August, 2010

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The Journey begins

So the big adventure begins tomorrow. Tommorrow I am going to take a giant leap into the new Mal and finally do Kokoda. The scary thing is I am wondering why the hell I decided to do this. I could of taken the easy option and not done it but no, I had to go ahead and take the hard way of doing things (like usual). But my brain keeps thinking to itself. YOUR STUPID! why are you doing this. What do you think is gonna happen. Its just my brain over thinking things which usually means I panic etc

But I am determined to do this. I have had the usual pre trip problems come to light. Last year before I went away I got gastro. This time i get a cold with days to go. But as long as my ears pop.. I am sure as hell going.

Everything is bought, ready to go (packing later this arvo). But my body is all ready to go. I am going to do this… I am going to do this.

I am going to do this!!

Last Big Training Session

Every sunday for about the last 2 months I have been showing up at Mt Cootha around 6am and then spending a few hours hiking up and down the hills. The first week I did this, my trail runners I had bought months ago got a good work out, but then it was time to get serious.

So with new boots in hand each week I showed up to get myself hiking up and down those tracks. I also got myself a walking pole to help myself along and when finally kitted out I was downing those hills like a hungry mad man. Hah in reality though I struggled up and down hills, step after step for a few hours with a nice heavy back pack on.

Yesterday though was the big one. It was the final big training session. 6 hours was the goal. I had to clear my sunday schedule and it was a good day. Rocked up and it was only a small group with a few people out sick or away, or called into work at last minute. But it progressed well. I was wearing exactly what I would be wearing on the trek and it felt comfortable.

Backpack was loaded with 10kg of gravel and my water and a few bits and pieces so around 13.5kg i guess. But nothing I can’t handle. We hiked for a while and dropped off half the group after 4 hours and having to keep going after a 5-10 minute rest break was tough. I didn’t wanna keep going. But i powered on and pushed myself hard. I managed to knock through one of the tougher hills on my own, and kept pushing it.

After the 6.5 hours (we took a bit of time coming back down) we had hiked 27km and i felt really really happy to take off that pack..

WHAT A MORNING!!!!

though breakfast at 1pm was a bit wierd

Training & Goal Update

So it has been a few weeks since I last updated about Kokoda and how everything has been going. Its been tough work and with a weekend off to Melbourne for my birthday, I really felt like I had taken a month off. Days just kinda drag out at the moment with it feeling like a month each. But i persavere. The training has been getting harder and harder, faster and faster. The nights on the hills around the Gym have been getting harder with last tuesday night spent fully in the pelting driving rain. It was cold and it was sure wet, but i am sure that is how things are going to be once I get to PNG.

However Sunday was a whole new experience. I spent 4 hours on Sunday morning on Mt Cootha. Not quite sure what the tracks where called but they were difficult and they were long, very very long in fact. in the 4 hours I covered 17.5km. That is the longest I am pretty sure I have ever walked in a morning. Now that seems pretty slow to some people but you have to remember, going up and down hills is slow going. And 17.5km in 4 hours is really good going. Being that Kokoda is only 96km I am sure we wont be covering that much ground in one morning or whatever (but if we do sweeeeeeet). One thing I did realise out of it. I have no padding on my shoulders any more. No more fat to provide that lovely soft barricade against my bones. O well.

As for goals, well when I got back from Melbourne I had actually weighed in. It came in at 97.7kg and i Freaked out. That was like 4kg in less than a week. I was not sure what was going on. I didnt know if it was some crazy fluid loss or it had been a real weight loss. But i stuck it out for a week, kept my head in check like i was taught and just gave it a week to see how the weight went this week. 97.3kg. Im under the 100kg.

Goal #2 COMPLETE!!!!

Flight of a Lifetime

So I know I promised one post ever day, I have been way to busy.

But I thought I would post up about a trip I just did over the weekend. Most of you know that I love planes. I have always wanted to fly a plane (and I should still be able to do this), but one thing I have also wanted to do is fly a flight sim. Not one of those pansy ass no movement flight sims. I can get that any time on my own pc by plugging in my joystick and throttle quadrant and firing up FSX. No what i wanted was to fly a proper commerical grade flight sim.

A few years ago I saw a post on one of the plane spotting websites I go to advertising a package in Melbourne with the Hilton Melbourne Airport in conjunction with Ansett Aviation Training for a 1 night stay at the Hilton and an hour in a real flight sim. Back then though they had a choice of a 767-200 or a 737-300. However the 767 sim is gone and its only the 737 sim. I had to think about this for a few days because it’s a really old sim, so wont be that fantastic graphics wise, but then the rest of me thinks, why am I judging this. It’s a chance of a life time. With credit card in hand, I booked it.

Saturday rolls around and I am as giddy as a little school girl. After getting dropped off at the Sim Centre by the Hilton I was in awe. While watching all the real pilots filing in and out of the sims I was jealous. To be able to do this on a regular basis. Then the Captain who was taking me for my session came in and took me up to the old girl. Almost as old as I am the 737-300 sim is 1980s vintage so it shows. This thing is MASSIVE! But its so authentic. It looks like a real cockpit. Feels like a real cockpit inside as well. It is so crazy sitting in there.

Then the flights start. First time around, no movement, just to get me used to the controls etc. It was amazing. The takeoff was smooth and good the cruise was fine. Then the landing. This has to be the most difficult time for the pilots as there is so much to think about and do. I didn’t exactly land all that well. Half on the runway, half off…. WOOPS!

then the movement came on. It felt so different. You can feel it respond to all your movements. You can feel the gear retract (not that there is any). You can hear movements etc It is so surreal. After about an hour and 15 mins it was all over. I was so wanting to just keep going.

It is something I will cherish forever. Now to see if i can do it again sometime!

A Year in Review

So been pretty busy lately so you will be getting one blog post every night for the next few days.

The big one each year as my site goes offline for 24-48 hours is pretty much looking at what has happened to me over the last 12 months since I am now a year older.

This time last year, it was coming up to my massively epic trip to North America. Things were counting down quickly and I was struggling to get a new credit card ready to go, deal with birthday stuff, hit up the ekka, and then get last minute trips and planning done with Weddings and stuff happening in the precluding weeks.

Then my big trip. 2 months, in the USA & Canada with a quick stop (23 hours & 5 hours) in Narita. What can i say. One of the big parts of my life was that trip. I had a fantastic time and met some amazing people who I still speak to EVERY day (you guys know who you are). Saw so many new things, so many new experiences, so many new airports and airlines and planes, so many phootos (i think it worked out about 8000 photos all up).

Then I came back from that trip, I was lost, I didn’t know what I was going to do, do i stay at work, do I travel, do I look for a new job, confusion abounded. Then the owner of the company I work for made an offer I couldnt refuse. He would pay for my training if i could lose down to 100kg and if i could do all that, he would send me to Kokoda (if i was ready).

Well now look at me. I am a changed person. I look different, feal different, Have run 10km, can box (although if andy reads this he will probably tell me I still suck), I can run, I can walk long distances, I can hike to! I have met some awesome new people through this as well, and they just keep suprising me each day with the way they help to support me!

I have done a bit of traveling domestically in the last 12 months. Cairns x 2, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Norfolk Island (work), Numerous trips to the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast. Lots of points earned and burned and loving every minute of it all!

Now to see what this next year will bring!