Blog 20 A Marathon Without Training


Blog 20 A Marathon Without Training

Zig Ziglar said you should be able to come up with 200 things you’ve done in your life that you are proud of. I am about to add an item to my list this weekend and the suspense and anticipation are palpable,

I am going to do a marathon without training for it. I have previously run four marathons and an ultra but I’ve always been in training. Whether the training was good or not who knows but I’ve never done it without training.

I heard about this marathon coming up and it got me to thinking, I wonder if I could? If I was going to do this goal I may as well jump on this marathon because after this I would actually like to go back to marathon training and then run it properly. If I was going to do this one I was about as untrained as I could get. So 165 schmackeroos later I am on my way to Tanunda today to pick up my bib.

The thing is I miss running and whenever an event comes up I feel like I have been left behind. Runners are my tribe and the Universe keeps poking and prodding me back towards them. I am happiest when I am out there with them. When we are just about to begin the run, the air is electric. I like it when we acknowledge each other on the run and I like the camaraderie at the finish when we congratulate each other. I do not like the recovery process afterwards, that bit is daunting.

I could totally crash and burn but I want to see what happens. Wish me luck?

I have my bib and it was a thrill to get handed the bib, I’m like a horse on oats, all fidgety and ready to run. This snippet might give you a chuckle. So far I have got the day, time and venue wrong for this event. I am very grateful that I went to gym today and my coach, (how the heck did he remember?), said are you running a marathon tomorrow? And I said no it’s on Sunday and then Danni who is helping out as a volunteer at the marathon said no it’s tomorrow and I thought oh dear. I probably wouldn’t have done gym if I’d known it was tomorrow but there you go if I hadn’t gone to gym I would probably have missed the whole event but never mind I have all the right information now so off we trot. So thank you Sam and thank you Danni.

This will be my first marathon since getting crook. I haven’t done one since 2014. There are a few people who think that if you are a crossfitter you don’t need to do the marathon training. I’m a crossfitter, I scale a lot but hey I turn up, I work out. I’m stronger than I have ever been and I am really curious to see if I can do this and in what sort of condition I will be at the finish of it. I know the mind fucks these runs can give you so I’m not worried about that. The weather is perfect for running so I really think the Universe is behind me on this one.

When I have done this, I put being crook behind me. I say, that girl has gone and now it’s just onwards and upwards. I’ve been walking around with her for too long. She was a tough cookie but she can go now with my blessing. It’s just me still standing. You know what? I want to do a 100km and I think I’m going to make that happen in 2018. There I’ve said it publicly.

I did the marathon yesterday, I finished the bloody thing and now if I may I would like to share my thoughts about doing a marathon without training. I would recommend you don’t do it. I had a truly miserable time doing it and when I got to the finish line and this lovely man shoved a microphone in my face and said how do you feel it was all I could do not to burst into tears. I could see the fear in his eyes and he said, feeling a bit emotional? I nodded and he kindly moved on to the woman next to me.

I met some truly amazing people on this run. Really lovely people, so the runner’s comraderie and the walkers comraderie is still alive and strong. I knew I was in trouble four kilometres into the event when their marathon pace was faster than my 10km pace. As people kept passing me I kept saying to myself keep them in sight and you’ll be ok. I couldn’t keep them in sight and it was a major mindfuck to have people pass you and then disappear.

I had not factored in hills. At no point had I run up a hill in four years. Tanunda, where the run was, is friggin hilly and to call it undulating as the organizers did is not fooling anybody. So now the run was too fast and the hills were too steep and the headfucks started.

I said I could handle the mental mind games that go on but it was not, mindfuck appears squash it down, it was mindfuck appears and you really have to wrestle with that arsehole. I nearly stopped at the first hill, I nearly stopped at ten kms, the only reason I didn’t was because I thought you could at least do the City to Bay distance. Every person that passed me and remember I was way way back in the back so this was people who were originally slower than me passing me, every person made me think what are you doing here?

At one point the sun was beating down and I have awful sunburn now but the sun was fierce and the track was a dirt track and the heat was radiating up from the dirt and I pretended I was someone lost in the desert and the only way I could get help was to keep moving, that kept me going for a cupla ks.

Out in the desert I met a lovely man who was walking (in the same run) and he said as he passed me (walking) are you alright? And I thought no, no I’m not but that is not the pommy way. We can be half dead and we wave and say oh yes I’m fine and that’s what I did. At least he was dressed very brightly and I could keep him in sight for a while until he disappeared too.

I knew before starting the run that I would have some friends on one of the refreshment tables. Danni said that it would be at the 23km mark. In my head way before this run had started, in my head which quite often is a lovely world, here is how I had imagined this scenario. I would approach the 23km mark with lots of other runners. I would wave jauntily to my friends and carry on my way and they would think my goodness she didn’t train for this marathon. What actually happened was at this point I was second to last in position I walked to the table, I begged a hug from Megan that was nice, I saw Danni and Lisa, why the friggin hell didn’t I ask them for suncream, they took a really funny video which I loved and then I had to keep going back out into the desert. They had cool Tshirts that they had got for helping out and they had water and shade and probably snacks and I thought what the flippin heck am I doing?

