Monday, January 11, 2016

Chronic illness: the rules according to Erika

So a friend recently asked me for advice on how to cope with chronic illness...well okay it wasn't that recent now. But then I wrote an article about diabetes and archery. And now this post, that I have had in draft for a few months, suddenly seems relevant. And since this topic has cropped up multiple times, here's my words of wisdom...or at least words:

1. Bugger being Superman
You don't have to be a hero just to make other people feel better about themselves
Some days you are going to feel like shit and it's okay to hate it. It's okay to be angry or sad. It's perfectly normal and there's no crime in showing you feel like rubbish. You don't always have to pretend to cope better, just so someone else has a better day. We aren't all be brave in the face of 'insert disease of choice' poster material. And some days aren't brave days no matter who you are. Your body is going to let you down. Nothing wrong with the occasional self indulgent, hissy fit or criminally bad hair day when your body won't do what it's told. All the people telling you to get over it and grow a back bone can go get their own shiny chronic disease, and sit on it, and see how it treats them. You might notice a theme to my thoughts. My theory is essentially that everyone should mind their own business (on pretty much everything). There's lots of people telling you a bunch of useless stuff about how to cope with your disease. It's yours. Cope with it how you want. What works for you is not going to work for everyone and if the well meaners were actually well meaning, they would stop giving inane advice for something they have no true understanding of. Trite words like 'chin up' and 'it could be worse' can also elicit homicidal eye twitches in the recipient.

2.Take the damn medicine
When you become mortally dependent on medication, you stop having any sympathy for folk who suffer headaches or other ailments just because they 'don't like taking pills'. As if not taking the pills somehow elevates them above us poor weak plebs who carry a pharmaceutical arsenal in our bags. One of the leading causes of preventable death in the western world is people not doing what the doctor told them. Something like 50% of all scripts never get filled and an incredible amount of people think that taking 1 or 2 tablets should be enough when they have been given a months supply. I recall a little old lady who stopped taking her blood pressure meds because the doctor had given her another script for a different ailment and she thought it was too many pills. We pay doctors a lot to do that thinking for us. If you are supposed to take ten tablets a day, take ten tablets a day. It's not a difficult concept.
We don't always get it right.
“You know what they call alternative medicine that's been proved to work? - Medicine.” - Tim Minchin.
If it doesn't come with a stack of peer reviewed, scientific, research from reputable Journals, don't take it. People pushing alternative remedies are stupid, crazy, or trying to kill you. Possibly a combination of the three. You don't ask the checkout chick at burger king to change the oil on your car or the postman to fix your archery gear. So don't ask the town monkey or a friend of a friend, with a degree in scientifically unproven drivel, for advice on your health. Ask an expert. Like any part of the human race, doctors can be morons too, so if you don't trust them for some reason, ask more than one and don't ask google unless you actually know enough to understand what you are reading.You'll end up with a fatal case of something no one ever heard of and massive hypochondria on top of what ails you. But!.... If taking weird unproven remedies makes you feel in any way better...nothing wrong with the placebo effect. It's scientifically proven to have benefit. Just don't stop the proven meds and check with your real doctor if there's a chance your weird, witch doctor, hocum might interfere with your actual therapy. Some 'natural' therapies might actually kill you and if you're ingesting something stolen from some poor endangered animal, then I hope it gives you a nasty rash too.

3.It's okay if you think it hurts
Your pain is not less real just because some jerk says it doesn't hurt. I have been told by endless nurses and doctors, and even diabetics, that taking insulin and blood testing doesn't hurt. Like lying about that stuff will somehow make it less ouchy. One of my favourite stories was a nurse, who had to do a week of 'being a diabetic' as part of her training. She said she had never understood her diabetic husband so well as she had after a week of endless needles and blood tests. But even then, if it isn't your body, you don't really know. My dad barely notices the injections and barely bruises ever. I'm a walking bruise. I have blue and black bruises everywhere and some injections hurt like crazy and some not at all. People who tell you it never hurts just haven't been stabbed enough. I usually offer to stab them.

4.Take time out
Stuff stresses us. Lots of stuff. Chronic illness causes stress. I highly recommend meditation. 10 minutes a day of just focusing on breathing and nothing else can really make a difference to the overly busy brain. Or kittens. But I recommend the cute and fluffy for most situations. If you aren't allergic, you need a kitten/puppy/hedgehog/preferred cute and fluffy.

