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When I got you, it was January 2012.
In what can only be described as a momentary lapse in sanity, I had signed up for a small triathlon at Raby Bay the following month and my current pair of cheap $10 Kmart shoes just weren’t cutting it for running.
Now that I think of it, that momentary lapse in sanity began way back even before Boxing Day (when I agreed to do the triathlon) it had started on November 15th 2011 when I just stopped drinking “as much” Coke as I did and tried out my parent’s hired walking machine.
You changed that.
You cost more than the entire amount I have ever spent on shoes in my entire adult life. I wish that was an exaggeration but I am a creature of the $10 cheapies. To justify spending that much on you meant I had to go from “trying something” to “getting fit”. You made what I was doing legitimate. While I would never BE a runner, I was now a runner with proper running shoes.
And so it began.
I ran. I cycled. For a month I trained my little heart out.
As the triathlon approached, I faced something I had never done before, wore you without socks. I am a sock man. I need socks so my feet don’t sweat and my baby-like skin doesn’t blister up like a well grilled cheese melt. I put baby powder in you and slide my foot in. Weird man, just weird.
Then, the morning of the triathlon. I came out of the swim breathing so hard my chest was about to rip apart and the lack of circulating blood meant my head was a washing machine. I bent down to put you on and I stumbled. I had practise putting you on dozens of time in “transition training” but this was different.
I couldn’t do the laces up in my state, so I fumbled until I got what would loosely be called a knot, grabbed the bike and headed out. The next day, I went and bought you some stretchy elastic laces that don’t need tying up.
So, there we were. Exhusted. Insane. Done.
But we did that.
Then, for some reason, we signed up for the short Gold Coast Triathlon. Double the distance. Once again, we trained like mad for the 2 months before the day. Lots of riding, running, walking, limping, crying and resting.
But we did that too.
We both know that running wasn’t ever going to be my thing. You stopped being my running shoe and became my doing shoe. As our training progressed, my love of road biking emerged, and you accompanied me on many adventures. The epic 9 hour, 150km ride to Nudgee Beach and back was a highlight. When I lifted weights, I also put you on, even in the living room. To put you on meant I was out to achieve some level of something.
As winter gave way to summer, we started triathlon training again. 4 in total. 3 small Raby Bay triathlons and the granddaddy full distance Gold Coast Triathlon.
We started a serious 5km running program but just 6 weeks before the GC, shin splints struck in my right leg. Not a fault of yours, just one of those things to happen to anyone, no matter the cost of their shoes.
On the day of the race, the 5km run was excruciating. We shuffled along the Gold Coast Highway. Even as people were packing up their tents and walking home, we still pounded away. Coming in last in almost every measure, including the 3rd last person on the course.
But, we did that too.
That was followed by OxFam TrailWalker. 100km bushwalk, along with all the trial walks, was probably going to be too much for you, so I bought a cheap pair of hiking boots. I still wore you for training on the bike and the occasional street stroll but the boots would do the heavy lifting. During the event, in a moment of inspiration, I swapped those boots out for you for the last 1/3 of the 100km and you got me home. You were light, flexible and comfy. A small respite from 41 hours of feet torture.
But we did that too.
Truth be told, essentially, you were rested in the paddock for a specific reason. Tough Mudder.
Tomorrow, you and I will take on the Tough Mudder Sunshine Coast event. 17km. 18 obstacles. Mud.
They say “this is where all shoes go to heaven”. That doesn’t sound good. From all reports, while you may still remain on my feet, you may not function as a pair of shoe tomorrow night. I have very mixed feelings about this.
For the past 18 months, you have represented what we have achieved. Movement. Adventure. Weight loss. Life gain. When you get put on, it’s business time. I could probably afford a new pair, but no amount of money will buy what has been invested in you.
So tonight, my trusted friend, I will give you a final clean, pack you up and prepare for one last hoorah.
For we will do that too.
I was struck by something this morning. I was updating some info on our team site and I saw an OxFam banner on the page that said “$20 is enough to buy a blackboard to improve the quality of education for children in Cambodia.”
$20 gets a blackboard for a classroom full of kids to expand their minds and explore the knowledge of the world. When I think back to all the things that now swim around in my head that were introduced to me with chalk at the front of the classroom, the power of that surface can’t be underestimated.
“scientia potentia est” (knowledge is power) – Sir Francis Bacon
“The power is YOURS!” – Captain Planet
To counter that suckiness, me and three noble gents plan to do something that’s an equal portion of epic and insane.
The 2013 OxFam Trailwalker Brisbane:
100km within 48 hours from Mt Glorious, through the D’Aguilar National Park, to Mt Coot-tha…
(I guess that’s kinda insane).
No, scrub that… We’re gonna do it in 25 hours.
