Picture This

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As far as I can see, the one thing that will absolutely be given to you with wild abandon and on a sparkly silver platter is a photo of a penis. The dick pic. Personally, I am not too sure what the fuss is about. In fact, I don’t know any person who has ever been delighted and overwhelmed with feelings of love and joy after receiving a dick pic.

In years gone by, we relied upon personality and witty repertoire to attract potential suitors. In some circles this has been simplified to one duck face in exchange for one naked mole rat, and badda-boom badda-bing, we’re away.

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Naked Mole Rat. It could be worse.

But again, I am yet to meet someone who has rushed out the door to meet someone after they have been in receipt of an image of a fellow’s naked mole rat. So obviously, I am generalising.

The thing is, I’ve recently been part of some discussions regarding this phenomenon. And to be completely honest with you, the chatter and comments are not about berating the owner of the photographed penis – they tend to revolve around total mystification about what on earth prompts this kind of thing.

I’ve done the online dating thing in the lesbian world. Number of unsolicited pictures of boobs or lady gardens: ZERO. None. Nil. Not a single one. Or pair, in the case of boobs. There are two possible reasons for this, as far as I can see:

  1. I was not worthy of receiving such pictures.
  2. Women… we just don’t do that shit.

I can honestly say to you at 38 years of age, I have never once been tempted to stick a camera between my legs and send the result to people I have never met. Or anyone, actually. Maybe I’m just not living on the edge. But the idea has never entered my head.

I guess the female equivalent to the dick pic might be the selfie? Social media is awash with these suckers, and there are NO RESTRAINTS with the selfie. Young, old, male, female – add a few filters and you’re looking fine and dandy. Which actually makes me think that maybe we’re like peacocks gone wrong. The male peacock fluffs out his feathers in an attempt to attract female feathers, while the female… um, I don’t know what the female peacock does. Actually is she even called a peacock? Is she a peavag? The big questions.

I wanted to research dick pics, to see if there was some kind of social liberation movement regarding it. I typed “dick pics” into Google and waited for the results. This was my face:

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And the results came up. Link after link.

And I’m sorry, but I just could not bring myself to click on a single one of them.

Here’s my summary:

If you have an appendage worthy of a dick pic, you stand tall and proud. But keep that pecker to yourself. If you’re a selfie type, you stand tall and proud… but this one is getting closer to where I reckon we need to be. Selfies tell a story, capture a moment – and while the dick pic might do the same, I want to see your eyes when you’re proud of something.

Because there are things way more attractive than the naked mole rat, and any other appearance of beauty.

Confidence. Humour. Time. The ability to maintain a conversation. Self respect. Respect for others. The ability to care for others.

And at the end of the day, those things are worth more than anything else.

Dashing

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It’s taken a week to write this post, I’m not too sure what the hold up was about – I had a ripper of an earache, things went slightly batshit busy, and any time I had to sit and write turned into time to sit and do nothing. But here it is.

On Sunday, I did the Dungog Dash with beloved and my sister.

This year has been the year of the fun run/walk. It started back in December, with the Santa Fun Run, and will end at the same event this year. I basically decided to pick the thing that was scariest, then do it over and over again until I convinced myself that I could. And it worked, and more than that, I’ve discovered that I love it.

Dungog was slightly different to the events I’ve done so far, it turns out. What attracted me to this event was a) it was helping out a community that was devastated by an East Coast Low last year, and b) it was open for dogs to participate. We didn’t take our furries, but I got to see SO MANY DOGS. Heart warmer, right there.

The problem was that I got slightly confused and registered beloved and myself as dogs. It was going to be a very long 6km on our hands and knees, but I was more concerned with the bum sniffing that seems to be the standard way dogs greet each other. It was an easy fix but we were slightly worried about completing the course when there were so many trees that needed to be weed upon.

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Ready to go. Completely not dogs.

So the other thing about the Dungog Dash is that it’s cross country. I had absolutely NO IDEA it was a cross country event. Until now I had always done walks and runs that were on clear pathways – a lasting caution from the ankle reconstruction. But, onwards we go.

The first hill was enormous. But the dogs could do it, which meant I could do it too. With beloved beside me and my sister powering on ahead, we climbed that first hill. And it went on and on and on.