Cute and fluffy makes the world better.

5. A really awesome friend to caffeinate with
Regularly. I don't care if you don't caffeinate. We still call it grabbing a coffee when you don't drink coffee. So go somewhere civilised, drink a hot beverage, eat a something and chat about whatever. This does not include drinking instant while you text pretend friends on fb. Conversation with a real live person, who isn't part of your umpteen hospital visits, is crucial to not wallowing in misery.
Caffeination with conversation.  

I'm a fan of hugs. I highly recommend hugs from the lovely Miss Degn of Denmark (aside from boyfriend/girlfriend/family)...but perhaps you should find your own huggable persons. And recall personal space issues before hugging said persons. Not everyone thinks hugs are fan worthy. But if you are one of those...well my lucky, best friend advice is to learn to like hugs from at least one person/kitten/puppy.....
Hugs <3
Some months after I was diagnosed with diabetes, I heard comments like 'still??' and 'isn't she over it, it's been months' etc News flash people. Chronic illness means it isn't going away and may get worse and more complicated with time. So about the time I was being introduced to big scary needles on a daily basis (after months of struggling with tablets and impossible diet restrictions and endless tests), the peanut gallery was busy bitching that I should be used to my condition by now. It took two years to get over needle phobia. I used to stay up all night because I didn't want to take my night insulin. I met a little old lady who told me she had been diabetic since she was little and she still cried sometimes when it was all too hard. I met another who had been diabetic for 15 years and never had a single day of control. The first day she achieved actual control of her blood sugar, I was privileged to witness her tears of sheer joy at achieving something most people never think about because it's as automatic as breathing...Fifteen years....And I met a guy who was only about 40 and had never found that control. He had the biggest freaking scar (which he showed me in the middle of a pub while explaining why he doesn't drink beer anymore) I ever saw and a nice, shiny, slightly used, new set of kidneys, and a pancreas to show for it. He said 'take care of yourself'.
Some of us might be less patient than others. Hug them too.
8.Talk about it.
There's a weird fashion in the world to hide what ails ya. I'll admit to finding it rather astonishing. People are actually embarrassed by diabetes, depression, name it. Seriously... of all the things that I've been embarrassed by in my life and of all the things I've thought people should be embarrassed by, it never occurred to me that being ill was something to be ashamed of. My dress blowing up around my ears when I had my hands full with a coffee tray.... that was pretty embarrassing. Walking around all day with a seed stuck on your front teeth, baby photos, singing in public, shooting the wrong target at a world event...Can't say diabetes ever embarrassed me even half as much. If other people are uncomfortable, that you have a chronic illness, it's their own weird little problem. Let them stress about it.

Shooting the wrong target twice...way more embarrassing than diabetes. Trust me.
9.That's all she thinks about.
When your body doesn't work the way it is supposed to and your life depends on you getting certain things right, you can seem rather preoccupied by it. When I'm ticking every box and doing everything right my day runs like a diabetes check list. Wake up, check blood, shower, count breakfast carbs, take insulin, eat, go to school, check blood, count carbs, insulin, lunch, more school, check blood, more school, check blood, training, check blood, count carbs, insulin, dinner, homework/tv/whatever, check blood, insulin, insulin adjustment... and possibly a 3am check blood if things are awry and an half hourly check blood if I'm in competition. So given how many times a day my disease crops up in my routine, one can be forgiven for thinking about it more than people with a functional pancreas do. If you had to respond every time your pancreas needed to do something, you might think about it a bit too. Does it make me less able to do other stuff? No. Just means I might mention pancreas a bit more often.
Some days are just annoying.

10.Everyone needs a hobby.
A lot of people waste a lot of time thinking about the stuff they can't do. Like drink the maple syrup (I'm still laughing about a certain Canadian who gave me a whole bottle), fly commercial airliners, or organ donation. I am completely baffled by the need of so many in the population to spend time every day contemplating what they can't do. Navel fluff is surely more fascinating. So stop pondering the cruelty of life over what you can't do and start putting some time into something you can do. Or maybe even try the 'can't'. It's quite often a 'can't' because someone said so rather than because you tried. Do you know why I spend so many hours shooting arrows? It's because I'm really crap at knitting, ball games, riding bikes, dusting, chess, endogenous insulin production.... the list is endless. See how much more archery I get done when I don't waste energy on all those pointless things? And most of those pointless things, I was crap at before diabetes.
Remember how much I suck at riding bikes? That is not due to diabetes.
11.Remember to love someone.
And at the end of the day, remember to appreciate your nearest and dearest. They are there for you, even on your bad days. Hugs and caffeination and the person who turns your electric blanket on.... all make the world a much nicer place :)

