Love Hurts

I fucking HATE the dentists. This is on the list of ‘historical trauma’ events: rotten teeth came out when I was probably four or five, the resultant nightmares have never gone away. It’s a good indicator of being in a high-stress situation when that particular subconscious moment resurfaces, reminder this has to be fixed with everything else. I have the first appointment on Monday next week to get it over with.

The dentist, more than aware that I have issues, was kind enough to front-load the warning that went with this: there may be more work. If there’s too much sensitivity post filling, it’s a root canal. Knowing everything possible is, of course, by far the best way to deal with a situation. It is undoubtedly the unexpected that causes more stress. Maybe I will get lucky. If not, pain is unavoidable. I HATE DENTISTS.

Balance is tough. Getting shit done is hard. However, once the momentum starts, it is a foolish person who ignores opportunity.


Yes, it was only 30 minutes, but it’s a start. It’ll take about a week to readjust the legs to what’s being asked of them, but the key to this might be to start in 30 minute bursts and go from there. I’ll rearrange my Strava to accommodate this, then see where things go. I enjoy the bike, and have missed it, and it is undoubtedly all exercise to add to the total. The key will be not to overdo it. MUST STILL HAVE REST DAYS.

Time to pull out a calendar and sort that December Exercise Plan…

The Whole of the Moon

Once upon a time, I would not have known that today would be the turning point. It’s hugely helpful to now be able to look at myself, objectively, and understand when the tide shifts. It allows a measure of organisation that simply did not exist before. More importantly still, self-care is possible, where it did not take place previously. The fear that underpinned everything can then effectively be dealt with.

Right now, I’m not sad. I’m afraid. Saying that out loud is hugely useful as well, because it rationalises so much else. There is a scheduled dentistry checkup, which is inevitably fear-inducing without everything else that is currently taking place around me. My daughter is unexpectedly home sick and being able to be a good mum also makes me afraid. Most importantly however, my own fear of failure is inescapable.


Understanding the difference between depression and fear is an enormous change. It’s pretty much the most important thing to happen to me internally since counselling and now that’s apparent, there’s the opportunity to employ some transformative ideas in order to move the personal narrative forward. Somethings are already in progress, others will undoubtedly appear over time.

However, the key to all of this is the significance of blame. No, it doesn’t matter who or what is at fault in most cases, and this whole situation is not to be played as a martyr, not ever. I don’t need those kind of games in my life any more. If there is to be acceptance of genuine progression, pointing fingers and apportioning blame needs to stop. That’s my problem to deal with, nobody else’s.


The only way forward at this point is upwards, towards change and improvement.

Better start climbing, then.



How long does it normally take to deal with emotional issues, on average?

  1. Couple of Days
  2. Couple of Months
  3. Twenty Years or More

If you answer was 3, CONGRATULATIONS, you’re a Trauma sufferer just like me. Having this manifest on a Sunday in November is, let’s be honest, not optimal. The rest of yesterday, about an hour after I wrote the Sunday blog, was completely destroyed. Shredded, as it happens, into lots of pieces. Nope, no clue how any of them go back together.

Let’s throw them away, shall we?


If it transpires I need any of that stuff in the future, it is probably easier to just make whatever it is new, from scratch. That includes my vital statistics, new from here.

Bust = 39″
Waist = 35″
Hips = 44″

My son was so big at birth my rib-cage moved two inches to accommodate him. My arse, let’s be honest, has never been small. Once upon a time those statistics would also have destroyed me, and yeah for a few hours yesterday I wobbled. I am never Ever EVER gonna be a size 12 again. This goes without saying. However hard I work. There is no desire to be so either, and those distorted body images need to be ignored.

This, here and now, is what I am supposed to be.


How do you equate what you think you are to the reality of the moment? When all anybody wants to believe in is their own version of truth, do you have any chance at all of being real or honest under these circumstances? It doesn’t matter. What does, is being comfortable and happy. Other people are not the problem. To be genuinely happy beats everything.

Even though yesterday was a bit of a bombsite emotionally, all the things that remain are pretty solid. It doesn’t matter about the details, how big or small I am, how long it takes me to deal with stuff. As long as I’m happy in my skin and the things are learnt… it’s okay. Everything is fine. This is the best emotional headspace that’s ever been inhabited. I’m the fittest and healthiest I have ever been.

Those are the positives that need to be remembered as important.

Everyone’s a Winner

Sunday. Ah yes, time for getting next week ready and if that’s done well enough, maybe there’ll be a moment left over to fuck about with something for myself. Next year WILL BE THE ONE where I start doing art and shit for relaxation: having accepted my drawing is restricted to high-quality doodling and not much else, alternatives have been sought. There is an answer. I’ll be gathering materials starting next month.

That bookbinding box of materials will be pulled out over the Christmas break.


I’ve actually cut back on exercise this month from last: Exercising four days with three days off is beginning to allow more writing time. During the winter months this is not likely to change, but I could certainly shove some more walking into the equation going forward. As the days get warmer next year, I might also drive daughter to school, leave the car parked close and abandon it some days to get extra steps in.

This was part of my fitness plan when I first picked a PT: run the youngest in, find a car park close to the school, pay for a day’s parking and then walk home. That, plus the walk back to pick up the car was a guaranteed six miles every day. The photographer in me could make a lot of use of that time to boot, there’s so much in my town worth preserving for posterity. Perhaps, if the weather’s good starting in the New Year… ^^


Saturdays will become the rest day in the New Year too, because I’ll be doing my Mental Health Champion training on those days in January, and therefore need to be free. I can also guarantee that there’ll be little or no desire to do anything else after these sessions are done: I was mentally exhausted after the introductory one. There’s some other exercise-related things I gotta sort out as well… all this to look forward to.

