On Monday morning, I had my Healthy Cooking in a Budget class at Balla Balla Community Centre in Cranbourne East. In today’s class, we made chicken dumplings, a stir-fri and fried rice. To make the chicken-vegetable mixture, we chopped and grated some carrots, spring onions, zucchini and a tray of chicken mince into a bowl and combined together. We then put a teaspoon of the mixture into a gow gee wrapper and sealed each one using water and pressing the edges together with folded pleats.
Using a frying pan, we fried off each of the dumplings and also made up a dipping sauce consisting of soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, oyster sauce, chopped spring onion and ginger. It was a very productive class today and I didn’t feel quite as pressured or awkward compared to the start of the course. Once I know what I’m doing, I’m fine. I was also trying to be more hands-on and proactive about cleaning and washing the dishes. I’m still a little sensitive at times, recoiling when it came to the hot oil spitting out of the frying pan and not spreading the vegetables out enough but it’s all learning and I’m trying not to take it to heart. http://www.ballaballa.com.au/programs-activities/cooking-programs/
On Monday night, I went to a Vinyasa Flow yoga class with Aaron Petty at Just Be Yoga and Meditation in Beaconsfield. This was actually my second class with Aaron after discovering him at the Personal Performance Training Centre in Berwick last year. I was a little nervous walking into the studio but that seemed to evaporate as he actually remembered me. I also noticed that there were a fair few blokes in his previous class as well as the class I did tonight. Not that it’s a bad thing at all but yoga is generally female dominated so it was really encouraging to see more men getting involved. Aaron’s literally bringing all the boys to the yard! http://www.justbeyoga.com.au/classes/
Tonight’s class was quite challenging at times especially doing poses like Downward Facing Dog, Plank, Chaturunga, Updog and Low Lunges with my ankles crossed. It made you have to think harder and be able to re-coordinate your body position on the yoga mat. I was also dripping in sweat by the end of it. Aaron’s style is very strength based and quite intense at times but his personality is quite chilled and laid back. Even his music selection seemed to reflect this with lots of soulful, bluesy and groovy songs playing.
This class also helped to challenge my thinking. When it comes to everything that holds me back in life (mental illness, self doubt, fear, lack of confidence/belief), there are always moments where I surprise myself and go “Shit, I can actually do this!”. Just like the awkward balancing involved with Ninja pose and the strong discomfort felt through the glutes and hip flexors in Pigeon pose. Listening to the crickets chirping, the birds singing and the distant sounds of cars outside really did help keep me grounded and focused tonight. I also bumped into an old friend of mine, Joshua Ferriere, who played in a band called The Evercold. Small world. https://www.yogajournal.com/yoga-101/types-of-yoga/vinyasa-yoga
On Tuesday night, I had my Strength & Fitness Fundamentals Level 1 group training session at The Yard Strength & Fitness in Pakenham. Continuing on from last week with the double extension movements, we learned how to work with a kettle bell doing various exercises including high lifts, cleans and swings. But first, Rodney Millar and I went for a 1.6km run around the block.
Running is still something a struggle a lot with particularly long distance running. There is a lot going on physically, mentally and physiologically. Firstly, there’s getting the pacing right and being consistent all the way through. Remembering to keep my shoulders back, chest lifted and arms swinging up high. Then there’s breathing and dealing with fatigue as well as trying to shut down those anxious thoughts (Am I going to make it? Am I going to collapse? I’m not sure I can do this much longer. I need to stop). And finally dealing with phlegm and sinus issues (Yay…not!).
But Rodney was incredibly motivating and supportive during the run. Focusing on smaller targets such as objects along the road is a really helpful way of making the run less daunting and more manageable. I managed to complete the run in 11 minutes and 40 seconds. Next we did a series of ETOTM (Every Minute On The Minute) drills involving doing 5 rounds of 10 burpees within a minute. Considering I was still fatigued from my run, I found it difficult to get the 10 burpees done especially after the second round.
Next we did a SALLY drill involving doing back squats with the bar for three minutes in time with the recording (Bring Sally Up, Bring Sally Down). I’ve only ever done this exercise once and I can tell you it doesn’t get any easier the second time round. I noticed that my squat depth was getting more and more shallow as I went along as the burn was getting too much for me but hey I hung in there and didn’t give up.