I kept seeing the ambulance at the refreshment stations and that was another temptation, I thought all you have to do is say help me and it will all be over. I said to one of the guys giving directions, when he asked how are you doing? My hands had swelled up and my arms hurt which I didn’t think was ok because without lymph glands I’m not supposed to let my arms and hands swell up. He said how are you doing and I said I’m thinking about calling it a day and he looked at me and he was one of those lovely iconic aussies, old, sunburnt and stringy strong. He said you can do that and you have my respect for coming this far but when you stop you stop for good and I nodded and I kept walking and I walked past that friggin ambulance when all I wanted to do was jump in. Did I mention the ambulance driver was a cutie? That was just the Universe adding salt to the wound and making temptation all the more enticing. I wish I had kept my mind off the cute ambulance driver and had thought to ask him for suncream. Oh well live and learn.

I got very upset about my hands puffing up. I am terrified of lymphodema. I know now that I was tired and probably had a little sunstroke but I really felt like Sick Trish was shitting all over the event. Well Fit Trish you can’t finish this marathon because lymphodema will get you, quit now, you can’t do these events you’ve been sick and you’ll always be sick and that is your reality. I cried a bit and then I told Sick Trish to fuck off. If I got lymphodema I would deal with it. If I got skin cancer from the sunburn I would deal with it. I was not going to listen to Sick Trish anymore she could stay out in the desert and go and make someone else’s life all safe and cotton woolled. I was out here in the friggin desert having an adventure. I tackled some mental demons out there.

It wasn’t all awful things running through my head. Going through twenty kilometres to thirty I solved some business matters that had been bothering me. I also figured out how I could create my own pole room and that was quite enjoyable.

Whenever things are getting a little intense the Universe sends me an angel. At the thirty kilometre mark an angel appeared. She was brightly dressed and walking determinedly and as she passed me she said “You got this” and kept going. Now I didn’t know that she was the last person at that point but I looked at her like a lifeline. I thought if I just stay with her she is my passport out of the desert. “Do you mind if I walk beside you? I asked. Not at all she said.

Between thirty and forty kilometres I found out that her name was Paola (pronounced Paula) and she had done a 100 kilometre walk. Now come on what are the chances that I would meet someone who had done exactly the event that I wanted to try. Angel sent, there is no other explanation. I’m not fast Paolo said but I always finish. She told me all about her training and where she had been on her various athletic events. She told me what it was like to be in a team on these events, what she ate and the fact that they didn’t sleep. I found it fascinating and I almost forgot about the marathon. I stuck with Paola like glue and she walked me home.

All along the checkpoints people with radios gave our position and a lovely man followed us in a van. As we walked through they opened up the road behind us and allowed the poor traffic through. I started picking up people’s used gel packs, I figured I may as well do something useful while I am out there. Paola said we have to run the last bit people will be watching. I’m pretty sure I was delirious by his point I just knew wherever Paola went I was going to follow. So 10ks became 9, then 8 then 7 and before I knew it we were on the home stretch. There was a barricade, there was a ton of people, I heard my name come out on the loud speaker and Paola’s name. We started to run for the finish line. I tripped and stumbled but I didn’t fall. We got to the finish line. A man put a medal around my neck and it was impossibly heavy. He asked me how I felt, I managed not to cry and then I went and squatted in the shade. This volunteer just kept bringing me cup after cup of water. I wish I had gotten her name.

So I did the marathon, I got myself home, I had a bath with Epsom salts and saw just how sunburnt I was and then the games began. I knew going in that the recovery was going to be difficult. I did not expect the massive cramps I got in my legs. in my quads, my hamstrings and my adductors (I had to look that one up). I have never had cramps like this, they were so amazingly painful, it felt like the muscles were trying to remove themselves from my bones. I was actually worried that I was going to get a muscle tear. If I sat, cramp. If I stood, cramp, if I sat on the bed to sleep, cramp, lie down, cramp, turn over, cramp, stand back up, cramp. I took it for a couple of hours but the thought of a whole night like this was not appealing.

I sent an SOS on facebook and got some good tips. Sam the coach sent me a message and gave me some more good tips. I ended up going down to the doctors because I knew they had a chemist that would be open too so I bought magnesium and electrolytes that people on facebook had recommended and I saw the doctor and she didn’t think my muscles would be likely to tear. She thought there was more chance that being out in the desert had caused my muscles to start melting. I thought well just put that one in the “do not think about box” and deal with these pesky cramps.

I took the electrolytes, I had the magnesium pills and I have not had another cramp. Bloody magic I tell you.

