On Monday morning, Mum and I paid a visit to our old neighbourhood of Ashwood as it was the start of the July school holidays. But first we dropped into The Pancake Parlour (Malvern East) for brunch. We both decided to order the hot cakes winter special with fresh strawberries for $10.90 each. It was absolutely amazing and honestly looked too good to eat.

Next we walked down the main street of Ashburton with its array of cafes, florists, massage salons, newsagent, bakers and butchers. It’s become an area exclusive to the rich and well off with residents walking their dogs and driving expensive cars through the back roads. Lastly we checked out our old house and street. We used to live close to Jordanville during most of the 1990’s in a single-story commission home, my childhood home. It features cream coloured walls rendered with cement, a brown tiled roof and a glass-fronted porch.

Some of the houses in the area have been demolished and some modern townhouses and apartments have been erected in their place. It’s lovely to see that half of the run-down looking commission houses have been preserved and left alone along with features like front fences, plants and hedges. It brings back a lot of nostalgic memories of regular walks and bike rides along the street that I used to live in over 20 years ago. I also remember some of our old neighbours like Gwen and her German Shepherd named Twiggy who we used to visit from time to time.

Lately we had a drive past my past primary school and high school. There has been many additions and renovations made to both Parkhill primary school and Ashwood High School (formerly Ashwood College) but parts of them are still the same like the ovals and wetlands plus the reception and office buildings. I attended both of these schools back in the mid-late 1990’s and generally had some fond memories there. I loved hanging out by the pine trees which divides the schools right down the middle, sliding down the grassy hills and playing on the play equipment.

On Monday night, I went to a Yin-style Yoga class at Level Up Yoga in Berwick. It was taught my a young lass named Emma Ahearn who just started teaching at the studio a couple of weeks ago. I firmly believe that you’re only as old as you feel and whilst Emma does seem young and inexperienced, I could tell that she’s wise beyond her years. This was my first class with her and I’ve already learned some new things about what a Yin class is all about. It’s a case of the young teaching the old, and at 32, I don’t even feel that old. https://www.aaronpetty.com/

Emma guided us through some supported variations of classic yoga poses including Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana), Bridge Pose, Child’s Pose and Fish Pose using one or two bolsters. She made several references to water and its connection to the breath. The inhalation and the exhalation can be seen as similar to the tide coming in and out. Plus water is a very cleansing substance to wash away negative emotions, fears, anxieties and doubts from the body. https://www.ekhartyoga.com/articles/the-benefits-of-yin-yoga

On Tuesday morning, I went down to YMCA Casey RACE to do some cardio exercise in the gym. I didn’t end up getting there until around 11:30am as I was struggling to get motivated and I did a few household chores beforehand. I decided to split it between two machines: the treadmill and the upright bike. I didn’t find the bike all that challenging to begin with as the resistance level was quite low but when it creeped up to level 10 and 11, I could definitely feel the difference as it was getting harder and harder to keep pedaling. After half an hour on the bike, my legs felt like jelly.

Here are my results for each workout:                                                                    1) UPRIGHT BIKE. Total Calories = 212 cal. Distance = 9.57 Km. Duration = 30 minutes. Average Speed = 19.16 Kph. Pace = 3.07 minutes / Km.

2) TREADMILL. Total Calories = 224 cal. Distance = 2.26 Km. Duration = 29 minutes. Average Speed = 4.55 Kph. Pace = 13.10 minutes / Km.

On Tuesday night, I attended my YardSTRONG (Strongman, Weight Lifting) session at The Yard Strength & Fitness in Pakenham. Tonight I was joined by Jeanette Spiteri who I used to bump into last year down at UFT PLAYgrounds in Berwick during my PT sessions with Luke. Whilst I’ve consciously cut the cord with most of the members at UFT, I certainly don’t hold any grudges or hard feelings. That’s not the way I roll. My decision to leave UFT before the end of last year was very much a personal one.

We started the session by doing some Yoga Sun Salutations to WARM-UP with (Forward Fold, Plank, Cobra, Diver’s Pose, Extended Child’s Pose). Next I was doing some Pilates movements to work into the quads, glutes and hips including Side Hip Raise, Glute Bridges with Leg Lift and Side Leg Lifts. Next I did some Walking Lunges with dumbbell weights, lifting them up on a diagonal and slicing across the body into the side hips. https://www.livestrong.com/article/424147-benefits-of-dumbbell-lunges/

For the DEVELOPMENT part, I had to do some Strongman carries with a variety of deadball weights ranging from 6kg to 40kg. It was pretty challenging especially trying to support myself, place it up on my shoulder and keep my form. By the heaviest weight, I literally felt like I was a pregnant lady! Lifting the deadballs onto the wooden box was also pretty tough because it required the correct squating technique to place it up there. https://www.ironedge.com.au/blog/heavy-dead-ball-training/

For tonight’s WOD dubbed “The Dixonator”, I had to do as many rounds as possible of the following exercises: 15kg Keg Carry, 10 Tire Flips, 5 Medball Cleans, 15 Deadlifts @ 35kg, 20 Sandbag Lunges and 25 Weighted Sit-Ups (5kg plate). Easily the hardest part of this workout for me was the lunges as the fatigue sets in very quickly and I find it hard keeping my head up the whole time. However, I was smashing the keg carries, tire flips, cleans and sit-ups. Felt really good to finish 3 rounds in under 20 minutes given how intense this WOD is. Thank goodness for Mandi and Jeanette for their encouragement plus cranking some hits from Christina Aguilera.

On Friday morning, Mum and I dropped into Toll Group to apply for a job there in Dandenong South. I didn’t feel like I was ready or prepared enough for this and with my poor quality of sleep and lack of energy, this really didn’t help matter. But still I made the effort to at least print a resume out and hand it in to the reception girls. What I wasn’t expecting was a phone call about 2-3 hours later from Toll giving me an interview opportunity.

It’s a lot to process for me right now as I’m not exactly in the most ideal headspace. I should be excited about the news but instead I’m dreading it. My brain flooded with so many “What if?” questions: What if I can’t make this work? What if I have to give up my other commitments like going to the gym, counselling, going out to local gigs, lunch, coffee etc? Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. I just hate the uncertainty so much.

So I’ve locked in a time for next Monday morning to have this interview at Toll but before that I’ve gotta get an online induction and police check completed. I just hope that I’m cut out for both of these. One step at a time as always. https://www.tollgroup.com/about/working-toll

I was also feeling physically exhausted and emotionally flat today. Beating myself up for not going to my Body Combat class this morning, I was getting myself upset about being stuck at 93kg and wishing that I could somehow feel good about body, overweight or not. I’ve been reaching out for the comfort foods again and I’m feeling really guilty about that, knowing that I’m consuming excess calories and not doing anything to burn them off. Hopefully things turn around for me next week but right now I feel like shit.

“Cause it makes me that much stronger. Makes me work a little bit harder. It makes me that much wiser. So thanks for making me a fighter. Made me learn a little bit faster. Made my skin a little bit thicker. Makes me that much smarter. So thanks for making me a fighter.” Christina Aguilera – Fighter (2002)

“I am beautiful. No matter what they say. Words can’t bring me down. I am beautiful. In every single way. Yes words can’t bring me down. Oh no. So don’t you bring me down today.” Christina Aguilera – Beautiful (2002)

“Life is a journey. It can take you anywhere you choose to go. As long as you’re learning. You’ll find all you’ll ever need to know. Be strong. Break it. Hold on. You’ll make it.” Christina Aguilera – The Voice Within (2002)

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