Thursday, April 3, 2014

Mexico!!

3 weeks in Denmark and I still haven't had time to unpack. The Damsbo boys wrestled an enormous wardrobe up 5 flights of stairs so that I had somewhere to store my one suitcase of stuff... It probably says something about Danes vs Aussies... I'm pretty sure the average Aussie would have taken one look at the wardrobe and decided it looked great on the ground floor... I know I would have :D Totally love my new wardrobe and owe the boys cake for finding it, hauling it up 5 flights of stairs and then putting it back together :)

On to Vejle - read royal clusterf#$k. So jumpy I couldn't hit the target by the last end. Indoor 50m and I couldn't hit the barn door, standing inside, with the doors shut. Soooo depressing. And we spent 3hrs standing in the cold to be told that the matchplay was cancelled...which I was happy about so you can see I was not having a good day. The only highlight was going home to drown my sorrows in left over Thomas' birthday cake (my first attempt at lagkage using Mormor Edel's recipe) and spending the evening in the indoor range trying to fix what broke.


So a few hundred arrows and a few days with the Carter Honey 2 later...and we still know it isn't Target panic. I can shoot with a hinge just fine (just doesn't group as well as my trigger -when it's working). And a few hours shooting with a hinge seems to help with the trigger. You can see how maybe my knees were somewhat weak at the prospect of getting on a plane to Versus Mexico with the worlds crappiest score behind me and zero confidence in my shooting. But I was flying with my guy and we made it to Guadalajara with our bows in one piece and it was about 25C when we landed after sun down. What's not to like?

I spent the practice day shooting hinge only, catching up with the other internationals and had tacos for lunch at the local hole in the wall. Good food, good company and good shooting. But a day or two of panic free shooting does not a cure all make. On the day of ranking I shot the practice ends with the hinge until the last end. The wind decided to pick up and my completely untested hinge shooting hit a snag....35 seconds an arrow and a hinge in the wind are not always your friend. Shot the last end with the trigger and had no obvious problems...yay me :) My ranking round was nothing to write about (no pun intended) beyond the achievement of all arrows on target and only one flinch. I ranked 20th with a 656 (if you had seen the shooting 5 days prior you would be more impressed) and enjoyed the day.


Next day we were sorted into groups of 6 for match play. We shot 5 matches and each match was worth 2 points for a win, 1 for a draw and 0 for a loss. I had 6 points and made the cut in the top 24. But my smile was for the score of 690 (5x15 arrow matches) which was an average of 9.2 per arrow and an improvement on the 9.1 average from the day before. When you're happy to just be hitting the target it is a great thing to improve your average from the ranking, and in the matchplay. Ruben Ochoa arranged a Mexican feast for us that night and we all went to bed fat and happy :)


Second round of matchplay I maintained my strategy of shooting all practice with the Honey 2 hinge and all scoring with the Target 3 trigger. I shot 704 for 5 matches with a 9.4 average. I only won two matches, but I was pretty happy with the score and made it through the cut to the top 12. Didn't win a single match in the next round, it was a tough draw and I would say it's been a long time since we shot 200 arrows on the competition field (including practice) so I was not disappointed with my day. It was a big turn around in 5 days from missing to 9.4/arrow average. Some battles are bigger wins than others.



Erika Jones and Linda Ochoa fought it out for Gold the next day and Linda took the match with in shoot off with closest to the centre. Mike Schloesser also won Gold on a shoot off with a closest to the centre call. I'll admit to eating some very tasty tacos while we watched :)

Versus Results

And now home again. Jet lagged as all get out and freezing my butt off, but happy to be home. Time to finally unpack :)










Monday, March 17, 2014

Down and out in Denmark and that stupid spoon...

So moving to Denmark...

Holy crap we did it!...I miss my kittens.

