May 18: Monday Runday – 4km

I didn’t think I’d be able to do Monday Runday today, because of that pain in my right butt cheek, which has been … well … A RIGHT PAIN IN THE ARSE!

But after reading in the hammock and finishing off the rest of the lawnmowing in the furthest part of the front lawn, I was itching to do more. Because I was covered in grass clippings and grotty already, I thought, c’mon, why not go for a run and test out the injury?

Worried the 5km would be too far, I did the 4km loop and surprisingly, it went ok. It wasn’t a record-breaking time, at 28 minutes, but that included some jumping of muddy puddles on the trail path through the forest and stopping for three photos. I didn’t have to walk at any stage because of pain, so I’m happy! Six hours later the bum/thigh is still happy too.

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A last glimpse of the fields before heading into the woods

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A cool trail path, literally and figuratively

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Nice to see hay bales near home after so many on the recent Swiss Camino

It was about 24 degrees today. Lovely! Still haven’t taken photos of the new garden plants. Maybe I’m not that inspired by them? I’ve gone for a different planterbox filling  – no geraniums this year! How very un-Swiss! Maybe that’s why I’m not feeling the love?

Wishing you a wonderful day.

April 28: Triple-A treat

Today’s workout is a Triple-A treat. A triple treat of As.

15 minutes of arms, abs and arse (or as the Americans say, ass, the Germans say, hintern, the French say, derriere, and the British say, bottom).

Squats, lunges, push-ups, plank …

Feel the need to write a poem but can’t think of a line to go next …

Ok, here goes …

 

Squats, lunges, push-ups, plank

While they’re being done, your mind goes blank

All you want to do is improve your rank

When they’re all finished, your body says thank … you.

 

If I had a job, I wouldn’t quit it, don’t worry!

Wishing you a wonderful day.

April 25: P.S.P.P.S … Lest We Forget

Anzac Day has become a very emotional day for southern hemisphere members of the Allies from World War I. On April 25, 1915, young boys and men from Australia and New Zealand landed on the beaches at Gallipoli in Turkey. It was Australia’s first time at war and some say it was the making of our country.

With the Anzacs trapped on the beaches and low lying areas thanks to an almost insurmountable cliff face, the Turkish soldiers defended their land from higher ground. What was supposed to last only weeks went on for months. The heat, lack of clean water and then winter took their toll and the Allied troops retreated, with both sides suffering huge casualties and loss of life.

Today marks the contributions of Australian Forces in all wars since The Great War as well. Around the world, ceremonies were held – dawn services, a minutes silence, The Last Post, military bands and more. We were able to watch the BBC’s coverage of the Queen laying the first wreath at the Cenotaph. On the lighter side, Two Up is played in pubs around Australia.

I always struggle with the “how” of writing about Anzac Day. Here’s what I posted last year on Facebook. I think it best sums up my feelings.

Anzac Day is a sacred day in our lives – one that fills us with wonder and generally renders us speechless. I never know what to write on Anzac Day … about what went before in order for us to live the lives we have now. How different it could, or would, have been. We are the lucky ones. We put on a coat when we’re cold, open the cupboard when hungry and laugh with our friends at the pub. The men on the frontline had no such luxuries and what we take for granted hits hard on days like today. A minute’s silence and standing in awe during The Last Post are the smallest tokens of our appreciation and respect. To those who gave it all and the loved ones they left behind, Lest We Forget.

We had a quiet day, watching the ceremonies and soaking up that sombre history. Later on, we also finished the second season of the French police/crime series Braquo. I’m not sure I’m a great fan and am looking forward to watching something different – something other than a crime series perhaps?!

I’ve been thinking about today’s exercise routine for a while, and how I would call it P.S.P.P.S – push-ups, side plank, plank, sit-ups. So for 15 minutes, while watching TV with too much chocolate cake in my belly, I did all these exercises. Not a recommended time to workout but I do recommend the cake! (I didn’t make the icing – watching my waistline, you know).