Monday, August 17, 2015

My wonderful life as a nobody :)

So it might sound like a negative. But this is not a negative post by any stretch. It is a fact. I have in the eyes of the world never achieved anything, because our world is built on the lie of winning. Only winning achieves anything and if you aren't a winner you are by default a loser. And not only have I heard this said by some of the great winners in the world, I have probably said it myself a time or two. But I suppose it really does take a closer look at what winning means. Is it a shiny hunk of metal to put on your shelf or is it to achieve your goals? Is it a win if you got a medal, but failed to achieve your goal? Is it a loss if you didn't win a medal, but achieved all your goals? If the tree falls in the forest and there's no one there to witness it....

So I'm writing this in reflection to my year as an archery bum which may come to an end when I complete Danish school and get a real job....What did my year achieve? I didn't win any international medals and I didn't break any records so far... so what have I done?

So in a year of shooting in Europe, I have so far achieved my goals. I fought for and won a coveted spot on the Danish archery team. In a series of 5 trials that included a minimum score requirement and performance in both ranking and matchplay, I earned that spot in black and white. I had, before hand, worried that perhaps it would end up being a place based on just attending, but the top 5 shooters in Denmark all pre-qualified and attended. Even the formidable Camilla Søemod commuted from Canada to make it a real fight down to the last day, for that much desired spot on the World Target team on home soil.

I got to shoot the European Indoor Championships, where I ranked 11th  (equal 7th) and finished 9th (top 16) with a competition PB in ranking. Possibly a first for an Australian shooting the European Champs?
Moi (Slovenia 2015)
Shanghai World Cup Stage 1 - I shot 669 and ranked 31st. Finished 33rd (out in the first match) in tricky wind for our first outdoor tournament of the year. I was disappointed, but took away a lot. And took 5th in mixed teams with Stephan Hansen with some solid shooting to make my week worth while.

Turkey World Cup Stage 2 - 675 and ranked 47th against some tough competition and finished 33rd again but on substantially better shooting (lost my second match). I was beaten by Andrea Marcos of Spain and I told her she had to win now because that's the rules. So she did. And I was very proud to be her agent on the day of her gold medal match. And we took away 4th place in teams. I shot some 8s in our last match, but then so did almost everyone who shot finals that day, including some very notable and famous archers. So for everyone who ever shot an 8 in finals...I hear you, but we're in awesome company. So would have loved a medal, but actually very proud of my team. We did great.

Our first team shoot and we made the medal matches :)
World Target Copenhagen - 648 and ranked 71st. And if all you ever saw was score, this result might make you bleed... but if you had been standing in the miserable weather that we shot in... well I'm okay with my score. I went out in my first match and finished 57th against a lady from Austria who somehow shot Xs when I could barely keep my feet and to compound the day (no pun intended), I discovered my fletches were cracking off. My disappointment continued with our team losing to the Ukraine and finishing 6th. But we shot well and it came down to a line call. I think we did great that day as well.
Biggest World Target ever in our own backyard :)
Poland World Cup Stage 3 - 676 and ranked 24th. I'm really happy with this shooting because it is basically the same score as in Turkey, but with brutal wind that changed constantly through the day. After 4 matches I finished 7th in the same evil wind. In every event I have learned a little more and adjusted accordingly and, in this event, it paid off. I know of a few who are disappointed with their lack of medals from this week, but I am enormously pleased with my 7th. My goal was to finish in the top 25% of the field.  So if achieving a goal and how you feel about your result is all that matters, I'm winning just fine.

Wrocław, Poland
So I've spent a year shooting arrows, learning a new language, travelling the world and representing my new home. Gosh how terrible my life must be....And so far my best is 7th. So my perspective to everyone in the world who didn't get a medal this year and the few who did....I'm really happy with 7th at a world cup and beating two of the toughest shooters in the world (Tonioli and Loginova) to get it. Taking home a medal would seriously add some shine to my year, but I'm going to celebrate my win such as it is. I earned it. It makes me smile. If you enjoy archery only when you win a gold medal, statistically you are going to be miserable a lot of the time. So one day (if all the hard work pays off) that gold medal will not be the be all and end all, it will just be the icing on an already awesome cake.
Support staff keeping the bed from running away.
Bring on Nationals and World Cup stage 4.