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The first hill.

What could have been a challenge too great turned out to be a beautiful morning walking through some amazing scenery. And with every single step, I realised that I wasn’t having to second guess where my feet went. I was able to walk and leap and run and jump and climb and skid and just do it without having to think about safer ways to do things. I am never ever taking the ability to move and do stuff for granted, not ever. It’s not a perfect ankle but I can do more than I have been able to do in years and years. And I love it.

All was well until we started going down the last hill. By this stage lots of people had gone before us, so the track through the grass and mud was well worn. I was having a panic because this part of the track wasn’t clearly marked, and as I do when I am in panic mode, I turned my ears off.

If I had turned them on, I would have heard beloved tell me to watch where I put my feet at the bottom of the hill.

If I had listened to her, I would have avoided this:

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Mud butt

Truthfully, that landing on my arse knocked the panic out of me and as I jumped to my feet, I looked at beloved who was trying desperately not to laugh. I took her hand and together we walked to the finish line.

The Dungog Dash was brilliant. Beloved and my sister loved it, too.

Even though it was more than I thought I could do. Even though panic set in. Even though it pushed my understanding of what my ankle could do. Even though it took two washes to get the mud out of my tights.

It was brilliant.

Challenge: Powercamp.

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You might recall my post regarding Spin class – a bit of a beginner’s guide to doing one of those bike classes at the gym. Well, today’s post is about Cross Fit. I have done four of these classes now, at my brilliant gym Planet Fitness at Charlestown. As an aside, this is the gym to go to if you’re nervous about the gym. The people are lovely, it is welcoming and completely non-confrontational. You can wear your fancy pants gym gear or, like me, you can fluff about in tights and a shirt that is way too big. What you wear is not important. The main gist at Charlestown Planet Fitness seems to be that if you get through the door you’re a bloody champion. And I like this attitude.

So, the cross fit classes at Planet Fitness are called Powercamp. Planet Powercamp. You can check them out here.

Here’s the Hot Tip list for Powercamp:

1. Don’t wait until you think you can do it. Just do it. You will see all ranges of fitness, ages, sizes, genders and clothing at a Powercamp session.

2. The activities for the session will be written on a board in a tone of pink that I initially thought was menacing, but now recognise as a bit of a line in the sand. Part challenge and part dare, the list that you are greeted with each session changes, seems long at first but as you move through it the satisfaction of making a mark on the floor for each round is awesome. Because you will get through that list.

3. What if you can’t? My biggest challenge has always been the head game. I get so stuck thinking I can’t. But I can. And when there are things on that list that I am not yet able to master, there are options to change it around. However – it’s surprising how quickly I’ve starting thinking that it’s time to add plates to my bar, or to rope my trainer into helping me to knees-to-chest hanging from a bar instead of lying down. The reality is in a class session there is a range of abilities and fitness levels. And the people who run the classes, they know this. So there is always, always an option to get the same benefit from the exercise but in a different way that is appropriate to your current level. So yes. Yes, you can.

4. Bounce factor. This is, for me, a two bra class. Actually, life in general has become a two bra event, due to my escaping boob skin. But yes. You will bounce. But the thing is, nobody gives a damn. Nobody is watching you. They’re just getting through their own cycle of exercises to the best of their own ability.

5. Satisfaction rating? High. When I walk in and see the workout for the day written on the board, I confess that I panic a little bit. But when I am done? When I know I have given it everything I have? When I see that I am getting further and faster and better technique? And when I am dripping wet with sweat and my legs are aching and I’m gulping on my water bottle like it’s a nectar from the gods? There’s only one word. Proud.

Powercamp is 100% less scary than it sounds. For me it comes back to the head game: knowing the skills I have, the fitness I have, and pushing that knowledge further every time.

It’s not easy. But if it was, would it really be worth doing?

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Cross fit. Have you done it? Would you do it?

Yes I Can.

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I started doing this thing at the gym. Powercamp. It’s crossfit. Something I’ve wanted to do for ages and my trainer said it was time to give it a go, so I did.

For most people this would be another step forwards in their getting fit journey, as wanky as that sounds.

For me?

Good grief, what a frigging challenge.

