On Monday morning, I heard the terrible news that Jodie’s mum had passed away and so the Healthy Cooking on a Budget course was forced to be cancelled. Mum and I decided to buy her a lovely sympathy card and gave it to the staff at Balla Balla Community Centre to pass onto her. She truly is a wonderful chef and cooking teacher and I feel blessed knowing that she helped me to improve my skills in the kitchen. Hopefully she returns in Term 3 after she’s had time to grieve. http://www.ballaballa.com.au/progra…
On Monday night, I had my Strength Training session with Luke Davey at Breakaway Fitness in Berwick. Suffice it to say, it was a really bad session for me. My “I’m not good enough” tape was playing so loudly inside my head that I couldn’t switch it off and suddenly my depression got triggered off. After Luke asked me what I was on my mind, I went to pieces and started getting teary in front of him. I couldn’t keep all those emotions buried any longer.
I just feel socially inadequate and depressed. I was really struggling to connect with anyone socially tonight. I get myself jealous when others can easily start or contribute to conversations and I can’t. My social life is practically non-existent. I don’t know how to fit in with friends or the other trainers and coaches at UFT. At least a few people said hi to me so that’s something but it didn’t feel like it was enough. Unfortunately, I couldn’t seem to explain why I was feeling this way to Luke and resorted to replying with one-worded answers. https://www.facebook.com/breakawayf…
WARM-UP…Because of how I was feeling inside mentally, it really affected my performance tonight. I did 3 rounds of 15 back extensions. I was struggling heaps especially when I got passed my 10th rep. My knees and lower calves were on fire and I had to stop and rest. It was absolutely embarrassing. I just felt so shit about myself. Next, I used a small rubber ball to release tension from my hips and upper back. This is also known as SMR (Self-myofascial release) or rolling out.
DEVELOPMENT…Tonight I had to do 5 rounds of 8 dead lifts. I honestly felt like I wasn’t doing my best tonight. I was overthinking and unable to focus on getting my posture and technique right. Still, I didn’t give up even though my brain and my negative thoughts were trying hard to make me fail. I believe my weight was around 60-70kg.
We ended the session by playing a game of spike ball. You basically have to hit a soft rubber ball into a round trampoline-like net and return the ball back on the full. I’ve pretty much sucked at ball games all my life and so I knew I was gonna be terrible at this. Still I gave it a go and though Luke was trying hard to encourage me, I just couldn’t execute it properly and the ball flew in random directions. Overall, I just wasn’t myself tonight and I found it hard to be positive about my session.
On Tuesday morning, Mum and I went to the walking group at Narre Community Learning Centre. It was quite a large group today with about 30 members participating. I was a little daunted meeting all these new people at once but everyone was so welcoming and friendly towards me. We ended up walking down to at Fountain Gate Super Centre and had a coffee at Cafe Oreo just outside Spotlight. I was a little too cluttered for me and so I found myself avoiding eye contact and tracing the wood grains on the table. But at least I was around positive people which is what I need. http://narreclc.net.au/neighbourhoo…
Around lunchtime, I brought my Mum along to my counseling session at Piece Together Counselling. I was a little nervous but thankfully the session went smoothly. I touched upon some of my social difficulties during Kindergarten. I remember doing some creative craft activities inside when all the other kids were playing outside. I was very much an introvert from early childhood and fitting in with people was always going to be a struggle for me.
Ruth also discussed the idea of joining a meetup group and finding like-minded people to associate myself with and also getting another cat. I do believe that having companionship is very important for somebody like me. She reminded me of how independent and courageous I am, engaging in social activities such as going to fitness classes, cooking classes, local gigs and the gym. These are all things that I should be proud of.