So what did I learn from this experience? Runners and walkers are still lovely people. One lady who I met at the start with her son came and greeted me at the end just because she had seen me at the start and she would have had to wait a long time to see me at he finish. What an angel. If I had trained, the experience would have been a lot more enjoyable and I would have been able to keep up with somebody before Paola came and rescued me but I can now put it on my list of achievements that I completed a marathon without training, not very well but I did it. I will wear a hat next time and I will ask for sun cream at one of the refreshment places. Some snacks wouldn’t have gone amiss. I don’t think walking is easier, you’re just out there for longer. I think the old Cliff Young shuffle is the best way to cover the ground. I’ve put Sick Trish to bed. She started to leave when I did Murph and now she’s totally gone and that’s lovely. I’m not being mean to her she did a great job for a while there but the whole point of getting better is to fly and have adventures not constantly be second guessing yourself.

I’m sad I missed Saturday pole and gym. I’m happy I got bling. I don’t feel like I’ve done a marathon. I feel like I went for a bloody long walk on a bloody hot day and people gave me a drink every four kilometres and then I got a medal at the end. I tackled some demons and hopefully I have got doing a marathon without training out of my system.

That’s my lot, thank you for reading and I will catch you next week. Thank you Universe for providing angels, friends, crossfit coaches, runners and walkers.

Blog 18 Shoulder Rolls, Spinning Choppers and Leg switches Bitches!!!!!!


OMG where do I start? Some lessons you get very little accomplished and you think that’s ok you are building up your strength and if you don’t get the move this time you may get it next time. Some lessons are bloody amazing. Monday night was frickin amazing.

We did this running man move which I liked very much and then we were in for a surprise, shoulder rolls.

I have wanted shoulder rolls for a while. Last Saturday at the Pole Championships I swear every second person was doing shoulder rolls and I thought everyone in the world can do shoulder rolls except me.

Now I should mention here that I have damaged my shoulder previously. I did the AC joint on the Wednesday before an ultra marathon. I still ran/walked the race and my shoulder killed. And yes before you ask I did just name drop an ultra marathon but who knows if I’ll ever do that again so if I get an opportunity to name drop it I’m gunna take it. Anyhoo after that experience I am very touchy about anything to do with shoulders and I’ve never liked rolling backwards.

So Sarah said I’m gunna show you shoulder rolls. Get the mat was my first thought. She showed us and it was beautiful and I stood there kinda feeling like the crippled kid in the Pied Piper of Hamlyn. All the other kids were having a go. In all honesty we had a cupla injured students so it wasn’t quite everyone. But I didn’t have any injuries I just had a big streak of yellow. Not to worry I thought that’s why the Universe gives us spots.

So I said Sarah will you spot me, nobody else asked for spots but I didn’t care. I’m extremely elderly and if I get injured it will take forever to heal. So she did and she talked me through the move and my god I did a bloody shoulder roll. I did not believe it. Have you ever got just exactly what you wanted from the Universe? It’s gorgeous there’s nothing quite like it. The way she showed us takes all the pressure off your neck and it’s as easy as pie and stagger me but I did the shoulder roll front ways, back ways with a mat and then without a mat. Who was this woman teaching us? A frickin magician? I kid you not I have never been able to do shoulder rolls and tonight huzzah!

Well the magic didn’t stop there baby. Sarah says lets do some spinning choppers. Sure I thought I don’t mind me a little spinning chopper action but we didn’t slowly get up and creak around the pole no sir. We took a bit of a run, a bit of a jump and then kapow we were flying. My god I had fun and you know what it was dam close to a bloody aerial fan kick and I thought yessum I like that a lot. I might just mention that I could do these choppers from both sides and I was feeling pretty dam happy.

Right at the finish Sarah showed us this cool flipping trick but I got nowhere with that. I think the Universe was saying “Your head is too big, you will not fit in the car on the way home, your massive ego cannot handle this, we will just pass on this last exercise. So I didn’t get the cool flippy trick but I’m really happy with what I did get.

We had Sarah again on Wednesday and she said ok leg switches. I gave a little sigh and I thought, that’s not for you Trishy that’s for the other kids. So I waited for Sarah to get the other kids started and I figured she would give me an interim move. Over she comes and says would you like to have a go. I realise she means leg switches and I think sure I would love to have a go.

Sarah asks are you ok to let go of your arms during a leg hang and I’m almost cranky. It’s like yes Sarah I can do that bit what does that have to do with a leg switch. My mother didn’t raise a dim child so I kept my big mouth shut and did as I was told and Sarah says ok bring that leg forward, I did and now you can let that one off and switch and I did it. I bloody did it. I did a leg switch. Good God.

I remember looking at those leg switches months ago and thinking keep looking Trishy that’s the closest you’ll ever get to them. It’s so cool how they teach you to bring one leg forward, trap it on the pole then you can remove the other one. Pole is awesome, simply simply awesome. Now I really enjoy saying this:

I did switches bitches ….. boy that feels good to say.

Sarah showed us another fantastic move and I thought yep I’ll have a little of that thank you. So up I climbed and I was hanging upside down like a demented sloth trying to work out which hand went where and which foot went where and all of a sudden Sarah just appears.

