Tag Archives: photos

The Climb

Standard

Yesterday was exactly one year since I couldn’t finish a fun run. I was doing the Maitland River Run and a surprise asthma attack had me sidelined at around the halfway point, waiting for a medical chap to come with Ventolin to my rescue. I had to make a decision: Do I do the run again this year to prove I can, or do I do something else?

I did something else.

Not because of fear or anything like that. But because, quite simply, I knew if anything went wrong again, that there wasn’t any real first aid stations along the course. It took ages to get medical help, and I was totally unimpressed that one of the official photographers told me he couldn’t help me and that I should walk up to the drink station, which was around 500 metres away. This isn’t an event I want to support.

So, the something else.

Mount Tomaree is a very big mountain. It’s near Nelson Bay. The gradient of the hike is Level 5 – very steep and difficult. But it promised stunning views, and I am generally up for a physical challenge. And so, off we went.

Within the first 5 minutes, I was panicking internally. This was steep, and we were nowhere near the summit. In my head I was trying to come up with the words to say that I couldn’t do it, and trying to justify to myself the reasons for not finishing this attempt. But while I was thinking all these things, my legs were pumping away and my feet were happily doing their ‘one in front of the other’ thing. It’s like they were not aware that I couldn’t do this, and they just kept right on going.

Something I see often, and have experienced particularly when it comes to running, is that your brain will give out long before your body does. You’re mind will challenge what you’re doing and tell you NOOO but if you don’t listen to it, your body can and will just keep going. It’s funny because it’s my mind that makes the decisions to do this stuff, but it’s my body that does it and it’s my mind that tends to be the first to back out.

But I digress.

The walk starts on paved ground. Then it changes to mega steep metal stairs and walkways. Then it changes to steps cut into the rocks. There are more metal stairs and more metal walkways, then more rock steps. And the whole thing just keeps going and going. But it goes somewhere. Directly up. Up and up and up.

18745209_10154692425345897_305615090_o (1)

As the ups became steeper, I realised that I was doing it.

And as we got nearer to the top, the views got better.

One more step of steps. One more metal walkway. One more twisting path. And then!

18762294_10154692719850897_493456254_n

Amazing. Totally worth the climb.

But to be honest, we didn’t spend a huge amount of time at the top.

Because that’s not what the joy was.

The joy? Getting there.

Setting a challenge and completing it.

When we were at the top, I wasn’t really thinking about the views. I was thinking about these feet of mine. That have been to hell and back, rebuilt, relearning, and now doing the best they can to keep up with the goals and ideas I come up with. I was thinking about the way I was ready to pack it in before I’d even started. I was grinning because despite my brain and my feet, and a killer leg day on Friday, I’d done it. We’d done it. And I hadn’t struggled anywhere near as much as I had assumed I would.

18789254_10154692425285897_1092490228_o

One of the reasons why?

18741878_10154692719635897_256386427_n

There she is, right next to me.

And so, Maitland River Run, you didn’t defeat me last year. And instead of coming back to prove it, I took on something harder, something more challenging, something that has brought me undone in ways you never will:

I took on myself.

 

 

Advertisements

Celebrate People.

Standard

My beloved and I went to a celebration of people on the weekend that was cleverly disguised as a wedding. The wedding was for two of the kindest and most beautiful people you could ever hope to meet, but all the way through the wedding was this total theme of valuing others, and it was one of the best things I have ever seen in my life.

There aren’t words that are rich enough to describe these people. Not just the bride and groom, but their family and the people who were there. The bride told us to try to get to know each other, because we deserve to meet great people. And she was right. There were some top shelf people there. And every single one of the people I spoke to sung the never-ending praises of the couple in question.

It was one of those nights when you know you’re not just witnessing, but a part of something amazing.

Things like hay bales, with “Thank You” gifts nestled at the base:

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

And these weren’t just any thank you gifts. These were made with total love and dedication by Granny, who is (by all accounts and observations) one amazing woman. Can’t wait to break into our jar, Granny.

Things like a party area that looked like a fairyland. In fact, one little tiny fairy tiptoed past me carefully, then suddenly paused. I asked her if she was OK and she said, “I’ve just got a little bindy”.

