For the love of Pinot!

It’s Friday (yay!) I had only half a day today because of the RDO deal.  Went to a Sass & Bide warehouse sale at lunchtime, got a little depressed about the fact that the only pair of jeans I could fit my leg into had a waistline the size of the Equator. So, in conclusion: they didn’t fit.  I have big legs, when Im fit and in shape they are “muscly” or “strong” but right now, their just a tad to far into the wobbly category to really be termed muscly.  But I have large, unfeminine legs, that is my lot in life, and as far as lots go, its probably not the worst thing, at least I can run up hills. Unfortunately, it makes the purchase of denim and absolute nightmare because I have a normal waistline (well.haha. I used to!).  So alas, I was unable to purchase a pair of Sass & Bide jeans at the bargain price of $30.  Oh well, the $30 went along way to satisfying my Pinot Noir craving so I’m happy to call it even.

I headed to the bottle shop not long after the warehouse experience.  The fact that one followed the other is purely coincidental, I had my eye on this bottle of Pinot for days now so it was always going to happen.  Some might say its a bit sad to be sitting at home with the washing machine on, blogging whilst sipping a glass of wine on a Friday night.  I call it sensible. Particularly when its been pouring with rain all afternoon. Besides, I don’t understand going out on a Friday night. If there’s any day that you are going to feel completely exhausted, and completely NOT feeling like going out, its going to be at the end of the work week after you ran through a hilly park at ridiculous hour of the morning! Saturday is surely the better choice for a night out? Plus, you don’t have to survive the night trying to feel attractive in the clothes you have been wearing at work ALL DAY, Pee-eew! I also thought it best to stay indoors tonight because I’m pretty sure I broke my hamstring today.  Plus, my upper body muscles are so sore to touch that the jostling in a crowded bar might actually be enough to cause me to pass out.

So yes, we did run this morning, Bec and I, no Lou as she had been busy until the early hours trying to chase away feuding drunk people from her front yard…or at least trying her best to be inconspicuous but alert to danger in case they decided to raid her house for no apparent reason in the midst of their fury, which also, I’m sure, was for no apparent reason.  So I can understand her reluctance to drag herself out of bed at 5:45am.

The run went well, except that I forgot to wear my fancy watch.  It is a heart rate monitor and GPS so it will map out the route, tell you how fast you went, how many calories you burned and you can also set a virtual running partner so that you can track your speed while you are actually running.  So cool. Definitely one of the highlights of my old job (it was a leaving gift).  There were some other highlights too, I met some wonderful people and I met some tossers (which, by definition would actually be a “lowlight”). And then I met some other people who are mostly nice but slip into the tosser category from time to time.  One of those nice tossers has been causing me much angst today for something that was said weeks ago, and I am affronted, appalled and angry. Call it a delayed reaction, possibly because despite my demeanour I do, most of the time try to assume the best of people first.  Which means that someone can really offend me and I don’t really feel offended until 3 weeks later, because at the point of offence, I was too busy telling myself that whatever they said probably just came out wrong. Again, oh well. I have my pinot and some dark chocolate so by the end of that I’ll have probably forgotten what I was offended about, or even that I was offended at all.  Here’s hoping.

The other thing I must try my best to forget this evening, is the fact that I bought the man whose existence may be the cause of life being the occasional misery that it is (I say “occasional” because I have too many lovely gorgeous friends who do their best to make my life non-miserable that I couldn’t possibly offend them by implying I’m always miserable despite their efforts.  And I’m not, so it was in fact, an accurate description), a birthday gift and left it on his doorstep. Its his birthday on Monday. I didnt plan it exactly.  Well, I did buy a card earlier in the week, but the card was going to go in the letterbox with no gift attached.  Only, he really likes Pinot too. And this Pinot is MUCH better than the one he drinks and for about the same cost…so I thought maybe he might like to know about it.  I did consider drinking the  bottle, steaming the label off and then putting the label in with the card, but then I thought he might think that was rude.  The intention wouldnt have been rude, I was merely trying to think of a way to be helpful and informative without being stalker-like. But I can see how that might be taken the wrong way. Now however, hours after leaving said gift on said doorstep, I am severely regretting my moment of generosity, feeling a little embarrassed…and also a little sad that in a moment of clear insanity, I parted with a really good bottle of wine.  It’s like lost time, I’m never getting that wine back. So for the third time tonight, oh well.  I’m sure he will enjoy it.  If he’s feeling generous he might even share it with his not-so-new lady friend who I’m positive is a lovely person but for obvious reasons, I just cannot bring myself to think of 100% favourably.  Mind you, if I ever came face to face with her, I’d like to think I would slap on my brightest smile and swallow the bitter little pill with barely a grimace,  all in the name of friendship and not being tainted “The [crazy/bitchy/bitter] Ex”.  Why do I even care? Who knows, probably because I feel those labels are absolutely not true.  Ok, maybe I’m a little bitter,  but I’m almost positive I’m not crazy!