How did Sarah just appear like that? Do they teach this in instructor school? Always watch your students and if somebody is doing something new get over there. It was like she appeared out of thin air and it was kind of lovely. All of a sudden I saw her with her arms out and I thought Sarah is hella strong, she’s got me if I fall. Pole instructors are amazing people. We did this cool move and I think it was Ayesha like, blood was starting to pool at the top of my skull, I had been upside down for a while by this time, so it’s hard to remember exactly.

I do recall however that Steph came up to me afterwards and said I can so see you getting the Iron X, that was just verbal crack for me. What a lovely gift to give someone. You should have seen Steph do leg switch after leg switch after leg switch that night it was amazing.

You know I am on school holidays and I really thought about whether I would do Vital Force as well but in all honestly one pole class absolutely tuckers me out. I was stuffed at the finish so I’m going to keep going with single lessons except for Saturdays. Pole is an extremely physical activity.

Giang’s class on Saturday wrapped up an amazing week. Giang’s stretch class is incredible. I have improved so much in the time I have been going. I need to think about doing middle stretch practice at home that would be a very cool thing to have. My side splits are going crazy, two blocks people, booyeah.

The next class I had no energy so that was a hard slog. However when I’m too pooped to do stuff that means I get to watch stuff and in pole you can see some very interesting stuff.

What I had time to watch then while I was too stuffed to do anything was to watch Giang’s teaching style and she is really good. There are two things I base this judgement on so you can decide for yourselves.

The first is, she has a class where the ability level is quite differentiated and today she also had a brand new student. She had to figure out what level the student was at and where she would start a move and she had to do that in two seconds flat before the rest of her students got restless. So then Giang shows us a move and you do that. Then if that is a challenge stay there and work on it. If it’s too easy she will give you the next step and then the next. So everyone is catered for. I think it’s brilliant. It also means that you get to see where the move will take you and that keeps you slogging away.

The second thing she did was amazingly cool. When she demonstrates a move the first thing that struck me was that she can talk and explain the move while she is upside down, she doesn’t even sound puffy. Then I realised that she engineers what she does, I can’t think of a better word for it, so that she is facing us when she is talking so that we can see the move clearly. Now take a minute to absorb that. You are talking about the move and you are doing it so that you get into the move at the right time so that you are facing your students. She even does it so that you can see the move from every angle. I was fascinated by how she was doing this. A brilliant teacher for sure.

Giang is starting to show us progressions with our moves so I was talking about the leg switches we had done and she showed us a hip hold and once that baby is covered we can start looking at Jade splits. If I hadn’t been so tuckered out I would have given it more effort but I had no ooph. Megan and Amelia did a great job and I just pigeon holed this move for next time.

Amelia commented on my abs and I thought thank you darling you have just made my day. I love it when Amelia comes to class she just has this funny and laid back energy and you always know it’s going to be a good lesson when she shows up. If she ever wanted to she could do stand up, she’s a very funny person. Megan did a beautiful jade split and she has fallen previously from this so it’s pretty ballsy that she’s back up there doing it. She also has a middle split to die for.

That’s my lot, thank you for reading and I will catch you next week. Thank you Universe for providing my pole studio, my teachers and my fellow students who I love to bits.


Blog 16 A Brilliant Class and a Wonderful Competition.



Another single class lesson and another brilliant lesson. Now just about everyone who was in beginners with me is in this class so all the old gang are back. There’s a few missing but I imagine they will be joining us soon.

We did this Toothbrush move which was super cool and I loved that. My Vomitron is coming along nicely. I can climb that pole five times without a problem, that’s new. My aerial Chopper is coming along nicely. Emily said I had a six pack, that’s never going to get old. All up a great great class which seemed to be over in a flash.

One of the girls put it really well when we were trying to figure out afterwards why the lesson was so good. She said Emily gives you enough different moves to keep you challenged and enough time to try them properly but not so much time that you get bored. I agreed with her but I also wanted to add what I was incredibly impressed by.

Right at the end of the lesson Emily showed us this really cool move. I had a go at doing it by myself but I really needed her to say put this leg here and that leg there and so on. We were right on the buzzer for end of class and there was a lot of people in the class and I thought she’s never going to have time to help me. So I was telling myself to suck it up Trishy there will be other opportunities to try this and up Emily comes and says Trish do you want a spot? And I said Do you have time? And she says sure. And I say I’ll be quick and she says no take your time and I thought Emily you are unflappable. So I got to do the cool trick and I really wanted to do the cool trick but I have no bloody idea what it is called. Thank you Emily you are amaziballs.

Last night I went to the South Australian Pole Championships and oh my goodness what an event! I’m not even sure where to begin.