Our WOD (Workout of the Day) for tonight involved doing 12, 9, 6 and 3 reps of the following movements: Kettle Bell high lifts, knees to chest (bar), Kettle Bell swings, Pull Ups (bar with resistance band), Kettle Bell cleans and Leg Raisers (single or double). It was a really tough one tonight. I had moments where I had to rest in between reps especially with the bar work. My hands tend to get really sore after a while and I was also feeling slightly light headed and nauseous towards the end. I think identifying your limits during a workout is really important as I’m sure Mandi wouldn’t want to be calling the ambos down to The Yard to resuscitate me back to life.
On Thursday afternoon, I had my counseling session with Ruth at Piece Together Counselling in Narre Warren. Today I decided to bring my mum along to the session as she had some concerns that she wanted to bring up. It actually felt good being completely honest with her about feeling like my plate is being overloaded and not feeling comfortable about external pressures. Ruth has always been truthful yet compassionate in her approach. So constantly reminds me of my positive qualities: intelligent, thoughtful, organised, proactive and caring.
On Thursday night, I had another S&FF Level 1 session at The Yard Strength & Fitness in Pakenham. It’s getting close to the end of the course now and tonight we looked at triple extension movements and the technique involve in performing a snatch with both a medicine ball and a bar. It was quite tricky at first because there’s a lot to remember and it’s all done in one swift movement but I felt like I was improving the more I tried it. We also did a few warm-up stretches using the resistance bands and straps to open up through the shoulders, hips, thighs and glutes.
Our WOD (Workout of the Day) tonight involved doing 3 rounds x 8 reps of the following exercises: Med ball/bar snatches, 20m bear crawl, dead ball over shoulder, sit-ups, push-ups and a sled pull each round (2 x 10m). It was a hard workout but nowhere near as challenging as the one on Tuesday night. I did get fatigued especially in the third round where I was dripping in sweat (nothing new there) but certainly not gasping for breath or feeling like I wanted to pass out. https://www.facebook.com/TheYardStrengthandFitness/
On Friday morning, I went to a Body Combat class with Cinamon Guerin at YMCA Casey ARC in Narre Warren. Considering how sore my muscles are from the strength and weight lifting sessions I’ve been doing this week, I really didn’t know how I was going to go energy and fatigue wise today. It was another packed out class with lots of intense combos (lunges, side kicks, blocks, jabs, uppercuts, high knees) and high intensity cardio (push ups, mountain climbers, squats, lunges).
Once again, Cinamon made the class fun and enjoyable with lots of breaks in between the tracks. She also mixed up the releases and included tracks like Spitfire by Ghost Hunter, Silence by Delerium Feat. Sarah McLachlan and Whatever It Takes by Imagine Dragons. https://www.lesmills.com/workouts/fitness-classes/bodycombat/
On Friday night, I went out to the movies to see Insidious: The Last Key at Village Cinemas Fountain Gate Vmax. I found it highly amusing that the session happened to be in one of the VJunior cinemas being a horror flick (fun for the whole family!). But I think it was more the fact that it wasn’t doing well commercially and the VJunior are much smaller than the regular ones. The film barely lasted 3 weeks and now I had to go to a late session before the end of the week (at 9.50pm no less). http://villagecinemas.com.au/movies/insidious-the-last-key
Insidious: The Last Key is the fourth film in this horror movie franchise created by Leigh Whannell of SAW fame. It once again follows the parapsychologist Dr. Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) as she tries to figure out what, paranormally speaking, is haunting her childhood family home. This film is a prequel to previous installments as we get flashbacks to Elise as a child growing up near a State Penitentiary facility in New Mexico.
She soon learns of her psychic abilities after talking to a spirit in her bedroom. We also learn about the domestic abuse that went on from her father Gerald Rainier (Josh Stewart) her forbid her from speaking about the dead. Back in the present day, she is still running her business called Spectral Sightings along with her “side-kicks” Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson). A phone call from the current tenant of her family home is all it takes to bring her back there again.
Directed by Adam Robitel (The Taking of Deborah Logan), this is an above average entry into the series that is loaded with Paranormal Activity-esque jump-scares, creaking floorboards and doors and plenty of tight dark spaces. Whannell and Sampson try really hard to inject some comic relief into the material but most of the jokes fall flat and come off as corny. It’s Lin Shaye who steals the show in her lead role of Elise, bringing a powerful and emotional performance to the character as well as a lovely, amusing charm. 7.5/10