Planning is becoming one of my favourite tasks.

Don’t Talk Just Kiss

This morning, I don’t want to talk about exercise.


That’s 29 minutes of yellow heart-rate: 80% effort for me, an 8/10 across a session, requires 2/3rds of the class to be done at an effort level I cannot easily sustain. In nearly a year of classes, that’s the take-out I have. Red minutes are unfeasible. My body is simply incapable of sustaining above that level of effort without replacing my lungs. But hang on, didn’t you just say at the beginning… yup, this is not about exercise.

This is understanding what I’m currently capable of achieving. This is my limit.

Thursday night, I was flat out. There was nothing else to give. What the yellow doesn’t show is the number of times I hit red, but couldn’t sustain it, as there were several. As I worried yesterday that maybe my effort had spurred someone on to over-exert who shouldn’t, brain offered the counter. You can only be you. You told that person to take it easy, to walk and to take breaks if they felt stressed.

If someone fails to take the advice you offered, that’s their problem and not yours.


Going back therefore to Wednesday and looking again not at the exercise but the effort… and Monday too… could I have done more? Nope. Where I am physically, what’s being asked of me in classes? This is my Limit. How that improves now, going forward… well, I assume that stamina will eventually come into play and all those greens will eventually vanish, if of course the workout supports it.

My heartrate automatically drops if I lie down, it does for most people. So, if there’s bench work, I’m screwed. The point which now registers, after a lot of heartache, is that this really has not ever been about anything except challenging yourself. The ‘game’ that Blaze plays, encouraging to push hard and work long, simply does not work. Flat out, my body is incapable of sustaining the 14-18 minutes of red heart-rate I’m told to aim for.

If I could, I would not be who I am now.


This wasn’t a post about exercise and still isn’t. Before she had her asthma attack on Thursday, I was talking to my classmate about becoming a Mental health Champion. She was wearing a Nuclear Races t-shirt, the event my trainer has quietly been pushing me to take part in, means by which all this physical attainment can be comprehensively measured. The question was asked: would you take part?

There is no need to conquer that challenge. It holds no desire, no need to wear the t-shirt as proof. The experience provides zero interest or satisfaction. The only person that will ever need to be impressed at my ability is… well, me. I’m not doing this to impress anybody. There will never be a pinnacle of my achievement, simply notable moments like this one, when it finally became apparent this is not a contest.

Now that’s finally accepted, I might get somewhere.


Last night was an 80%, but also a challenge in other ways. The young lady that had an asthma attack next to me was conscious when the paramedics arrived. All I hope is today is better for her than yesterday was. After that, I really don’t want to talk about what happened, until it is properly processed. At some point, learning first aid is going to be worthwhile, just because.

If you can help, make sure you do.


There wasn’t much sleep last night either, so brain and body are considerably slower than is optimal. However, there’s been some good work done before lunchtime. As long as there’s a decent night tonight, and that should not be hard, it’s back on target tomorrow. Also, as I’ve had physio this morning, there was an opportunity to jump on the biometric scale. This makes me happy.


If I could get that to sub 80 kilos before Christmas… well, that would be fantastic, because it is less weight to lift when pull ups finally happen.

That’s it, nothing else, off to find more caffeine.

Baba O’Riley

I did not want to get out of bed this morning. Yesterday was a tough one for eating discipline, plus exercise. For the first time I can remember, there was a scrabble to find a snack before my scheduled class: I was light-headed. It would have been a struggle to do 55 minutes without it. As it transpired, by the end of the class, there was not a part of me that did not hurt.


The killer, undoubtedly, was being pushed out of comfort zones: having to pick different weights for the strength portions of the workout, being asked to run on a 10% incline (I didn’t, walking was enough to kill both hips) and to spend approximately half the time lying on my back, exercising chest and core… there’s enough of an understanding now about these graphs to grasp that 75% effort from that is a massive bonus.

This however is not an exercise post. Today is about happiness, and how it feels to be out in the fields, watching the rest of the world around you throwing their toys out of ridiculously decorated prams, arguing about petty insignificances in their lives that somehow end up being so much more important than they need to be. There’s a lot of that going on in my corner of existence too. People forget what really matters.


I thought it would get harder as age advanced to separate what’s worthwhile and isn’t… except, it is getting easier. It’s really easy to be stupid, to act on your own desires ahead of common sense and considered reason. That’s what has caused so much trouble for me over the years, allowing obsessions to overtake reality. That’s what’s happening around me now, on Social media… people who should know better, losing their grip on reality.

Having dragged myself out of bed, to do the day despite feeling like body was broadsided by a truck, all of this boils down to choice. Nobody is making me eat this cleanly except… well, me, and it would have been easy to not attend last night’s exercise class. 18 people were booked, only 12 showed. All these decisions are based on the realisation that even on shitty days when everything hurts, this path is worth walking regardless.

Back it comes to principles and ethics, every time, that innate sense that whatever happens, more than at any point before humanity requires a moral compass that is unshakeable. It’s why attacks on free speech matter just as much as those using fake news to try and sway the unsuspecting. This isn’t just innocence or ignorance that needs to be addressed either: smart people are being stupid. We should not facilitate this.

That means, on any given day, making sure I don’t retweet the people being stupid but simply comment on them. It demands I look for voices of reason and objectivity, because from them comes the means by which we can be set free of our own restrictive and often damaging thinking. To reinvent ourselves in the modern world is an absolute requirement: it needs to take place, often on a daily basis.

True happiness does not manifest without considerable personal effort.