One word

m’ and me at the pool:

m’: Uh oh! My spare tyre has definitely inflated itself! Without my permission!

me: So has mine!

m’: F**K!

me: Yup. That pretty much sums it up hey?

Well now I think it’s rather pointless trying to tell the sad tale of us pinching at our “winter padding” and wiggling into our boardshorts after two swim-less months. But maybe you should hear this: After our pro-swimmer plopped into the water, did 2 laps, stood up panting and exclaimed, “Geez, I’m unfit!”, m’ and I couldn’t help but nodded at him in mutual sympathy.

~piscean~

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Snow. Wind. And one big fat bruise.

MtBuller-22Aug09

MtBuller-22Aug09

So we’re back down to civilisation from the mountain, its slushy snow and biting wind. Yes, already! Two days up there felt like two minutes. Blink, and it’s gone. Sigh…

Here are some thoughts / observations / random rambles:

1. Still feeling high from skiing. Or to be more precise, snow-balling down the slope. Adrenaline, endorphins, and all that jazz. That elated feeling of speeding down the white hill, your heart soaring like a bird… Well, until the massive crash skillful stop where your body is smashed back down to earth and your heart ended up somewhere around your butt, clanking about like a bottom feeder on the ocean floor.

2. If there was a soundtrack to be made of my “adventure”, (and of course I use the term loosely), it’d go something like this:
CLICK. CLICK. (skis locked in) – WHOOSH… WHOOSH… WHOOSH… (feeling good, yeah!) – AHH AHHHHH (a little too fast) – THUD!
Then put that on repeat.

3.Well, to be fair to my old self, that soundtrack only applied for the first day, when the guy at the ski-hire place gave me the wrong skis & boots for my body size. Hello? I’m a kids’ size! Can’t you see my measurements on the form? Or do I need to write that on my forehead?!

The last time I was up there I could already skied alright, after taking proper lessons and lots of practice. So this time, when I put those boots on and they felt too heavy I knew something wasn’t right, but then thought to myself, well they’re the professionals, they should know what’s best for me. Turned out they didn’t! And it goes to prove that nobody knows one’s body like one does. Or as self-help books go, always trust your intuition. After a few stumbles on the trails, when every time I tried to steer, my feet practically moved inside those boots and my skis barged on in a direction of their own commands (cue Big Fat Purple Bruise), I decided that was it. So back and forth 3 times to the shop,  until I eventually got the right gear, not before having to endure quite a few condescending looks from that supposedly “pro skier” who sing-songly chimed “Oh but these are the lightest, most advanced boots we have”, which to me, was only supposed to mean “You’re a beginner, and an idiot. What do you know?”

Anyway, by the time I managed to talk to another assistant and got hold of 2 boots which were some 2kg lighter than the previous ones, the whole day was already  ruined and all my muscles were completely knackered. And I still had to pay a big chunk of dosh for all of this, you know. Not like they were free! Gosh, I’m still so freakin’ upset! Never go back to that shop again.

The second day was saved by the new set of boots and skis, so there was much less “thud” and much more “whoosh”, and my heart got to spend more time pretending it was an eagle than being a sea cucumber.  As I said to A., it kinda restored my faith in skiing again. So there has been talk about New Zealand next year. We’ll see. But at least next time? Next time I KNOW what boots and skis I’m going to get!

4. Snowboarding is the new cool. As least to the trend-followers that are Asians. (Hey, I am one of them, I possess the moral right to poke fun at my own kind. Hah!) If 8 years ago there was one boarder to about 10 skiiers, these days I’m sure snowboard sale has soared significantly. I myself was tossing about whether to take up boarding, because it looks fun, and plus A. can already ski very well and has been learning boarding since last year. But I thought I should at least get better at one thing first, so I stuck to the two sticks. Skiing seems so yesterday. But oh well, I’m into “vintage”. 😉

5. The kiddies at ski school were SO CUTE in their gear! Some were as young as two! Colourful little puff-balls scattered in the snow. All zig-zagging their way downhill behind their instructor, like adorable tiny ducklings behind mother duck. I reckon at that age they haven’t encountered enough accidents, endured enough pain, nor collected enough fear to be nervous on the slopes. Man, my kids (whenever they decide to pop out) are so gonna start early. Skiing, swimming, and dancing. That’s for sure. Ahem, talk about scary, pushy, overly ambitious mothers high expectation.