Friday, February 20, 2015

What happens in Vegas....

OMG she wrote a post! Yes really, I've discovered the keyboard again... it might be covered with kitten fluff and dust... but it still works.

So two people, who I love very much, just had a major falling out. And I'll duck for cover when they read this since they're both still steaming about the ears. But I had to share the spectacular kaboom that leaves me standing in the ashes of the burned down house wondering how they set fire to it without matches and while it was raining. I mean literally world war 3 just happened and the new cold war started because they were agreeing with each other. And then you have to wonder how often it happens that two people who are just having a hard schtick, meet breaking point on each other, and implode. So offering hugs to stressed people today. Squeeze a kitten, sip a hot chocolate and relax in the bath. Love you guys x
Felix being helpful <3
Well the rest of my week has been just (insert Southpark Cartman voice) sweeeeeeeet. I am in the happy possession of two new bows (Hoyt Podium Elites), a whole season of super cute archery bum clothing and I passed my first Danish exam. Shot the first bow down at the range late last night and it was shooting 29-30s on the inner 10. So then of course all agreements to leave it till after Europeans may have gone out the window. The back wall is just awesome. I'm in luuuuurv!
Fabian being helpful with my new Hoyt Podium!
Iceland was a write off. I came second so no complaints about the place. More about the rubbish shooting. Could not shoot two tens to save my life, let alone 3. It was a clusterF@#$@#mmmm of epic proportions and then Nîmes....oh dear... the less said the better. At least I ranked equal top 3 on score for the second chance round and won a nice set of Doinker stabs for my new recurve when it arrives :) But there's something seriously bitter about finding the ten after it counts.

Saved my trip to Nîmes with at least something to take home!
Roll on Vegas and I almost couldn't drop a point the week leading up to it. Then shot utter filth on the first two days. Could have saved my dignity on the 3rd day if I had just shot the right target! An X and a 10 on the wrong target ruined a perfectly awesome score. 24x, 279 with 2 misses. I matched Mr Damsbo on X count. So apart from epic stupidity.... it was awesome shooting :S

I would have thought responsible gaming advice would be like don't bet your house or something...

Small child making us all look like amateurs at practice. She was great! 

One of those days :S

Night out in Vegas because you should.
Then there was the trip home...or rather there almost wasn't a trip home. On attempting to check in at McCarran International, I was informed I could not go to Denmark without a visa. After a very long argument about visas which I don't need and never have needed and an hour at a counter while they kept insisting I can't leave the US without a visa for Denmark, they gave me my boarding passes and told me not to forget to show my visa (that didn't exist) when I get to Denmark. Is it bad if the homicidal eye twitch was more because they just gave me my boarding pass, anyway, after an hour of wasting my time? If the visa was a genuine reason to not allow me to check in, I should still be sitting in Las Vegas. Not that I'm not happy I got to leave. Just that it obviously wasn't that important, so why did I have to argue about it for an hour???? Then we had to leave a team mate behind, because her ticket dates were wrong and we had to buy two extra pieces of luggage. One because the airline refused to recognise the excess attached to the ticket and the other because everyone had significant excess from shopping, sponsors and let's face it - Veeeeegas!

So bring on Slovenia and Europeans. It's official. I shoot for Denmark next week.


Saturday, January 10, 2015

So close you can taste it...

I'm talking about those moments in your life when the actualisation of a goal is so close that your mouth is watering. This is what my shooting has been like lately. Every day the feel and the process is a little tighter and a little better.  It doesn't have to be an epic goal or a life dream. There's just something tasty about being on that edge, when you know things are happening. I shot a 148/150 in matchplay for my first competition of the year and everyday since has been great shooting in practice. Loving those days when shooting a 10 is a choice and not a hope.

Nytårspokalen 2015

All of which had to be said before I gave my usual update because it sounds way cooler than anything else I needed to say :D

I fell off my bike before Xmas, and took a chunk of skin off my bow hand, right before the Kings of Archery tournament in the Netherlands. Shot a 878/900 (41x) ranking and ended up finishing 16th. Not an amazing result, but I'm claiming sissy rights on the whole gaping wound issue and calling it an okay result. It was beyond expectation that I managed to draw the bow at all. Everything else was gravy :).... I may have been banned from riding the bike prior to tournaments from now on....