Push-ups are becoming easier (yay!). The side plank ones had the dropped hip part from Thursday’s exercise routine and the rest were as you would expect. I haven’t been doing plank much lately (maybe I just haven’t wanted to see my belly hanging!) and could hardly even manage a minute on my toes before having to go to my knees. Time to get back on that bandwagon.

Even though it’s a double postscript, P.S.P.P.S could be something you’d like to add as a stand-alone workout or to the end of any routine? Not a bad afterthought really.

Wishing you a wonderful day.

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I don’t have any poppy photos at hand to commemorate Anzac Day, so here are some beautiful cherry blossoms

April 17: Morning yoga, new yoga and sounds against silence

The day is so grey it’s felt like dusk all morning. If it wasn’t for the lawnmower noise from the neighbour’s property, my brain would be saying it’s time to get ready for bed.

So to wake myself up, I did my morning routine (yesterday was the first time I’d done the 15 minutes in two weeks. Two weeks! Holidays threw me out, and then I was out of the habit – back now) and went straight into Sadie Nardini’s 30 Min Morning Wake Up Yoga Flow, which I’ve done a few times before. You can find the video here.

I do enjoy Sadie’s workouts, but lately, I’ve really noticed how much she talks. She talks and talks and sometimes that’s great, but I find it frustrating when she says “Here we’ll take five breaths while we blah blah blah blah (30 seconds worth) … Ok now for the five breaths.” I’ve done 10 already. For me, this really interrupts the whole flow of the routine. Some poses we’re in for longer while things are explained and some poses are done quickly. I need to learn it off by heart so I don’t have to rely on the video.

With the idea of finding something with a better flow, I went searching and came across Dagmar Spremberg from Soft Music & Yoga – YogaYak. From just watching parts of it quickly (didn’t have time to do another routine!) it looks like a peaceful yet energetic yoga routine with just the right amount of talking and a constant, calming flow. Being on a beach with melodic music at the start and end also makes it appealing.

It’s a little longer than Sadie’s but that’s because you lie quietly at the end listening to the music. Ok! I think I may have found my new favourite yoga workout. Can’t wait to try it. There are others in the YogaYak series as well, including Hatha and Vinyasa routines. You could start with the beginners series and move through the routines. Here is the YogaYak website where they have plenty of options. As per usual, I have no affiliation with any of the links I post, just putting them out there for us all.

While searching their site, I found 11 hours of Tibetan bowl sounds for meditation purposes. What a resource! You could paint to this, or write, or read. It’s great for people with tinnitus because we focus on the ringing in our ears when there’s silence, and before too long that becomes overwhelming. This is ‘music’ without being a distraction. I might even start writing more (long-form stuff) thanks to this. I had no idea these videos were out there. Maybe you’d prefer to listen to the ocean? Or listen to birds in a garden? (I found one bird highly repetitive and irritating, so this is not the background noise for me!)

Using two tabs on my computer, I was able to play the Tibetan bowls with the ocean sounds at the same time. That’s also a lovely combination. I could write all day with that softly in the background. Hearing all these sounds makes me realise how much time I spend in silence. Not good. So … Yahoo! What a find!

  • Physically Fit: 30 Min Morning Yoga with Sadie
  • Mentally Fit: Finding the new sound recordings and yoga routine; meeting Pastora
  • Nutritionally Fit: A non-fasting day today but I’ll be good
  • Minimalism: Finally wearing the trench coat I hauled from storage at mum’s. Will I love it?

Wishing you a wonderful day.

April 16: Skipping, a nice surprise and day two of fasting on the 5:2 Diet

While outside this afternoon, putting seed into the bird feeder, I heard the sound of alphorns from a neighbouring village wafting on the breeze. I love the sound of those horns – it’s so melodic and calming. Swissrose, are you often surprised by such sweet sounds too?

To make the most of it, I abandoned my plans to do yoga and grabbed my skipping rope for 15 minutes. Luckily, the constant (and sometimes sporadic!) thwack on the concrete terrace didn’t drown out their songs. A huge falcon was circling over the forest as well, so right now, after listening, exercising and nature spotting, I feel very relaxed.

