You and what army?

September 4, 2012 — 66 Comments

If you witnessed Travis Pastrana to get on a Suzuki RM250, ride it full tit toward a large jump and then do a backflip, then you might shrug your shoulders, maybe nod your head, semi impressed.
However, if I got on that same Suzuki, managed to actually work out how to start it, figured out what makes it move forward, and then rode that thing at top speed toward a huge jump and then pull a backflip, you would go insane right? So why the difference in reaction? We both did the same thing, we both did a backflip while holding onto a loud, wheeled bullet. So whats the reasoning here?


The reasoning is, Travis Pastrana is a motorsports champion. As the mastermind behind Nitro circus, X-game gold medalist and legendary stunt performer, Travis could do a backflip on a bike in his sleep. He does double backflips. He jumped into the Grand Canyon.
I am not a motorsports champion. (Sorry to let you down)
I don’t even know how to start a motorbike. Thats why, if I managed to ride a motorbike and stay upright without training wheels, it would be quite impressive, but if I were to pull a backflip… well then I would have accomplished the impossible.

There are people that run every day. Its their thing. There are some who train for fun or for mental clarity, others for fitness and some for endurance. When it comes to endurance running, you get those who train for 42 Kilometer marathons. There are others who take it a step further and train for 100 Kilometers. Then there are the runners who achieve the inconceivable. 250 Kilometers, 300 and 400 kilometer events, right up to the 1600 kilometer multi day event. Astonishing.

I am not a runner. I have said before many times that I despise it. I am no good at it, it doesn’t make me feel good about myself, and my undies always go up my bum. Therefore, running to my letterbox is problematic. Running 10 kilometers? Impossible.
I say this because I understand that many people are going to read this and go ‘Pffft! 10 kilometers? I run that every day as a warm up! Thats nothing but a leisurely stroll for me!” Well you know what, good on you hero, I get it, you’re more fit than I am, congratulations, but unless you can also go and do a double backflip on a Suzuki RM250 into the Grand Canyon then i’d suggest you hold off on beating at your chest with your closed fists as if you are the boss of everything, because we can’t be good at everything all the time okay. 

When I first tried my hand at running, I made that outlandish promise in Pain is weakness leaving the body that I would run the 10 kilometer Bridge to Brisbane on September 2nd. I think I had probably had one too many wines when I wrote that, but the trouble is, I said I would do it, and so I had to do it.

On the morning of September 2nd, due to unforeseen circumstances, I was unable to make the trip up to Brisbane.

I decided to complete the run, but I would have to do it all by my little self, here on the Gold Coast, and I would have to lace up my trainers sooner rather than later because the more I thought about it the more I wanted to just crawl up in a hole and die. Why do I say i’m going to do things I know are impossible for me to do!!

I pulled my hair up into a high bun, put my trainers on, threw on a backpack carrying 3 liters of water and pushed play on my ipods running playlist and walked out my front door and took the first step.
500 meters in my undies really started riding up my backside and I cursed myself for choosing scratchy, lace panties to do this in.
What were you expecting Vanessa? That at half way you might stumble upon a naked mer-man who you could woo with your lacy delicates?
Idiot.
Due to that error in judgement, I spent the next 90 minutes with my hands up my backside fishing lace out of my intestines.
Charming. 

If it were possible to eat lava and not die right away, I imagine that it would feel like I felt about 2 kilometers in. The burning in my lungs was unbearable. Turns out eating carrot sticks for snacks doesn’t make you fit. I was afraid because I was very familiar with the road I was running as I drive it at least once a week. I knew I was not even 1/4 of the way through and that if I didn’t organise my mind and get focused real soon, this just wasn’t going to happen. They say that the mind will give up 1000 times before the body does and at that 2 kilometer mark, I felt the burn in my chest and remembered that saying. My mind raced through what I could do to try and get into some kind of zone, or make my mind go to some place far away from the pain in my chest. It was then that I recalled being in labor.

I had both my sons, at home, without drugs. Yes, without drugs. My first labor was 21 hours. My second was 10 hours. A total of 31 hours of undiluted, unforgiving, 100% pure agony. How did I do it? I went far, far away in my mind. I made a rule before I went into labor that no one was to address me or speak to me unless I spoke to them. I knew that if I were to make it through the hurricane of pain I was about to endure, then I would have to withdraw deep within myself and my breathing, my thoughts, my soul, spirit, mind and physical being would have to be completely in agreement with what I was about to endure and no one must distract me, lest the dreadful panic set in.

I realised that all I was experiencing was a bit of burning in my chest. It wasn’t like my whole body was tearing apart from the inside out, so if I was able to endure giving birth with nothing more than a bit of focus, then I could sure as heck complete the remaining 8 kilometers by harnessing the same thing: A little bit of focus and a whole bunch of making my mind go far, far away.

It took about 5 or so minutes before I stopped feeling the pain and just started focusing on my heart beat and the rhythm of my legs striding, one two, three, four, one, two, three, four.
This was working well until I was attacked.
Now I want you to try and tell me what kind of no-good, dead-beat, good-fer-nuthin Magpie would see a poor innocent, blue-eyed girl like me running along the road, clearly in a lot of pain and decide that the one thing she would probably need in that moment was a whole bunch of beak in her face.
Well, this bird did.
There he was, up on his branch, probably bludging on the Bird Benefit day in and day out, and he see’s me running toward him and this bird, he starts looking at me sideways. Now you know that when a bird starts looking at you sideways, somethings about to happen. It means they’re fit to strike your ass.
So i’m running, and I see this bird looking at me sideways and the very next thing I know I have a whole bunch of beak all up in my face and I reacted with some jumping and some screaming and some arms all flying about my head and then this bird finally retreats and I have to run the next 250 meters with my body pointing forward and my head pointing backwards so that I could keep an eye on this damn Magpie. