Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Walkabout.

Six weeks of eating fabulously was a balm for my soul. Fresh Aussie summer fruits, veggies and seafood, my favourite brands of chips/crisps, icecream, fish and chips, lebanese food, and not to forget...Baker's Delight bread and the list goes on. Eating my favourite foods alongside my family and friends definitely soothed something inside me. But not only was it a balm, the trip was also a triumph in many ways.

Firstly, in the whole six weeks we were away I gained three pounds. And I really don't consider that as a gain. It's more of a regular fluctuation. In fact, the month of November also saw a gain of three pounds. Considering that August, September and October saw losses due to illness and lack of appetite, I'm quite happy to have gained the weight back sensibly. Yes, I have lost muscle tone and gained inches, but that is to be expected. Last trip to Australia I gained an obscene amount of weight in the four weeks we were there, so a mere three pound gain over six weeks is something I'm proud of.

Secondly, before having the bad reaction my goal had been to go to Hanging Rock and make it all the way to the top. For various reasons every time we've gone there in the past, I've never gone beyond the clearing that is approx ¾ of the way up the trail. (I believe it may be the area called The Saddle.) After the reaction, my biggest fear was that I would have to stay at home and not even go, or remain behind in the cafĂ©. Once I saw how well I was able to walk around as the time approached for the Hanging Rock trip, my goal was simply to make it to the bottom of the stairs that lead under the actual Hanging Rock part of the trail. I knew my knees would not be able to do the stairs no matter how much I may have wanted them to, so the bottom of the stairs was my planned stopping point.

My father-in-law(who also has sore knees) and I made the bottom of stairs and weren't quite ready to turn back. Having always done the stairs to cross under the hanging rock, I'd never before noticed that the path continued to the left and curved around in a steep ramp trail. No stairs! To be honest, steep doesn't even begin to describe some of the sections of that particular part of the trail, but with many stops along the way, we made it to the clearing at the top of the stairs. I'd made it halfway up Hanging Rock when I'd feared I'd be unable to even go! My heart and soul urged me on to continue up to The Saddle. My head told me, “You're feeling great now, but you've got to get back DOWN the trail yet.” So, I listened to my head and took the victory that I'd already achieved. Especially important since the next day I was the driver to head down The Great Ocean Road. I needed a stout stick to help me balance on the way back down, but made it back in one piece.

Thirdly, last time we were there I went through a whole packet of antihistamine tablets as well as needing Ventolin inhalers to cope with my hay fever. This time I had maybe ten antihistamines and no inhaler. None! Even with the wattle trees upchucking their polleny bits in such a beautiful way all along the Hanging Rock trail.

I can't begin to imagine how many kilometres I must have walked during this whole trip. Countless shopping trips, several of which included covering the whole of Vic Market and Highpoint. (My god that's huge now!) Squeaky Beach, 12 Apostles and Port Campbell, Penguin Parade, Koala Conservatory, Healesville Sanctuary, only a small part of the Otway Ranges FlyWalk, multiple museums and aquariums, Melbourne CBD. And most surprising to myself, on two occasions during the second week of the vacation I walked the trail near my parents place that holds a steep gully. It was that particular feat that gave me the idea for the Hanging Rock goal.

Now, think back to that 1 mile stroll I took on the 30th of October last year. . .I was sore for nearly a week after and honestly felt like I'd run a marathon.

There's no knowing if I'll ever regain my fitness levels prior to the adverse reaction, but if you'd told me in September or October that I would feel this strong and fit in January, I'd have done a Darryl Kerrigan, “Tell him he's dreaming!”

My heart is dreaming of doing modified aerobics this week. Again, I'll be listening to my head though. It's suggesting I should be able to do one month of walking a daily minimum of 1 mile, before I even think about attempting aerobics or weight work. I'm only five months out from that shitful day, and so I should still be taking it slowly. My mother-in-law has been told it'll take her twelve months to fully recuperate from her knee surgery. Why should I think it would take any less to recover from something that touched on just about every single part of my body? I'm gonna make like a tortoise and stick with slow and steady. I intend to win this race back to good health.

In light of that my goal for this year is very simple: be healthier than I am now.

I achieved last year's major goal. I got below 220lbs. I've snuck back up over that in the last couple of weeks, but that's okay. I know that weight will come off again and I'll move back down again, but in a healthier way. Coming through last year intact and with my emotions and mental blocks all sorted through has given me such a positive outlook for this year that I know I can only improve on where I am today.

2007 was a great year for me, I'm hoping 2008 is even better!

1 Nibbles:

Amanda said...

Fantastic! So glad things went well, and that you got to tackle Hanging Rock, at least in part. A three pound gain in 6 weeks of holiday is a fantastic effort, particularly off the back of such a serious illness.

You've left me wanting to make a trip to Melbourne, to see my wonderful friends, to wander around the markets, the CBD... everything. It's not really an option at the moment though, unless one of the low cost carriers do ridiculously low fares in the next couple of months.

Looking forward to hearing more from you this year Kada!