Monday, 30 December 2013

Thank you 2013


This is more than likely my last post for 2013 so what better timing for me to reflect on my year.  I've been reflecting on it so much over this past week.  I'm all set for 2014 - I have all of my goals
and plans in place and high hopes and excitement about what's to come.  But like I said in my last post, I realised first I needed to look through where I've come from this year, before I move on.

This year for me has been my Year of Recovery.  Last year was like a Year of Survival and this year has been all about recovering.  And I'm proud of it.  So, so proud.  I'm not leaving 2013 with any major life changing events but after last year that is just how I like it.

Instead, I'm leaving 2013 smiling.  I'm leaving behind a year of growth.  Looking through my photos this week, I'm leaving behind a year of events!  I discovered somewhere in between shaking in public bathrooms and lying in muddy rocks under barbed wires that I'm not really into triathlons or obstacle racing.  Instead I'm leaving behind a year where I found my own in running.  Crazy runs - 3 half marathons, a (close to) 3/4 marathon, multiple 5km-16km runs, novelty runs and more.  I found my limit at a couple of these events and it's nice to know where that limit is (and that I actually have one!)

I followed the 12WBT brigade around the country for finales in Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney which brought with it crazy adventures; from jumping pool fences at 2am to bagpipes
and war paint, from Marilyn Monroe at the casino to Cinderella at the harbour, from electrical sparks after cancelled flights to cocktail parties, teary special song requests and green mankinis.  Oh wait, sorry, that last one was Greg. ;)

It's been a year where I've worked myself out more - what I love, what I don't, what I'm good at and what I should leave for others.  I've laughed, cried and sweat a lot.  I've found stuff within myself that I didn't know was there.  I've gritted my teeth and powered through when I didn't think I could.  Two runs started out normal and ended with me running the last 5km not as a normal run but running for safety and help.  Crazy stories follow me - some of them I don't create!

I've left the office on Fridays and spent my weekends in pitch black bushes, on top of mountains,
in ice baths, in the ocean, in mud pits, in lakes, on ropes, in coloured paint dance parties and running through finish lines and then go back to work on Monday mornings as if nothing strange has happened.

My crazy challenges I set myself got more crazy through the year and more crazily, I have actually done them.  I went back and did my school cross country...I climbed a mountain with 40kg of chook feed strapped to me...I ate Skippy!...I fit into yellow dresses...and black ones...and everything in between, just to name a few.

I wore shorts for the first time as an adult!!!!  In public!

Speaking of public, my story went from being comfortably incongnito to being shared online, overseas, in a book, on video, on iTunes, on YouTube and more full on, with my friends and family.  I have never, ever been open like this before.

I've failed countless times, fallen over, stuffed up, made mistakes, lost belief in myself, didn't like myself, resorted to old behaviour and broken promises with myself all year.

But each time I got up again.

I learnt stuff I didn't particularly want to learn.  And stuff that was hard to learn.  I gave further adage to the chorus in Kelly Clarkson's song, "Stronger".

Every moment made my year into what it was.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  There was some of each - isn't there always?  My infamous shoe in the air photo with Commando was definitely part of the good though ;)

I realised I really needed to think through the year and reflect properly - so I decided to make a video of various photos and video footage from my year to help me do so.  I've spent the past week sifting through these and it's been the best thing I could have done.  I remembered things and smiled a lot.  I put it all together and realised it was
10-11min. long.  That's 3 songs worth - way too long!  But I had culled (literally) thousands of photos already; I didn't want to take any more out!  I was downhearted but then realised that I was making this video for myself.  So I kept it that length.  I'll still share it but don't expect many people to want to sit through it.  If I was making it for others the length would be a lot more viewer friendly!  If you are interested, then the video is below.  It was the best exercise for me to work out my year.

Thank you so much to everyone - my family and friends, my readers of this blog, my followers on Instagram and Twitter, my 12WBT community, 12WBT, members of the Facebook groups I'm in.  Every comment and PM that I get spurs me on.  I am the most hopeless person with replying
- I apologise so much for this - but I appreciate each message I get.  I get overwhelmed easily and allow messages to pile up and go unanswered but your support never goes unnoticed.  The friendship and support I have had this year is indescribable.  I can't express here how much of it I have had and how every single part of it is appreciated.  