Run again tomorrow, maybe even a jaunt at the gym sometime mid-morning.  Only problem is, the gym would have to be a lower body workout and if I have to run in the arvo…hmmm I suppose I’m just going to have to think about the logistics some more. Over a second glass of wine…

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Gym: Upper

10mins on elliptical trainer (was only going to be a 5 min warm up but I ended up doing 10 because it took me that long to figure out which buttons to press!!)

Chest press (dumbell): 12R x 4kg; 10R x 5kg; 8R x 6kg; 6R x 7kg; 12R x 6kg

DB Flyes: 12R x 6kg

DB Shoulder Press: 12R x 4kg; 10R x 5kg; 8R x 6kg; 6R x 7kg; 12R x 5kg

DB Row: 12R x 7kg, 12R x 8kg, 12R x 9kg (ok so I started to get lazy and reverted to 3 sets of 12 instead of the build-up theme- its because I had a bench so far away from the weights tower that I spent more time walking back and forth to change weights than I actually spent doing the set!!)

Lat Pulldowns: 12R x 15kg, 12R x 20kg, 12R x 25kg

Tricep thingies: 12R x 7kg, 12R x 7.5kg, 12R x 7.5kg

Pain, Paws and Balls

Well, awesome couple of days at work…LOVING this new job! We had a corporate strategy & planning day yesterday and I have to say, whilst it was good to get involved with the 5 year plan, and find out what’s happening and where we’re heading, it was also a great opportunity for me to finally meet some people, yay! I also got to catch up with my boss, though I have been working here for 3 and a half weeks now, it has been a challenge to pin him down, and find out…well…exactly what he wants me to do! He took the team out for dinner last night which was lovely and I’m very excited to be working with this group, a bunch of smart cookies! I also got invited to join the mixed netball team- hmmm, I’m really not so great at ball sports, I tend to injure other people, or end up bloodied and battered myself.  However, I’m willing to risk it in the name of team building!  Besides, surely after a couple of games I will know everyone and then I can just explain that netball doesn’t fit in with my training regime, but I’d be happy to meet them at the pub afterwards, say 7pm?

Clearly no workout yesterday given the dinner thing was a last minute plan, but I did make it to the gym tonight.  Upper body workout.  It was only meant to be a light one, because I start with the personal trainer next week and Im sure he’s going to hurt me plenty.  Plus, first workout in a loooong time so I figure best to er on the side of “easy” to avoid being incapable of moving anything from the waist up for the net 2 days.  I forgot to bring in my old training diary in order to work off an old workout plan, but I remember most of it, it was drilled into my brain for a good few years, so I thought I would just go in and do it from memory.  I did my chest press, and flyes and shoulder press and dumbell row and lat pulldowns and tricep..er…thingies.  And then I was thinking, I cant remember what else to do!! I had been in the gym for 40 minutes so I figured, maybe that was just the end of the workout.  So I left, feeling a little under done but putting it down to the lighter weights.

Then I got home and it hit me.  I forgot BICEPS.  Seriously? Who forgets biceps in an upper body workout????? Its only the biggest muscle in your arm for crying out loud!!  So, pumped about the fact that I actually made it to the gym and lifted a weight tonight, I raced in, fed the dogs and thought I would do a couple of sets of pushups to try and make up for the lack of bicep action in the gym.  About halfway through my second set, at which point my arms are shaking and Im sort of stuck in a tembly hover, not able to lift myself up any further but refusing to let myself collapse after a puny 4 pushups (with 6 to go followed by another set!). OK so its been a long time since Ive done pushups, plus I figure Im probably a good 7kg heavier than I was the last time I did pushups so surely, its just because its a harder workout, right? You know, with the extra body weight and everything….(sigh). Anyway, there I am hovering. Struggling.  And I realise with horror that I forgot to make sure the doggy door was shut.  CRAP! I hear the crash of the door and then 8 paws clambering over the boards and I brace myself, because within a split second I have two paws on my back and another dog collides with my shoulder before I even have a chance to react there are tongues in my ear and my face and paws tangled in my hair and complete chaos… (double sigh), they had seen me from the back door and had made a beeline for me as fast as they could.  It’s like they have some kind of “vulnerable/exposed human” homing device built into their crazed little brains.