(Now THAT’S more like it!)
We’d love it if you’d help us in this endeavour with a donation to our fund raising effort.
In summary: Poverty sucks. Insane long walk. Let’s kick ass.
My Little Eye – Last Band Standing [23rd October 2011], a set on Flickr.
Whenever I here about the latest cloud computing / online streaming circle jerk, I don’t even bother trying. Unless the content creators come on board, the remaining 95% of the world’s population see squat.
Here is the view from Australia:
So yeah… excuse me if I don’t sound happy.
So I went to Soundwave Brisbane 2011. That’s right, the fat bearded geek went to Soundwave.
First off, big thanks to the guys from Eden Must Burn for the invite. Rad gents all of them… and major props to Liz for driving. There is a reason I’m a fan of these people, and it goes way beyond their music.
So, classic fish out of water scenario. I’ve never been to a festival, let alone one which, from the line-up, was a few notches above my usual play list. I went in with an open mind and I left with a head full of tunes and a happy iTunes account.
Oh, yeah, and my camera is still broken, so I took my little Lumix. The photographic adventure is below:
Epic band. I knew the EMB guys were a fans but listening to their album I didn’t get it. Then I saw them live and it clicked.
Bullet For My Valentine:
Way outside my usual play list… but I give them major props for the energy in their stage show.
30 Seconds To Mars:
My biggest Hmmmm. I didn’t like them for so many years. Then Closer To The Edge came out. My walls were tested until they collapsed. What a stage presence. Props to the dude behind me who was uber excited to see Jared Leto… My butt crack will call you.
Coheed and Cambria:
THE. BAND. OF. THE NIGHT. I’m in, in a big bad way.
In summary. Rad day. The music was rad, the company was radder… The fucking $11 hamburger was raddist…
PS: I want to be a concert photographer
After hearing far too many people on talk-back radio call in and sound off about gay marriage, I thought I might share my thoughts.
First off, I’m a human. Secondly, I have a wonderful wife and a gorgeous daughter so I guess that makes me ’straight’. Just to get it outta the way, despite the fact my wife has a vagina and I have a penis was a factor in my attraction to her, but I rank that low in importance along with her ability to give good back scratches. I love her on so many levels far beyond a sexual one.
So, what’s in a name?
In this whole debate, I am bombarded with the ‘feel good compromise’ that “you can call it anything, just don’t call it marriage”. While that is kinda generous, it misses the point. Essentially, the word ‘marriage’ is important, but in my opinion, it is secondary to the word ‘married’.
In many anti-gay marriage minds, the phrase ‘gay marriage’ is locked into the distorted image of two guys or two girls standing in a church or the steps of the courthouse, kissing, ‘fighting the power’ and generally hamming it up for the cameras.
While the mass media feeds on this, like most weddings, the opening performance bears small resemblance to the run of the season. ‘Married’ doesn’t start on the wedding day, it starts the day after, once the confetti has been swept away and hang-overs treated with aspirin.
‘Married’ is about committing two things into one entity. It’s about teamwork. It’s living under one roof. It’s compromise. It’s paying bills. It’s dealing with in-laws. It’s getting the car fixed. It’s squashing spiders. It’s fighting over the remote. It’s ‘are you drinking at your work party and do you want me to drive’. It’s the getting of sick buckets at 2am when you’re half asleep and likely to snap but you just want to make your partner feel well. It’s back scratches. It’s fights. It’s pressure. It’s forgetting stuff. It’s birthdays. It’s anniversaries. It’s home-cooked meals. It’s fighting over bed sheets. It’s sitting in your office wishing to be only one place, the front door the second after you walk in and see your partner. It’s life. It’s sitting next to a hospital bed. It’s burying your soul mate. It’s finding a way to keep going without them.
Imagine if I was to meet you on the street and we began to speak. In conversation you mentioned you were ‘married’, all those things I just listed and more would be an instant context point. Unspoken understanding and experiences immediately kick in and a certain language can be spoken.
The phrase “we are married” is so heavy and filled with meaning. It cuts across language, race, geography, religion and socioeconomic levels. To suggest that GLBT people ‘are allowed’ to have those experiences as long as they refer to it as something different seems to me to question the validity of those experiences.
The meaning of the word marriage and married goes far beyond any church steps or courthouse steps. It defines the joining of two people together, bound by love and moving forward with shared experiences. It has wide ranging effects in law, life and society.
Who am I to deny the right of law to someone whose sexual orientation does not match my own?
Who am I to deny the same social context?
Who am I to deny how someone else loves another?
Who am I to deny love?
So, YES to ‘gay marriage’… and call it marriage… cause that will lead to ‘gay married’… and then it can all just be called ‘married’. Maybe then we can get back to what really defines a marriage… Love.