Wednesday, March 15, 2017

I did the Thrillist 31 day challenge and here's what happened

With my new status and the new year upon me, I decided that I should probably look at my health. I thought I was in OK shape - I run a few times a week and I get to the gym when I travel. How out of shape could I be ? A quick visit to the scales confirmed that my delusions were indeed complete. So what to do ?

As a subscriber to Thrillist  my curiosity was piqued when this arrive in my inbox -

After the heated exchange with the scales, I had been toying with the idea of joining a gym and yet here was a chance to do something different but sans the gym - perfect I thought !

So here's what happened each week -

Week 1 - Measurement and baselines, it would seem that I am indeed well below the top of my game in the overall fitness department.  I also need a Tabata timer, this will tell me when to stop one set and start the next one, probably better than paying a guy named Paul to walk around you yelling the same stuff. After all - as you know- If it's for free , its for me !

So after the first few days - Why the f%#k do my ribs hurt ? They are just bones .....
And how is crab walking helpful ? This was especially made more uncomfortable when the youngest couldn't stop laughing at my head bobbling around he said "You look like Michelin man  pop vinyl collectible ! "

Image result for pop vinyl bobble head gif

A superman lat pull ? An Inchworm ? What the hell is going on ?

Thankfully they helpfully have a link to a YouTube video of the exercise. This was vital when it came time for the Yoga. I have long held that this is not a legitimate exercise, but frankly I am glad of the break. Turns out holding the pose is the challenge....... but I'm not seeing any results yet and all I seem to be doing is sweating like a Finnish sauna contestant.

Week 2 - I have come to fear the word core, followed by the description of a pyramid work out. It hurts both doing it and afterward. The exercises compound themselves on top of each other and everything hurts all at the same time. Whilst the routines are only taking between 35 to 45 minutes I am guzzling water like a it's a dessert crossing, and now have 3 water bottles on the go. After each days exercise I literally welcome sitting down to work, because - I'm sitting down.

Week 3 - AMRAP. This is meant to mean As Many Reps As Possible, what it actually means is why are you lying on the ground crying you still have 3 rounds to go. This is beyond ridiculous, catching my breath has become one of the actual sets .....

Thank god there is a run day in here as well to let me at least recover slightly. I can run / shuffle like I'm on a cruise ship trying desperately to burn off the calories from that weird meal they serve after dinner but before late supper.
The time taken to complete the exercises hasn't changed but the intensity is now higher than Basic Instinct after he said to her "it's over". Shorter rest periods and more to do is now the norm.
That being said by the end of this week I have noticed I can now do the actual exercises and I feel stronger.
And it should be noted that I have now stopped crying half way through....

Week 4 - I am actually doing this ! The intensity has ramped up and I am still maintaining pace with the flows. Until that is , day 30 hit like a fry pan to the head. It crushed all of my hopes and dreams along with the inability to walk for the rest of the day after climbing stairs for 5  mins.

As I sit here looking back at the 31 days, whilst I am a little lighter ( I probably should have done something with  my diet, after all it's no good doing all this and then shame eating bags of Twisties in the bathroom with the door locked), I feel great and actually can see some toning. Which is a change from the pale indiscernible flesh that usually covers my body.

I encourage all you, dear readers to try these sorts of things, as please don't let me be the only one shame eating in the bathroom.......

Image result for bathroom doors

Monday, January 30, 2017

All the small things, true care, truth brings

As with most things in life the passage of time either adds a new perspective on things or completely distorts the view of them. So it is with precisely that in mind that I approach the fact that my marriage is now over.

As you know I am extremely passionate and sometimes have a hard time letting things go that aren't right or that have managed to creep under my skin. Take for example the following - You are trying to cook an egg for someone you love. The yolk bursts and the egg in your view is ruined by the fact it is so old and isn't perfect like Nigella's , did you ever stop to think that maybe they were just happy you were cooking them an egg ?

The harder I tried to make everything perfect, the more difficult it became to create the image of how I thought it should all be.


As much as I try I can only see that I missed all the little things that needed to be said or done and focused on what I thought should be done, so by that omission it was this that moved us apart. And it happened so quickly.