I've had friends (and strangers!) do everything from run alongside me in events where I was about to crumble...give me their warm clothes as I lay on their bed shivering after a triathlon that didn't go to plan...send me quiet messages of support...make beautiful crazy pink signs and hold them up during my first half marathon...stick up for me online and in person...pick me up and drop me off at airports...pick me up and drop me
off at hospitals...send me surprise, unbelievably thoughtful presents in the mail...hold me at my dining room table when I was at one of the lowest points in my life and I didn't know if I could do it...write a list of 101 reasons why I am awesome on Facebook just to remind me...come over to my house to help encourage me to do a cook up when I wasn't feeling motivated...turn up and sit quietly beside me in hospital and radiology waiting rooms...want to do crazy adventures with me...send me text and voice messages cheering me on that I can read and listen to in difficult events...the list could go on.  Basically I have just had countless moments that make me feel like the luckiest girl in the world and I thank you.

Next year I have massive dreams and goals.  What did I post here the other day? :)  41 life goals...31 challenges...23 events which includes 2 full marathons and 7 half marathons...3 interstate running events.  I plan to take more selfies and set even crazier challenges.  I'm
probably the only one to ever say this but I plan to spend more time on Facebook and more time watching TV - things that I have this year neglected.  I plan to learn more about myself and throw myself into even more adventures.  I plan to spend more time with the people I love and more time doing the things I love.  I plan to relax - because I think I finally learnt how to do that this year.

Two days ago I hopped in my car to go out and there was a present lying on my windscreen!  It
was wrapped in beautiful butterfly wrapping paper and had no card attached.  Inside was the most thoughtful gift - a butterfly frame and this piece of paper.  It took some detective sleuthing to work out who left it for me but I worked out that it was my amazing friend Courtney.  She had parked around the corner from my place and snuck into my garage after finding out what time I would be home.  This is the kind of support I have been blessed with all year.

And she made me realise that it's true.  2014 is when I finally get to be that butterfly :)  "Year of the Butterfly!"

Thank you everyone for helping me create my 2013.  Wishing you all the happiest of new years, and wishing you a 2014 beyond your wildest dreams.  It's a brand new year with fresh hope...we can truly do anything.

That's what 2013 taught me.  Thank you, 2013 :)

This was my year:

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Shopping, Skippy, Small and Size 12

I got a little overwhelmed a couple of times today and I decided a blog post tonight would help me clarify my thoughts.

I was having a Christmas breakfast with some friends this morning and one of them raised his
The most special photo
glass to toast, and said that we weren't just celebrating Christmas, that we were also celebrating "Kate's amazing year" - and they all raised their glasses to me.  For someone who was not feeling emotional today at all, I had tears rise pretty quickly.  It was an incredibly sweet gesture that meant the world.  And it brought up a stack of thoughts and feelings.

Fast forward to lunch, I was having a Christmas lunch with another group of friends that ended in an impromptu shopping trip.  These girls were girls I had met through 12WBT.  We heard that a shop around the corner had nice, cheap dresses, so we piled into one car after lunch to go and check it out :)

What happened there was nothing short of special.  All 5 of us chose piles of things to try on and we took over the change rooms for a good 45min.  It's hard to explain but each one of

us kept coming out wearing our chosen dresses and pretty much each one not only fit, they looked great.  There was so much laughing and grinning and photos and high 5'ing going on, that other shoppers kept peering around the corner.

We've all lost a significant amount of weight and a couple of us commented, that we had never really had that before: a fun clothes shopping trip with friends.  I personally had one pretty cool experience a few years back, but apart from that, my history of clothes shopping is something I've blocked out of my memory.

I'm sure anyone who is reading this who has struggled with their weight knows what I'm talking about without me needing to be descriptive.

When you're Size 28 you don't have fun change room experiences. You cry in change rooms.  You freak out in change rooms when you realise the mirror is on the outside (why do they do that??)  You follow your skinnier friends into stores and hate that the shop assistant doesn't even acknowledge your prescence.  You end up not entering shops full stop - let alone find something to wear - let alone make it to the change rooms.  When you do make it, you have the only two things in the store that look like they could remotely fit, even though you know that they won't.  But you try them on anyway and then get crushed that nothing in the entire shopping centre fits you and you have nothing to wear to the party/Christening/wedding/lunch/*insert random occasion here*.  You end up spending extended periods of time in change rooms because you have to wait for your face to stop being so splotchy from crying so hard.  And trust me ----- these were the 'better' shopping trips.  I've had much worse.

They're the kind of clothes shopping trips I am used to.  So today was just magical.  This is what I missed out on when I was 19.  Shopping with your friends - feeling confident trying things on - having things fit - laughing - SMILING.  I had the hugest grin on my face all afternoon - I think we all did.  This is such an amazing photo as it represents us all having that experience that we had always never been able to have.  We had a ball.  And we ended up buying the same dresses!  Haha!

And the best bit for me - I tried on some shorts - and bought them!  I know!  My second pair in a
More shorts...and A SIZE 12 DRESS!
week!  These ones are casual - non exercise-y shorts...I thought I might be able to try and get used to wearing shorts and baring my legs if I am able to wear normal shorts out and about.  They felt amazing on.  And then - I tried on a dress.  It had a Size 12 or a Size 20 left so I tried on the Size 12.  IT FIT.  I could not believe it.  Tracey had the same experience just 20min. earlier and we high 5'd...then it happened to me!  I'm officially still a Size 14 but to start having the next size begin to fit you is the most incredible feeling.

That's when I started getting overwhelmed (in a great way!)  What a week of body size stuff.  In one week I have bought my first Size 12 dress...AND my first size 'Small' tops.  I'd bought (and worn in public!) my first shorts - then bought a second pair.  I had a normal, fun, clothes shopping experience.  

No description needed
I did heaps of my mini milestone challenges that I set myself too.  I did my school cross country :)  I climbed a mountain to have breaky on top (photos coming).  Oh - I tried kangaroo!  That was my Week 6 challenge and I did it!  I didn't mind it but I couldn't get my head around the fact that it was an animal so I could only eat a few mouthfuls.  These photos pretty much tell you the story, they need no words.  

1 year of boot camp
I also finished my first year of boot camps with Margie and it made me reflect on that too.  I've had the most incredible year there.  My fitness has improved a million fold and my body has changed shape.  Even when it was cold and dark outside or when I was sore and on my knees complaining or when I was so slow and feeling sorry for myself & just didn't think I could go on, I've loved every second. I've met the most amazing, supportive people in my boot camp group and we have so much fun- sometimes I laugh so much that I cry!  We totally have a ball there - everyone is amazing - (I felt comfortable enough to road test my shorts AKA undies in front of them this week so that's saying something!) 

Size 14 Disney Princess PJ's-from friends last night-fit out of the box!
And Margie has been phenomenal. She has been a rock, she understands us, she gets us, she is patient, she cheers for us, she makes us laugh, she kicks our ass, she then makes us laugh while kicking said ass (amazing talent!), she works us so damn hard. And she absolutely cares about us. She's helped me just so much - she believes in me - so many times I think I can't do it and she tells me I can. Then I do it.  And she never gives up on me.  I am so incredibly blessed to have an amazing trainer.

Anyway all of this stuff has just got me thinking of this whole year.  So much has happened and it's that time of year where we all start thinking about the year that was.  I have high hopes and dreams for 2014 and I can't wait to get into it but it wasn't until today where I realised that I haven't reflected on this year as a whole yet.  I don't want to let it
just go in a's been great and I want to settle with those thoughts over the next week.
Anyway - this is just a bit of a reflective chatter post - I'm sure there'll be more 'reflective sharing' coming soon.'s time to reflect.  Love Kate xo

My First Bra. Well actually, My First Pair of Shorts. Pretty much the same thing!

There comes a time in every young girls life when she wears her first bra.

And there comes a time in every ex morbidly obese adults life when she wears a pair of shorts for the first time, in public.

Pretty much the same thing. Both experiences are racked with a zillion emotions and indescribable fear, trepidation and total overwhelm-ment. 

I wrote a diary entry when I was about 12 titled "My First Bra". And here I am writing a blog post about my first pair of adult shorts. 


The bra entry had me sticky-taping the tag from said first bra into my diary....this entry will just have a lot of selfies.

Oh yes indeedy that is where I'm up to in this weight loss adventure of a million milestones: My first pair of shorts.

