Daring to Tri

Since I stopped work to have the boys, setting and achieving personal goals has been hard.

And I don’t mean finally emptying the laundry basket or single-handedly building the Death Star out of match sticks.

When you work, there are tasks to master, recognition for a job well done and a sense of purpose.

In parent-land it’s groundhog day most of the time. Same chores, different days. No pay rise, no ‘well done!’.

It was my choice to stop work and on the whole I’m glad I did. I need to be there to advocate for BW and he needs me to be around.

A few years ago, a tragic event shattered our family. I put on weight. A LOT of weight. I stopped caring.

One day, I realised the need to be a healthy role model for the boys.

Running became my new jam. It didn’t help me lose weight initially, but mentally it was what I needed.

I had a new goal. Times to be beaten.

Personal Bests to accumulate.

Being a novice and all, I didn’t do it properly, so got injured and had to think of other forms of exercise.

Surprisingly for a lazy cow I actually like being outdoors. Gyms bore me senseless.

I love swimming so switching to triathlon seemed the obvious choice.

In tri, you are running your own race (nothing like watching all the elite athletes sprint past you in a half marathon to make you feel like a snail).

Competitors come in all ages and shapes. And there are lots of women competing too.

I entered a few sprint triathlon (400m swim, 10km bike, 3km run), but naturally it wasn’t enough of a challenge.

So six months after we arrived in Melbourne, I signed up for The Murray Man.

The only long course (2km swim, 80km cycle, 20km run) triathlon in South Australia.

I knew I’d be among the slowest, but I didn’t care.

To finish would be a massive achievement.

Then this happened. I was devastated.

All that hard work. For nothing.

Luckily, I have a knack for picking crazy friends.

S and J were originally coming along to cheer me on, but decided to form a team with me.

I was doing the swim, J was doing the cycle and S was doing the run.

The swim may not seem a big deal, but I HATE open water swimming.

Oooo, the glamour!

I am TERRIFIED.

Of everything that might be in the water.

I get  seasick when it’s choppy and I don’t like being out of my depth.

As my mate Kim would say I am that “sooky lala”.

But I did it and knocked 14 minutes off the time I expected. Barring a migraine from looking at the sun, I felt amazing.

S & J both came under their estimated times.

We came 3rd in our category with a time of 5 hours 41 seconds.

I thought I would feel sad that I hadn’t had the chance to do the race solo, but being part of a team was fantastic.

Team Anglo-Viking

The most fun you can have without drinking.

And for a gin queen, that is saying something.

Do you like to set yourself challenges? I’d love to hear from you!

Play Nice!

Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman. Oh Yes, Tammy, I hear you!

I’m not talking about unequal pay, tits in family newspapers, or arseholes making it unsafe for women to walk the streets at night.

I’m talking about the unrelenting bile that some members of my sex think it’s ok to project over their peers.

Yesterday one of my friends went to watch her daughter complete in a sporting event. She overheard one of the other mum’s declaring,  “I don’t like that mum in the mini skirt”.

My friend was the mum in the mini-skirt and had never spoken to the woman making the comment. Ever.

What the hell*? (*you know what I really said, yes?)

A few years ago, I was a little on the heavy side. Ok I was fat. I thought I was happy.

The Saint wasn’t complaining, but one day as I was pegging out my jeans next to the The Saint’s which were half the size, I decided I didn’t like it any more. I wanted to be healthier.

Please note, I did not wake up thinking “I’m going to get skinny, make the rest of you feel bad and steal your partners”.

However, the reaction I got from some women as I began to lose weight made me think I was wearing a t-shirt bearing that very statement.

Women I considered friends were openly looking me up and down in the playground, asking “How much weight have you lost NOW?”,  barely concealing their disdain.

My favourite comment came from another woman in my social group “You don’t want to lose too much weight at your age you know, because it will go off your face and that’s not good as you get older”.

Gob.smacked.

If you ask any woman around you, on any given day of the week, she will have similar stories. Of judgement, scorn, bitchiness and unreasonable dislike received from the so-called “sisterhood”.

Is this behaviour hard-wired into us? Are we biologically programmed to compete against all other females in the pack in our quest to find a dude with A grade sperm? If so, you can have him.

It’s the 21st century. We can have babies by ourselves if we want. The competition for the eligible caveman is over.

So Ladies, I asking telling you to stop. Pour a bloody gin and get over yourselves.

Let’s not make it any harder to be a woman than it already is.