Needless to say that was the end of the pushups.  Sure I could have kicked the dogs back outside but by the time I had the strength to peel myself off the floor and remove paws/tongues/teeth from my battered body and flesh, I figured that enough was enough and it was simply time for a shower.

Cereal for dinner.

Muscles already protesting and its only been an hour.  The next 2-3 weeks are going to be a haze of pain.

Week 1, day 2

Well, I really did not think yesterdays run was that difficult (despite all the people zapping past effortlessly).  However, my legs felt like blocks of lead tonight, so I very cheekily suggested to my running partner Lou that perhaps we should turn around at just under 2.5km. It was nice to get out though, I had been watching the clock since 3:55pm waiting for the clock to tick over at 5, which would signal my cue to grab my running gear and race out of the office to make it to the running venue.  That’s one beauty about winter, you have a bit of an excuse to leave the office on time because if you dont you will be running in darkness, which actually I don’t mind so much but its probably not the safest option at night, in a national park. (Who ever thought I would actually one day sound like my mother?!!)

In any case I dont need much of an excuse to get away on time at the moment, as I started a new job about 3 weeks ago (see? I told you there were a lot of major life changes recently!!!).  I think I have forgotten what its like to start a new job.  This isnt something completely new, it is aligned to the type of work I was doing previously, so in that sense I guess I didn’t completely waste all of those years of study and training, although thats not to say I didn’t abandon the potential career I had at the firm, it was still a very big, scary step.  I also find it somewhat disconcerting that I have been in this job for 3 weeks but Im still not entirely sure how Im supposed to be occupying my time.  I have found work to do of course, and people seem genuinely happy that I’m there, even if they dont quite understand what it is that I do.  But perhaps I’m putting a little too much pressure on the situation, I do that.

I really do like the people I work with, and they are adamant that they dont want me to “burn out” so they have very kindly not thrown me in the deep end, which at first I thought was fantastic! However, Im not used to having so much free time.  I’m certainly not used to getting to 5 oclock and knowing that I can a) go home immediately if I so wish, and b) not think about work, or check my email, or worry about deadlines for another 4 hours after I go home, or even not have to wake up in a cold sweat at 2am wondering if I had missed a deadline without realising it.

Wow, this is a whole new world, I tell you! Wonderful, bright, shiny, happy new world! Except that, being the glass half empty gal that I am, I am now worried that I dont have enough activities to fill my time.  (Hence, I started a blog!).

But seriously, I’m a single 32 year old, yes I have joined a gym (and I AM going tomorrow people), and I am running after work, and all that is great and Im sure I’ll start to feel fabulously fit and strong soon.  The only thing is, these aren’t exactly interactive activities.

I mean, I have no idea how to go about meeting new people.

Yet, these lovely new healthy activities arent very conducive to going to a funky bar on a Friday night either- hard core fit people dont go to the bar and have a drink! Do they? Surely they are all in bed by 8pm so they can go for a 20km run and a 4 hour session in the gym on a Saturday?

Plus, Im also wary of being one of those “older women” who I used to see at the pubs when I was in my 20’s, who were always far too tipsy and showing just a little bit too much cleavage.  Yes ok, so I’m being judgemental but you know, I’m allowed, I too have been judged, many times.   My point is, I refuse to turn into a desperate 30-something trawling the pubs on a Saturday night looking for a potential mate.  Even I know that the odds are stacked against me in that department.  For starters, Im very much about comfort these days.  No way are you going to find me in strappy 5 inch stillettos, “what? You expect me to walk and dance in those? I dont think so, my bunions just wont stand for it” (literally)! Also, there is no way you will get me into a boob tube and then call it a dress. No way. Uh-uh.  I don’t care how pretty my underwear is, that is not a compelling argument to convince me that the entire city needs to see it! Besides, its the middle of freakin’ winter!! Rather, I think I’ll go with my jeans, boots, skivvy and jacket, maybe even a scarf in case its 2am before we start trying to hail a taxi.

I’m not a stick in the mud, I can be fun, really!  I like to think of my self as sensible.  Walking around the streets in the middle of winter wearing nothing more than a pair of strappy stillettos and a camisole (posing as a dress) is just not my idea of attractive or fun!

That leaves two very undesirable options.  Set-ups and internet dating.

And I have tried both, many times.  And failed, EVERY time.

Hmmm, this is going to require some more thought.  Otherwise, I may need to get another dog, one per year, and resign myself to the fact that perhaps my true calling was to be the crazy spinster dog-lady of my street.