It would be a lie to say that moving is an easy and pain free procedure (I really miss my kittens)...and the distance you move seemingly expands the stress and inconvenience exponentially. But here we be... and we're still breathing so I think you could say I made it in one piece. My residence card arrived in the mail today and I am officially legal to work, sleep and sniffle in Denmark.... mostly I'm sniffling with my third bout of cold/flu this year. Either that or it's hay fever and I'm allergic to Danish boys :D

Aarhus
I'm missing kittens, real peanut butter, vegemite, decent tea, baths, strips for my nifty iBGstar glucose meter, 30C days and my family. Especially the Tyrannosaurus Rex currently posing as my niece all smothered in mulberry juice, looking like a flesh eating zombie, and my nephew who could talk the hind leg off a donkey and already has the skill of cornering pretty girls at parties and telling them boring old man stories (mostly about Gary the crocodile and car crashes that never happened) down to a fine art. And my fat, fluffy kittens who demand smoochies at 5am and can be bribed for affection in return for crunchies. And of course I miss my sister who will be the only person in the room with the same pained look and arched eyebrow as me when someone is being mind bogglingly stupid... some things need no words.

Shot the Danish National Indoor. Worked my way up to 4th in ranking and got knocked back down to 6th in the last end. Won through to the quarter finals and then lost to Camilla S√łemod in the fifth end of set system by a point. Really happy with my shooting. Nothing special in the scores (I shot 568 for the ranking), but I was consistent and didn't fade half way through with exhaustion...so with a cold, jet lag, target panic and very little practice...I'm happy with the progress :) Yay me!

Danish National Indoors: Match Play Quarter Final

The drive home from National Indoor (Denmark)

And now we're moving into the outdoor season. It's been too cold and windy to do much so we've been shooting 50m indoors. I'm really impressed by just how cold it can be inside. Of course the Danes are fine...they're wearing their usual jeans, long sleeve tops, and runners and look comfortable. I'm wearing 3 thermals, ski pants, an electric vest and my winter boots and still need an extra jacket for collecting arrows....looking a bit like the kindergarten children in the snow here... little waddling penguins who can't escape their parents, let alone hungry bull elephant seals, because they're so buried with clothes.


Target panic is still floating in the background. Not so much target panic as trigger panic. I'm completely panic free with a back tension. It isn't owning me, but it's teasing my mind and spoiling more than the odd shot. I was struggling yesterday which could have been the trigger panic or could have been the shakes from our ice cream and chocolate cake lunch (still wondering how they eat ice cream on a 5C day, let alone with cake for lunch...but well we know danes are a little weird).... and Martin says to relax. So thinking back to a much older post, I recalled a Matrix moment... there is no spoon - bang the trigger went off... stupid spoon. So working on remembering that the spoon, that isn't there, doesn't exist and that seems to be helping. So most of my training right now is in my own head and the only physical stress is moving under a weighty mountain of extra clothes (just walking to the target is an aerobic work out :P). Ironically I don't think training in Denmark is any different to training in Australia for the world outdoor season. Always in Aus we are training in the middle of winter for what is the summer in the rest of the world...so fog, thermals and beanies for training and then 30C+ for the competitions. This next week is thermals and snow gear to practice for Versus in Mexico, where I think it's due to be about 30C.

Sunday Lunch

On the diabetes front, I think it's about time I owned my blood sugars. For all the folk who's pancreases work, every 3 months diabetics get a blood test that represents your average blood sugar control for that 3 months. Anything below 7% is considered good. Mine has been a solid 6.7% for over a year. My endocrinologist is a happy camper. Means he doesn't need to do anything. Says he would be out of a job if all his patients were as good as me. I think we can do better. So back into pin cushion mode. I'm blood testing like crazy and taking boosters if I'm out of range. Of course tighter control means you risk more hypos. I've had one every trip to the gym, this last week, which really slows you down and inconveniences your day... and freaks out anyone unfortunate enough to be near by when you fall in a heap. My own stupid fault. I'm just fighting on the food thing. I hate when food and insulin rule my life.... which is retarded. I take up to 8 blood tests a day and between 2 and 7 injections a day. I think my life is well and truly ruled by the needle. We're just arguing about the semantics at this point.