A day with no plans meant a day of fasting. After the success of the first fast day on Monday, where I almost gave myself lockjaw eating a massive salad, I knew today was going to be more than achievable. So here’s how I broke down the 500 calories allowed on the 5:2 Diet:

  • Breakfast: 100g natural yoghurt with 5g goji berries – 64 and 16 calories
  • Lunch: 63g boiled egg – 102 calories
  • Snack: 104g kiwi fruit – 63 calories
  • Dinner: Stir fry thingy: 54g carrot – 22 calories, 214g zucchini – 36 calories, 50g bacon – 157 calories, tspn olive oil – 40 calories
  • Grand total: 500 calories exactly

By not having Monday’s glass of milk with protein powder, there was room to make a more appealing dinner. But I’ve promised I won’t waffle on too much about the 5:2 Diet, so here endeth my talk of food.

It’s been a day spent on the computer. I wrote another book review, sent a job application and sorted out my iPad’s detachable keyboard, so I now know what the function, alt and command keys actually do. And no, I didn’t find the exclamation mark. (Oh no, I hear you say!) I did find an upside down exclamation mark and a lot of Greek-looking symbols so I think this keyboard isn’t set up for English typing! Not to worry! (Can you tell I’m using my normal computer?! … !!!)

For giggles, I also looked at my stats for posts on fitfor15in15. By far the most popular story I’ve written is “The KonMari Method, with gusto!” Published on February 2, the story has been read every day without fail, and as of this afternoon, it’s been viewed 478 times. I have no idea how readers are being led to it, but I’m guessing most traffic comes from searching the internet for information about decluttering expert Marie Kondo and her KonMari Method (read my review of her book here).

Living with less is a very popular topic, which has been gaining momentum for years. And this month it cracked the bastion of buy buy buy consumerism – Vogue Magazine. I originally read the story of Prerna and Parag Gupta on LifeEdited.com and went to the Vogue website to read the whole story, here. All these kinds of stories make my eyes widen and my pulse race. I love hearing about people who’ve packed it all up and in, so to speak, to downsize, de-stress and hit the road.

Sometimes I wish I’d sold or given away all my things in Australia. They’re all currently stored in mum’s unit block, and I pay for the privilege of keeping memories. Every time I visit, I check to see it hasn’t flooded or isn’t infested with cockroaches and occasionally search for something I think I’ll need (like a trench coat, which I didn’t wear once this winter). I know, in the future, I’m going to wonder why I kept this stuff. I’m beginning to wonder about it now.

  • Physically Fit: Skipping for 15 minutes
  • Mentally Fit: Sorting out my iPad keyboard; applying for a job in Zurich; alphorns and the falcon
  • Nutritionally Fit: Fasting on the 5:2 Diet, 500 calories
  • Minimalism: Reading about Prerna and Parag Gupta; thinking about storage woes

Wishing you a wonderful day.

April 14: 15-minute workout with Tabata

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Two days ago this tree was just in bud, and now look at it! It was humming with bees

This is a new workout I’ve found which involves Tabata. What on earth is Tabata? It’s a version of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and you can read more if you’re interested here and here.

Jessica Smith, whose workouts I have done previously here, here and here, put this 15-minute routine together for the shape.com website. I did it tonight before bed, which was probably a bit silly because now I’m a bit sweaty. I couldn’t do the plank/push-up thing on my feet – had to drop to my knees. And I still can’t really get my knees up to horizontal when jogging.

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In December, I planted some bulbs and they’re starting to blossom. It’s a mixed collection of tulips and unknowns (to me!)