I started the story in my last post about how the shorts came about in the first place and about failed Attempt #1 of wearing them. I said I'd try again the next day.
Trying to get confidence in my bedroom

Well the next day (yesterday), was boot camp - just a normal, regular session - and actually our last regular session of 2013. I've been training with this group for so long and I feel so comfortable there that I decided that if anyone's going to have to see me exercise in public in tiny pink shorts, then this is the group to try it out on. My first time needed to be in a safe space. :)

I woke up pretty confident and put the shorts on. I pulled at them and inspected them and took selfies in my bedroom of them and studied them. Then before I could let myself change my mind, I left the house and drove myself to boot camp. I didn't know if I could do it so I brought along 3 different length pairs of 'emergency pants' to put on at any stage if I decided I couldn't carry through with Operation Wear Shorts For The First Time.

Not believing the sight of myself in shorts
I arrived and tried to be strong despite me being so overwhelmed. We started boot camp and I tried to tell myself that they were fine. I truly felt like I was training in my undies! They are so short that I may as well have been! I was incredibly self conscious and spent so much time pulling at them and touching them and fixing them each time they rode up, but I powered through.

I'd like to say it was liberating but that only kicked in after the fact. At the time I was just anxious and self conscious and feeling like I was naked on a soccer field.

Oh dear, here I go
I'm making out like this is The Hugest Deal in the world. I know it's not - you know I write dramatically - but really - this was still a big thing for me. This represented body image self confidence - of which I have had zero for as long as I can remember. When you're Size 28 (like I was just last year), you don't wear shorts. You cover up everything you can. You cower. You hide behind your hair! YOU DO NOT WEAR LITTLE SHORTS IN PUBLIC.

I'm just trying this whole thing right now. Finding my own place and trying to gain confidence to do all of those little things that I will never take for granted, because I spent 16 years feeling like I didn't deserve to be seen in public.

Anyway, I did it :) I wore them for the whole session and as hard as I found it, I didn't let myself resort to emergency pants. I think they'll be better suited to running - boot camp has a lot of moves like burpees and squats that maybe aren't too nice for Kate in little shorts :) I didn't think that one through too well. You live and learn.... I powered through the session anyway. But running should be better. That'll be my next challenge.

But for now, I'm really proud that I've worn them. It was a huge deal but now that it's done, the next time should be better. And the time after that and after that and that.

When I wore my first bra I felt like everyone could tell and it didn't feel right - it felt weird and strange and I didn't like it much. I guess it's similar for the little shorts after losing weight. I'm not used to them just yet, but I'll get there.

Improving my body image / self confidence, one day at a time. :)


Friday, 20 December 2013


It's one of those nights...

Feeling blergh. I was just sitting down thinking it'd be handy if I had a blog where I could just dump all this stuff out and get it off my chest........

Nothing's actually wrong. I'm just suddenly feeling really unmotivated. I don't know why - just a
Boot camp touch comp tonight
mixture of stuff probably.

I really really really want a break - I get one in 5 sleeps, I just have to hang in there. I'm so stressed during the day at the moment and then so busy at night - dinner at 10:30pm and sleep at 1:45am is not good when I have to be up at 5am. Yet this is what's happening. I'm behind in everything and it's stressing me out. I've been trying to get to the doctor for 2 days and I haven't even had time to ring them (let alone go!) :(  It's just the usual busy end of year thing everyone has.  It sux.  Bring on holidays - 12 whole days off.  Sleeping, relaxing, organising, seeing family and friends - all things that have been neglected lately.

I was posting on Instagram earlier and was writing about my birthday and that's gotten me all down. It's stupid but I haven't been looking forward to it and if anything have been feeling sad about it - this is so unlike me, I LOVE birthdays! I'll copy and paste from my post here which explains it rather than typing it again #cozimlazylikethat


Throwback Thursday.... This is me at a birthday dinner of mine last year. Every time I look at this photo I remember just feeling sad. I was at my biggest and so unhappy within myself. I was trying to hide - which is a bit hard when you're the birthday girl! All of the photos from this night made me cringe. I was wearing a top that I hated just because it was the only one I could find that fit when I went shopping. I wore it with my staple pair of black fat pants. On top of that I was feeling really unwell. I was in hospital on my actual birthday so I had to postpone my dinner for a couple of weeks which really upset me. I was lucky to make it even this night as I was back in hospital again and got out just in time the day before dinner attempt #2. My friend suggested to postpone it again but I was determined not to change my birthday a 3rd time. I should have though as I was so unwell. All I remember is being all shaky and dazed, while feeling like I wanted the ground to swallow me up because I hated how I looked and hated how I felt. And I hated how that another year had passed and I was still 80kg overweight. It's not nice to feel like that on your birthday.