The absence of having a Dad in my life has had a significant impact on me. I’ve noticed that I look to male figures for comfort, reassurance, validation and praise. This is the massive black void within me that I just cannot fill. It’s the reason why I sometimes come off as desperate, wanting others to verbally say the words “I’m so proud of you Michael”. But I am truly blessed to have such a close relationship with my Mum and a lot of supportive friends in my life to get me through tough times. https://www.piecetogethercousellingnarrewarren.org/…
On Tuesday night, I went to a Restorative Yoga class with Kim Lousada at Now, Yoga.. My yoga practice this term was been very irregular due to having financial issues and life generally getting in the way. It’s been a tough few months for me but I’m determined to start making yoga a weekly practice again next term once the dust has settled. After last night’s emotional episode with Luke, I knew I really had to go tonight. http://nowyoga.net.au/
Kim began the class by talking about the inner guru and the silent observer. Basically it’s about letting go of your thoughts, feelings, doubts, worries and anxieties and focusing on your breath. It’s also about nurturing and being kind to yourself or being non-judgemental. We did a variety of different supported poses including Child’s pose, Fish pose, Mermaid pose, Butterfly pose and Seated Forward Fold. The idea behind a restorative yoga practice is to hold poses for longer and yet doing so in a gentle way using several props including blocks, blankets and bolsters. https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/t…
We ended the class by doing a long Yoga Nidra meditation which left me feeling lighter like I was about to float out of the studio. I made a Sankalpa (Positive intention) for tonight which was “Everything is going to be okay for me”. After some deep breathing, Kim guided us through the Rotation of Awareness, a body scan of sorts from the right side of the body to the left. And finally, we did a visualization exercise which involved creating mental images of various scenes such as a full moon, a sunset, a doctor’s office and a temple on a mountain. http://www.abc.net.au/health/librar…
On Thursday afternoon, I decided to treat myself to a full body Chinese massage at Top 1 Therapy in Cranbourne West. It’s been about two months since my last massage so this was long overdue. I’m slowly letting go of the false belief that “it’s selfish to have a massage” and that “I don’t deserve this”. Both of these thoughts are bullshit. Self-care is so important and honestly it’s much better to seek the treatments I need rather than be proud and suffer in silence.
Of course, I was a little anxious approaching the Asian sales lady and trying hard not to be too awkward but it was all good. The obvious language barrier was not a deterrent for me. In fact, I was grateful for the silence and the calming music in the store. It meant that I could focus on relaxing even with my mind racing with thoughts. I’m still not a fan of the thumping and chopping style of massage but at least it didn’t take up the entire session.
I was very tense and sore across my back, neck, shoulders, thighs…pretty much everywhere and whilst I was feeling a bit sensitive today, I managed to relax enough to enjoy the massage. And at $39, I’m certainly not going to complain about the service. I will definitely go back there again. http://www.top1therapy.com/
On Thursday night, I had my second Strength Training session with Luke Davey at Breakaway Fitness in Berwick. To be honest, I was feeling a bit nervous after what happened on Monday night but I tried really hard to be as optimistic as possible. It was good to see that Luke was really caring, asking me if I was doing okay after Monday. I didn’t feel like confiding in him completely but enough to explain myself. I have to remember that Luke’s not my therapist and he can only do so much to help with my issues. I just wanted to focus on getting through tonight’s session.
I recently learned that sometimes it’s better to just focus on being myself rather than trying to fit in with everyone else. I have enough self-awareness to realise that I’m not narcissistic, I don’t have a large ego, I’m not obsessed with all things Crossfit and I really don’t care that much about how much I can lift. My sense of achievement comes from making the effort to show up to training and being able to give it my all. Numbers aren’t a motivator for me. I’m still learning to be okay with all of this and eventually I will be. I don’t have to be like the others.
WARM-UP…I started my pushing the side of my body, underneath the armpit, into a long stick leaned into the wall on a diagonal. Next I did my usual 12 reps of resistance band stretches into both arms and then 2 rounds of 15 bench press bar raises.
DEVELOPMENT…Today I did a slightly different weight routine to what I’m used to, doing 10kg bar bell presses on the bench (5 rounds of 8 reps). It was a lot harder than it looked because you had to keep the bar bells steady whist pushing them upwards and into the middle. I did gradually improve over the four rounds though. I attempted to do one round of 20kg bar bell presses but it ended up becoming to difficult to lift.
WORK-OUT…Honestly this was easily the hardest workout I’ve done in weeks. It started with a 12 round EMOTM (Every Minute on the Minute) ride on the assault bike doing 6 cals per minute. My first attempt on the assault bike was dreadful to say the least but this time I was determined to do better.