You dont see dog ladies around much these days, it seems even the eccentrics are too cool for dogs.

Zap! Aspiration

I joined a new gym last week.

This is not a new thing for me, I’ve been a member of various gyms before.  Some of them I even viewed the inside of more than once! But I have a good feeling about this gym, it has a good atmosphere – mostly because it was empty at the time (at 5:45pm on a weeknight, that’s unheard of!).  Some people might say that this is a bad sign.  Not me, I consider this to be a very good sign because it means I have half a chance of getting a bench in the weights area without some burly man with massive biceps and chicken legs hurling 20kg dumbells over his head while grunting so audibly that I have cause to wonder if the purpose of said grunting is to hide the noise of muscles tearing and vertebrae crunching… or maybe it’s to scare away the little girl in the corner (that would be me- except maybe I’m not so little) who is taking up a valuable bench that should be reserved for grunting  men who lift “real” weights.  Hence, why I often find myself avoiding eye contact and ferociously doing my 5-10kg sets so I can run away quickly to the only area of the gym where you are guaranteed to not have to deal with burly, grunting men…the ladies change room. (Actually, that too is debatable).

No, it is a good sign.  After all, the point is to get in, do what you have to do and get out, right? Waiting around for a bench or equipment is undesirable. I was not at all put off by the fact that the “health consultant” was all of 12 years old, nor was I put off by the comment “So, you could join for just 12 months as a temporary fix OR you can make a real lifestyle change and join for 2 years”.  I looked at him for a moment, confused.  Dude, the mere fact that I am still here at 6:30pm and not on my couch with my Sara Lee appleberry pie and A Current Affair is already a lifestyle change!!!  I bit my tongue and politely explained that I’m all for the lifestyle change but perhaps I should just go with the 12 months in case the gym or gym location doesn’t suit my new fabulous lifestyle after 12 months… sheesh!

So I joined a gym.  And today I went running with a couple of girlfriends.  It was a bad choice of run day.  There were a lot of other people out running too.  Fast people.  Really fast people.  Let’s just say, I’m not new to running either (although to call what I do “running” might be a bit of a stretch, for the purpose of this blog, I’ll just call it running).  I was training for my first marathon earlier this year.  The marathon was about a month ago, and I was not on the start list.  I was injured.  I was not happy about it but I’m also not the type of person who will risk permanent disability so as not to “lose face”.  No.  If my physio says its not a good idea to run, I don’t run.  I still have a long life ahead of me (well this is an assumption but it’s a fair one according to the local psychic so I’m sticking with it) and I would like to keep my options open as far as physical activity is concerned.  I don’t relish the thought of being told that my only option for physical activity at the age of 35 is aqua-aerobics – because I was stupid enough to try and run that marathon against the recommendation of my physician…just because I’d trained so hard for it. I’m not that die hard.  Sure, I’ll give something a go, but don’t for one millisecond mistake this as meaning I have any sort of talent for physical activity. I assure you, I do not.  However, I do suffer cabin fever quite readily, so I need to do something to get me out and about.  Plus, its a good way to catch up with your friends (although, admittedly sometimes a simple coffee is easier as talking can be a little tricky when you are gasping for air).

So there we were, enjoying our post-run coffee – and still remarking about the “elderly” lady who ran past with her race number and how fit she looked and wondering if we would look like that one day, and the other nameless, numberless lady who passed us like we were standing still (at this point I would really love to insert “oh wait, we were standing still,  oh that explains it then! hahahahaha”, but alas, we were not standing still)- when in strolls a local celebrity model/footballers fiancé, looking cool, and slim and beautiful and wearing the most ginormous diamond on her left hand and all of a sudden I wasn’t feeling so great with wispy strands of hair plastered to my red, damp face and to top it off, I woke up with a rather large pimple on my chin today.  I have been ill with the flu all week, remained indoors, have not seen a soul, and my skin has been flawless.  The moment I decide to step out into the sunshine in all of my flawless-skin glory, to interact with other human beings, the “Powers that Be” smite me with their spitefulness and in an instant, destroys my happy bubble and places an undisguisable blotch on my chin, which as far as I have been able to determine, would be easily visible for broadcasting on the news bulletin on the moon- if my blemished chin were to fall under the heading of “Moon Newsworthy”, which I’m sure it does not- but that’s ok,  I have my 12 month membership, with my 2 months of free personal training sessions thrown in, and I have my girlfriends who are keen to continue running and summer is coming, as is next June and hence, next year’s marathon, which I intend to actually start this time.