Not so much the actual doing of Powercamp, but what goes along with it. New people. Unfamiliar routines. A different trainer running it. Today was session number three and I finally hit the panic wall.

What was different today? Well, number one, I was tired. There was meant to be some shitstorm weather here last night so the fur babies slept with me. Yes they’re cute, but how much sleep do you think I got?

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Number two, the exercises I didn’t know how to do outnumbered the ones I did know how to do. And number three? We had to work with a partner.

Cue rising panic.

To my credit, I didn’t do what I wanted to do. I stayed. Did a different warm up on the rower, so outside of the Powercamp room. And I have to right say how amazing the trainer was – she didn’t give me the option to leave, instead she directed me to something that would give me some headspace to refocus myself. When I’d rowed and calmed slightly, she came over and told me I’d be working with another woman. Rising panic once again – what if I slowed her down, what if I wasn’t as fit or as fast as her, what if what if what if!!!

But here’s the thing.

There was a list of about eight different things we had to do, and we had to (between us) complete 100 of each thing in the time limit. And together, my partner and I almost finished the list. We missed the skipping (which was good as I had a full bladder) and the planking. But we did a lot of that list. More than I thought I would get through.

Here’s the other thing.

As we worked together, I actually enjoyed it. And I liked the partner work out. And I kept up with her.

I finished the session and went to meet my personal trainer, who asked how it went. I told her about panic and why. And she delivered a firm but wise slap to my brain. Told me in no uncertain times that I need to get my head together and realise that I am fit and strong and able. That she wasn’t going to let anyone put shit on me, and reminded me that at this gym, nobody puts shit on anyone anyway (She’s right, by the way. If you’re a Novocastrian, check out Planet Fitness at Charlestown).

And so I had a bit of a think.

The reality is that in 12 months I’ve dropped close to 40kg. I’ve gained muscle and strength. Life is so much easier now. I can do so much more. The size of my clothing has changed dramatically, my rings don’t fit, oddly enough my glasses now look enormous and even my shoes have become slightly too big. I can see those things and I feel a little flicker of pride every day because of it.

But the un-seeable things. My fitness. My confidence. My belief in my own ability. Trusting myself and my new body (even as a work in progress). These things, I am struggling to accept.

After being so unfit for so long, it’s hard to remember (let alone understand) that things are different now.

I don’t know what the solution is here. I get the feeling it’s a practice thing – I need to remind myself that I can do things. That I am totally able. That even when my Aspy brain wants to panic, the reality is that I am more than physically able to conquer the challenges that Powercamp presents. I need to remember reality. That it’s going to take time to get used to this body and it’s fitness and strength.

And I need to remember how much I’ve achieved.

It’s hard. But I’m a stubborn cow. So my new mantra has become this:

Yes I can.

Yes I can.

Yes I can.

Five

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I just did a very small amount of research to learn what milestones the average five year old child should be closing in on. Now, we all know there is no average child, and that these things should be fluid to allow for individual quirks and development, and so on and so forth. But hang in there with me. This is the site I went off, if you’re keen.

The milestones are in four categories: social, communication, cognition and physical. At five years old, kids should be:

  • wanting to please their friends, and be like their friends
  • showing concern and sympathy for others
  • speaking clearly and telling stories
  • counting to ten
  • copying shapes
  • using the toilet independently
  • balancing on one foot

… as well as several other key things.

Now look. I don’t know how much I agree with this list. I’ve met adults who struggle with some of them, and childhood seems to be such a small window, doesn’t it.

If I had to write a list for what I’d want five year olds to be able to do, it would look kind of like this:

  • know who you are, and what you like and what you don’t like – but be open to trying new things
  • know that even though some things might seem scary, with people you trust helping you they might not be so scary after a while
  • be able to be as independent as you need to be in given situations
  • be able to play on your own happily
  • be able to play in a group happily
  • treat people, and yourself, nicely
  • be excitable and silly and roll on the grass at every opportunity

Beloved and I are celebrating five years together today.

When she left for work this morning, I told her our jobs today were to come up with a list of five highlights. Here are mine.

1. Beloved is able to grow her love for other people. She never seems to have an empty love bucket, and she shares that stuff widely. When we meet new people, she welcomes them openly. When we make new friends, they are friends for life. She’s like the Magic Pudding, but with love.