Doing fitfor15in15 has made me much more interested in my health. By looking for new routines for you and me, I occasionally stumble on some other interesting stuff too. Such as this:

Taiwanese research conducted over a 12-year period on more than 400,000 people found 15 minutes of exercise a day increased life expectancy by three years. Published in The Lancet in August 2011, Dr Chi-Pang Wen, lead author of the study, said, “The 30-minute a day for five or more days a week has been the golden rule for the last 15 years, but now we found even half that amount could be very beneficial. As we all feel, finding a slot of 15 minutes is much easier than finding a 30-minute slot in most days of the week.”

I hear you brother! (Sorry, we finished watching “The Killing” Season 2 (American version) tonight and the character Stephen Holder says brother, or bruvva, all the time. He’s in my head.) More people than I can possibly imagine are putting in their 15 minutes a day. In cases like this, it feels good to be part of a pack.

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The tulips in the self-pick garden plot are starting to sprout!

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This pink beauty was the best of the first blooms I saw

Yesterday’s dinner on the 5:2 Diet was huge – a massive salad in a bowl I would normally use for four people. I actually got bored of chewing – couldn’t finish it all! Without dressing it was a bit dry, but I plowed through as much as possible, before the whole thing just became a bit tedious. Leo finished his in record time. Maybe I didn’t have the energy to bother?! No, seriously, I felt fine and the first day of the 500 calorie plan was a success.

Today, I met my friend Leonie in the city on her lunch break and what did I order? A salad! The 5:2 Diet research did say people tend to eat healthier on the five days when you can eat whatever you want. I’m part of the pack again. But I did have fettuccine carbonara for dinner … and a chocolate rabbit ear for dessert. 🙂

If you’re thinking about doing the 5:2 Diet, this could also be a good resource for counting calories in food. Have a poke around the New Health Guide website. And there’s always Google, mentioned yesterday. But don’t worry, there’s no chance of this happening to me!

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This yellow tree is in bloom in the big farmhouse garden

In an attempt to make me even more accountable, I’ve decided to add a new section at the bottom of every post. It will highlight things from the four main themes of fitfor15in15 that have happened that day.

  • Physically Fit: 15-minute workout
  • Mentally Fit: finished a book and finished season 2 of “The Killing”
  • Nutritionally Fit: Muesli, salad, pasta, chocolate, tea
  • Minimalism: bought a Diva Cup, at last, to cut down on waste. I hope it works/I like it
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I’m trying to minimise what I throw away as a contribution to this

Wishing you a wonderful day.

April 3: Minimalism, mindfulness and living intentionally

Judy mentioned the buzz word “mindfulness” in a comment on March 30 and it got me wondering, what exactly is it? Can we put a finger on what makes someone mindful? For me, mindfulness means being present in, and making the most of, the moment. It’s a huge part of being mentally fit. Adding just 10 minutes of meditation each day to my morning routine has helped me with awareness and honing my thoughts. It may not mean the to-do list gets done faster (or written for that matter!) but I do feel more centred and focussed when needed.

There are many great blogs and websites promoting mindfulness in its many forms and I tend to gravitate towards the ones about living, and being happy, with less. Recently I came across this great site www.paris-to-go.com from Ariana Schwarz. I think I binge-read almost everything within a few days.

Part of me would love to be as extreme as she is with her wardrobe, with about 40 items in total, but when I look at the clothes I have, I love them (thanks to Marie Kondo’s method of asking “Does it spark joy?”) and couldn’t imagine parting with so much.

But then I do a 180 again and think how liberating it would be to have everything I own fit into my backpack, and then I flip again and think of all the current variety which allows me to be a chameleon. And as much as I’d love to live with just a few pieces, I love being able to change my look.

Other great blogs and websites I enjoy – about being mindful of our environment, our resources, our consumption, our health, our finances – are listed below. This is in no way a definitive list – there must be so many more out there, but these are the ones I look at regularly.

Living intentionally/Minimalism:

The Tiny House Movement/Living Small:

Conscious consumerism:

Minimalist Fashion:

Travelling Light:

Financial goals:

These are all saved on my phone as my favourites, and wow, when I look at them all lined up like that, I now know where all my time goes every day! Ha! Not everyone posts regularly, so I should set up a system where I get an email when something new comes in, rather than checking on the sites all the time.

