Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The Boston Marathon bombings and what they mean to an Australian

Yesterday was a day like any other. I got up, went to work, and happily read the latest edition of Runner's World on the train, thinking about all the plans I have and what I want to achieve this year running-wise.

I got to work, turned on the computer, and when I loaded up my usual programs (Hotmail, Facebook and Twitter), my heart sank. Two bombings had happened at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. A couple of people dead, multitudes injured. Images of runners and spectators with their legs ripped open, blood gushing everywhere.

How could this happen?

I normally check my phone first thing in the morning, but since I lost my phone on the weekend it's been a little difficult. Finding out all this had happened that morning and I didn't know, for some reason made it even worse.Coming to work and finding this out, whilst I'd been happily unaware of it all on the tram reading about running seemed wrong.

What really struck me though, is the fact that it was the Boston Marathon. I'll never run in it. Hell, I'll probably never go to Boston. I haven't even run a marathon yet. But being part of the running community, and following blogs like I Thought They Said Rum where Scott tried to qualify for Boston (or BQ as it's called), made me realise just how hard it is to get there, and how it's the holy grail of marathon running.

It made me realise that the people who were there had worked so Goddamned hard to get there, and for many of them, that dream is over. Whether it be the three who died, or the ones who got their legs torn off, or even the people who are uninjured but continue to wonder "What if?" every time they lace their running shoes up.

To me, that is the tragedy of what happened at Boston. People whose passion was running now tainted. The very thing that game them release from any stress, joy on a good good day, may now be the source of that stress. If running is your form of release and celebration, what do you do when the act of running becomes that source of stress and anxiety?

People have been posting on Facebook things like this:

And it is true. So much horror happens around the world on a daily basis that we become immune to it. For our own sanity we try to put it aside and try not to think about it otherwise the immensity of it will render us curled up in rocking back and forth in the feotal position. So when something happens that does resonate with us, that's when we are shocked. 

I'm saddened by Boston because it's my community. My people. My sport. My passion. I know what it's like to train for something big, and to be on the course and looking forward to crossing that finishing line. 
Maybe it's wrong that I'm more saddened by the Boston Marathon bombings that any of the deaths mentioned above. And so be it. 

Today, I am thinking about those in my running community. 

via Run the Edge on Facebook

Monday, 1 April 2013

Pole update - Intermediate 2 weeks 1 and 2

At the end of term 1 in Intermediate 1 I was a little concerned about moving up to Inter 2 as I wasn't feeling as awesome at it as I'd like. Bloody Capricorn tendencies coming out. Now that I have started Intermediate 2 I feel fine - I'm not sure if I gained my mojo back or if it's more that some of the girls who would get every move right every.single.time straight away aren't in the class, but something is better.


Pole Dance Art – 18 Hot Moves on -
via Pole for My Soul

We spent a lot of the first class doing moves like the one above. I was able to do it with no hands straight off, so was really happy with it. It's just a really nice looking move that is easy to do, rather than the hard ones that don't look hard. 

Week 2 was spent doing a lot of handstands. I can't find the pictures easily, but this is similar to what we were doing - lots of going into Batman and then sliding down into handstands and doing various leg things. I couldn't see my legs in the mirror so I don't know how they looked, but hopefully it was OK. 

Handstand variations

I went to the physio the day after as I'd hurt my back in a pole strength class two weeks before, and my physio asked me why I liked pole dancing. I thought about it for a while and said "Because it's like gymnastics for adults". Doing the handstands in class made me realise that my body can't really handle a lot of that any more (wrists can only take so much after all) so this is a brilliant replacement. 

We did however do some other moves in the strength class, such as: 

Sumo squats
Cross-legged L climb. 

BLOODY HARD! Basically you use your arms, with your thighs to anchor you before you pull yourself up again. I can get maybe 4 climbs in a row and that's it. 

We also did lots of planks, push ups, wall sits, arabesque leg lifts and pole squats. The other killer move apart from the cross-legged L climb where the core exercises. You'd stand to one side of the pole and pull yourself up like you were going to invert. Instead you'd do 10 crunches then swap sides. 5 sets on each side.  Ow. 

Sadly my back is still sore today, several days after the physio (sorer in fact than it was previously...) so I'm taking it pretty easy. Hopefully it will be fine for Wednesday's class. 

Here's some more prettiness to finish off this post :) 

via Pole for my Soul