Surprised finding

I have never ever enjoyed a holiday

For more than a week or two

After a week to recover, of course

Roll on some horrendous years

Two too many deaths at work

A masters of Special Education

A shift – overseas no less

And a few months of enforced separation

Now I sit in an ill furnished house

In a country that I only really know from TV

Weeks of nothingness interspersed with tourist activities

I thought I would be bored

Sitting at home all day long.

Not so, it turns out I quite like the quiet

The lack of stress and belongings

Two weeks into my long service leave

When I thought I would find it boring

I find that I have yet no desire to work

No desire to get out of the house,

Content to write, exercise and craft

With the odd bit of housework thrown in.

This lifestyle a surprised finding.

7. Feeling Great

So today I actually ignored the fact I planned to sleep in.  I mean I went out at sunset yesterday to get dinner and realised that now I live in a townhouse in the middle of other townhouses, I don’t actually see much of the outdoors.  Thus, when I woke at 5:30 (which was a sleep in – just shorter than planned) and I saw the dawn flowing in (before I shut my blinds so no one could see me sleeping in!), I decided that I had to go for a walk out at the dam.  Afterall, 3 weeks today and I start my flights to the USA so the dam and I won’t be seeing each other for quite some time.

The view from the top of the hill – there is only one hill, you can take the killer steep route or the much more gentle route

There are several possible combinations of walks at the dam starting from 3km to 7+ kms.  I decided that I would go for a 4km one because that increased the duration of my walks.  I also decided I would take the warm up slow so my shins wouldn’t hurt.  I did some jogging to warm up – yikes the first little jog, I was so heavy on my feet I could have triggered a seismograph (don’t laugh – Kangaroos have been known to make a seismograph move and trigger an earth tremor alert 😊).  It didn’t feel comfortable but at least I was moving faster than I had been walking.

The next jogging stint felt a little better – I started on softer ground but I started thinking about my student who passed away and bam my brain shut down and so did my legs.  The third jog was impressive by me.  I kept going past my initial goal and actually only stopped because of the burn in my lungs.   Now when I say I do a stint of jogging – It’s probably only a minute long so I was quite impressed with the time my third jog was kept up for and the fact that my legs wanted to stretch it out abit.

Anyway part way through the walk I decided to go a bit longer than the 4km – just to avoid going up the awful hill.  If I did a longer walk, I could go up the gentler hill and down the awful hill.  An extra kilometre or so was worth it.

The soft part of the track – the grass was taller than me but too early for snakes to be out soaking up the sunshine

Final stats

6.42km (roughly 3.9miles) in 1 hour and 22 mins.  Fastest kilometre was 11 mins 34 seconds and slowest kilometre was 13 mins 33 seconds.  To put this in context – 5 years ago I would have done the same distance in about 20 minutes less.  I really do have some fitness to regain.

Umm no wonder my shins hurt – my slowest time is what I have been walking to work most of the time (whilst trying to walk faster!!!!).  The kilometre splits were pretty impressive for me and definitely an improvement.

Tomorrow is a walk to work day and it’s going to take ages because the broken car has to go to the mechanic and the mechanic is NOT near a train station.  Perhaps the other car owner in the house will not have his covid tests results back and have to stay home from work – I can only hope.  5+ km in the rain doesn’t sound fun (it would if it was the weekend though).

6. No walk today

It’s Saturday and I haven’t had a sleep in for ages so that is exactly what I did.  I thought for my last couple of weeks of work I would be able to get to work later.  My job is winding down – I still have classes to teach but the learning support side of the business is all now finishing up and waiting to brief the next person.  My sleep ins have not eventuated now the car is off the road.  In fact it is even worse than that – I actually have to get up earlier.   

My lack of walking didn’t mean I didn’t exercise.  I did 20 deep push ups off the bathroom vanity.  It’s much lower than the last house I was in so I am winning (I shifted a couple of weeks ago).  I think I am actually going to have to go off the floor next time – scary stuff getting down to the floor. Exercising off the floor is a big mental barrier for me and I have no idea why – perhaps because it feels so hard to get up off the floor.  I also did 20 sit ups, 10 tricep dips – and yes the knee and the arms felt the burn.  I finished it off with 40 alternative knee to elbow crunches which I made myself get onto the floor to do just because I didn’t want to.