No more bike for me!
The Berlin Open was a substantially better innings. I shot a 576/600 and ranked equal 4th. Going into matchplay, the ties were decided by coin toss and I was demoted to 6th. I might think that the whole thing had whiskers on it, but that's how it rolled. I won through the 1/16 match against Valeria Goncherova from Ukraine 140/138 and then lost the 1/8 to Janine Meißner from Germany 144/145 to finish 9th overall. I shot my qualifier for the European Championships and finished in the top 10, so basically a happy camper.

A quick trip home to Aus for Xmas was required. I've been missing BBQ turkey and daylight for xmas :) There was, kid you not, 5 turkeys on Xmas day. Something about not being sure we would have enough food.....a problem that seems to give various family members nightmares despite never having occurred in my memory. Was just awesome to see family and have an Aussie xmas. So I'm all xmas fat and stocked up on things you can't buy in Denmark.... like vanilla bean paste, real sunscreen and Sherry Gale (our most excellent house guest for January) and settled back into the life of an archery bum.

Aussie archer Sherry Gale come to visit :)
The kittens are settling in well. Maybe a little too well. I woke up one morning to find Fabian trying to clean my teeth for me.... which of course ends badly for all concerned as I shoot up and kitten goes flying while I Plbplbplbpblbpblbplbpblpblpblpb!!!! trying to get the cat spit off my teeth and lips. Ugh!!!! The boys are weighing it at 4kg a piece and the vet informs me I can afford to feed them less. No one ever accused me of underfeeding a cat :D

In all these days of shooting, studying and travelling, a random and aimless rant that plays in my head just lately is about trying to understand crap coffee. Now we aren't talking about instant versus filtered or expresso versus latte etc we're talking that nasty stuff that looks like fine powdered rust and can be found in archery clubs all over the world. The floor sweepings from the clay factory that they put in jars and call coffee and sell to bad conferences and archery clubs. I'm sure you can find it at rehab meetings and anger management courses too... Because nothing tests you like really awful coffee... Now don't misunderstand, I'm not a coffee snob. It's more a life the universe and everything question... Why does such awful coffee exist? Who drinks it? Why do they drink it? Are they divorced from their own tongues? Why not drink tea instead? Because no matter how bad the tea is it can't be worse than the nasty coffee (okay I'm sure my Chinese mother could find me a worse tea)... So with the few people aside who have no taste buds and drink the crappy coffee for religious penance or has to wonder at the market...
I now keep a jar of coffee in my archery locker.

School, like cat spit and crap coffee, is leaving a bad taste in my mouth. It's a good thing the new teacher is actually good at teaching.... With people skills like that, one has to hope she's got something going for her. Heinous cow. Nuff said. Here's hoping I learn Danish fast and get out before I'm forced to drastic measures. Herring has few uses (eating not being one of them), but I suspect one would do quite nicely tucked in the bottom of her bag.

Got kittens, coffee and christmas sorted. Bring on 2015. Next stop - Iceland :) 


Friday, November 7, 2014

So much to do, so much to say!

Autumn has arrived and with it more changes than I can keep abreast with. Suffice to say I am glad to have a weekend before me with one whole free day. So whole free day. But I digress....Changes!

So we moved from a cupboard in Aarhus with 1/6 of a bathroom, and about the same kitchen space, to a house with 3 bathrooms and a walk in wardrobe next to the kitchen. The mind still boggles as to why you would need a wardrobe off the kitchen, but it's a wardrobe bigger than our whole space in Aarhus so we no complain.

I've managed to give the postman a thrill twice already, being caught in my underwear, on my way to the washing machine, when he's knocked on the rather not opaque door to deliver a package. And that wardrobe, that I told you I would have left in the street rather than walking it up 5 flights of stairs in pieces, not only came down those 5 flights, but went up a further flight to be installed on the second floor of our new home.... it is never ever moving again. Never.