2. When she laughs she laughs loudly and it cannot be contained. It’s frigging awesome. The people around her start laughing and then she laughs more and it carries on and on. It’s just the best.

3. When I broke my leg on the cruise she tried to not get off at the different ports, because she didn’t want to leave me. I made her get off, but to think she’d prefer to shove me around in a wheelchair instead of seeing some beautiful islands blew me away. And she didn’t bitch about it, didn’t complain – the broken leg didn’t bother her one iota. Not because she didn’t care, but because for her, it was more about the being – not about the doing.

4. I have a collection of photos of my beloved bending over. She might be looking for a DVD, or weeding a garden, or putting shoes on – any time her bum is up in the air, I take a photo. And every single time, she looks at me with the same expression on her face. Shock, and a kind of bewildered “Again?” look. I tell her I am going to make a Beloved Bum Calendar but I haven’t (yet). But this is the thing. She seems to enjoy my quirks, my humour, my strange little heart. And she’s made me see that maybe, just maybe, I’m not as bad as I used to think I was. So I will continue to photograph her arse. Because it makes me laugh, but not as much as the expression on her face when she hears the camera snap.

5. Finally. Beloved has been through so much with me. Surgeries. The Aspergers diagnosis. My stubbornness. My lack of flexibility when it comes to achieving something. My over-parenting of the fur babies. My frustration with her technology skills. But she keeps on loving and she keeps on adapting and she keeps on telling me it’s OK. And with her next to me, it usually is.

My list of milestones for a five year old are pretty much a summation of our relationship.

And I wouldn’t change a thing.

Yesterday and Today

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Today, I woke up early. It was cold. It still is cold.

Swung my feet out of bed and was surprised that they didn’t shatter like glass when they hit the ground, it was so cold.

Pulled on some clothes. Tied up my laces. And went outside for a walk.

 

Yesterday, I woke up slowly.

I woke up and felt defeated before the day had even begun. I had a doctor appointment to get some results, and I was terrified I’d have to get on the scales.

The thing is, despite continuing to train and eat properly, last time I weighed in I had gained weight. Just a couple of kilograms. But a gain. This sparked off a series of blood tests (and a 24 hour wee test, which I spilled on the bathroom floor prior to discovering my coffee machine was dead – but that’s another story), and the mention, the suggestion that it might be time to explore other ways to continue my weight loss.

I’ve been doing this for 11 months.

Working my arse off. Investing time and money and choices and decisions into every single step along the path to make myself fit and strong and healthy. And my proudest thing along the ride has been that I have done this with no short cuts, no fad diets, nothing that isn’t wholly and solely down to choice. So to even consider, for a moment, that I might have achieved all that I can this way – devastating. To hear the gentle suggestion that it might be time to consider medications or even surgery? Destroying.

For a week, I’ve sunk to the depths of defeat. I’ve worked my arse off, and it’s not good enough. I can’t do this my way.

Then yesterday, I went to get the results of these tests.

Overall, they were testament to the work I have done. Sugars are normal. Cholesterol, well lowered. There was one element that had improved but is still an issue – but it had improved.

But all I could think was, “I am getting nowhere, I’ve failed”.

You see, the issue for me is that I want to look like I’m having that ongoing success. I know it isn’t just about the scales – but the reality is, I want that damn number to go down. Because let’s face it. We judge people based on their appearances. My beautiful beloved told me to not make it about the scales, and to remember the health benefits. I growled back at her that she could only say that when she had to haul my ten tonnes of fat around with her. Look, I was really not in a good place at the time.

I tried to get to the gym, but couldn’t get out of the car. Sobbed and sobbed. My legend trainer messaged me to find out where I was, I tried to explain what had happened but just kept saying “I can’t do it” over and over again and I was starting to believe it. Finally got myself into the gym and she mopped up my tears and told me to get on the bike.

That night, I had a think.

And I remembered.

I remembered this:

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And this:

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And this:

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And I remembered the fun runs. The kilometres walked. The hours lifting weights. The fact that I don’t have to even hesitate when I look at a new physical challenge. That my driver’s seat in the car has to be forward now so I can reach. That I have lap for friendly dogs to sit on. That I’ve been able to ditch medications and reduce doses. That my lung capacity is enormous. That I am fitter and stronger than I have been ever before. That I don’t have to look for the absolute biggest sizes in shops now.