I pulled myself together to start losing weight soon after so I wouldn't have another birthday feeling like that. This years birthday didn't really go to plan either - QLD floods hit, I woke up to having to throw out the entire contents of my fridge & freezer as my power had finally gone after 4 days, my work got closed because it flooded, I spent some of the day shoveling sand bags for flood victims, then had to get washed, dressed and made up for my birthday dinner in a shopping centre public bathroom because I had no power at home. However I was a lot lighter and happier than I was last year. 

And my next birthday, I plan to feel even better again. (And I am nervous but I'm also am hoping for no hospitals, ambulances or natural disasters!) Each birthday, each new year and just any day of the year we have the opportunity to feel better than we did last year. We'll probably never feel 'perfect' or have everything the way we want it to be, but we can work hard to feel 1000 times better than the last year. We just have to start now. Think of your next birthday, or New Years Day, or any date next year - where would you like to be at? How would you like to feel? 

Start working on that right now. Coz when you get there.....and you feel better than the last year.....that's a pretty damn amazing feeling. Just start now - work towards how you want to feel. #throwbackthursday #transformation #birthday #operationbirthday #12wbt #goals

So... apart from the motivation theme of the post because I really believe that, and apart from the fact that I love Operation Birthday and it's been spurring me on, I'm just worrying. I'm not superstitious and I don't expect anything to go wrong but I'm still nervous and I just don't want to have any dramas happen on my birthday again. I know it's not big stuff...but birthdays are so important to me.  Not a biggie but thinking and writing about my birthday has made it all come up.

On a slightly positive note though, I got my shit together again yesterday as I said I would. No more slackening off or slowing down. But it's hard...especially when I'm feeling how I'm feeling tonight.
Buying the shorts and trying them on at home

Also I haven't updated it on here, it's all been on Instagram, but....I bought my first pair of shorts last week! Crazy stuff! To try and quickly summarise:
  • I got told after I overheated at the 30km run last week that I should be running in shorts 
  • I laughed and thought "yeah right" - maybe in 6 months
  • A few days later I was shopping and saw PINK MISH shorts! Pink? And Mish? I couldn't help myself and bought them. They are so short they make me feel like they're practically underwear
  • I posted a pic on Instagram - coz I document my journey - I didn't think much about it
  • So many people encouraged me to wear them now - so much so that they convinced me to! Talk about power of the people! Literally the only reason I considered wearing them now and not In 6 months is solely the encouragement boost from my IG followers!  I was not expecting that - I wasn't expecting anything coz it was just a usual random post of whats happening
  • All week I've been trying to get the confidence to wear them. Tonight was going to be the night! We played a championship of touch footy with my boot camp group (SO much fun by the way!)
  • I thought I would be ok to wear them for the first time, especially as I was amongst friends. 
  • Just hanging, waiting to be worn...
  • I got out of my car wearing them - and couldn't even walk away - I felt so uncomfortable just literally standing at my car door that when I realised I was too nervous to take a step away at least, then tonight was not the night.  So I lightning speed quickly hopped back in my car and put tights on instead. :(  With the shorts over the top!  
  • I just got down because I was like 'am I kidding myself to think I can wear these??' :(
I'll try again tomorrow. 
My very first size 'Small' - ever.  And from tiny SUPRE!

On another positive note though, guess what I bought last night? Two tops from Supre - Size SMALL!!!!! I have never been size Small in anything, ever. I wore one today, so proud.

I feel like I don't have any motivation at the moment to keep going.  Which is ridiculous because I have plenty.  But that's how I'm feeling...

