February 8, 2013

January Update

I had a pretty solid first month of 2013.  You can’t win them all though.  I read Justin’s post about his rough 1st month and how it made me remember how the first 12-18 months here were pretty rough with regards to health and running (I even wrote a post called the “worst year of my life” that I never did publish).  I am still struggling to find my stride still but nonetheless I am feeling better about my situation and the adventures I have had and continue to have.  Tough times only last if you let them. 

New Years.  I kicked in the new year with some travelers I met in Fremantle.  They invited me to a “Bush” Party to ring in the New Year.  It happened to be about a thirty minute drive from work so it was hard to pass up.  I finished my swing New Years eve at approximately 4 in the afternoon, went for a run, then drove the 30 minutes to the secret location of the bush party.  It was basically a rave with loud music blaring all night and into the morning.  The music was still going when I left the party at 10 in the morning.  I stayed up nearly all night somehow without any ill effects.  A 3 hour nap sorted me out then I was onto to the next adventure down south.

Balingup.  I heard from a hiker that the section of Bibblumun track north of Balingup provided stunning views.  So I checked it out with a simple trail run to the Blackwood shelter.  The Bibblumun really reminds me of the Appalachian trail with is rolling hills and country towns.  Awesome track but if I were do a thru hike I probably would do something a little more varied and challenging like the PCT or CDT.  At this point the rugged and remote CDT is on the top of my list for thru hikes. 

Southbound.  While down South I joined some coworkers at the two day camping and music festival called Southbound.  I didn’t really know any of the bands except Coolio.  Yep.  Gansters’ Paradise.  He was fat and out of shape.  He attempted to rip of his shirt but couldn’t.  The crowd was pumped up like crazy.  I was pumped up.  I do feel a little bit too old for these festivals though especially since the drinking age is 18 is Australia.  Overall, a fun time and learned some new bands I liked.

Scuba Fail.  Part of my goals for the year were to try new things.  Scuba diving has never really appealed to me but I walked past a sign advertising a scuba special so I signed up.  It was a 4 day course to get passed out.  I failed.  I could not equalize my ears and couldn't get deeper than 7 meters.  So I have to go back and try again.  Good news is I didn't get sea sick while out on the boat.  Anyone who knows me knows I am not the most comfortable in the water or the best swimmer so this was certainly out of my comfort zone.  Despite being able to run up 4000m peaks in Malaysia, I consumed more air than anyone in the course.  I was uncomfortable.  However,  I quickly got the hang of it and learned to relax under the water.  It feels wrong to be underwater completely under control and relaxed.  It defies what humans are designed to do.  The one dive I did off the shore near Freo was amazing.  Huge jellyfish were everywhere and jumping off the 3 meter dock fully suited up with gear made me feel like a navy seal. 

Tassie.  My final week in January had me on a plane to Tasmania.  Since most of the trip was in February, I will leave a full report for next month.  But WOW.  Awesome trails.  Nice People.  Rugged Coastlines.  Living the dirtbag lifestyle.  Two Flat tires on my rental car at the same time on a dirt road 30km from the nearest town.  What a fun adventure for 6 days. Look on a map of southwest Tasmania.  It is just empty and roadless.  I am already planning another trip to tackle that world heritage wilderness.

Goal Update.  Glad I stepped out and tried scuba.  Picture a day project is still going strong.  I am happy to share it now that I have made it a month.  Drawing a day has turned into a sort of pictorial journal.  I am about a 50% success rate with the drawing a day and the drawings really suck.  Need to spend more than 10 minutes per day on it and also should start some youtube drawing tutorials or something.  I read 3 books in January.  Don’t Tell Mum I work on the Rigs, Compassionate Samurai, and Eat and Run by Ultramarathon legend Scott Jurek (audio version).  A good number for the month.  1 per week is what I am shooting for.  Knowledge. 

Upcoming in Feb.  Tassie was awesome but no other major trips planned.  Hope to catch up on the blogging and video I took in Cairns, Tassie, and Southbound.  Also, hope to read a 4 books but already behind.  It is much easier to knock a book or two off during airplane travel days.  No major trips planned.  Hope to download load a few movies and watch them: Unbreakable about Western States 100, A Fine Line about Kilian Jornet, and The Hunter with William Defoe about a fictitious hunt for the last Tasmanian Tiger.  I am going to set a budget as well.  Maybe follow the Compassionate Samurai model to start with: 10% tithe, 10% personal investment (courses, learning…etc), and work out a formula for the rest...

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