​MIKEY’S PERSONAL BLOG 90, February 2018

On Monday morning, I had my first Healthy Cooking on a Budget class for the term at Balla Balla Community Centre in Cranbourne East. I was feeling quite rattled and shaken from being hit from behind at the Thompsons Road round-a-bout. Thankfully it was only a minor bump and didn’t cause any noticeable damage to the rear of my car. I think it was more that I wasn’t expecting it as I was stationary at the time waiting to enter the round-a-bout. I’m also glad that no road rage ensued. It’s the last thing I wanted this morning.

Filling out the enrolment form was a welcome distraction from the above and a chance to settle my nerves. This term there was only 7 people in attendance which I am more than comfortable with. I felt like the last one had too many people and the kitchen became far too busy and cluttered. Once again, the class was run by pastry chef and cooking teacher Jodie rocking her usual headband and thick-framed glasses.

Today we ended up making a silverbeet and ricotta cheese quiche, an egg and bacon pie and a cheesy veggie pastie. It’s been quite a few months since I’ve made a shortcrust pastry from scratch but things slowly became familiar to me. Of course rolling the dough out is always the part I struggle with and had to get Jodie to come to my rescue. I was working along side a lady named Cathy who seemed friendly and was also very new to cooking.

My anxiety levels weren’t too bad today considering what happened earlier though I did have a few fleeting moments of “I don’t know what I’m doing” and feeling a bit self-conscious. But this is pretty much the norm when it comes to “first days” and meeting new people in a group. I’m slow to start, slow to warm up but eventually it gets easier over time.

On Monday night, I went to my RPM class with Matt at YMCA Casey ARC in Narre Warren. Tonight’s performance wasn’t really my best as if wearing my bright green active wear top on inside-out seemed to indicate. At least nobody else seemed to notice. I also had to deal with shifting bowel movements during my class which were distracting to say the least. No matter, I still did what I could. Our fitness instructor Matt chose to put on Release no. 54 which included tracks like January Rays feat. Riley – Moves Like Jagger, Coldplay’s Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall and Tiesto feat. Kirsty Hawkshaw – Just Be. That last song in particular is a nostalgic one as it brought me back to my trance days.

Of course the hardest ones for me involved steep uphill mountain climbs with increasing resistance. I did my best to keep up and surprised myself by reaching level 53% at one point. As for the racing sections, my best speed was around 135 RPM which is pretty decent for me. I’m happy staying 90-110RPM+ even though this is considered “slow” for trainers but at least I’m still exercising and burning calories. http://www.totallylesmills.com/site…

On Tuesday morning,  I had two people from Jehovah’s Witnesses at the door and my brain was like “Ohh shit! Help. Get me out of here.” Thankfully I only had to endure a couple of bible passages and a 3 minute video. I’m far too polite to slam the door in their faces. I deliberately didn’t open the security door for my own safely whilst they were delivering their spiels. The man asked me if I believed in God and I replied “I’m a fence sitter. I’ve never had a really strong faith in religion though I do meditate and practice yoga so I have some belief.” I kindly took the business card that he gave me and rushed out a sigh of relief when they left.

Later that morning, I went to the YMCA Casey ARC for a Vinyasa Flow yoga class with Michelle. Today we focused on the theme of courage (To be courageous is to live with your heart) facing our challenges and fears in life. We did several sequences of poses including Downward Facing Dog, High Pushup, Chaturanga, Updog, Low Lunges, Three Legged Dogs, Reverse Triangles, Warriors (Peaceful, Reverse, Humble, 2 and 3), Happy Baby, Bridge Pose and Shoulder Stand. https://www.essentiallifeskills.net/…

On Tuesday afternoon, Mum and I attended a Health Strategy life coaching session with Anna Berkelmans at Body Yoga in Berwick. I really didn’t know what to expect in this session but I remained open minded to any advice Anna had to give in terms of my goals of losing weight, increasing my energy levels and reducing my stress, anxiety and depression. We talked about trying to eat dinner a little earlier at night and trying to avoid snacking late at night. This is essentially fasting between dinner and breakfast to allow the body to digest and process the nutrients we consume while we sleep.

Anna also talked about her Mindful Habits course which runs for 13 weeks online via forums and Skype sessions as well as classes at the yoga studio. Honestly I don’t think I’m quite ready to commit to it both financially and time wise. I’ve already got enough on my plate as it is though I can always keep it in the back of my mind and just start by working on eating dinner at an earlier time at night. https://annaberkelmans.com/health-c…

On Tuesday night, I had my first Strength & Fitness Fundamentals Level 1 training session at The Yard Strength & Fitness in Pakenham. It’s been a few months since I last did any sort of heavy weight lifting or strength resistance training so I was pretty excited to get back into it again. It was just a small group of us consisting of Rodney MillarAlisha MillarKyra Bree DawsonTrish Markulija and myself.