And I remembered my beloved. And my friends. And my family.

Which is why I did this in the first place.

And so, today, I woke up early. It was cold. It still is cold.

Swung my feet out of bed and was surprised that they didn’t shatter like glass when they hit the ground, it was so cold.

Pulled on some clothes. Tied up my laces. And went outside for a walk.

Kitchen Magic

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I’m actually quite a good cook. Really, I am. I learned lots of things from my beautiful Nan, who could make the best meals ever out of not a lot. Lately we’ve been cooking without carbs or heaps of fat (my lack of gall bladder means I can’t manage lots of fat). This has been made easier with the introduction of this baby:

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The spiraller! This thing makes awesome noodles (zoodles) out of zucchini and carrots, and they appear a lot on our plates. I wasn’t always a fan of zucchini – kind of like a wet imposter for cucumber. But this little tool makes them awesome. I got mine from Ebay I think.

With beloved heading away for a couple of days, and with Cubs on tomorrow night, I wanted to make enough dinner for two nights. I’m practical like that.

On the menu in my head: Chicken Alfredo with zoodles.

According to the fridge: Chicken and veges in a fake creamy sauce, with cauliflower rice.

It’s a recipe I’ve pulled together many times now. It tastes so good but is actually really healthy. No major fat issues, no major carb issues, heaps of flavour and very filling. Shall we begin?

Right!

I started by cutting up the veges I had. I think there was a zucchini (but a small one), a heap of broccoli, a heap of baby spinach, garlic, a red onion, a kind of floppy carrot. I popped them aside then cut up a chicken breast. ‘Fried’ it off (using a small swig of water to stop it from sticking). Threw in my veges, with about 3/4 of a cup of chicken stock. Let that simmer away for a while.

I usually would serve this with zoodles but I felt like a change. I decided to use up the cauliflower that has been lurking in the fridge drawer. I hate cauliflower. However – and this is a very important however – I found a recipe for cauliflower rice last year. And it sounds like arse but it’s actually really good. If you google it you’ll find a recipe that works for you.

I made the rice, taste tested it, all good. Set that aside.

To finish up the chicken mix, I then added half a small carton of light evaporated milk, with a small amount of cornflour in it to thicken it up. If I have parmesan I add it; if I have some of the special garlic cream cheese I add it. But not both – just one or the other. And it is really awesome.  But!

For you to exactly create what I made tonight, I think this is the essential step:

Turn away for about five minutes, to allow for some random shit to land in the saucepan. It could be a heap of dirt, or maybe an old tea bag, or perhaps even a small bead of cat crap. Not sure what it was. It must have dissolved away into nothing though because buggered if I know what it was.

Anyway, continue on oblivious. It is important that you have no idea that something has gone terribly wrong. Make sure the sauce has thickened (cornflour people!). Put some cauliflower rice into your bowl, chuck some of the chicken stuff on top. Serve the second half into a container so you can warm it up tomorrow night. Yay, anticipation!

Load up your fork and shove it into your gob.

THEN RECOIL IN HORROR AND WONDER WHAT THE FUCK YOU HAVE DONE.

Where did it go wrong?

I have no idea. But I think two things are certain.

1. I am no longer a fan of cauliflower rice. I can only identify the cauliflower as the ingredient that I hate most in the mix, so I feel it is reasonable to lay the blame there.

2. Always have a back up dinner.

Here is a photo of what I cooked:

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And here is a photo of my back up dinner:

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What’s on the menu at your place?

 

They came to dance

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13428361_1084188311627816_6294657720373394192_n Like the rest of the world I’ve been totally horrified and dismayed by the tragic shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

Beloved and I both are reeling from this act of senseless violence. It’s been constantly on our minds and we’ve talked about it many times.

We’re in Australia, so geographically not close to Orlando. But the people who died, the people who had their life ripped from them: they’re members of our community. And as gay women, the sense of grief is strong.

Imagine.