It’s held in the Star Theatre and I love that place and yes for people reading each week I was there last week to watch another competition. Now I hate going out, unless there is sport involved I am a person who stays home. What got me out of the house was that tonight I would see Scarlett and Sarah perform and I wanted to see that very much indeed. Scarlett as you know is the owner of the Sky High Pole and Fitness studio and Sarah is one of the instructors there. What I got for my night out as well as seeing these two perform amazingly was a whole lot more than I bargained for.

Scarlett was incredible in her performance. I’m not a pole judge, I’m not experienced so I’m telling you the way I saw it and to me she seemed flawless. Her routine was beautiful and graceful and strong and I was so happy I got to see it. Her costume was gorgeous, she had this cobalt blue top and half skirt, and rhinestones as far as the eye could see. It was stunning and it matched her and her performance. I watched her and I thought I go to her studio, that made me so proud.

Sarah came out and kapow. She was like a force of nature. She is so strong and so sexy and by the end of her routine you were almost out of breath and I thought whoa, what just happened? Sarah radiates strength, confidence and sexiness, she dazzles.

Now once those two were over I thought mm I may as well have a kip they are the ones I came to see. I have however been raised correctly and I know that you clap for everybody even if you want your people to win. I’m so glad that I stayed watching because by golly did I see some performances. Before I forget if I ever thought I had back muscles I do not know what I was talking about. I saw back muscles last night that blew my mind. On a couple of these girls the whole back was just a tapestry of muscle and sinew and it was gorgeous OMG!!!!

Ashleigh HellFire did a performance about the bigotry LGBQTI people face and I nearly cried during it. It was so beautiful and so sad and it showed me that pole can be an art form that expresses what you care about. Ashleigh Hellfire your piece was stunning, it truly affected me.

Then Fiona came on and did this routine and oh my God. This one was a life changer. She did this slow, graceful, strength routine and I knew that is the type of pole I want to pursue. She was totally in control of her body and her strength just took my breath away. You know when you see something and you are changed forever? I will never be quick or be able to do fan kicks like Giang, God I love her fan kicks. I will never be graceful like Scarlett or sexy like Sarah and Tina or an energiser bunny like Emily but this was something I could aspire to. I had found my niche and I was very grateful to Fiona. So much so that I fan girled her and when I saw her in the audience I said Fiona I loved your routine. My god you should have seen her arms!!!! One day I will have arms like that, this I vow.

Poor Fiona wasn’t the only one I stalked. I sent a message to Ashleigh because she had to know how beautiful her routine was. There is one more performer that I would like to mention.

This person won the professional part of the competition and she was incredible. Her name is Christina and she had it all, strength, flexibility, gutsiness with the moves she performed and she had so much showmanship. She did this thing where she turned to the audience and she winked and did a pistol shot or something and I was like ooh she owns this. She marched up that pole like it was a ladder and then she did drops, and balance stuff and fast stuff and slow stuff and I thought goodness. I found this poor woman outside by her car, “Christina your performance was amazing!!!! It’s going to be a miracle if the organizers let me in next year. You know what every one of those women were so gracious and lovely, none of them said wrack off, they just said thank you very much. Pole people are a classy type of people.

It was an amazing night and my life has changed because of it. I know that sounds dramatic but Fiona has shown me my future in pole. How cool to think you can have that much influence over another person.

I’m not sure if I will go in a comp or not. I now know that if I do I will do a slow strong routine. Maybe I could do a comic routine I think I could pull that off.

One last thing about the comp, watching these women and their level of athleticism has made me think that I made the right decision to keep going with gym as well as pole. I think by doing gym and keeping up my strength and cardio I will be less susceptible to injuries and I will progress quicker because of being fitter. Fiona does gym and if it’s good enough for Fiona then it’s good enough for me. She also does yoga and I bet that makes her good and bendy. I have Giang for that.

Giang reckons she can get me my middle splits. I’m already doing side splits on blocks in Giang’s stretch class so it’s very cool. If I get my middle splits I will be a very happy camper.

Thank you Universe for providing my pole studio, my teachers and my fellow students and pole competitions and pole competition competitors. It’s a beautiful unicorny world.

Blog 17 Murph


Before Murph

I’m doing Murph tonight and I am so freakin nervous and anxious it’s ridiculous. Murph is a work out that was created to honour a soldier who died in battle. So there’s a respect element to Murph. The actual workout is with a weighted vest, run 1 mile, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 squats, run another mile.

Now for mere mortals we don’t use the weighted vest and for even more mere mortals we scale the pull ups and the push ups. I’ve been practising this workout for the last two weeks, I use a band for the pull ups and I do the push ups on my knees. I know I can run forever. I know I can do the pull ups and the push ups and the squats. There should be no reason for nerves but I am honestly close to throwing up.

I hurt my back so I didn’t do gym or pole since Tuesday and it’s now Thursday and tonight is the night or the afternoon really. Gym and pole would be the usual way I would get rid of nerves. So I have saved my back but my head space is fucked. I’m doing deep breaths and I’m telling myself that I have done a shit load of challenges before.