A peculiarity of Danish homes is that they do not come with installed light fittings. So when you move into a home, you then spend a week dining by torch or lamp light until your handy Danish man/person, who comes with a degree in IKEA reconstruction and a minor in electrical engineering, manages to install all of your light fixtures without giving himself a new and interesting hair style. And all the Australians go 'why would you do that??? Why not just have lights installed when you build a place?'...and when I ask that same question all the Danes go 'why would you do that? then you can't choose where the lights go'...There are some cultural differences that just can't be explained in simple terms...apparently the appropriate timing for light fixture installations and the Danish fondness for lining up are amongst them :)

Since my last post, we have also acquired two new babies. Felix and Fabian. We had gone to the cat centre to adopt a new cat. On arrival, Fabian walked over to me, straight up my leg, into my arms, and started purring. So you would think that would be that. However, Fabian had a twin brother who is not so smoochie and the cat centre was most insistent we could not take one without the other. And two days later I was waving one cat off a bench while the other one ran past with a steak bigger than itself, growling and drooling all the way. Needless to say they are settled in happily and already getting their own way too much, as well as substantially fatter than they were when they arrived. We can now hold kitty skype sessions between my Danish and my Australian kittens. Oddly enough they don't seem so keen.

The new shooting range is about 7km down the road and so it becomes more necessary to address my slight issue with bikes... or rather my slight issue with falling off bikes. And I had thought things were progressing nicely until I realised that for some reason when I try to turn right, my brain malfunctions and I try to commit suicide by wall/bush/tree/ I have spent the better part of a week practicing that whole not falling off when it isn't a straight line or a left turn and today I think we can declare the bike is no longer my arch nemesis, but more my rather untrustworthy, don't turn your back on him, ally. We might make a Dane of her yet...(as long as she doesn't have to eat herring or say words like Sorø).

Speaking of unpronounceable Danish words... My new classes start with a vengeance next week. I will have 18 hours of Danish a week and my first exam will be before Christmas. I had an evaluation test on Monday and although I can still barely string a sentence together, apparently my reading and translation skills are adequate enough to bump me into a harder class. Of more importance, I drove there on my own and no one died from the experience despite the whole of Denmark driving on the wrong side of the road and their cars being arse backwards... I don't even have bruised knuckles, from smacking my left hand on the door, when I forget which side the gears are on.

And shooting... we had a quick trip over the border, for a coaching day in Hamburg, and I shot a few rounds of indoor to start the season. It was ugly. Not 'fell of the ugly tree and hit every branch coming down' ugly... but certainly not pretty. In my defence, it was on the back of days of moving and painting and much stress... but it was still depressing! Now, settled into new surroundings and slowly recovering, I seem to be shooting about a 570 average. A year ago that was great shooting for me, so with an untuned bow and not so much practice, I think it is a great place to start. Bring on indoor.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

So let me tell you about Christine

So I haven't had much to say for a while. Well that's a lie... I always have a lot to say...But I haven't had anything to SAY. I've had an amazing few months with shooting and family and settling into Denmark, but we lost someone special and all the things you want to say never seem to be enough. But maybe we need to say them anyway.

So let me tell you about Christine.
She was born prematurely and she left us just as prematurely. And she was all the things we should be: funny and beautiful and unfiltered.

She gave you a headache, now and then, because she told the truth and sometimes people don't want to hear the truth. But how much simpler would life be if we all just told it how it was, plain and unvarnished? 'The Invention of Lying' was a movie practically based on my family; we seem to drown in the comedy of things people probably shouldn't say. Sometimes the truth makes you wince, and sometimes the shocking honesty just makes you laugh and Christine made me laugh and gave me someone who truly understood how hard it is to tip toe around a world that would prefer you just lied.

She was a talented athlete, a promising doctor to be, an active and passionate humanitarian. The woman could sew and cook as well. My Facebook feed was full of her daily updates on new and wonderful projections, sad and worthy causes, practical and educational facts and the awesome food ambitions that screamed our multicultural roots.

I had never realised how much we talked. She died less than two days after our last talk. It was mostly just Facebook chat. For one reason or another we were always somewhere else. When I was home she was not. When she moved to Melbourne, I moved to Hobart. That catch up coffee that just never happened. We sighed about the stupidity of anti vaccination campaigners and cured the worlds ills, if folk would just do the smart thing....and laughed at terrible things our family say and at the terrible things we say and rolled our eyes at always having to shut up before you say something honest...or always apologising because there is no filter between brain and mouth. And just generally planned evil genius plans to take over the world... and or save it, depending on the day.

So I hope you always appreciate that special person in your life who always just tells you the plain unvarnished truth and go and get that catch up caffeination today and bask in the blast of fresh air of plain and uncomplicated. Everybody needs a Christine. We lost ours too early.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Bugger shooting Murphy...we should just shoot me.