Sexual orientation is such a deeply personal thing. People spend years in closets and unshared spaces, coming to terms with who they are. Some people never ever come out of those places, the sense of shame or guilt driving them to a life of pretence and half living. And then you find out about a place you can go to. A place where you won’t be stared at. Judged. Laughed at. Brutally beaten. Cruelly taunted. A safe place. A safe place for people just like you.

And so, you go. You meet people. You might dance with someone of the same sex for the first time ever. You might finally say those words – “Yes, I’m gay”. You feel the exhilaration of freedom; the weight lifting from your shoulders as you gaze around and see people who are like you but happy and open and themselves. And in that moment a life outside of the closet no longer seems so scary. You have a community. You have a people. You are part of something bigger and you are totally, utterly safe. And like everyone else there, you dance.

Then it changes.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6 7 8 9.

10.

11. 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22.

23.

24. 25. 26.

27 28.

293031323334353637383940. 41. 42.

43.

44.

45.

46.

47.

48. 49.

50.

The dance floor slowly empties.

Joy turns to chaos.

Life turns to death.

Freedom turns to oppression.

The closet becomes the only safe place once again.

You hear tears. Worse than that, you hear phones ringing and going unanswered. Worse still, you hear sobs desperately trying to be stifled.

And worse still, you hear silence where there should be no silence, silence where silence is the devastating reality of no further noise.

This is not about religion. This is not about creed or colour. This is not about gun laws or lack thereof.

This is about people. About a community attacked. About the right to be yourself, being snatched away and scrunched up like some used piece of cling film and flung carelessly into the bin.

They came to dance. To dance.

But now, the steps have changed.

I don’t know what to do from here. From Australia the reality is that I don’t know a single person who was at Pulse, and it’s really unlikely that I will ever go there. But I’ve been to gay venues. There’s a pride festival coming up later this year that beloved and I are going to. But the question dangles.

Will we be safe?

We can’t live, constantly scared that our love might flick the switch for someone who has a problem with it. But maybe we’ve had a reminder that we also can’t assume that what is normal for us, for our loved ones, for our community – we can’t assume that everyone is as welcoming or inclusive as we are. Because ours is a community that was primarily forged through exclusion.

For someone to enter that community, to go to a place that is safe for that community, and to singe handedly destroy exactly what it stands for: maybe that is what’s at the heart of the way beloved and I are feeling. That the physical safeness of our safe spaces are so utterly vulnerable.

But our hearts are strong.

And as a community, we love fiercely.

Yes, we will be targeted. Yes, we will be discriminated against. We will be judged. Denied freedoms. Experience shame. We will forge connections and explore life and get to know that person we kept in the closet, and when we come out you can be sure that the Mardi Gras Parade will be storming proudly through our hearts and our heads as each footstep shows that we are not alone and we are not less than anyone else.

We still can’t get married.

But we can love.

And from what I can see, that’s the true safe space.

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Knock Down

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I had great plans for weekend that was. It culminated in my third fun run for May, the Maitland River Run. It was a smaller event but I’d been looking forward to it.

When I arrived I had to go and collect my bib, and was given this plastic little chip thing. It had holes in it so I assumed it was to be pinned to my shirt with the bib, which I did. I wasn’t too sure where everyone else had pinned their chip, nobody else seemed to have it hanging from the outside of their bib – maybe it goes under? Anyway. I sat in the sun trying desperately to get warm – these winter mornings have surprised me for the 38th year IN A ROW now. As I sat I watched two men squat down together, surprisingly tying their shoes at the same time. Maybe it was some pre-race routine or maybe it was an official event? No idea. I watched with interest and then realised what they were doing.

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As I tried to unpin my chip subtly and then transfer it to my shoelaces like everyone else had already done, I had a moment of realising the variety of the people around me. Kids, adults, young, old, runners, walkers – and me. I didn’t hear any grouching or grumping or judging or tantrums (my own would come later – wait for it!). People who get outside and do stuff – they’re a good group of people to be around. I’m too shy socially awkward to have actually engaged anyone in conversation, but I did some smiling, which entertains me – to the uninitiated, we must look so strange baring our teeth at each other by way of greeting.

It was a 4km course that I was about to trot along. It was after about 1.5km that the shit hit the fan. I run down a hill that landed me close to the Maitland River. The air coming off that river was cold. Cold enough that my lungs felt like they shut up shop and were trying to exit via my mouth. I tried to breathe in but everything was closed. Damn you, asthma.