The most interesting thing that has come out of the contemplation and soul searching post the separation, is all the things you thought were important - aren't - and the little things that have always been there (but been taken for granted) are suddenly the most important thing.

But I can assure you that as devastated as I am, this is not a pity post nor a raised flag for sympathy. This is is just the state of play, it's the truth of where in 2017 I am. Still a Dad, still healthy and upright - just a different location and surroundings.

Along with new added challenges and a new operating reality we'll now need  to balance the boys between two houses, negotiate holidays, decide which family functions are mandatory attendance and the list goes on. But of course parental solidarity will still be mandatory, although a lot harder , but mandatory nonetheless to continue to allow the boys to continue to grow and mature.

My mantra for at least a little while is going to be, I'm not going to be angry at myself or get down and I will talk to friends and family. In the meantime its on wards and upwards as best we can.

Given its now been 3 years since I posted , it is well time to resume writing and stop procrastinating. It's also well time to do things I should have done and try things that should be tried ( except parachuting, there is never a valid reason to jump from a perfectly good plane with bar service).

And as the Blink 182 songs says

 Say it ain't so, I will not go Turn the lights off, carry me home

Friday, January 27, 2017

Photograph by TonyƧ

when you arrive at your destination , where ever that may be

do not wonder why you're here or what is next

turn around and marvel at the journey

Friday, August 22, 2014

Cats in the Cradle

I awake with a jolt.

For a moment I can't move , I'm strapped in.

I'm fine - I'm sitting in a plane, now wide awake with 5 hours flying time to go. Sleeping on planes isn't too hard as long as you follow the routine - Eat the mediocre - high calorie food, watch some mediocre in flight shows ( heavily edited and redacted ) and once they turn down all the cabin lights you should nod off.

And yet here I am.

As noted in the last post - the new job - whilst progressing very well and being immensely interesting, has thrown up some challenges not previously experienced. Which therefore has not allowed me to dip into the bag of Dad knowledge and produce easy to implement solutions, which can be re-created here for your digestion.

This is disconcerting.

I was at the kids Saturday sport once and a parent said - "Love the blog but make sure you keep giving us advice " or something to that effect. (Which proves someone reads this)

So I know that the uncomfortable feeling of not knowing quite what to do will hopefully produce something we can all use....

The most noticeable challenge currently is that the amount of travel that I thought was mentioned in the interview seems to have exponentially grown.

After each trip away - I have found that inserting my self back in to the family rhythm after anywhere between 7 to 14 days away is proving slightly more difficult that I thought. It's not just the fact that you essentially travel alone and apart from meetings and conference calls,  the level of inane chit chat that a family does is greatly reduced.

And compounding this is because you have no one to bounce idea's off you  have these internal conversations that are completely validated by your own perceptions with no external input ( very dangerous)

In the mean time the family have of course continued on doing what they do , minus me. So when I return I'm like an outsider for the first few days fumbling around in my own home trying to adjust to any changes that happened sans me.

And the assumption is now , that I could have to travel again,  everyone thinks in much shorter periods of time , when I am actually around so we tend to try to accelerate the solution / outcome. This seems to be due to a now recognition that the periods of time together to resolve life's challenges are going to shorter than previous and that travel could occur again at any time putting on hold all sorts of things.

So how do I adjust for that ? We have a number of communication points in place that the boys can use to reach out to me and of course with today's technology it seems to be getting simpler.

But here's a learning point - Timing.

I've always tried to convince people that in order for clear  communication to take place you are going to have to communicate in way that they feel comfortable in. I now want to add to this - the timing. So for example if you try to communicate with your family at a time of high stress such as getting ready for school - you re going to have a bad time.

This of course doesn't help you if you need a chat because you've had a good/bad/frustrating day and want to talk to the people who understand you the best. So a little understanding will have to come in to play.

In the mean time I'll try to get back in the swing of things with the family and rest safe in the knowledge that we all know deep in our hearts that our families are the one place we are loved unconditionally. We just have to ask politely.....

Hopefully now I can stop waking up with "Cats in the Cradle" in my head......