Anyway enough random, non-connecting, not making sense and whining chatter, that's enough negativity and randomness for one blog post. I know nothing sounds bad and it's not.  I'm just whinging and basically telling you a few random things on my mind when really, the crux of my issue is that I am craving motivation.  I'm sure I'll jump back tomorrow. Just now I'm feeling blah and feeling unmotivated even for my Operation Birthday.  I'm not about to give  up or stuff up, but I'm definitely feeling :( tonight xo

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Of pillow cases and goals. Many of them.


It's Week 6 and that means we're halfway through this round.  The past week hasn't been entirely successful on my behalf.  The last week I’ve slowed down a bit with my efforts. I haven’t gone off track, stuffed up or binged or anything like that, but I can see myself just loosening the reigns ever so slightly. I had an unplanned piece of pavlova on Saturday night – that I didn’t particularly need or want – I haven’t recorded my calories or weighed every single thing for a few days – for the first time this round I didn’t prep my meals for the week on the
weekend and as a result have been very disorganised each morning and that has led to mindless eating.  

I keep meaning to get my act together each day, especially with food prep, but I keep getting side tracked emotionally.  I've had a really stressful week and have not been dealing with the stress too well.  It's just the whole end-of-the-working-year-I-really-really-need-a-break thing and I'm becoming upset and irritable which is really unlike me :(  I have 12 days off starting Christmas Day and I am hanging out for that like nothing else.  Just one week to go.

I’m all good but I can see this slackening behaviour setting in and it makes me feel unsettled. I’m not stressing out over it or beating myself up but I want to stop this now before it grows into me turning to my old habits. It’s Christmas and I am being quite relaxed and that’s ok. BUT I have goals and I want to get to them. Half assed efforts and slackening off isn’t going to get me to those goals. I have to get my act together and get organised again.  

I can just feel myself slowing down and as much as I am all about learning moderation right now, I’m not wanting to slow my efforts and get slack. When I get too slack I return to old behaviour and I’m looking forward, not back. The only way to get to my goals is hard work, consistency and effort. This journey takes time and can be hard and frustrating and tough and just annoying. But we've just gotta keep going.  It's time to get a little more serious again.

I don't have any special tricks to implement or anything, I'm just planning to get back to being strict with myself and putting a massive emphasis on organisation.  I have still not finished the Organise and Diarise task :(  This is so important to do!  So I have to make more of an effort and get that done (!) and just be more focussed.  It's not rocket science.  Oh - but one thing I am changing is that I'm moving from pencil cases to pillow cases for my food.  The pencil cases need replacing as they're getting stained and broken.  So tonight I bought pillow case protectors and these will be my new pencil cases!

Along with that, I've been working on my 2014 goals for a while now and am really excited about them.  It's a little bit of a case of Miss Crazy Goal Setter strikes again!  I currently have the following to achieve by the end of 2014:
  • 41 life goals (general goals in all areas of my life - some are major, huge goals, some are just little things)
  • 31 challenges (like my weekly crazy 12WBT goals I make)
  • 23 events
  • 21 of these are running events
  • 2 of these are full marathons &
  • 7 are half marathons 
  • 3 of the running events are interstate too!  
All of these are achievable but more importantly I'm really, really excited about each one of them. They each take my breath away. Particularly the running ones of course.  This starts tomorrow by the way. I don't need to wait till the 1st Jan to my thang.  I'll change some of them along the way, I am sure.  But this is my plan for now.  I've said it before and I'll say it again - I am addicted to goals.  Goals motivate me and encourage me along - they give me purpose and a path on which to follow.
I'll let you know soon how I go with getting my butt back into gear on the weight loss side of things.  But for now I just wanted to step in and share my goal overview and to be accountable with my slackness.  For the first time this round I'm not excited about weigh in tomorrow - and I don't like being like that.  Every other week I've worked my ass off and have been excited to see how I'm tracking.  I'm not scared about tomorrow, but I'm not excited either.  Am gonna change that starting now so that next week I am excited again :)  I have exactly 6 weeks left of Operation Birthday.  I'm not going to waste any more time.  Let's get on this.

P.S. Just 5 weeks till my next half marathon - I can't wait...I'm getting itchy legs.


Monday, 16 December 2013

The day I went back to school

My Grandma always wanted to be an actress.  She wasn't able to, then life got in the way, as it does for us through the years she did a mountain of other amazing stuff instead.  However she never
'My' school uniform!
forgot that acting dream.

