Sunday, September 19, 2010

Dreams, dreams, dreams...

After I returned from the big trip 18 months ago I knew I had let the travel genie out of the bag and there was no way that itch was ever to be suppressed again. So I hide it in liberal dosages of home improvements, work commitments and summer windsurfing, with the hope I can just keep it under control for a while, until Hazel moves on and I've trained up another few Aussie docs at the practice. But in the back of my mind is that in 2014, when I hit the big half century, I'm pulling up sticks and heading outta town!

Doing the tax return is a stark reminder that I have less than four years left to get my finances in order so I can live the dream of a self financed retiree (50 may be the new 30, but "retiree" sure doesn't sound anything but old does it?) and do what I like when I like. By then there'll be a big port at Oakajee being built and I'll be able to rent out the house here for a fortune. Certainly enough to live on whilst I swan around Asia for a while.

So I recline in the hammock dreaming about just where I'll go given no restrictions on time, or hopefully money. Although I've done my fair share of exceedingly expensive luxury holidays, I'm just as comfortable travelling solo on a very low budget. I'm able to juggle the best of both worlds: pay for comfort when wanted or needed, but mostly I neither crave home comforts nor resent not having them when it's not available. I'm very lucky that my personal needs are few - provide me shelter, food and water and I'm happy - and that wherever I am in the world I find it incredibly easy to feel totally at home.

Should I head around Australia again visiting those places that I couldn't go with a dog? Should I spend a summer at Gnarloo riding the perfect wave? Head off to New Zealand for a ski season then the summer tramping and cycling? Or back to the Indonesian Archipelago to explore further afield before heading off through the rest of Asia and beyond? Since all of the above are on the wishlist, it's just a matter of working out where to start!

But it's all mere dreams right now, thank goodness dreaming doesn't cost anything - more money for travel!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

The grind

I do love my job, but sometimes it just feels like an endless process to get from one end of the week to the other. And I only work part time!!

The real problem is that the adrenaline high from my ski trip has abated, and I'm yet to start the summer windsurfing season, so I'm in a bit of a dip at the moment. How to get out of it?

It hasn't been helped by the broken arm, though I'm now out of plaster and gaining strength though there's still a little healing left to do on what ended up being a rather more complex fracture than I initially realised. Although not displaced, I actually managed to break the bone both across and longitudinally which I reckon is a pretty impressive effort for what I thought was just a face plant and a sprained wrist!!

As threatened in previous posts I have finally joined a gym and got a personal trainer to torture me on a weekly basis. I've nicknamed her "the witch" so that she doesn't go too easy on me - I've told her I expect her to make me work hard so she can earn her moniker! Apparently lots of people go to gyms and are too scared to actually push themselves, even with a PT, go figure?? But thank goodness the 80s days of leotards are over....

I spend alot of time at work trying to encourage my patients to do more exercise. Many think that doing housework and walking around the house is all the exercise that they need, others don't even do that much!! Getting them motivated can be a real struggle, and I'm no different really. Although my fitness levels are much higher than most of my patients, I'm still not as fit as I'd like to be and carrying more flab than I'd like despite a pretty healthy diet. It took a broken arm to get me in a gym.

The scenario in my head:
  • go skiing for 2 weeks in NZ having done a modicom of exercise prior but nothing really regular, allowing fitness to lag somewhat.
  • have goal to get comfortable skiing off-piste (that's the lumpy, non groomed parts of the mountain for any non skiiers) on admittedly a rather difficult mountain to ski (Treble Cone).
  • get new skis - you beauty!!
  • on the third day skiing, take my new skis for their maiden run down a couple of groomed slopes then head over to ski down a rather difficult part of the mountain called cloud nine. Discover approx 2/3rds of the way down that I am not all that fit, that I am not quite up to this palaver and decide to slowly traverse across and down to the bottom - instead of just bloody skiing properly, idiot!!
  • this is where I come a cropper, being too careful - castigate self severely.
  • looking on bright side, at least it wasn't my knee, I could still ski with a broken arm, and the snow cover was pretty atrocious for off-piste skiing most of those two weeks anyway.
  • return home hyped up after two fun weeks feeling motivated to keep active. Hit brick wall realising my usual options are limited by arm in plaster - feel very sorry for self.
  • self flagellation at how I got myself into this stupid mess in the first place - if I'd been fitter in the first place I wouldn't have done what I did, broke my arm etc etc etc...
  • be honest with myself that I just have to bite the bullet and get significantly fit if I am to maintain the types of physical activities that I enjoy, particularly as I am not getting any younger ( too hard to ignore latter fact these days).
  • be even more honest with myself that I'll need a personal trainer to push me coz if I just join a gym I probably won't turn up.
  • take about 3 weeks to come to this realisation! That's alot of self pity and navel gazing in there, and that good old standby - procrastination!!
  • take action! And yes I've been turning up almost daily, spending at least an hour pushing my body doing all sorts of exercises, stretching well afterwards and then taking Hazel for long walks along the beach. You can almost see the halo....

So now that I've revealed my inner neuroses and you've all had a good chuckle at my expense, I'm off to celebrate a friend's 50th and stock up on carbs for next week's gym onslaught.