Friday, December 27, 2013

So where abouts is that ?

Picture this - You are at a Party/BBQ/Function that you've been dragged along to with people you just don't know. You're doing the best you can to hold conversations, working through meeting everyone whilst trying to avoid all the pitfalls (you of course have read this post on Dad dating first ) but despite your best efforts you’re down to this.....

The only two questions left if you're meeting someone for the first time and have run out of things to say about your kids or your beloved

or sport

        or the weather.

                    “What do you do for a crust?”

and inevitably 

"Where are you based / is your office ?"

So previously this was not a problem, I worked out of lovely offices in the central business district and people knew the building I worked in. It was easy to describe and even if you weren't familiar with the city you could roughly picture it from the landmarks it was near. I knew all the best places to eat and where to get a good coffee.

Now that I have moved to a Global Organisation that has all changed.

You don't have one particular office that you reside in and the work is where ever you are required.
It's very hard to describe to other people that you have just spent a week being locked away in a hotel room with three other guys working on contract edits for days on end - Trust me it’s a real conversation killer.

And you now no longer have the daily routines that someone with a permanent office has. Not to mention that the perception people have of those who work from home is not exactly glowing (I'm beginning to learn this maybe jealousy).

That aside, now I have to get used to all the changes in my working day / life - for example I don’t have any onsite IT unless the beloved comes in to see why I am swearing at the printer and I have definitely become aware of how much printer ink costs – that stuff is more expensive than petrol !

There is no set start or finish time, the whole thing revolves around when the meetings are or when the project is due. You work when there is work that's required.

There also have been some adjustments between the beloved and I now that I am home a lot more, so it’s now accepted that it’s not OK to be hovering around as she goes about the tasks she normally does day to day

That being said you really start to notice all the things that need doing and cleaning. I have even found the vacuum cleaner (I've not used it but I know where it is…..)

So I decided early on that whilst I took breaks away from my PC (yes I observe OH&S) I would do one extra thing a day to help around the house. First off – The washing.

I had been carefully instructed in the need to separate the clothes into colour types and I had put on the washing and gone back to work.
There was an almighty thumping noise and a dull far away roar. On closer inspection it became clear - that’s what a washing machine spin cycle sounds like if you put way way too many clothes in to wash.

Good to know. Won't happen again.

The number of telemarketer calls you get during the day really makes you wonder why they call when the chances of someone being home are statistically low, for a while I chatted to them, but now I rarely answer as I have all the time-share holidays I need and I’m all raffled out.

So where is it all at after 3 months ? 

The work is interesting and my colleagues are located all over the world which is really cool. The support is excellent and I can pretty much work from anywhere that has electricity and Internet.

On the plus side for the first time ever I have been able to attend some of the kids school activities which is great and that will continue.

On the negative side I found myself yelling at the pigeons who were sitting in the herb pot squashing the coriander.

I think I need to go outside a bit more……..

Monday, October 14, 2013

Well, at least they didn't take that.....

One of the things they don't teach you in school or anywhere for that fact is - about being robbed.

And of course they don't because they assume the best about the world - just like parents who play pass the parcel and ensure everyone gets a prize.
But the reality is that for some of us, it will happen. And for some of us it will happen more than once.

I'm talking here about your house - not your kids under 12 football teams issues with bad umpiring by the way.

No one explains to you that sinking feeling in your stomach when you get home ( or worse wake up in the morning) and realize that - someone you don't know and didn't invite in - has been into your house and not only gone through your stuff but taken things that are yours.

On a side note I've often wondered that if they don't take stuff that you think is  valuable - does that mean it's crap ? I mean apart for photos and the like it's a bit of a blow to the ego if you think about it.

I've had the displeasure of being robbed many times, as I live in a suburb that is a bit of a magnet for people who need money for things that enrich their life ( so their brains are telling them anyway) and have no way to fund this, other than removing your stuff and exchanging it for cash at a significantly lower exchange rate than when you first purchased it.

Nowadays with improved security and an increase in the median house value, that propensity has decreased some what. But it doesn't mean they aren't still trying to get to my priceless odd sock collection.