I managed to get myself to the drinks area, (about the 2km mark) where I choked out that I needed a Ventolin. Now, before you raise your arms in horror that I would run without my Ventolin, let me enlighten you as to my reasoning:

  1. I have done many fun runs and completed hours and hours of both gym workouts and out and about workouts now, never needing asthma relievers while on the course.
  2. I have an asthma management plan, which I follow, because asthma needs to be managed. You cannot muck around with asthma.
  3. I had not had any flare ups of asthma recently (thanks to my plan).
  4. Just 4 days prior, my GP had checked my lungs and proclaimed them to be crystal clear.

There was nothing – nothing – that raised alarms bells for me that this was going to happen. However, I have learned that in Winter, I need to carry a Ventolin with me while I am doing physical stuff outside.

So there I am at the drinks area, 2km away from the finish line, trying desperately to breathe while at the same time telling myself that if I give way to the tears that are threatening, my breathing will get a hundred times worse. I can’t recall all of the events because I was focusing so much on getting air. But a medic man arrived after what felt like a lifetime, and after about 20 minutes all was well.

I didn’t finish the run.

And I can’t tell you how hard that has slugged me.

It feels almost like my lungs turned to face me and delivered a stern “You cannot do this” lecture. Beloved tells me it’s how you get back up after a knock down which is important, not the actual knock down. But to have been working my arse off for the last ten months to still not be “good enough” – well.

It’s been a rough few days.

But I have another run booked for June. My asthma is back under control, mostly. A couple more days will see it right.

Just one of those things, I guess.

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In a flap

Standard

That six week mark seems to be so significant in terms of body stuff, doesn’t it. It’s generally how long a fracture takes to heal; it’s the check up point after surgeries; it’s too long to go without a shower. Today was actually seven weeks for me, post endometriosis removal, but it was check up day.

There is seating for seven in my gyno’s waiting room, which I feel is sufficient. I mean, I’d assume that a trip to this particular specialist would be something you’d maybe do with your partner, or just solo. I walked in and two seats were taken (man and a lady, who I assumed were together given his suggested lack of labia). As I waited to see the receptionist I heard a circus outside the door. I looked up in horror as the door opened.

Now, before I explain what entered the door, I would like to expand up the kind of “waiting room person” I am. If I wanted to hang out with friends, I’d probably be more likely to go to a cafe or something. Further, being a waiting room at a medical place, there are potentially going to be some stressy or unhappy people in that waiting room. So not somewhere I would choose to celebrate somebody’s birthday, for example. Because there are other people likely to be there. People aside from myself. I like to sit quietly. I bring a book or my phone or some crocheting. I only eavesdrop if it sounds interesting. Aside from that, the business of a waiting room is simply to wait. 

The door opened.

And in walked three women, one man, and a male toddler.

Now, by my calculations, only one of the three vaginas that just entered the room would have an appointment. I mean sure, they could have booked a group appointment to compare something or other. They might have booked consecutive appointments, so they could go one after the other. Kind of like a fallopian conga line. But it was obvious that all five of them were there for one vagina.

As they settled into all the remaining seats, the two that were there before me were called through to the Doctor’s room. The door opened and another woman entered. It seemed the group of people knew this lady. She sat opposite them and the conversations were loud, and revolved around weeks. Oh you’re 34 weeks? That’s six weeks of nesting! How many weeks of maternity leave do you have? Weeks weeks weeks. Nobody asked me how many weeks along from surgery was. As you know the answer is seven. Very rude.

Anyway anyway, I had my appointment with the gyno which was a triumph of uterine recovery. Then, knowing I had to get back on the road relatively quickly in order to get to another appointment by ten, my head got a little distracted. That’s the only way I can rationalise what happened next.

Receptionist: OK Kel, do you need any follow up appointments?

Me: Nope, all good!

Receptionist: Oh good! So you’re free to leave!

Me: Yes, I can take my vagina and go! (Immediate internal reaction: OH FUCK WHAT DID I JUST SAY?)

Receptionist: <blinks then giggles> Yes well make sure you take it with you!