6. Skiing is much different to dancing. (“Well, DUH! Tell us something new! And stop comparing everything to dancing!”) But I can’t help it. What I mean is, even though they’re both about bent knees, balancing on the balls of your feet, and weight transfer between left and right; with dancing your centre of gravity should be over your heels, while with skiing you have to lean forward and centre your weight over the front of your feet. If that makes any sense. Anyhow, I developed a little chant that helped me keep my balance on the slopes, that went “Weight to the front! The front! The front!” and could be sung to the tune of “Bei Mir Bist Du Schon”. (Only the swing gang will get this one. hehe.)

Well, that’s about it. I think. You see? I just don’t do short entries.

~snow bunny~

Lo

Chả biết thế quái nào mà cả 2 tuần nay người mình cứ thấy mỏi nhừ. Sáng ngủ dậy đau lưng, đau cổ kinh khủng hoảng. Tới nỗi tối không muốn đi ngủ vì biết là sáng dậy sẽ chỉ thấy lờ đờ chứ không thấy tỉnh táo sảng khoái chi hết. Mà không phải tại làm biếng vận động đâu, vẫn thể dục thể thao đều đó chớ, nếu không muốn nói là nhiều hơn bình thường. (Haha, ý tui là dạo này đi bộ & đi dance nhiều, ai đầu óc đen tối xin làm ơn mua ký thuốc tẩy về rửa não cho trắng ra giùm đi nha!)

Cũng có thể tại dạo rồi lơ là Pilates nên mấy cái core muscles nó nhão hết ra rồi chăng? Phải chăm chỉ tập lại thôi. Hoặc là vì cái nệm hay cái gối cà? Cái nệm có vẻ hơi mềm, nhưng trước giờ có sao đâu? m’ cũng có cái nệm y chang, mà có thấy đau nhức gì đâu? Gối thì nằm cũng mỏi mà không nằm cũng mỏi, cớ là sao hở Giàng ơi?!!

Tới cả bàn tay phải cũng nhức, hổng biết trật gân hay sao đó. Tay trái thì từ 2 năm nay nổi lên 1 cục sụn tròn xoe ngay cổ tay, bự cỡ đồng xu nhỏ. Không đau, nhưng dòm kỳ cục không chịu được. Người chứ có phải cây đâu mà mọc thêm nhánh hả trời? Thôi book bác sĩ thứ 2 đi chụp Xray. Tự nhiên thấy lo quá! Tay mà có bị gì thì làm sao mà blog bliếc, làm sao mà wính đờn, làm sao mà chơi beads, làm sao mà nhảy nhót, làm sao mà bơi bõm, làm sao mà… ngoáy mũi? Huhu nghĩ tới đó càng thấy sợ quá.

Xong rồi lại thấy tủi thân. Già đầu rồi mà hễ không khỏe là vẫn thấy nhớ Mẹ và chỉ thèm nhõng nhẽo để được Mẹ chăm chút cho thôi. Hic hic…

~lá~

Should I swear off exercising forever?!!

Well, rhetorical question. With several exclamation marks! And if you could hear me right now, you’d know what frustrated grunts sound like. I don’t remember what foot I stepped out of bed with this morning, but I’m sure it was THE WRONG ONE!

So here I was in the kitchen, waiting for the milk to warm, when I started stretching my arms and flexing my legs and rolling my neck, you know, in the purpose of snapping out of groggy sleep and getting rid of bedsore and springing into a (productive) day. Then right in the middle of a manoeuvre that would give those creepy laughing clowns with the rotating heads a run for their money, I heard a tiny CRICK! And I couldn’t bring myself to believe it! I CRICKED MY NECK WHILE STRETCHING!

Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around? That I’d pulled a muscle during sleep and stretching would help easing it? ARRGHHH! Then I spent the next half hour with even more flexing and bending and crunching and pulling, but nothing helped. The whole thing was so laughably stupid, I couldn’t do anything but cursing my dumb ass off.

Moral of the story? Never lift another muscle. Exercises are evil! Stick to feeling sluggishly crap in the morning and move around like a sloth for the rest of the day. Ugh!

Ok, I’m kidding. Just go easy on your body and be gentle with early morning stretches, that’s all. Lesson sorely learned. Ouch!

~roses~

My simple dream

Well, one of them, anyway. That is to have a super large room, maybe 10m by 7m, with just ordinary timber floor. What for, you ask? So I can put some music on and dance to my heart’s desire, what else? I’ll jump, leap, hop, skip, twist, turn, bend, stretch, pirouette, cartwheel (not that I can do cartwheel anymore but with such a space to practice I WILL be able to, duh!), sprint from one end to another, skid, lay down, gasp, breathe, pass out from over-excitement.

I won’t even need a mirror along the wall but one would be nice. And a good sound system. (Better get it soundproofed too, then.) And one, or several, dance instructor(s). And various types of dancing shoes. And an aircon. And a drinking fountain. And while we’re at it, I wouldn’t mind if you whack on a set of disco lights too. Should I continue with the list or have you fainted with boredom?

But to keep to the “simple” spirit. Just a plain room would do fine. Or a shed, a garage, a big courtyard even. Whatever. Just some good, wide, airy space, please! Because at the moment I keep leaping about in the living room, doing my own “homemade”, “free style” moves — which I’d call a “hiphopy jazzy ballety tapy latiny swingy contemporary” (technical term!), but am afraid the real dancers would come & hit me over the head for it. So I’ve since knocked over a few things, loosened some floorboards, and drawn horrified look from any neighbour who had the misfortune to accidentally cast a glance at our windows.

m’ ‘s penchant for watching So You Think You Can Dance every night is NOT helping!

~two right feet~

More on my short adventure at that amazing coral world

I got a nice surprise in the mail today. It’s the DVD of me & D. scuba diving on The Reef. The crew at CDC said it was gonna take about 2-3 weeks, but here it is already. Yay! However, I’m still debating whether it’s a good thing that watching the clip made me laugh my head off for a good while. At myself, that is. Why? Well, let’s just say “clumsy” is an understatement to describe the sight of me diving. In fact, floating around encumbered with the bulk of regulator & gas tank & whatnots, I looked kinda like The Hulk trying to ballet dance in a tutu. Or King Kong trying to synchronize swim in a wetsuit. Or my Dad trying to work a yoga balance pose in a Stella-McCartney-for-adidas ensemble. Awfully hilarious! Or hilariously awful, that works too.

I remembered being pretty much off my head during the first dive, thanks to the disastrous boat trip on the way out. Everything was such a blur. So while being some 7 metres deep under water, at the Great Barrier Reef no less, with this amazingly colourful marine life in front of me, unfortunately most of the time the only thought in my head was,“Oh shit, I can’t throw up in this mask! …Oh no oh no… it’s coming up! My lunch! Arrgghh!” And I tell yah, it was a tremendous effort on my part to refrain from feeding the fish my whole lunch and whatever left of the earlier breakfast! D. commented on how I went on telling anyone who would listen — and even those who wouldn’t — about being ridiculously seasick but excuse me, I had never been that sick before in my life! And the mind-over-matter trick DID NOT WORK! I TRIED. So just let me rant. Okay?

Anyhow, in the rare moments that I was totally conscious and receptive, and not being constantly bothered by that traitor of a stomach, I loved every single second of it. So much that I didn’t even think twice about forking out a whopping total of 75 bucks*, for a 27-minute copyrighted** DVD. WITH MY NAME WRITTEN IN IT. IN it, folks, not ON it. IN IT as in you can watch it appear on your screen during the clip, at the end, in the credits. Woo hoo! (No, you’re right, a life is what I do not have.)

