exercises while away. We're (my physio and I) hoping that it's only a muscle memory lapse, and that after a week, my muscles will remember my pre-Kapooka state, and respond accordingly. I'm confident this is the case. running for a min. of 2 to 4 weeks, and it's back to stretches, physio isolation and activation exercises. Firstly for my RHS glute, which is the primary cause, and then my hamstrings, and abs/core. The weakness in my RHS glute is seriously affecting the equalibrium. So until I address this first, my body can't function correctly.

All this means that I can't return to Crossfit training at 100% for at least a month. I'll be starting back martial arts training next week, as Wing Chun isn't physically demanding, and I'll have to slowly ease back into CF, probably with quite a bit of modification. I'm hoping at least that the strength training part of CF will do me good, especially regaining my core strength and stability.

Doesn't sound so exciting does it? But ya, I am feeling excited again (as I listen to my latest find and motivational music...Hilltop Hoods...thanks to Corporal B for the intro).

I'm excited, because I've come a hell of long way. I know what I've been through to get here, and how hard I've worked. I've achieved quite a bit in 12 months and even though I felt like shit at Kapooka, on reflection, I'm proud of myself for getting through it and not quitting. Alot of people wouldn't have, couldn't have got through it - but I did! I now know that when it comes down to it, I can do anything I want to, regardless of the fear or pain I'm feeling. I can push myself to the limit, mentally and physically and know that I'll come through it. And anything from here on in is easy. If anything, Kapooka was worth the pain, just for that one insight alone.

So the motivation is back! Today is a new day...time to go COLD TURKEY!

I'm pumped...ready to take on the world. It's time to get serious again - time to put on my Wonder Woman training wheels. Time to enter my fantasy world again where I'm a lean, mean, fighting machine, and I'm taking on the baddies. I'm kickin' butt, saving the world, fighting for world peace and justice, and looking mighty damned fine while I'm doin' it!

How's that for delusions of grandeur? :P Feel free to join me! :)

Monday, October 19

The Great Equaliser

"What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him." - Victor Frankl

I've been catching up on blogs, facebook, etc, and apparently there's been some interesting debates taking place while I've been gone. The word suffering sprang to mind, because something I've noticed and I've been contemplating about is, that regardless of our backgrounds, race, colour, creed or standing in society, we all will pretty much at some stage in our lives suffer in some way, shape or form. Some people seem to suffer more or less, depending on the event/s or circumstances, however, we will all experience this throughout our lives. That's why I believe that Suffering is the great equaliser.

During my time in Kapooka, we all experienced what I call universal suffering. It was interesting to read and hear about some recruits' particular experiences, and that everybody was suffering to some degree...some more quietly than others. It was that fact that everybody was suffering together, that gave us as a 'group', the will and determination to persevere.

It was also interesting to see different personalities at play, and people's weaknesses (as well as strengths). Some people's weaknesses were made more apparent than others, and therefore they were made subject to more ridicule, by fellow recruits as well as platoon staff.

There was a lot of judgement taking place, and again, an interesting observation - the strongest judgements were held by the youngest members of the platoon. The older, more mature members (mostly) went about their actions quietly and with much less fuss. It brings to mind a saying by Lao Tsu..."he who knows does not speak, he who speaks does not know". As one of the mature (he..he..he..) members of the platoon it was a revelation to find that as I get older, that I am becoming less judgemental of people and more accepting and curious of their individual lives and consequences. It doesn't mean I don't judge, just that it's happening less and less.

However, the most interesting development, especially in the last days of the course and since returning, was the transition from non-acceptance to one of acceptance of fellow recruits. In the end, regardless of who you are as a person and your perceived weaknesses, you can't take away that experience of universal suffering, and you can not help but empathise with the struggle of persevering.

Which brings me to my observations in blogland...the tension that sometimes seems apparent is actually necessary and healthy. That tension I believe to some degree, is the striving and struggling in our lives for the "call of potential meaning, waiting to be fulfilled". And unless we've experienced the struggles, how are we to know what we are capable of; what our call of potential is, and whether our lives are genuinely fulfilling?

Does it really matter what the next person does, or how and what they experience, and that their experience is different to ours?....because in the end, that's all it is...different. And allowing ourselves to empathise and connect with another's point of view, another person's striving, struggling, differences, weaknesses and strengths, allows us to grow and experience life in a richer, more meaningful and vivid sense, and makes us more complete as human beings. However in saying that, I must emphasise that what people do should also be tempered with a sense of what is right and wrong.