So gradually I am settling in. Got my man. Got my bow. The rest is just window dressing that we can fluff as needed. No hurry at this stage. Just finding my way and studying danish and game on for Mexico.




Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Eeeek!

So you know how people kill their fish by feeding them too much? Well feeling a bit that way now. My ex's dad used to have these golf balls he called gold fish that looked like they were more unnaturally buoyant than even fish have a right to. Such is the feeling of being loved to death by your family with hourly offerings of cake, schnitzel, wine and donuts, on the off chance that my new home doesn't have food :D Those evil saboteurs of good intentions and fitness classes... but it's food with love, and it could be a long drought before I get home made offerings that match those of my culinarily obsessed family. So I no complain :)

Shooting has been light on for someone with so much 'free time'....But I've managed a few days in and around the chaos. So hoping my bow isn't a foreign object come the Danish Indoor next week...but I suspect it is a lost cause. Still seeing a little jumpiness creeping in if I don't shoot everyday, but happy with the progress. And even pushups are a little easier this week.

Packing up my life and squeezing in visits with friends and relatives has proven more frantic than I expected...and gosh I have a lot of stuff! I'm one of those people who watches Hoarders on tv in morbid fascination.. and looking around at all my junk that fits in one room...I wonder how people can do it. I feel suffocated by the sheer volume and I don't own much. So it's been quite cathartic to throw out and sell off and rationalise the rest. A few things have survived the cull despite me trying to be ruthless... My ottoman... maybe just because people call it a poof and I get a giggle every time..Juvenile? Me?..And my hoolahoop.... haven't managed to part with it even though I know it won't get used. It's blue and silver with sparkles...how could I possibly give it away? The magical rediscovery of things long lost or forgotten and the mystification of why on Earth I bought that... or where on Earth did that come from? And that is never fitting in a suitcase!

In two days I get on a plane and my adventure begins. Are we nervous yet? :)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Getting my fit on! who's idea was that??

Quit my job last week. Packing my bags this week. I'm officially an archery bum until I find a new job in my new home. In the mean time I made a promise to myself to up my shooting and my fitness while I have spare sand in the hour glass and lots of fidget energy to spare.

Day 5 of being an archery bum. I shot 3 days, went to Barre classes 5 days, up at 5.30am every day, cooked a spectacular meal for my digestively challenged friends and went blackberry picking in my break :)

Shooting has been great. It's been a long stretch of just easy shooting, working out the target panic and knocking out the kinks. My first challenge is the Danish National Indoor in 3 weeks where I will be competing as a Danish resident for the first time. I don't currently have an indoor range and my indoor bow is in Denmark, so making do with my outdoor setup and shooting 20m on indoor faces. The first thing you notice when you haven't cared about score in a while is how crap your score is, and how much work is involved in just aiming steady. There's lots of theory out there about aim and whether you should or shouldn't and how important it is etc. Some folk will go as far as shooting open rings with no dot in order to relax their focus on aim. I think this is a useful technique for relaxing people, but personally I find it makes me lazier than a cat in front of the fire and when you start chasing those 1-2 points here and there, it's worth going for a dot.

Weightier issues are afoot. 4 years ago I was wasting away from type 1 diabetes and dropping weight faster than I could change clothes. Once I started insulin, I immediately started gaining weight.
At my strongest and fittest (pre diabetes), I was a solid girl of about 78kg, could run for an hour, was doing very respectable weights in the gym and shooting 60lb with spiral cams and doing it easy. At my lightest and weakest, I was so thin I had to run around in the shower to get wet (53kg), my bow was 45lb (busted down to GTX cams) with all mass weights down to bare minimum, I needed a nap to walk up a flight of stairs and my gym work out was thinking about exercise. Now I have a handle on the whole pancreas thing. My weight is a healthy 66kg and my bow weight a respectable 54lb.
I'm aiming to lean down some body fat, up my muscle mass and get back to 60lb this coming season. I'm focusing on high intensity interval training, daily barrecode (core strength work out) and intermittent fasting (one of the few ways to lean down that science actually supports).