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

Things like this pink stuff that made me feel hugely hungover a little bit ill the morning after. To be fair, the pink stuff partied in my tummy with several other drinks, so I cannot solely blame the pink stuff:

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

And things like the photobooth, that gave us the chance to leave a message for the pair, and also to take home a strip of pics to remind us of the friendship, the celebration, the love, the joy, the sincerity and the amazing priveledge it was to be a part of a day that existed to note love, but reminded me of so much more.

I’ve been reminded to see myself the way other people see me. I’ve been reminded that every person that we meet has an entire story and life and heart full of love behind their eyes. I’ve been reminded to celebrate people, for as long as I have them, to celebrate them.

And I’ve been reminded that life really, really is pretty damn good.

To A and M – may your happily ever after rise up to greet you, to embrace you, and to lead you on journeys that will arm you with stories and experiences that help the world get to know you more and more every day.

We need more like you.

Photoboothing it with my beloved.

Photoboothing it with my beloved.

Always pack a spare

Standard

If you have been following this blog for a while you’ll know that earlier this year, this happened:

Ouch. Image by The Naughty Corner.

Ouch. Image by The Naughty Corner.

This most recent break happened on a cruise, with my beloved. Day three, people. The remaining 7 days were spent in a wheelchair, wondering exactly how much of a mischief I had done to myself.

Significant, is the answer.

As the cherry on top of 7 years of injuries (following the initial one in 2007), this most recent break finished off the foot and it is getting reconstructed tomorrow.

Yes, I am excited. Yes, I am shitting myself. Yes, I’m remembering to think about how good it is going to be in a few months. BUT I AM STILL SCARED NOW!

So as way of distraction, let me show you how you deal with a broken ankle on a cruise.

1. You crawl to the nearest stairwell, and get carted down to the hospital section. Your ankle gets wrapped up, but still looks pretty damn wrong:

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

2. You see signs that you wish were relevant to how you broke your ankle, but the harsh reality is that you’re just a little bit clumsy:

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

3. You make use of the on-ship advertising:

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

4. You might even find love…

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

And after you disembark, and the temporary cast is gone, and you’ve done your time in the boot, and you wait for surgery (oh FUCK it’s tomorrow!), it’s comforting to know that someone is keeping a close eye on things:

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

Wish me luck.

Rub a dub dub

Standard

We’ve decided that during the school term, the WiFi gets turned off at 10pm.

This is good, for many reasons, most of all because it encourages us to go to bed without faces full of screens.

But there is a definite downside: I tend to blog at night, which means that I’m having to get my head around reorganising my writing routines. This bit me on the bottom last night, as I had a Naughty Corner full of people waiting to find out who had won the massage that is currently on offer on the Facebook page for this blog!

Here’s how it happened.

Last week, after telling you about my crappy experience trying to park a truck, getting stuck in a storm and generally losing my shit, I received a message from Mel at Hunter Massage. She offered my beloved and I a free massage. I was blown away by her generosity but also by her care. Stunned. The glorious thing about poor self esteem is that you’re never really sure if you are worth much. Well, the delightful Mel showed me that indeed I am. She also showed me that I’m not just writing into nothingness, which is so affirming.

We went along for our massages and walked along Newcastle Beach to get there. Hunter Massage operates out of the Surf Life Saving Club, three days a week. So it was stunning, to soak up some sun and that sea air, knowing that relaxation is well on the way.

Which reminds me of the time when I was at university, and writing a linguistics essay. With no time for spell check, I submitted an essay that suggested that communication was the sharing of massages. Massages. Not messages, massages.

I went first, and got my beloved to take this photo:

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

I spent the massage in my happy place, and it got me wondering: What is YOUR happy place? I had a chat to Mel and she agreed to gift one lucky Naughty Corner fan with a massage. So I put out the call: Show me your happy place!

After the entries were tallied, the selection process commenced:

After waking up the impartial judge, the winner of a massage at Newcastle Beach with Mel from Hunter Massage was clearly selected, being the first stick that Scouty licked the cheese off:

Michelle! Image by The Naughty Corner

Michelle! Image by The Naughty Corner

And here is Michelle’s happy place:

Congratulations, Michelle!

Congratulations, Michelle!

Have you ever won anything? Are you local to Newcastle? Check out Hunter Massage!