And after the 3rd time it happens you kinda just fall into a routine - calling the police, the insurance company, the banks etc, but once you have kids it becomes very different. They don't have any experience to fall back on for this new problem.

This experience is new and terrifying. They figured you would keep them safe. They figured you would shield them from the evils of the world. ( they know it exists, just not in their area )

So all of a sudden just like I did when it happened to my parents, they realise they have to go through this.

The last time it happened to us it was a mini home invasion, they picked the  front door lock grabbed all the purses and wallets neatly laid out on the sideboard ( see where being organised gets you ! ) with the car keys and my sports gear and none of us (including Captain Incontinence ) were any the wiser.

I still fail to see the point of a guard dog that can not do exactly that, but anyway. We still live in hope that all the running around the back yard barking at the pigeons in the trees is basic training and will one day transform into preemptive 24hr protection.

If you think that some days your dealings with bureaucracy is difficult - try proving who you are to someone in the government without a single piece of identification. So it went like this - to get a temporary license you need photo ID, but the only photo ID I had was my license I explained to the brick wall.

The funniest part of the whole thing really came when the beloved came to pick me up from a triathlon in the hire car that resembled a pregnant roller-skate.
I basically had to disassemble my bike, fold all the seats flat, shove all the gear in around that and then make the kids walk home.

And then after they declared our much loved 4WD a write off due to " Bio Hazards present in vehicle " it's off we go to find a new vehicle to transport the ridiculous amount of things we seem to need to take when we go anywhere. Buying a car is a whole different matter and more than enough for a separate post.

We went through the whole unpleasant and came out the other side - hopefully - an awful lot wiser.

And I think the boys now understand that sometimes you might get none of your things back and sometimes you get back someone else's size 12 bikini.

At least they didn't take my odd socks, so the search for their lost mates continues........

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Toilet and The male

This week I'm going to try and have a serious discussion about a serious topic. This is for all the blokes and their sons out there who are probably doing untold damage to their respective mothers and partners ( not to mention the environs ) with their behaviour.

Its probably not all intentional, but it is certainly undesirable.

I doubt it will remain serious but hey at least I tried.

I'm talking about the smallest room in the house. I’m talking about the toilet.

The porcelain bus
The big white phone
The dunny
The can
The head

The list goes on but you get what I mean. It's the most visited room in the house but the least talked about ( unless someone is complaining about it )

With the birth of our Sons the beloved knew that toilet training was going to be a challenge. Having put up with my mates and their inaccuracy for years she was ready for the difficult road ahead. It seemed to be resolved the day they were handed cleaning clothes and told to clean their own toilet. 

What is it with us men and toilets ? Why are we seemingly so oblivious to the rest of the world and their feelings ?

It's certainly not a BBQ discussion topic and let’s face it most of the time it’s just a quick whizz and you're off again. 

But sometimes you've been to dinner and your friend /s have used some bizarre ingredient from the back of the cupboard fridge and quite frankly it's not going to resolve itself quickly or easily.

And even if we did discuss it it would probably go something like this " I remember once when I was a kid my friend reckoned his Great Grandma said to him once ""Where is the smallest room in the house ? So he told her. 10 minutes later he found  her in the pantry with her pants down. Insert roaring laughter here.

So are there rules ?

Of course - just as there are rules in regards to gym change rooms ( look only at each other in the eye etc.) , there are rules that our spouses want us to follow

Don’t look at me like that. You heard me the first time.  Your spouse is going to be a whole lot happier if you follow these simple rules.

So below is listed the things I'm told to incorporate in to my life as a male.

1) Fans – Most bathrooms have them already built in to the light switch so it goes on when you turn on the light, but if it doesn't turn it on. No ifs or buts. ( see what I did there)
2) Sprays – I'm a bit divided here. I mean masking the odours is fine but no –one wants their house smelling like a blend Tahitian flowers and animal based compost. So use your judgement on this one.
3) Doors – 1 rule here. Close it. Nuff said.

So there you have it. It’s not that difficult now is it ?

Yet it seems to escape most of us. So in the vain hope my boys will one day read this I'll post it here and hope.

Enough said.