To fat chicks who go running through town

Thank you. Thank you for not being ashamed of your unfashionable body shape. Thank you for doing something hard. Thank you for letting me see you. Thank you for inspiring me with the belief that if you can do it, so can I.

Thank you for making me believe that if you inspire me, I could inspire someone else.

I might go for a run this afternoon.

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Retrospective

I just read back through my last few posts. I feel a couple of updates are in order:

I have stepped down from one of the music groups, my church worship team. It was a heavy commitment and required a lot of responsibility and practice. I didn’t have the time to give it all it needed to do a good job, and I refuse to do a bad job. The team leader agreed with me that my studies need to be a higher priority at the moment.

I feel so much lighter! There is room in my brain! Plus, I can sing and listen to worship music and worship without having to plan my next list or mentally rehearse the keyboard parts! This is good.

The choir concert went pretty well. I don’t get nervous about them any more. Or maybe I just didn’t get nervous about this one because it wasn’t just our choir performing, there were two other choirs as well. Less pressure.

My presentation on music therapy went well as well. Well well. One of my classmates told me afterwards, “you’re a really good speaker!” And I had fun chatting with the kindy kids picking up and later returning their musical instruments. About four of the kids helped me, and had goes trying on my glasses. As you do.

As for the exercise, I’ve kind of, um, stopped completely. I got really tired, probably from overdoing everything, and then decided I looked frumpy going to class in my comfy but butt-ugly gym shoes, and then I got busy, and now they’re doing up my lab so I don’t have anywhere to leave my HEAVY bag to go to the gym, and the weather’s getting cold, and I have a cold, and, and, and …

Apparently if you come up with more than two or three reasons for doing something, you don’t really believe what you’re saying and are just trying to convince yourself.

It’s Mother’s Day today (or should that be Mothers’ Day?) and I got breakfast in bed, four hand-made cards and a cute plush stuffed neuron. I think it’s a pyramidal cell. I’m thinking about attaching it somehow to my backpack.

I like my life.

Update

I expect it’s about time I wrote something again.

I’ve been at classes for three weeks now. Health psychology is loads of fun, development of brain and behaviour is stuff I know pretty well so far, drugs are interesting, and nervous system plasticity is not what I expected and is terrifying. I didn’t do seventh form biology, let alone first- and second- year psychology, so actually all that stuff about plasma membranes being made up of (correct me if I get this wrong – PLEASE!) a bi-layer of lipids with a phosphate head, and mitochondria doing the ATP thing (whatever that is) to supply energy, and smooth and rough endoplasmic reticulum making the vesicles that transport the neurotransmitters, was completely new. Completely. Thankfully Mum had some school textbooks which had better pictures than the university textbook my lecturer recommended. The school textbooks also didn’t contain sentences like: “Because of this continuity, the nuclear envelope is presumed to have evolved to ensheathe the chromosomes by an invagination of the plasmalemma.” (Kandel, Schwartz & Jessell, 2000, p. 70.)

I’m still getting exercise at least three times a week and am finally starting to feel some benefit from it. I think I may have some leg muscles now. And I quite easily and happily kicked a ball around after school with Mr 7 and his friends. The next real milestone for me will be if I’m able to take him running to train for the cross-country, which I think happens in spring, September-ish or something. Uncle P2, who completed the Wanaka Challenge in less than 14 hours, is keen to help with training.

The other thing that’s been drawing my attention lately is the election of the new Pope, Francis. I’m very excited about all I’ve heard about this man, especially since I was moved to fast during the selection process, and I believe that God is going to do a significant work of Church unity through this new leader. So far, it already¬†seems my prayers for a man of integrity with a Christ-centred focus have been answered.

In Health Psychology class today we were asked, in the context of discussing a reading of a piece of research using photoelicitation, what we would take a photo of to capture our life today. Most people mentioned readings, their desks, their computers… I thought hard and came up with: in my recently redecorated bedroom, the double bed (signifying my husband’s space) with the piano in the background with a piece of choir music and a piece of church music sitting on it, me sitting on the bed with my laptop, surrounded by the three kids, one of whom is reading (Mr 10), and the other two fighting. I could also have decided I’d be wearing my gym gear, since that’s become quite important to me, and would have a Bible nearby. I have a complicated life.