So there you have my reading list to do with minimalism, living with less so you appreciate more, living mindfully and trying to make as little impact as possible. I hope it leads you to new resources and ideas if you’re also on an intentional living journey.

Exercise today was 15 minutes on the step machine with the hand weights. I’d just had a shower and slathered myself in moisturiser (I know, all wrong!) and, boy, did I sweat! Leo was cooking tortilla too, so the heat from the kitchen added a few degrees to our warm little house and sweaty little me. It’s still horribly cool, windy and rainy outside.

Pastora and her husband Leandro (Leo and Leo in da house!) arrive soon for an afternoon and evening of painting hard boiled eggs, food, drinks and laughter. And all in German! Very much looking forward to that.

Wishing you a wonderful day. I hope you’re having fun with family and/or friends wherever you are.

April 2: A new yoga workout

After doing a few HIIT days in a row, it was time for something a little less sweaty today and I immediately thought of yoga. When I saw a male yoga instructor pop up on YouTube, it was a pleasant surprise so I decided to go with Total Body Yoga Workout with Tim Senesi.

The 30 minutes were enjoyable and hard. He called it a beginners-to-intermediate class – I’d love to see any intermediate do those arm and head stands! They were advanced (and surprise surprise I didn’t even attempt them!). But the overall feeling of moving the body was really pleasant.

The voiceover isn’t exactly in time with what’s happening on the video, so perhaps focus on either one to avoid some confusion. If you have a yoga block, you can use it too.

I had planned to write about mindfulness and minimalism today, but I ended up spending a mindful afternoon with Pastora and Jaime at our favourite bar in Bern and the day just slipped away! So tomorrow it is!

Wishing you a wonderful Good Friday.

 

March 31: Lausanne, push ups, abs and other inspirations

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Beautiful Lausanne on Lake Geneva

Up until seven weeks ago, I’d never been to Lausanne, on Lake Geneva, and today I found myself there again, to see an old friend from London days. Brett and I worked in media, we had mutual friends and occasionally often found ourselves propping up a bar, beer in hand, watching said mates being idiots.

We’re older and wiser now, and chatted about the past and present (during the breaks) while Brett worked as a cameraman covering the current Iranian nuclear arms talks. When the presenter asked me if I was interested in the outcome, I had to confess my complete lack of knowledge (I dislike the word ignorance) on the subject. Unfortunately I couldn’t learn more from her, because her live news crosses were in Persian! The line-up of journalists and crews under those tents was totally multicultural.

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Reporting from Lausanne on the Iranian nuclear discussions

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All the outside broadcast (OB) vans

Overall, a great afternoon gasbagging and drinking tea down by the water in the freezing wind. Definitely good for the soul! Thanks Brett!

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Mates for 20 years

For the workout today I made something up, which now has my arms shaking. Initially, the 15 minute plan was to alternate one minute of push ups with one minute of abs, but after the first two minutes I could only manage 30 seconds of push ups. So it became 30 seconds push ups, one minute abs, 30 seconds push ups etc. All the push ups were done on my knees – I’m still not strong enough to do a full push up. But I’m getting there. Using the timer on my phone, I wound down the clock and I know my arms, more than my abs, will be sore tomorrow. That might make amends for the chocolate croissant I ate in Lausanne!

Following on from Sal’s inspirational story yesterday, I was thinking, on the train, about other things that have made a lasting impression on me. I’ll limit this to two for now.

The first ‘person’ who came to mind was actually a frog. Watching Kermit the Frog do his Sesame Street News Flash stories made me want to be a journalist. Stop laughing. Ok, start again, because here’s a silly clip where Kermit tries to find out what makes people angry. For me, his incredible job allowed him to ask all the interesting questions, even if he sometimes never received a proper answer. Overall, those spots made a huge impression on my once overly inquisitive mind. Now I’m happy to just let some things remain unknown, possibly such as, for example, in-depth details of the Iranian nuclear debate.