Tonight’s session was all about running through the basics. We did a few warm-up exercises including squats, bear crawls and sprints/runs outside. I was more like “mindful running” to me, focusing on particular aspects of technique like swinging your arms, length of stride and how hard your feet hit the concrete. We finished up by doing a fitness test which included sprinting around a circuit of cones, reaching out and trying to touch your toes, push-ups, running around the block and a maximum weight farmer’s carry.

The first two were fairly easy for me. Push-ups I still struggle with a lot and I had to end up doing some of them on my knees. I managed to do 15 push-ups in a minute. I actually really surprised myself with my run as I’ve hated running most of my life. It’s very much the mental aspect that gets me every time. The feeling of being out of breath and knowing that you’ll burn out soon. But I deliberately paced myself the whole way, didn’t overdo it and ended up getting a time of under 4 minutes (3 minutes and 56 seconds).

The last part was the farmer’s carry. I haven’t done one of these for a while so I didn’t know how I was gonna go but I managed to lift up to 60kg. I’m still working on my lifting technique as I have to remember to switch on and activate certain muscles like my glutes, lower back and keep my back straight to avoid injury. Overall, I really enjoyed the first session. I think it’s important to walk away feeling proud and having a sense of achievement

That was a big hurdle for me in 2017 as walking away from some sessions feeling depressed, upset, angry and deflated which wasn’t doing my mental health any good. It’s all dependent on the trainer and the other clients in your group. It makes all the difference. https://www.facebook.com/TheYardStr…

On Wednesday morning, Mum and I had coffee together at VENUE 101 Cafe, Amberly Park Shopping Centre in Narre Warren South. We grabbed a few copies of this week’s Cranbourne Leader as my article on the Now, Yoga studio VCAT case had gone to print. It was a mixture of emotions for me as I was excited to finally have a story written about me in the local newspaper but the circumstances behind it are still frustration. I just hope that this will result in a positive outcome for everyone involved and that the media exposure will help in some way. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/…

On Thursday morning, I decided to “serve” my VCAT papers to my two respondents, Melise and Tony, at their last known addresses. It was such a surreal and eerie feeling especially walking up to the front of Tony’s house. It was a large rustic country style home with a tin roof and a timber veranda. It felt like I was in one of those Haunted House movies as even the entire street was quiet and abandoned as this house was. I basically just shoved the envelope with the papers enclosed into the letterbox and left the premises. I don’t think I could have handled doing it face to face even if he was still residing there. https://www.vcat.vic.gov.au/steps-t…

On Thursday night, I had my second Strength & Fitness Fundamentals session for the week at The Yard Strength & Fitness in Pakenham. It was a smaller group tonight as Rodney and Alisha weren’t able to make it but it was still a really fun class. Tonight’s focus was on doing deadlifts with the correct technique, form and posture. It all really comes down to body awareness and it’s something I’m still learning. There’s a lot that goes into a movement and it does take a lot of practice to get it right.

We started with some warmup exercises consisting of: a 100m sprint on the rowing machine and continuous movement of the battle ropes (5 rounds) plus a bear walk, 10 dead ball deadlifts and 10 dead ball deficit deadlifts (2 rounds). Next we worked on developing our deadlifting technique as well as finding our heaviest weight. I managed to do 75kg quite comfortable but could have gone up to 90kg+. Still not bad after a few months off.

Lastly we tackled our first workout which involved 3, 6, 9, 12, 9, 6, 3 reps of the following: Deadlifts (comfortable weight), push-ups, step ups or box jumps and sit-ups. It didn’t take long for me to start pouring with sweat but I honestly felt great about my performance. I was a little slow at times but I’m just easing my way back into this. And really if you’re dripping with sweat, you’re working out “hard enough”.

I’m honestly feeling really comfortable with these group strength training classes so far. They’re really small and not socially overwhelming. Everyone has a good laugh and still works really hard. And I feel like I can be myself there. I don’t have to impress anyone. I don’t have to be fake or put on a facade. Thank you to Mandi and Charlie (Lydia) for both being awesome coaches!

On Friday morning, Mum and I headed down to Cranbourne Police Station to get my Declaration of Service forms stamped and signed for my VCAT case. Honestly I was feeling a bit nervous walking into the police station and it seemed really silly to me since I had honourable intentions. As usual, my anxiety just blows things up to be bigger than they are and as a whole, it’s been an overwhelming experience for me. I was worried I’d have to explain the details of my case to the female constable sitting at the reception desk. Instead she just asked me for my ID and signed the papers. All over in two minutes. Unfortunately the hearing won’t be over that quickly but I’ve got a whole month before that happens. https://www.vcat.vic.gov.au/resourc…

“That’s who I am. This is how I ride. I came to live this life. Climb every mountain high. I’m giving all I can. Just try to bring me down. I’ll be the better man. Take it or leave it. It’s no secret. This is who I am.” Shannon Noll – Who I Am (2018)

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