I feel ready to face a few challenges :)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Are you a bully?

Are you that person only knows how to make jokes if it is at someone else's expense? Do you always have to put someone down, somehow trying to make yourself look better, by stepping on other people? Or perhaps you are a fan of 'tough love' - if you don't constantly point out someone's faults, who will tell them? Are you the person who hasn't said a single nice thing this week? I've got news for you. You are a bully. You are that person we all know. And sadly, you are the one we secretly don't like as much as our other friends. You are the one we make excuses to avoid spending time with because you are always so mean, as opposed to because we are just too socially retarded to make a time.

Social media is a fascinating melting pot of how people wish to be seen by the world and most of us alter reality by not posting the fugly photo or by editing our opinions, before we post them, so as not to offend. But the invention of the internet has also given rise to a new level of bullying and having any presence on the net seems to attract it. Anonymity gives courage to the coward and freedom to be as mean as you like and gosh if people aren't judgemental pricks:
'You're a fat bitch.'
'Your boyfriend is going to leave you, b/c you got fat.'
'Lose some weight.'
'You're a skinny bitch.'
'I hate you.'
'You think so much of yourself.'
'You're boring.'
'Lose some weight, you slut.'
'You just want attention.'
'You are so ugly.'
Bla bla bla bla and so on.

So let's take a look at the average garden variety bully... How sad your life must be, that trying to make other people sad is how you feel good about yourself. How much you must dislike yourself and how unhappy you must be, because the funny thing about secure and happy people is they don't need to be mean to feel good about their world. And the funny thing about being mean is that it actually makes you feel bad. Always saying negative things reflects back on your life and your life is more negative for it. And if you think about a bully you know (and even bullies know another bully), you will realise that you actually don't like them so much. Being mean makes them less likeable. They likely have no genuine friends, if it is always tainted by mean comments...or they have friends who are just like them and like themselves and their friends about as much as they like fungus - grows on you, but are you sure you want it to?

I would rather be the fat, ugly chick (that I am labelled now and then) that everyone likes than the catwalk model we all detest. I love my friends and they love me and none of them are ever mean. None of them give two hoots if I gain or lose a kilo or if I'm pretty enough. Sounds so simple and logical doesn't it? Your friends are decent human beings? Shocking!

Don't get me wrong... there are people in the world I am incapable of being nice to. That's why they aren't my friends and I don't speak to them unless I can be polite. See what I did there? silence :) that thing that saves your inner jerk from being an outie.

Real friends don't feel the need to put you down, they support you and make you stronger. So if someone in your life isn't doing that, you know what to do. And if they are an anonymous butt monkey on the internet - well who cares? They're an anonymous butt monkey on the internet, not a friend, so you don't have to care what they think.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie....

Australia Day...

Okay so now I'm super behind on having anything to say.. but it's been a couple months so probably time I broke the golden silence and chattered away for the sake of continuity.

I'm generally benign about having national days, mostly it's an extra shooting day, but I think they have a purpose and a good one. I think people should have pride in their national identity. And yes everyone's experience of nation is different, but it does include your friends, family, sunny days, uniquely Australian humour, turns of phrase that only we understand (like died in the arse and gob smacked) and lamingtons (cakey, chocolatey goodness).

So seeing an article on a national lamington bake off...I'm some what incensed by the need to create new fangled versions of a national icon. And for that matter anything that doesn't need fixing. I like the KISS principle. Keep It Simple Stupid. So many things (including archery) don't need to be messed with if they aren't broken. Lamingtons are sponge cake with raspberry jam, coated in chocolate and coconut. It works. Don't mess with it. If you don't like it there are other cakes out there. And the funny thing about filling it with mango, and dipping it in white chocolate, is it isn't a lamington any more. Like putting extra things in the Anzac cookies - leave it alone!