My knees were starting to burn about halfway through and for some reason I was pedaling backwards on a few rounds but in the moment, I really didn’t care. In the last round, I had to reach 10 cals so I decided to close my eyes to block out any external stimuli and just focus on pedaling as hard as possible. My legs were like jelly stepping off that bike.
The second part of the workout however was even worse. 3 rounds of 12 ring rows and 20 Russian twists with a 10kg plate. I was panting so much and no amount of controlled breathing could stop it completely. Luke was trying hard to motivate me but my body was slowly caving in to the fatigue and the pain so I had to stop several times. However, I wasn’t feeling weak nor ashamed about myself. This was a fucking tough workout and yet I’m somehow getting through it.
I thought that I wouldn’t be able to finish the workout but Luke made sure I crossed the finish line. I literally collapsed onto the foam mat as I was so breathless and exhausted. It’s clear that Luke pushes my hard and there’s a part of my brain that absolutely hates it but in reflection, I know that he has good intentions for me. He could have given up on me after Monday night’s session and tossed me into the “too hard to deal with” basket but he didn’t and that truly means a lot to me.
On Friday morning, Mum and I went down to the Dandenong Market to do some shopping. We visited the usual regulars including the greeting card stall, the Marketto Cafe, the florist and local green grocers. The only thing I don’t like about the Dande market is the crowds. My anxiety levels tend to spike up whenever I’m in a high traffic area with people trying to pass each other and I have to be gentle with myself. Literally, breathe through the anxiety. But otherwise, I enjoy spending time with my Mum there every month.
On Friday night, I went to my RPM class at YMCA Casey ARC in Narre Warren. It’s been about a couple of months since my last cycle workout but I was ready to jump back on the bike tonight. I had to be mindful about how hard I push myself considering how intense last night’s assault by workout was but I still gave it everything I had in the tank. We’re up to release 75 which consisted of some short sprint tracks and high intensity endurance tracks.
I was hitting around 60-70 RPM on the uphill sections, 80-90 RPM on the flat easy ride sections and 100-130 RPM on the sprint and race sections. I actually felt really good walking out of the class tonight because I really gave it everything. http://w3.lesmills.com/israel/en/cl…
On Saturday night, I decided to treat myself after work and went to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales at Village Cinemas Fountain Gate. Honestly, I thought this was a really solid entry in the franchise. It was certainly much better than the bloated and boring third installment (At Worlds End) and the incoherent mess that was the previous film (On Stranger Tides). This film is very much a return to form, going back to the roots of the original with returning cast members, over-the-top fighting and chase sequences and plenty of entertaining moments.
The basic storyline involves Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites), who is the son of Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley). He is in search of the fabled Trident of Poseidon, which if found can break the curse that his father is currently under. He believes that finding Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) will be the key to locating this hidden treasure. But of course an old foe in Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) has been reawakened. Captain Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) forms an unlikely alliance with Salazar in order to hunt Sparrow down.
Directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg successfully steer the ship (so to speak) into much clearer waters. Johnny Depp brings his usual charm and humour to Sparrow, who is still a drunken, careless and now crew-less pirate. He steals quite a few of the scenes especially during his execution with Scarfield (David Wenham). There are still moments where the dialogue is as wooden as the Black Pearl and some supernatural star gazing requires major suspension of disbelief.
But overall I thoroughly enjoyed this film. It has an interesting plot, great characters, plenty of action and lots of funny moments. It even managed to tie a few loose ends together before the credits roll. If this happens to be the final POTC film, then it goes off with a squash-buckling bang. Make sure you stick around after the credits for an extra scene. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1790809…
“You’ll be knocked out, come around, shot down, shatter on the stony ground. Yeah take it from me, it’s how it’ll be…But if you crash land in the quicksand, I will pick you up, I’ll pull you out. And if the world shakes, your brittle heart breaks, we will patch it up, we’ll work it out.” Tom Chaplin – Quicksand (2016)
“Oh I see it now, see it now. Look back and see. From shadows the loneliness reaching for me. I will give it a home so it’s never alone. It was buried so deep…Now there’s nothing to fear, I see it so clear.” Tom Chaplin – See It So Clear (2016)