Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back to the Bush

Throughout the winter my family and I have been running on out treadmill inside, while outside it's cold, often rainy, and certainly not nice weather to be out running in. And the treadmill has been good. We've enjoyed training on it.

But there came a nice day this week, where the sun was shining and the air, if not exactly warm, was at least not too cold. And we decided to venture out to have our first run in the bush since autumn.

I'd forgotten how it felt to run through the trees, with the sun warming you, and a breeze keeping you just cool enough. I'd forgotten how you breathed in the smells of the bush as you ran. I'd forgotten how distance didn't seem to matter when you were running with a group of sisters. And I'd forgotten how good it felt to be outside and running through the bush.

Running on a treadmill is great for keeping up your fitness during the cold months. It's good for running when it's too wet to go outside. But it still can't compare to running through the beauty of the bush, with your family around you. Somehow, running with other people around you just seems to complete the experience.

It's still not warm enough to do this every day. It's not light enough to resume getting up and running first thing in the morning either. But there the promise of more bush running to come. And I can wait, however impatiently, for the time when we'll be out there every day, running down out secret bush tracks.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Importance of Being Elvis

When your last name is Elvis you get to expecting interesting things to happen because of it. I doubt many people I meet forget my last name, and it's not like I really have to tell anyone how to spell it. But sometimes the name of Elvis gets my family into some interesting situations.

My Dad is a primary school teacher. Earlier this year his school was putting on a concert. All the classes were involved. And the teachers decided that they were going to join in and do an act themselves. They chose to do a song. An Elvis Presley song. And who better to get to play Elvis than, well, Elvis. My dad, Mr Elvis, was voted in to play the part of Elvis Presley.

And, being my dad, who has a great sense of humour, he laughed and agreed to play the part. He learned the song, much to the surprise of the other teachers, who expected him to only mime. But, as my dad said, what's the point of just miming, when you can actually sing the song.

On the night of the show, Mr Elvis donned his blue rhinestone jumpsuit, fitted on the wig and sideburns, pulled on the oversized sunglasses, and became a school super star as the all singing, all dancing, Elvis Presley.

My mum has written the full story HERE, and, as an added bonus, she's got an audio file of my Dad, Elvis, singing Elvis Presley's Blue Suede Shoes. Please come and share the story of my amazing Dad.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Running and the Art of Perseverance

I have to confess, I haven't run in five weeks, due to injury and general laziness. And that means that the level of fitness I've worked so hard to build up has all but vanished. I struggle to make it past one kilometre. And it's very discouraging to be watching my sister and mum run 5km when I'm struggling so much.

It'd be so easy to give up, to say 'I can't do that.' I could just turn my back on running and forget even trying to build myself up again into a 5km runner. It's very tempting to do that. After all, it's going to be hard work. It's going to hurt. I couldn't go through all that getting fit again.

Well, those are my excuses anyway. So why am I back on the treadmill, persevering with running, puffing and sweating my way past 1km? Why am I bothering to try again? Because I want to run.

The key to perseverance for me seems to be to want to do it, to be willing to push past the hard beginnings to get to the good stuff beyond, whether that means getting on the treadmill every morning and struggling to run further each day, or writing through the difficult beginning parts of a novel. I want to be that 5km runner again. I want to finish that novel, and it's that want, that caring about getting to the end that pushes me on. This is why I persevere.

What make you persevere? Have you got any stories of times when you've persevered, even though it's been hard?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Guest Posts and NaNoWriMo

Since first participating in NaNoWriMo last November, I have fallen in love with the NaNoWriMo events. From Script Frenzy in April (no longer running unfortunately), to Camp NaNoWriMo in June and August, I've been in everything. And I've certainly written plenty of posts about my adventures with these events.

So when I was asked if I'd be a guest poster for Jeff Hargett's August is Awesome theme month, I knew at once what I would write about; my favourite challenge.

Today my post is live on his blog, Strands of Pattern. In this post I'm telling the story of my first ever NaNo event. I'll meet you there.