The second big impression I want to mention was a feature story written by Gay Talese. While studying a Masters of Publishing in 2009-10, one of the subjects introduced me to his amazing magazine article about Frank Sinatra. In 2003, Esquire named it the greatest story they’d ever published. Even if you’re not a Sinatra fan, I vouch that you’ll still enjoy it. Oh to be able to write like that!

Fancy sharing some of your inspirational moments or favourite influential people?

Wishing you a wonderful day. And here are some other pictures from today:

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Still getting used to the missing flagpole – it came down in the wind yesterday. Now we have an even better view!

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Looking over Wohlen towards the Swiss Alps

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The flowers are coming! The sign says “Flowers for self picking”

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A beautiful magnolia bud, I think?!

No More Rules by Sal Book

This is the fifth guest post in a new fitfor15in15 series designed to show the pleasant impact that feeling fit, in all its forms, can have on your life. Sal Book’s life-changing light bulb moment came several years ago when she broke a self-imposed rule and took on a challenge. The balance she’s now found makes for a wonderful, inspiring and totally relatable story. Take it away Sal!

No More Rules by Sal Book (FOX8 Design Director for Foxtel in Sydney, Australia, and lover of baking)

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Sal and her boys after a half marathon in Sydney, September 2014

No running policy. No running whatsoever. Too many bits that wiggle. It hurts. Don’t run for buses. Maybe run for your life if necessary. I lived by a ‘no running policy’ that I joked about a lot. It was up there with my ‘don’t wear swimwear in front of work colleagues’ and ‘don’t live in share houses with couples’ list of rules to live by. Because in my 20s, I thought I knew everything.

I nearly broke that lifelong no running policy. Almost. I made some wonderful little humans and before long, I was running around after them 24/7/365. I wasn’t physically running, but there were definitely a lot of bits that wiggled. As a busy mum, working full time and chasing after kidlets, my 162cm body broke through and beyond the 100kg barrier. I had a moment of shock one day, watching the Biggest Loser and stuffing my face (as you do), when one of the contestants weighed in lighter than me. Yikes! It was time to ditch the wiggle.

I bought a very cheap cross trainer and off I went – weight watcher-ing everything I ate by day, cross training by night. My husband was wonderfully supportive and helped me find the time I needed for exercise. Most importantly, he listened to all my bitching about food. I love food and it was hard. Kilos slowly peeled away and 18 months later I was 30kg lighter. But the lifelong no running policy was still intact. In my mind, a cross trainer wasn’t running, so all was good.

I work in a creative industry and have found that most creatives are an inspired and positive bunch of people who enjoy the lustre of crazy ideas. Two of my colleagues were mad enough to sign up for this thing called Tough Mudder. They started a campaign to enlist anyone and everyone on their team. I was 30kg lighter, feeling great and tempted by the idea to just do something out of the ordinary. My friend knew I was a country girl at heart and wasn’t afraid of a bit of dirt, so he kept pushing me to give it a go. I had to tell him about the no running policy but he persisted and I’m ever so grateful he did.

The event was months away and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I figured that it if I could endure over 24 hours of labour pains, to squeeze out a human being, then surely I could take on this measly Mudder business. One unexpected perk from childbirth was the feeling of empowerment. The most incredible thing I’ve ever done in my lifetime is give birth to my sons. After they arrived in my life, I was surprised by an unforeseen drive that was born inside of me, especially to feel ownership of my body again. I felt like I could do anything. Take on any challenge. So I decided to do the Tough Mudder. I was going to own it. Go the whole 21km with obstacle courses. I signed up. I was scared. Damn it! I better start running or something.

The no running policy was abolished. Training was hard. I had a lot of support from friends and family. My sister ran with me, my team ran with me. My Mudder goal was to be able to run 7km without stopping and push myself with strength training on the side. Everyone around me helped a great deal, but ultimately the person who had to push me the most was me.