Friday, October 16

Post Kapooka Adjustments

Last night was the first night that I didn't completely dream about being at Kapooka. Since Sunday night, I've been waking up every morning being very confused and disorientated, thinking I'm in Kapooka. I wake up with the need to be dressed correctly in my cams and look down to find I'm in my PJ'S and for a few seconds have gone into a tizzy, until I realise I'm back at home.

It probably didn't help that I watched 'Band of Brothers' series either last night. It was recommended as a good watch while we were down there, and I watched parts 1 and 2. I quite enjoyed it, so I'll be checking out parts 3 and 4 tonight.

The last couple of days I'm been unwell. It's amazing how the body responds to stress. A whole month with full vaccinations including the flu vaccine, plus being pushed to your physical and mental limits every day, and being exposed to weather extremes, and I did not get sick. I think I sneezed about twice, and did have the sniffles, mainly from the cold. Apart from that...nothing! I get home, the body relaxes and decides to have a delayed stress response! I haven't got the flu, but I've got a cold, sore throat, my head has been pounding and I feel like I've done 10 rounds with Muhammid Ali, I've been so exhausted.

I've posted some pics above. The second one is dinner on Sunday night. My wonderful husband cooked dinner...Beef Cannelloni...yummmo! He even bought some wine (which I rarely drink) for us. For me, it has to be Brown Brothers, and it's usually Moscato. I polished off the bottle over two nights. I went to take the photo and he said that if he knew I was going to take a photo, he would have dressed the table to look much better. Coming from a hospitality background, he's very particular about this. I didn't care. I just thought it was great that he went to so much trouble for me. It was a lovely way to end my day, and the last four weeks.

Photo 3 is just me doing a semi-bicep pose (I didn't flex them completely). I'm sure my biceps are bigger since returning. There was alot of upper body work during the month, and carrying rifles and guns around all day I'm sure gave me my own set of big guns. Apparently my calves are bigger too, according my massage therapist, who gave me a fully body massage on Tuesday night...ahhhhh... He said I looked like I'd 'beefed up'....ha..ha..ha..

And the last photo I took this morning. The nail off my big toe finally came off. My poor feet! They took a battering, not to mention my hands. Though everybody had extremely sore and ravaged hands and fingers by the end of the 4 weeks. No blisters of any description, as I made sure I took my worn-in boots down with me.

I should get my official photos from Kapooka today, so I'll scan them and I may post one up (just added it no.1). Though the photos were taken when we got back from the bush, so we're all dirty, smelly, and covered in cam paint.

Anyway...that's about it. On the food front it's been a little mixed. I couldn't wait to get back to my oats and cottage cheese for breakfast. I haven't quite got back up to my 5-6 meals per day, but I should be back to my normal diet by the end of the week. I ended up losing weight while away. You wouldn't think so, considering the amount of food we tucked away, though only eating 3 meals a day, with about 15-20 mins to line up, eat and get back , we would basically 'inhale' our food to get it all down. You just ate whatever there was, because you would be so damned hungry. There was no room to be choosy about your meals.

Training-wise, I'm having a break. I probably won't be back to a normal exercise week for at least another week and a bit. I had to put off seeing my physio until Tuesday next week, so we'll see how we go from there. I've also got so much to organise here at home on the domestic front as well as organising finances, paperwork, etc. My poor garden is barely alive and the house looks like it's been hit by a bomb!

Apart from the dreams, I've had no major problems re-integrating back into my normal life. The first couple of days was a bit surreal, but nothing too worrying. Once everything settles down, then I'll be re-assessing my goals. They won't be changing that much, but now I have a more clear idea about what I want to achieve as far as my own personal fitness level goes. I'm excited about where the next 12 months will lead.

And lastly, I just wanted to say hallo to Dewayne Heal (though he probably won't be reading this). He competes as a bodybuilder in the teenage division. He competes in both the ANB and INBA, and I hope to catch up with him during future competitions. He was hard to miss and got the nick name 'Big Unit' from our female PT instructor. A lovely, down-to-earth, all-round nice guy, I've attached a link to his profile.

Well time to say ciao ! Back to my motherly duties and time for meal 2, i.e. morning tea. Ahhhh...what a wonderful life I have! Have a great weekend all, and good luck to all those competing in Olympia.

Monday, October 12

I'm Back...will talk soon...

Just a quick to let you know I'm back. It will probably take a week to catch up on everything. Kristin...had a squizzie at your comp pics. Loved them! You looked fantastic girl, and you should be mighty proud of your achievements. I will fill you in on my recent experiences. Definitely life changing. It's going to take a while to assimilate all the info and return to normal 'civvie' life again. Talk soon...ciao for now...

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