The problem is I’ve run away from Murph before. When my gym ran it I just didn’t show up and it’s not often unless there are spiders or ghosts involved that I run away from fear. So tomorrow is one year that I have been at this gym. They have open training tonight so that is when I have chosen to do Murph. Two friends are going to join me. I have arranged for cake afterwards. It’s going to be so nice when I write this blog after Murph.

Still before Murph

Allrighty essential preparation before a big event I have gone out and bought a very cute outfit. This is following the philosophy of “if you can’t do something look the part” or “fake it till you make it”. I will also look good if I end up in hospital, see no flies on Trishy!

I have spoken to a very lovely friend who is a mighty lifter and she can do Murph just on the spur of the moment. I always feel better when I talk to her and both of us are looking forward to the post Murph conversation.

The gym might have to close you know? There could be a power outage or maybe a snake could go into the gym? Things could happen. I could have a heart attack after the first round? Just saying.

I think what is freaking me out is that this is my first big thing in a long long long time. I also want to show Murph proper respect, that’s a lot of pressure. Wish me luck?


Post Murph

It’s Friday morning and I am now a person who has done Murph. I got to the gym on time. I set up my station and Sam the coach said he was going to do it too. That was huge. He always has shit loads to do and he said nah I’ll join you – just like that. Brodie came on board, he wanted to do Murph but wasn’t sure he could finish before he had to leave – he did. Samantha the other coach also joined in which meant the world to me because she had been there when I joined. We didn’t expect Lisa because she is always so busy but she walked through those gym doors and I thought my goodness we are all doing Murph.

I explained to them how I was breaking down the workout so one mile run, then 10 pull ups, twenty push ups, sixty squats, for the first five rounds then the last five rounds you only have to do ten pull ups twenty push ups each round because you have done your squats then finish with another one mile run. It was really funny I explained it to each person separately because they arrived at the gym at different times and nobody understood my breakdown. I will do it differently next time probably ten rounds of 10 20 30 but live and learn hey?

Now my Murph was heaps scaled. I used a band for the pull ups and I did my push ups on my knees, trust me I still worked extremely hard.

In my practice I hadn’t included the run. Firstly because I figured I can run forever and secondly because I hurt my back before I could incorporate the run into the practice. So here I was at the very start of Murph doing the run and I was hopelessly out of breath. I thought this isn’t good. I was hoping that I could catch my breath on the squats.

The Universe had given me a good cool day as well as holding my anniversary on school holidays so I hadn’t been to work I was good and rested plus the temperature was cool. I got back into the gym after the first run and I was stuffed and I thought – that’s not good.

So I began, I wasn’t able to get my breath back and that meant I started puffing like a steam train and pretty much kept that up for the first six rounds. Round five – can I keep going? Round six – oh yes I have the answer now, no I can’t. So here I am in the gym, with people around me that know I have run away from Murph before and I’m thinking. Do half a Murph it’s better than no Murph. Just stand up say this is too hard and walk away. I had ordered cake for the finish but the Murph finishers could have the cake. Lisa looked at me and she’d pretty much been keeping tabs through the whole workout, I said I’m done. She said you’re not. I said I feel sick. She said I know. I thought I don’t want to show Lisa that I’m a wusy and this is why I wanted to do the workout at the gym. When I have practiced at home I’ve done a couple of rounds and gone and gotten a drink. A few more maybe one more and does the dog need to come in. Round seven now he needs to go out. Round eight I’ll just put a load of washing on. I think now my practising should have been more rigorous.

Round six I was done. My arms were shaking, my chest hurt, I hated gym, I hated fitness, the next time I had a stupid idea like this someone should give me a big slap.

I’ve been watching this program about people going through SAS training. I am not for a minute suggesting that my scaled little workout is like that but I was reminded of what one of the directing staff said. Apart from entertainment you can learn something from most anything you experience and what he said came back to me in this workout. He said they deliberately exhaust their candidates, push them as far as they can be pushed and then you see what’s left. He said he had been in a very dangerous combat situation, he was exhausted, wanted to be home and he knew he had to get up and get out of that situation. So they needed to know what did these people have on the other side of exhaustion. So round five, round six I was convinced that I didn’t have anything left. If I hadn’t done Murph at the gym I would have stopped. I would not now be a person who has done Murph. I got up and I started doing three pull-ups then another and so. The rounds took forever but I was completing them.

Round Seven Adel took over from Lisa’s encouragement. Lisa is an angel, Adel is more like old testament angel. Right Trish how many reps do you have left? Well get going. Come on three more. Adel I said I’m done. She said I can see that do them anyway. There was no escaping Adel and between her pushing and Lisa pulling and Sam throwing in a cheeky jibe about if you ate meat you’d be stronger, I swore at him for that one, I finished my rounds. I still had to do the final run and Lisa God Bless her had waited to do the final run with me. Then Adel and Samantha came too and I thought, I was going to walk this bit.