I also increased my incidental walking by parking a long way away from all my errands (I borrowed a child’s car). Walking the shopping centers I went to – although that could have been because I forgot what I actually needed.  That’s happening to me a lot lately – forgetfulness.  I am putting it down to living apart from my husband, selling and buying houses by myself and gearing up for an overseas move (to join said husband).  I’d like to think my memory would be better if all of this didn’t occur in the middle of a pandemic but I don’t think the pandemic has anything to do with it (aside from periodically making facebook market place deals more challenging). 

I finished off my day on the couch doing cross stitch – not much physical fitness there but I find the craft very relaxing so quite good for my mental health and this week I certainly needed it.  I would like to argue that Mint M&Ms and Darrell Lea chocolate bullets are also good for my mental health but the quantity I ate on the couch may have been stretching the concept of mental health a bit too far.

Small .22 calibre sized peices of liquorice covered in chocolate – if you like chocolate and liquorice this is seriously yum

5. Getting back into exercise

I woke up shattered still.  My brain felt like tired eyes – all dry and gritty.  I decided to walk to the closer train station and then I could catch the earlier train and not have to rush to work.  I did manage 20 push ups before I stood under a hot shower, washed my hair and attempted to feel more human. 

My classes all have exams today so I need to be able to assist my students.  Exams are always exhausting – tyring to get the best out of my students.  Anyway I promised myself that I would at least walk to work from Caboolture – In fact I bribed myself with a hot chocolate (even though it was a warm day already).

It was definitely a slower walk but the timber mill was not cutting timber today so I could smell the eucalyptus on the morning air – very pleasant.  I walked the distance of 3.11 km in 41 minutes which was actually quicker than the previous time – even though I was rushing previously.  My shins felt it.  The second and third kilometers were the fastest.  I don’t know about the last one – the traffic lights near the school take forever to change. 

Timber mill is to the right. Always smells nice in the mornings – either timber being cut or eucalytpus as a bit further along the path is a nature strip between the mill and the path.

One of my friends was back at work today, having taken a couple of days to cope with the news of our student’s death. She was very close to him – he used to come to the staffroom and call her Aunty.  She is still so raw,  I don’t have a clue how she managed it.  She has been through so much already – none of which is my story to tell but this – this may actually break her.  It was so hard sitting beside her today.  I am still so saddened and exhausted over all of this but for me – part of it is actually being at school.  Our free dress day was for our student so every where I turned, I was reminded of him today.  Harsh as it is – I am looking forward to the weekend where I can escape from the greif but then I am fully aware that my friend will never escape and I don’t know how to help her and I don’t ever wish to be any closer to that situation than a friend.  And that is hard to write but I am pretty sure – the honest truth for everyone.

Tomorrow I will go for a walk in the local area – might even fit in a jog somewhere in the walk. It is at least a weekend.

Fastest kilometer – 12 mins 39 seconds

Slowest kilometer – 13 mins 39 seconds

Distance today – 3.11km

4. Unofficial rest day

My son informed me that he would catch the train to work today.  My soul screamed “Yes”.  For so many reasons, most of whom involve my friend and her nightmare.  I slept in – or rather instead of getting up and doing something productive, I hid my grief in finishing a book – can’t even remember what the book was.  I drove to school, drove home and contemplated Yoga – still contemplating it.  Maybe later.  My soul is shattered. 

I remembered to look at the app.  My walk from Caboolture to work was 3.28km yesterday. Google Maps lied again – they said it was only 3km.  I was slower from Caboolture to work than home to the train, but I’m okay with that.  I have to walk tomorrow again.  I hope I can do a similar time or just a fraction faster.  The time was 44 mins and 12 seconds.  I’ll probably get a friend to drop me at the train on the way home.  Next week is early enough to add another 3kms plus to my exercise routine. 5 school days off before I have a long rest from teaching.  I am looking forward to that, especially now.  Every time I pause I think of my friend and the quality young man the world lost.  I was run down before this.  I think this is the mouse that sank my boat and if you don’t get the reference then google “Who sank the boat?”  It’s a picture book.