So when she turned 70 she got herself an agent and she became an actress.  14 years later and I (as her biggest fan) have lost count of the amount of TV shows, ads and movies that she's been in.  To have a Grandma who was in Mission Impossible 2 is pretty cool.  Often through the years, I'd be lying on the couch watching Home and Away, and she would appear in a scene.  I'm lucky to have someone so inspirational in my life and I tell everyone that story at every opportunity.  That it's never too late to do what you want to do.  To chase your passion.  And to do those things that you always wanted to do but never thought possible....

So this is probably the thing that gave me the confidence to choose my latest crazy challenge.  I've mentioned it a few times on here: I wanted to go back to my old high school, and redo my school cross country.

When I was at school, I hated PE, I hated school sports day, I hated the sports uniform.  I
The oval
was a straight A student through school, apart from getting a C in Year 8 PE.  I hated that we were even forced to do PE.  I hated it all.  But most of all, I hated the cross country.  I never did it properly. I either had a conveniently timed musical practice, I wagged, or I walked at the back eating M&M's in utter schoolgirl defiance of how could they make me EXERCISE!  I told myself that I was not an athlete and not a runner, so I never even tried.

So one of my goals for this round, was to go back to my high school, and run the
Jumping the fence  - never thought I'd want to sneak INTO school!
cross country course.


Because now I could.

My best friend from high school, Donella, offered to do it with me which made it even more special. 
Donella and I
We met as 12 year olds on the first day of Grade 8, and now here we were, sneaking into the school on a Sunday afternoon many years later, her helping me complete some unfinished business of mine.

Just to make it more real, I wore a school uniform for the occassion....not my actual school uniform because I have no idea where it is and I think it's covered in Nikko pen signatures and it's a bit cut up from the end of Year 12.  But I have a couple of school dress costumes at home so I wore one of them.  When I put it on I forgot that I had cut high splits in the dress because I wore it in a play where my character was a stripper ----- but I tried to push that out of my mind! 
I may have also worn a scrunchie! :)

We walked into the school and it brought back just so many memories.  We hadn't really been back since our youngest siblings school formals, so being able to walk through while no-one else was around really made us take it in and remember all of these random things.  We made our way down to the school oval and we started.

Don actually did the cross country properly at school, so I became even more grateful for her company when I realised she really remembered where we had to go!

The M&M's that I didn't need this time!
A lovely person I know, Jody Berkey, had the awesome suggestion that I should bring a packet of M&M's on my little venture and throw them out along the way and say "I don't need you anymore". :)  For a bit of fun, I did just that, and clutched the bag for the run.

So, with my best friend, my M&M's, my school dress and scrunchie, I set out to do what I could not do at 16, and I ran my school cross country.

It was amazing.  I really didn't expect for it to be so special, but it was.  Running past certain pockets in the school and surrounding suburbs was incredible, as we remembered random school girl moments and what happened where.  It hadn't changed, it was like it was yesterday.  Just this time, I was running!  We even had to climb a fence - so it ended up really feeling like we were on an adventure!

My favourite part was this: We were going to finish on the oval, which is where the old cross country used to finish.  We'd run 3-4km and we ran back into the school.  In the middle of the oval was a large metal frame - it may have been a soccer stand without the net.  I pointed at it and got excited - that's where the finish line used to be!  I remembered.

Donella offered to run ahead so that she could take photos of me finishing...see why I love her? ;)

She ran ahead, through the frame, half way down the
Goodbye M&M's!

And then I did it.  I had the oval to myself (and Don), and with a massive grin on my face, I ran towards the finish line :)  I actually did a bit of skipping and hopping on the home run stretch, and threw a few M&M's in the air like I was doing some kind of strange rain dance!  And then I ran through.  

It felt amazing.  And afterwards I was strangely emotional about the whole thing - I didn't expect to feel like that.  This was, by far, one of the best things I've ever done.  It's not like my cross country's ever haunted me, it wasn't a demon that I had to squash or anything, but it was just something that I decided that I wanted to do.  Because of the reason I use often lately:

Because I could.

It's never too late.  Become an actress at 70.  Or go and redo your school cross country.  Whatever it is, you should go and do it xx


My scrunchie!
My old school sports house!

Thanks for the idea Jody! :)


16 again

Don't need you M&M's :)