On Monday morning, I went to my Restorative/Yin styled yoga class at Just Be Yoga and Meditation in Beaconsfield. It’s been months since I’ve last been to one of Kelly Wallis’ classes and even though I was feeling sleep deprived and didn’t want to face morning peak-hour traffic, I still pushed myself to go. And it was well worth it. There was about 9 or 10 others in the class today. We all began in a restorative version of bound angle pose, reclining over a bolster and having a blanket wrapped around our ankles. http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/rec…

The first half of the class concentrated on Wind Relieving (Pavanamuktasana) poses which is essentially releasing tension from the toes, feet, legs, knees, hips and lower back with gentle movements. We also did various Yin poses including Cat-Cow pose, Sphinx pose, Pigeon pose and a supported variation of the Splits. We ended the class by doing a Yoga Nidra meditation which I nearly dozed off in since I was so restless from last night. https://www.yogaoutlet.com/guides/h…

On Tuesday morning, I decided to tackling the 1000 Steps Challenge at 1000 Steps, Upper Ferntree Gully. This has been sitting on my goals list for quite some time now and it’s taken me several months to be both mentally and physically prepared. Today I felt like I could smash it. Also known as the The 1000 Steps Kokoda Memorial Track, this trail is a very steep climb up to the One Tree Hill Picnic Ground flanked by beautiful rain forest scenery.

It actually brought me back to my scouting days back in 1998-1999 where I went on various hikes and was much fitter than I am now. I did have several moments where I did struggle and forced myself to rest at the benches and plaques along the way. Thankfully I wasn’t the only one gasping for breath and saturated in sweat. It’s a really tough walk especially if you’re not used to traversing steep, uphill sections and uneven, rocky concrete steps.

I wisely paced myself through it and it felt like such a huge accomplishment making it to the top. It was my version of conquering Mt. Everest. Six to twelves months ago, there’s no way in hell I would have even attempted the 1000 Steps and it shows that I have come a long way in my fitness and well-being journey. It’s a proud moment being able to say “Yeah I did that”. My advice to anyone wanting to do it is don’t rush it, take your time and enjoy it. http://www.dandenongrangespoint.com.au/…

On Thursday morning, I had my second personal training session with Luke Davey at Breakaway Fitness in Narre Warren. I was feeling a little more relaxed this week as I’m slowly opening up to Luke more and more. I also bumped into familiar faces Joel Perryman and Mariel Viray whilst waiting for my session to start. I’m still letting go of my past negative experiences at UFT – CrossFit Fountain Gate and what certain people think of me.

To be honest, it really shouldn’t bother me so much. I’m there for a reason and if someone doesn’t like me, then so be it. For the most part though, I get along fine with almost everyone at UFT. I’m friendly, caring, polite and well-mannered and I think most people there really want me to do well. That’s what I need to keep my focus on. Do the best I can and smashing my fitness training goals. It feels good to be apart of the UFT family again.

Today’s session focused on the hips, glutes and legs. We started with a warm-up game on the rowing machine where my target was to get to 100 in each of the five rounds. Anything above or below 100 I’d have to make up for in burpees (Joy! :P). Next I did some exercises to release tension and strengthen the muscles in my hips and glutes including the cowboy walk. Luke put resistance bands just above my knees and pretty soon I could feel the burn.

Next I did some weighted squats. I haven’t done much weight training besides a handful of Body Pump classes and a couple of deadlifting sessions last year with Nick. So I was going back to basics with it. I had to do 3 rounds with 8 reps each. I ended up squating with 50kg which was much more weight than I thought I could do. It certainly wasn’t easy. The struggle was real, especially during my last round. I was shaking especially coming back up but I got through it and I felt reassured with Luke spotting me.

The final workout was a 10 minute AMRAP including 50 single skips, 15 leg raises and 12 box step ups. The leg raises were hands down the hardest of the three exercises. I could feel pain in my lower back and eventually the fatigue and panting was increasing. I’ve been setting myself low goals because I honestly don’t know what I’m capable of and I’d rather be realistic about it rather than set a huge goal that is clearly unachievable at my current fitness level. Once again, I smashed my goal of 2 rounds and ended up getting through 3.5 rounds. https://www.facebook.com/breakawayf…

On Thursday night, I attended a group meditation class at Just Be Yoga and Meditation in Beaconsfield. We all arranged our yoga mats in a semi-circle formation, radiating outwards. Dell Brown began the class by reading some passages about the link between the mind and the breath as well as explaining what pranayama (prana = life force, ayama = control) is. We then did four different meditations which included:

  • Deep Abdominal Breathing…Sitting or lying down in comfortable position, place your hands over your lower abdomen. Take a slow deep inhalation right down into the belly and feel your hands rise up and separate as your abdomen expands. Hold for a couple of seconds and then release it.                                                                           https://www.verywell.com/how-to-bre…
  • Viloma Pranayama (Step Breathing)… Sitting in a relaxed, cross legged position with your spine straight. First, breathe into your lower abdomen for three seconds, pause. Then breathe into your chest for three seconds, pause. Finally, breathe into your shoulders for three seconds, pause. Then exhale and release the breath slowly for a count of nine seconds. https://www.soulfularogya.com/vilom…
  • Guided Visualisation…Laying down flat on your back supported by a cushion or pillow under your head and a bolster under your knees. Imagine that you’re standing in a green field on a bright sunny day. In the middle of the field, there is a large tree filled with various kinds of fruit. The fruit contain magical properties. You pick one of the fruits and begin to examine it before taking a bite. You instantly feel a sense of overwhelming joy and bliss. https://psychcentral.com/lib/guided…
  • Yoga Nidra (Yogic Sleep)…This is a deep relaxation in which you’ll remain conscious between the dreaming and waking state. It is essentially an in depth body scan which releases tension from individual body parts as well as the whole body together. http://www.yogajournal.com/article/…

On Friday morning, I did an RPM Indoor Cycling class at YMCA Casey ARC in Narre Warren. For some reason, I just wasn’t feeling it today. Part of it could be my lack of sleep and irritability. I got easily annoyed at the conversations the ladies around me were having in the cycle studio. I felt socially excluded even though I was pretty much a stranger there. But I just had to remind myself of the reason why I was there.

The first half of this new release wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. The second track, Flo Rida’s Zillionaire, contains a god-damned awful trumpet section and typically shallow, materialistic lyrics. Thankfully things did improve during the second half and I was slowly finding my rhythm. There were some tough parts that alternated quickly between racing and standing but I managed to push through the burn. I averaged around 30km/h and burned about 450 kcal.  https://www.fitnessfirst.com.au/fin…

On Friday afternoon, Mum and I attended the Grand Art Exhibition held at the Edrington Park Retirement Village in Berwick. The arts and crafts styled Edrington Homestead was colossal looking and was surrounded by large oak trees and a tall garden hedge. There was a nice collection of sculptures near the front entrance including some kangaroos, an alpaca and a cow. Inside there was a large collection of paintings, drawings, scratchboards and collages. It was all really impressive and as always inspiring to look at as a fellow artist myself. http://www.artshowsofoz.com/page2

“The disconnect is welling up, and good intentions are not enough. Your words are weary, their hearts are strained, and idle vows find the deepest pains…You’re one of a thousand voices in my head that all just sound the same. If I will make a change, it’s by my words and not my name.” Hands Like Houses – I Am (2016)

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