Though a straight line appears to be the shortest distance between 2 points, life has a way of confounding geography. Often it is the dalliances and the detours that define us. There are no maps to guide our most important searches; we must rely on hope, chance, intuition and a willingness to be surprised.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Excuses, Birthday Celebrations and Getting Back on Top of Things

So like wow. when did i last update this site?

I'm finding it so difficult at the moment. I kind of feel i've got two choices. I usually like to take some time and think about what I'm going to put on here (yeah, i know you wouldn't think so, reading this). But I'm just too bunged these days. I've gone for option A recently - just hope for a gap and a bit of time to update, but now i'm going for option B - quick updates, just throwing on whatever i can at the time.

After all, my typical week at the moment is: Monday - solid day at work, then swimming in the evening then the Old Fitzroy pub for a Laksa dish (spicey seafood soup/noodles) and then i do my washing and ironing and catch an episode of the sopranos. Tuesday is usually meetings and then i have a salsa class after work, which sometimes goes on to Equilibrium - a bar in town. Wednesday is a good night for skyping home and catching up with email and facebook, though i sometimes go to a friend's for dinner. Thursday is mental - busy at work, always meet a friend for lunch, then biathlon after work, then the Thursday Night Grumpy Old Men's Drinking Session, which sometimes (but as rarely as i can get away with) ends up in Loaded at World Bar until 2am... and beyond... Friday is quieter at work. After work i sometimes catch a drink and sometimes go to squad swimming at Bondi. Occassionally Friday night is a night out (tomorrow night is a karaoke night) and then Saturday morning is always swimming at Bondi. Saturday i like to go into town and do something different and there's usually something on at night. Sunday is sometimes recovery time, and catching up. Recently Sunday morning has been swimming competitions. Sunday night is always salsa night - starts early and goes on late. And then before i know it, i'm getting up for Monday morning again.

So that's been life since India. And that's my excuse for not updating the website. Having gone on about that for length i feel i never need another excuse! Back to the blog...

Is there a link between jetlag and age? Having just reached the grand old age of 29 (for the sixth time), I’m inclined to say that yes, there is. It took me a good week to recover from the jetlag and fatigue of the India trip and another week to really get back into top gear. My sleeping patterns were all over the place, I felt unsettled in Sydney (a first!) and was struggling to do anything constructive other than work (updating the website didn’t get a look in). But by the 10th of February I was back to my usually cheery ‘life in Sydney is awesome’ self. And I had a pretty good birthday. The ‘main event’ was my first ocean swim. After turning down a good few swims through bad weather, unfortunate clashes with spectacular evenings-out, and sheer terror at the thought of swimming out into the sea, I eventually committed to doing the North Bondi classic on the morning of the 10th. I took my preparation seriously. By which, I don’t mean I did a lot of swimming – though I did a fair bit. More crucially I curtailed my alcohol intake (no, really) at the Reid family barbecue on the Saturday. Chris’ folks, and his sister Natalie are over from Ireland/London for a few weeks and Chris had a bit of a gathering on the Saturday night. It was interesting to see people getting drunker and drunker as I restricted myself to half-a-dozen beers and an early trip home. And that ‘training’ paid-off. I actually found the swim to be ok. I took it easy at the start and paced myself the whole way, to finish the 2km distance in 48:03 with some energy left in the tank, as is hopefully evident from the following picture:[link] I was 498th out of 697, in other words almost 200 people finished slower than me, so I was delighted. Being very competitive I’m also driven to go faster and further the next time. I’ve since taken a couple of swimming classes and have started pounding up and down the pool after work. I think all the exercise helped get over the India fatigue too.

And wow, it really paid off. Just a week later, I did my second ocean swim. This was also preceeded by a big barbeque, this time at my place! Even so, i managed a great swim, totally demolishing my previous time. This time I managed 37:10 and I was in the top half for my age group. My competitive streak isn't getting any weaker... So, my birthday itself was fairly tame - though there was a visit to the pub on the Sunday evening too. But only because the big event was planned for the following Saturday. Since having a memorable day out at Randwick Racecourse on boxing day, I'd been looking for an excuse to go back. Handily enough there was a race-meeting just a few days (or so) after my birthday. It was a great day-out and a fair crowd of us enjoyed open-air beers/cocktails, and the opportunity to lose a few bucks on a couple of attractive fillies. Actually, the winning rate amongst us was pretty low. We might have been better advised to check out the childrens entertainment as its difficult to lose much money with Barney the Dinosaur (though I’ve heard he has a real mean poker face).

The rest of February has been pretty good. I'm always trying to strike a balance between work (which I care deeply about, and what to do as well in as I have the capability to), socialising (never usually difficult to get motivated for!), keeping fit and healthy and fitting in all my hobbies and relaxing (always difficult to fit in!). I seem to have at last managed to strike that balance. But sometimes it feels like juggling clubs. Clubs with blades on the end. And the blades are on fire. And someone keeps throwing an extra one in, now and again. Wouldn't have it any other way.