So what’s this all about then? Why the need for drastic self-improvement all of a sudden? Why, after I had started to feel ok about sleep-ins and a squishy tummy and elastic banded pants, am I choosing to attempt a marathon again AND join a gym?

Well, it has to do with a few recent events, although some not so recent… you see, 10 days ago I turned 32.  Not a big deal in itself really, its not a hideous number and you are as old as you are, not much you can do to change it.  Also, my birthday started out relatively well, but by a stroke of good luck, I happened to have half the day off from work, the sun was shining, which is unusual for my birthday as my birthday falls smack bang in the middle of winter so its usually pouring with rain and freezing (well, freezing by Western Australian standards anyway).

After deciding that such a beautiful sunny day off work should not be wasted I went and bought myself a coffee near the coast and enjoyed the ocean view, then I decided it would be the perfect opportunity to buy myself a new pair of pants from my favourite pants store (they are often termed “the good butt pants” around town as it seems these designers have an amazing ability to make anyones butt look good).  Not half an hour later I find myself standing in the very spacious changeroom in which an entire wall is mirror…..in my underwear.  Oh Lord, why oh why did I decide to do this today. Sure, I knew all of those hot chocolates and Sara Lee apple pies weren’t exactly doing me any favours, but…it is winter!

And that is how I found myself standing in my underwear, in front of a mirror-wall, with nowhere to hide, sobbing quietly.

(I guess there is one ray of sunshine in the whole birthday ordeal…I didn’t have the worlds biggest pimple on my chin!!)

I have been through a few life changes over the past couple of years, scaled some major hurdles and at other times, crashed and burned, but sadly through all of this, I never really pictured myself as being recently single and overweight on my 32nd birthday.  Logically, I know I should have perhaps viewed it differently, perhaps I should have felt empowered (well to be single that is, not empowered to discover my butt was bigger than two basketballs).  But, add to that the anxiety that comes with the first few weeks of starting a new job, which in itself was the embarkation of a career which I had spent many years studying and training for, and had at one point in the not too distant past, believed I would do for the rest of my life and be very successful at.

Yes, I was having a very real and, I think understandable, internal meltdown.

Now, I know that all in all, my life is not so bad, I have a good job (I think….I leave that open for further comment in a few months), a tertiary qualification so I must have some basic level of cleverness, I’m ok looking (after a good hour in the bathroom with a hairdryer and plenty of makeup), even with the few extra kilos and a few grey hairs (but they are easy to cover), I have good friends, loving family and two adorable but dopey dogs to keep me company.  Life is actually pretty good, there are a lot of people that have a harder time than I do.  But I guess it’s all relative, and relatively my situation is less than desirable when compared to what I had been picturing for myself not so long ago. I had envisaged my life being quite different by now.  

2 years ago I was crazy in love, and I mean c-r-a-z-y, thinking this was it, I had found that thing that people always seem to be looking for, I was even fantasizing about a wedding, a family and the stereotypical “white picket fence” fairytale, with lots of friends and dinner parties and people laughing and smiling and generally, gooey happiness everywhere.  I have to tell you, that in itself is entirely out of character for me, having never been that interested in having children of my own and having only a vague conception that there would inevitably be a wedding at some point in my future, with someone. Yes, I was delusional.

But as luck would have it, the bubble burst, cynicism- oops I mean common sense- prevailed and here I am, back to my normal self, only this time a few kg’s heavier, many muscles lighter, and a failed marathon attempt.

The mission.

1) Lose the flappy arm bits -I swear, if I had to sky dive from a failing plane next week I could just stick out my arms and glide to Earth’s surface unaided…

*Sourced from University of Tasmania/School of Zoology website

2) Gain strength – I like to imagine that one day I might go for a run and not have my quads protesting after only 20m.

3) Be able to run at Zap! Speed-  One day I would like to pass someone running like they are standing still, and I would like to imagine that this will inspire THEM to bring about a drastic life change.   There is, IMO**, not enough Zappiness in the world today.

**please note the use of the abbreviation for which I even know the meaning, how cool and knowledgeable am I? SO up with the lingo…

4) Be ultra successful and beautiful (even at 9:30am on a Sunday morning on a casual coffee outing, sporting my ginormous diamond -on my right hand, bought by yours truly as a congratulatory gift for achieving my goal – and exhibiting my flawless up-to-the-minute fashion appreciation) and generally super-wonderful at everything, of course!!!

Hmmm…perhaps I should have taken the 2 year gym membership after all, this could take a while…