My mind was happy as shit that I had done Murph. My body was saying just walk the last bit, your legs hurt, your arms hurt you feel ill and wobbly – WALK!!!! I said to Lisa can we just walk a little. No she said keep going. Murph is run then the reps then another run. It’s not run reps walk this is what I told my poor tired body and that there was cake waiting for us at the gym.

That second mile was the longest mile in my entire life. It took forever but I did it and I now know that I can do Murph and here’s the kicker, this is what crossfit has done for me. When I do a crazy workout like this I get so absorbed by what we are doing I forget that I was ever sick, I forget to take it easy in case something goes wrong I forget the whole horrible time and it’s just me and exercise and good mates and that is worth more than gold. When I did the crossfit open I was still – oh I could hurt myself, I shouldn’t do too much I could bring something on, this never occurred to me during Murph and that is way cool.

Now something else very nice happened.

There was cake and the cake was good. I felt really too ill to enjoy it but cake is cake and this was happy cake. I got myself home. I had already done the animal chores. I did a little facebook – yay me I did Murph and then I went to bed. But I couldn’t sleep. Here I was post Murph. Two weeks of prep, all those nerves, all that anticipation, nearly not finishing it, sleep was not coming to me at all.

I got up and Lisa had posted some photos. While I was working on Murph Adel had shown me a photo of me and she said you have back muscles. Now I seriously love muscles I really truly do and that was the one thing that made me smile during Murph. So Lisa posts these lovely pictures as a collage and then she sends them to me separately. There is a beautiful photo of all of us, minus Brodie post Murph. That one is going up on the wall. I just wish Adel was in that because she pretty much did it with us. There is also a photo of me doing a pull up and I can see back muscles and they are lovely beautiful back muscles. I thought you don’t know how long you will have these lovely beautiful back muscles – post and be damned! So I did and it was very unoriginally titled “Look at my beautiful back muscles!” So that picture is going up on the wall too, that and the other picture and the whole experience really was a gift in itself.

Crossfit is great for fitness, great for friends and great for mental health. I can’t speak highly enough about it.

Thank you Universe for providing Crossfit Northern Adelaide and my gym buddies who I love to bits.

Blog 15 It All Makes More Sense Now!

Carly Rowena

Mondays lesson was immensely different and I think my, ‘How not to get totally exhausted’ strategies are working. These strategies have been, divide pole and gym up into different parts of the day, don’t do them one after the other, only do one lesson of pole at a time and use protein shakes.

Only doing one lesson at a time even though Sky High Pole and Fitness is a veritable cornucopia of all things that are wonderful, is starting to pay off. I have told myself you may only do one lesson at a time so choose, is it going to be Vital force, Intermediates or Dance. Monday night I picked Intermediates and I didn’t even do gym first. Straight pole nothing else.

Only doing the one lesson meant that I got to the class with some energy. I enjoyed the class a lot more. I had much more stamina and strength and this morning while I am typing this I am not completely stuffed. I wish my body was strong enough to do all three classes but she may get stronger with time who knows, in the future I may end up doing three classes and this one class time is but a memory.

Something else struck me last night as to why I’m finding pole so much more difficult than trapeze. In trapeze, depending on the class, we had four people or even six using two bars. This meant that there was a part of the lesson where you were standing around waiting for your turn as well as watching what was being taught. In Pole we have our own pole and the only times we stop are if the instructor is instructing or if we are too stuffed to do anymore so I hadn’t realised it but there is a lot more constant physical activity. That’s a bit of a relief because I could not work out why pole was destroying me physically as much as it was. I think it’s also possible that a vertical pole is more difficult than a horizontal bar but I certainly don’t want to get into a discussion of who is stronger, a person who poles or a person who does trapeze. I’m just giving my observations.

I also discovered Monday night that Emily teaches by progressions, if you get this move I will show you this move. You may not like this first move but this is what it gets you. This is an amazingly motivational way to teach so that’s going to keep me coming back to classes and will get me to persevere on moves that I think blech. For example anything with twisty grip is frickin impossible at the moment

My chopper is a gift that just keeps on giving. I can now do the chopper for ten seconds no problem. Emily says now do it while spinning and that gives it a twist and then she showed us an aerial chopper plus a transition and I thought oooh, yes please I’ll have that. To do an aerial chopper means you have to think about what leg goes on the pole first to make sure you get the hand you want and the underarm grip you want. It’s fascinating how everything works, stuff up that first leg and say good bye to your trick unless you want to fake some make up moves to be able to switch arms.

It was a great class with great people and I was not physically wrecked or exhausted the following morning, very cool bananas.

Friday’s class which should have been something little and light ended up pretty well destroying me to the extent that I didn’t make Saturday gym but the upside was that without Saturday gym I got a lot more out of Saturday pole.

I don’t know why Friday destroyed me. I tried doing regular stuff up high on the pole and that was exhausting. I did do gym in the morning and went for a run but that shouldn’t have wrecked me for the day. Who knows maybe sometimes your energy just flags (teeny tiny pole pun). I like these Friday classes though. They are an opportunity to refine what you have. So when you climb a pole keep your toes pointed. When you do a chopper how are you getting down. All these little tips and tricks that make what you do on the pole more beautiful, more controlled and more controlled pretty much means more strength.