It's a weird situation when you are exercising up to 6 hours a day and feel that you really could be doing more. I walk about 2 hours minimum a day. I go to gym for an hour of cardio most days and I shoot 3 hours or more a day. And yet I feel lazy and unfit. So I went to the gym to chat with a personal trainer and he recommended TRX bands. They suspend from the air and you use them to destabilise core strength exercises and hence make them really hard to do and therefore a solid core workout. So at my personal trainer's advice I went to the next available class... there may have been whimpering and unattractive face pulling. Instead of a fairly low cardio, but solid core workout I found myself in a class worthy of Cross Fit and at one point lying flat on the floor ordering my body to do what it's told and not getting much more than panting and twitching. After the 5 hours I had already put into walking and shooting that wasn't quite how I was expecting to finish my day. The 30min walk home from the gym may have looked more like shuffling and getting up the next morning involved a lot more whimpering. And after that genuinely horrible experience... I'm of course signed up for next weeks class. No one ever said I was smart :)

And on the topic of fitness and walking it is rather amusing to realise that Danes are allergic to walking. If you tell them you walked somewhere they all immediately ask why you didn't ride a bike. They can all understand an hour ride on the bike...none seem to comprehend one might choose to spend that hour walking instead. And failing that they wonder why you don't catch the bus. Relaying the latest discussions on this with Martin, who was in Colombia on his way to practice, he added his agreement that it's crazy to walk when you can ride or bus. Only a few minutes prior he had been complaining of the waft of pee on the bus heading to practice (a common problem with shared transport) so I ask the question...which is crazier? Walking in the sun and fresh air or sitting in an enclosed space with persons of suspect hygiene and the stench of pee? I think I rest my case :D
I like walking and I hate waiting at bus stops and I fall off bikes I guess learning to not fall off is in my not too distant future :)

In the midst of all this exercise I have started my Danish classes. Only two so far. So not expecting miracles, but I think I have it easier than many in the class as they are conducted in English and Danish. No one else in the class has English as a first language so I'm thinking the challenge is far greater for the Romanian who only speaks Italian and Romanian... although he very bravely asked me my name and nationality in Danish last class so he's doing great :)

Archery is cruising along. It occurred to me that I'm not shooting enough arrows so I'm pushing it out to shoot 200 a day. Still not strong enough to do that easily, but I think it's achievable in the next week. Until now the focus was more on technique and stability and as we had decided I'm strong enough with what I'm doing to put another turn on the limbs and up the poundage, so it's probably time to think about arrow fitness and scoring.

I have been swapping back and forth with the Carter Honey 2 and the Carter Target 3 releases. I shoot about 50/50 and am scoring a round with each. Shot a 1374 and a 1384 in practice with the Honey 2......

And then the flu struck! Shot a lousy 1333 in competition. Could not hit the proverbial. It was like the archery gods decided to swoop in and smack me silly for thinking maybe my shooting was finally improving. Finally halfway through 30m and way too late to save the day, Martin noticed my timing was out. Popped a twist in a cable between ends and I dropped 2 points in the rest of the round. Excuse me while I go bang my head on a brick wall! So it was awesome timing for Mor Damsbo to swing by and buy the kids ice-cream :)

Went to bed feeling really crappy and woke up feeling like I died a week ago and no one told me yet. Stupid flu.

Celebrated Martin's birthday with a most excellent lagkage... third time is the charm.. we need another birthday just to perfect it :D And my own birthday was awesome with a homemade strawberry tart (jordbærkage), BBQ with friends and a new phone and a bike :)
Shot a 50m comp and ranked 3 in women's with a 665. It's nothing to write home about, but I was blowing my nose constantly, coughing up attractive green stuff, my right eye was weeping and every shot was like running a marathon... so I'm calling it a win. I made it through the day and Martin only beat me by 10 points in the matchplay... then went on to shoot rubbish in a later match. I'm thinking we need to discuss when it's appropriate to shoot in a match against your sick girlfriend, the day after her birthday, is a pretty good time to shoot an epic miss... just saying :P

And you might not know it, but flu is especially hard for the pancreatically retarded. You need stupid amounts of insulin just to stay alive so I've been mainlining it like it's saline all week...then suddenly the flu starts getting better and suddenly I'm taking enough insulin to kill an elephant...except now it decides to work. I spent a whole day sleeping on the grass at the range while Martin shot. And finally I think we are on the home stretch. Some time in the next week I might start feeling less like a mucus ridden, swamp monster, and more like an archery bum :P

If the dog can do it....