And I think Australia Day should be approached with the same principle. Don't spend the day ear bashing people about what you hate about our home (yours and mine). Celebrate the things you love about your home. For all that isn't right or perfect, make it a day to remember what you love about life here. Our Prime Minister being an embarrassing knob is hardly news (and an awful lot of you voted for him) and we could perform better on any number of international, ethical and environmental issues.... but they aren't the only things that make Australia home.

If an Australian guy pays a compliment or buys his girlfriend flowers, she will ask what is wrong and check that the cat is still alive. And we find too many compliments really weird.
'hi, how's it going' means 'hi'. Just 'hi'. And we might look at you funny if you actually proceed to tell us how it's going.
No other nation on the planet thinks Beached Az is funny.
We all know what 'bugger me' actually means and yet no one thinks it's rude to say it.
We cook Xmas turkey on the BBQ and pretty much anything else come to think of it.
Our beaches have sand on them (you need to get out more if you haven't seen what passes for beaches elsewhere)
Our winters have sunny days with blue sky.
Kangaroos - nuff said
We all got condolences when Steve Irwin died
We're one of the most irreverent countries on the planet and super easy going

So if you don't celebrate Australia Day, no big deal, but maybe it doesn't hurt to appreciate the good things in your life now and then and not just list all the bad. There's more to being Australian than how and when the country was settled and whether or not we have gotten right all the things that no other nation has actually perfected either. So eat real lamingtons, BBQ some dead animal and just enjoy the day.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Bite your tongue....

Target Panic. Those nasty evil words. Had never thought to have a real dose of it, but this last month I think we are definitely in that zone. So break out the BT, bust down to blank bale and batten down the hatches and Gosh Darn it (I only know one guy who really says gosh and golly... it still makes me smile)!

Folk might have noticed a little peace and quiet of late. I've been light on shooting and busy with other projects, but up until a week or two ago had been happy with what little shooting I was doing. Then after 3 or more days shooting in super gusty evil nasty winds... I find I'm not trusting my trigger so much. I'm finding I lack the patience to let it go off in good time. And an insidious feeling it is too. As bad as the flinch that starts before you shoot when you've hit your arm one too many times... not too different to trying to give yourself a shot of insulin when the last one hit a nerve. No matter how awesome and gutsy you think you are...some things are just beyond self control and no amount of determination can still the flinch.

Contributing to this mess was a week in hospital as an out patient in the DAFNE program. This means I spend all day there, but get to go home at night. This is a program for type 1 diabetics. Your insulin, food, exercise and sickness regimes are all overhauled with a view to better blood sugar control. I met lots of other diabetics and got to see how other people cope or don't cope with our disease and I got to see that my world really just isn't so bad. Not that I ever thought it really was...but I had never realised how much this disease devastates some people.

So I guess I figured everyone approached the world with a gung-ho, take the bull by the horns attitude and I don't think I ever really thought that that attitude makes up for a multitude of sins..in fact I'm sure it gets me into a lot of trouble... But I met a person so devastated by illness that their lives had been on hold and they had never been happy in over a decade. Not just by any illness. But by an illness we share. I met people who in decades of diabetes have never been as well on their good days as I have been in the worst of my 5 yrs. And in every case the difference was distinct in the approach. It isn't like you can produce less than zero insulin so it isn't a matter of anyone being more sick, but rather having the tools and or the attitude to push back. And seeing people obtain the tools to gain control of their lives and smile for the first time in years was as heart warming as it was educational. I am blessed in the education, teaspoon of cement and friends and family that have made life with my dinky pancreas considerably less awful than it could have been. And if I knew the formula to giving people their own in built, come out fighting attitude with a hefty dose of education, I would give it. It seems to have saved me considerable trauma.

I have the strength and know how to keep George the Evil Pancreas in his place, so no stupid target panic is going to get me down! Enter patience and time and perseverance...and maybe a lot of recurve :) And gradually the jumpiness is getting better. I figure never let these things settle. So all I have worked on the last few weeks is a calm, strong shot. I'm told target panic is never really gone... but neither is diabetes so they can both bite me.

Target Panic You Evil Beast!