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This popular waterside path in Sydney, called The Bay Run, is one of Sal’s favourite runs

Running was a whole world outside my comfort zone. All those wiggly bits did hurt. Running with a D-cup does suck. Every time I had a running session, I never actually wanted to run. I would procrastinate, taking forever to get out of bed, find my gear, put my shoes on. I would force myself to run, and found that I always felt amazing afterwards.

Hiding inside that little moment after the run is the addiction. You don’t see it or feel it coming. The mind says no, but after you finish, the body says yes. It feels amazing … after you’ve run your first ever full kilometre without stopping … after you’ve run your first 5km … after your first ever racing event … after your first ever PB … after every PB … Eating. After. Running (my personal favourite).

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A leap of faith! Sal flying high in the Tough Mudder

Tough Mudder was difficult and incredible. Mission impossible was to attempt every obstacle. I succeeded all but one and I was grateful for my run training. For those moments between the obstacles, it didn’t feel hard. My body was able to cope and keep up with my team.

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What’s not to love about this photo?!

All the winter running had really prepared me for the cold, thick mud. I finished and it was surreal. I felt invincible. But the very next week I stopped running. It was all done and dusted. I didn’t realise that I had ignited a spark.

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Mission: Accomplished!

After Tough Mudder, I spotted an advertisement for the San Francisco Half Marathon. The thought of running across the Golden Gate Bridge was enough to turn that spark into a desire to find that invincible feeling again. It didn’t take much pestering to convince my husband that we should take a family holiday to the States. Much like me, he is a man who loves experiences and before we knew it, we had booked flights for the family to America and both of us were signed up for the half marathon.

I ran 21km in 2h 26mins. I ran 18 of those kilometres grinning like an idiot, oblivious to the hurt, feeling mesmerised by where I was and where my running had taken me. I couldn’t believe I was running on the road of the Golden Gate Bridge. The last 3km did actually hurt, especially on some of the hills as we headed back into the city, but I still loved it.

My husband and I had walked across the Golden Gate on our honeymoon 11 years earlier, so to run across it was very special. He was behind me on the course, but I worked out that we would cross paths as I came back for the return leg of the bridge. I texted him to keep an eye out. We found each other, a quick kiss in the middle of all the runners and then off again.

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Running across the Golden Gate Bridge was a proud and memorable achievement

One thing I love most about life, is that you never know what is ahead of you. The first time I walked that bridge with my husband, I never imagined a decade later we would be running a half marathon across it. These are the things that make me smile in life. Running continues to make me smile in life.

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Sal chasing Minions in the iconic Sydney City to Surf race

It’s almost my three-year ‘runniversary’ and running is just a part of who I am now. I am a busy mum and to fit everything in, I run to work. I’m solving a transport and time issue all in one. On my long run days, I get to feel a little bit ‘bad ass’ by watching the sun rise while I’m out. If I run to work, for the rest of the day I enjoy a lovely ‘I don’t care if the Zombie Apocalypse happens’ sort of feeling – if the zombies come, well at least I can run fast enough! If work gets a bit stressful, somehow it feels easier to cruise through the problems and find solutions.

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Peace and beauty on an early morning run to work

I get a lot of support from my husband. Running is something that requires time, but we try our best to give that to each other. I think it’s important for parents to have time for themselves. When I’m running, there are no phone calls, no emails, no mummy, no dramas. It’s just me. I also get a lot of support from my running group. Last year I joined Running Mums Australia, not expecting the positive change it would bring to my running. It’s a virtual running group on Facebook with over 9000 members. All of them just mums who like to run. Some are champion runners, some are just starting out, some do ultra marathons, others enjoy 5km events. All of these women are connected by their desire to run. It’s a place to share run stories and seek advice. RMA has definitely helped me maintain my running mojo and I’m very proud to be a part of that group.

My new rule is to stop making rules. They only hold you back.

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Crossing the middle of the Sydney Harbour Bridge by foot isn’t something you can do every day. But it was possible for Sal, once she broke ‘the rules’