I was feeling a little sorry for myself since I wasn’t able to go to gym and then Sarah, Friday’s instructor, posted on facebook that she had done ten iron x’s. Now please bear in mind that I want one. I congratulated her and she said back and I quote “Thanks Trish you are getting so strong won’t be long and you will be flagging! Now I want you to take a moment to see if you can understand what that meant when I read it. It’s one thing when your mates say, yeah you can do it. It’s a whole different ball game when your trainer says you can do it and in fact she says it won’t be long before you have it. Sarah saying that actually made me feel like the Iron X was coming. I stopped feeling so exhausted and I started feeling like mmm how many lessons of vital force can I squeeze into my week. The comment rejuvenated me, it was like a shot of adrenalin. I think it’s because when the words come from someone who has the relevant knowledge or training then the words carry more weight and have more impact. It’s crazy but a little phrase like this meant everything to me. How cool will it be when I can post a picture on this blog of me doing the Iron X?

Saturday was amaziballs. Stretch was good without being excruciating. A really lovely person has started the class and it must be nice for Giang to have fresh fodder to work on. To see a new person, and this was her first stretch class, shows you how far you have come yourself. I remember praying that the stretch class and the torture would end when I started pole stretch but now the lesson goes so quickly you can’t believe it’s over.

The next class because I’m going to continue to do back to back on a Saturday, was more amaziballs. We only had two students in the class and that meant it was an incredible opportunity to work on any areas you wanted to and you get stacks of teacher time. I can’t believe how far I have come. There was a time when I could not make it through one of Giang’s classes when there was a full class with lots of people now I can hold my own when there is only two students.

Today we worked on our grip and we worked on Ayesha and we worked on the Iron X, I could not have been happier. Just for a moment when I couldn’t figure out how to hold the pole and still face front I thought this is too much for you. Then I thought no, even if you can’t see it at this moment you couldn’t climb a pole when you started. You certainly couldn’t do The Superman. I am amazing myself by what I can do from week to week.

So today I can’t do the twisty grip but I can work on that. I managed to hold the pole, keep my shoulders down, face front, have my head tilt down and then spin round. That alone gets me closer to my beloved Iron X.

I think and I don’t want to be a wanker here but I think I have my Ayesha. Giang told me this really cool trick of checking that you are in proper alignment with the pole and since she has done that I can get myself in the right spot and then do the legs part of it. I hope I’m remembering it right and if I’m not blame me for my shocking memory but I think it went like this. Your head must point to the ground. Your chest should face the pole and your lower arm should be slightly bent so you can push yourself out. Then when you have those three things going on you can pull your tush out which will bring your legs out and huzzah Ayesha be yours!

I also need to work on the cool dismount from this move. It is too sad to clunk to the ground after such a pretty move, I will work on the side ways cartwheel off dismount, definitely more decorative.

I had set myself homework for this lesson and I failed miserably. However onwards and upwards next week I will do better. Giang gives us free style time at the end of class and she sets some challenges in it. So you need to spend thirty seconds on the pole, or thirty seconds doing floor work. This week we had to string three then four moves together. Mine was atrocious and my class mate said, can I do mine (hers) again just better so I don’t think either of us shone in this part of the class. I had hoped that I would prepare something for this part of the class because I do not have a spontaneous bone in my body and I didn’t and when Giang said do your free style bit I pretty much had nothing. Now Giang is very funny when she doesn’t like something. She doesn’t say well that was crap she says instead, let’s try it this way or let’s try this. It’s pretty funny. Anyhoo after a lot of assistance in choosing the moves which I shouldn’t need in free style but there you go I had three then four moves I could put together. The challenge was work on beautiful transitions. I think we can safely say that my transitions were not beautiful but what it did do was give me an idea of how exhausting a pole routine is because just four moves had me puffing like a steam engine. It will be very cool when I have enough stamina to be able to pole for a whole routine.

On that note last night I went to see several people who did just that. It was the Australian Amateur Pole Performer competition. A brilliant night and I saw some extremely talented and gutsy people. They held the competition at the Star Theatre in Adelaide and that place has so much atmosphere it was fantastic. I pretty much felt like I was in the theatre from Sing, it was a surreal experience. The performers were incredible. It gave me an idea of what our trainers are trying to teach us when I saw people up there doing their moves to music, one after another. I couldn’t believe their fitness and their timing and their bravery with the moves they chose. It was a great night. One of the guys from Sky High Pole and Fitness won his division so that was pretty cool. The competitions are fun. People dress up, we got to do the Mexican wave, you are expected to hoot and holler for performers. I’m going to see Scarlet and Sarah perform next week and I am looking forward to that.

Thank you Universe for providing my pole studio, my teachers and my fellow students who I love to bits.