I’m going to an international soccer match next Friday, the day before my daughter’s 5th Birthday Party. I’m going out on a date tomorrow night, to a show that my dad is playing music at, after spending most of the day (hopefully) at Brain Day lectures at Uni. I quite like my life, but it is very full. Thank God I haven’t had a migraine since the middle of last year and the dizzies only pay me fleeting minor visits when I’m full of pizza or PMT.

Reference:

Kandel, E. R., Schwartz, J. H., & Jessell, T. M. (eds.). (2000). Principles of neural science. New York: McGraw-Hill, Health Professionals Division.

Body and soul

I had a 90 minute one-on-one session with a personal trainer at a very new, impressively equipped gym today for … guess how much.

No really. Guess.

Can’t?

Okay. Sixteen dollars. And gym membership is free. I love being a student!

I think I’ve lost about 3 cm off my hips and 2 cm off my waist since I started C25K and doing weights at home. Now I just need to keep up with the programme. I didn’t go running yesterday because it was raining and I’m not quite that hardcore yet, so I’ll need to make sure I don’t wuss out tomorrow. I’m loving how it’s making me feel, and I was happy that I could manage all the exercises I was given today without too much trouble. Also, praise God that I’m well enough to do this at last!

I’m also enjoying being able to say yes to lots of things that I have had to say no to for a long time. I’ve been asked if I can help out the Cathedral choir for the next couple of weeks as they have a soprano crisis, and although I won’t be able to do any Sunday mornings because I’m rostered on at my own church, I should be able to sing Allegri’s Miserere with them for Ash Wednesday. YAY!!! That’s a beautiful piece of music, and whatever the choir members themselves believe, I will be singing it this time in a liturgical setting, not a secular one, and I am looking forward to that.

On the other hand, I would never join the Cathedral Choir. One reason I won’t encourage my kids to join the traditional church choir is because, from my experience singing with a few things with another church choir, the majority of the choir members¬†– including the choir director – don’t believe a word of what they’re singing. Singing Christian music in a secular setting with a (really good!) secular choir is wonderful, and singing or playing with a faith-filled, Holy Spirit-minded team and leader for the purpose of leading a congregation in worship of the Living God is fantastic, but singing the words with a bunch of people who don’t care about their meaning to a bunch of people who should care but no-one cares if they care… is soul-destroying.

It’s been suggested by a visiting speaker recently in our church that having non-Christians in the worship team could be a very good thing, not a bad one. I’m inclined to agree – Jesus was all about people belonging and being welcomed, no matter who they were or what they’d done or believed – but the leader of the team must be guided by the Spirit. Otherwise we’re just putting on a concert punctuated by lectures and announcements, and we might as well sit at home and listen to the radio.

1, 2, 3, GO!

I’ve been thinking today I should talk about a new exercise program I’ve started. I’m using the C25K app, the free version, and finding it challenging but not so much that it puts me off doing it. C25K stands for Couch to Five Kilometres, and the idea is that you start off as a couch potato (hi!) and by the end of eight weeks you can run five k… without dying, anyway. There are three sessions per week, and (most unusually for me) I haven’t gone and looked ahead to see how the program changes as it goes along, so I’m just taking a day at a time and being forgiving on myself if I can’t quite manage the whole thing.

Today and Tuesday the program was: 5min walk, (60sec run, 90sec walk) x 8, 5min cooldown. On Tuesday I included some stretches into that cooldown walk, having not managed the last 2 run stints, and was awfully stiff all the next day – and this morning. Today instead of running round a paddock down the back of the nearby school I ran round the block – quite a long block which takes about 30 minutes at a stroll. The uphill bit at the start was a good warmup, but the uphill bit at the end nearly did for me. So again, I walked the last couple of running bits. And this time I didn’t skimp the cooldown but walked for all of it and then did a good 15 minutes of stretching. Hopefully I won’t seize up before I have to drive to church camp this evening.

Yesterday I tried a related app giving a push-ups program but it was way too hard. I think I’ll give myself a day a week each of upper body (plus core) and lower body (also plus core) strength exercises off iFitness, and then a day of aquajogging. That’s six days a week exercise, day off on Sunday. Lets see how I go.