Next to the diving deck on the Kangaroo Explorer

Next to the diving deck on the Kangaroo Explorer

Well, I sincerely hope my recollection didn’t put you off going to see The Reef for yourself. You have to! Because dreadful as the seasickness was, I’d still go back really soon. With a bagful of ginger tablets, of course. Well, as soon as my “fundraising” scheme*** starts to work anyway. But here’s a tip — from a newbie who knows next to nothing about diving, but has an astonishing ability to ramble on about virtually anything on the planet regardless:

~ If you’re serious about seeing the coral world below surface level, i.e. wanting to get a bit more in depth (literally) than just snorkeling, then kindly enroll yourself in at least a 4-day dive course. Which includes 2 days in a deep pool onshore, so you have time to get used to all the gears & most importantly, to the water pressure on your eardrums & entire body. That way once you get into open water, you won’t freak out as much trying to adjust your gears, and can actually enjoy the beautiful scenes surrounding you.

~ However, if you’re pressed for time and can’t afford the 4 days, just stick with snorkeling. So you’re not wasting time being overwhelmed by funny looking gadgets. You’ll get to see a lot on the surface as well. In fact, most of the exciting fish we saw was while snorkeling: that shark, the bumphead parrotfish, and a hundred other creatures.

So there it goes, next time I’m gonna get myself a little PADI diving certificate. Oh yes I will!

~water baby~

* There goes my fund for a ticket to see “Wicked” the musical! *wails*

** I’d love to Youtube a short clip for you guys to watch, but don’t know if I can do it now. Let’s see.

*** The plot: Me, 3 juggling balls, 2 hula hoops, a clown costume, a collection tin, lunch time in front of Flinders Street Station. If you’re around in the city, come say hi ok?

I heart Cindy!

No, don’t you worry, disappointed in men as I am (and so she says), I haven’t decided to “swing the other way” yet. So all the gorgeous eligible bachelors out there, do not despair! (yeah right!) So who’s Cindy then, you ask? Well, she’s that amazing instructor for the Body Challenge class at the gym — the one that’s got kick boxing, Muay Thai and other martial art moves all squeezed together. I’m absolutely in awe of her. I raved about her last year after the first class:

Well, yesterday I went back after a few months missing. I just didn’t feel up for it. That’s how intense the session is. Even more grueling than a Suicide Session Spin class. And since this crazy 7-day-a-week work schedule started, I’ve been nothing but a pathetic slack-ass. Every Wednesday at the gym I took the cowardly way out and sneaked straight upstairs to the boring treadmills and elliptical striders. *hang head in shame* But last night all of a sudden, I gave myself a massive mental whack across the brows, “You lousy little wussie, you go see Cindy or DIE!” So I went. And I kicked and stomped and punched and jabbed and HAARRR-YAH’ed to the max. It was so exhilarating my heart rate must have shot right up to at least 190. No kidding. On the treadmill I’d normally go up to 180 and my heart almost jumped out of my mouth several times already. But oh boy this one was tough! I never ever sweat that much before. And Cindy! Cindy has the energy of 10 grown men put together! You don’t wanna mess with her, man!

Then this morning I couldn’t drag myself out of bed. Any surprise?! My body went on strike. But it’s ok. I’ll work up all my courage to go back next Wednesday, even if that means I won’t be able to lift a muscle without wanting to OUCH really loudly for a whole week afterwards. Coz I love Cindy. I adore Cindy. I’m obsessed with Cindy. I want to have Cindy’s er… body. (Not baby! you ninny!) Except probably a bit more boob.

~aqua~

** Update (Friday): And I thought the day after was bad? Gosh, the 2nd day is HELL! Shoulder & back muscles are killing me! That is what happens when all you do is running / swimming, and never do any work on your upper body, idiot! I’m starting to think maybe I shouldn’t see Cindy any more. Maybe this is happening too fast, it’s way TOO INTENSE! Maybe I’m not ready for this level of commitment muscle pain! Aarrgghhh! Oh Cindy…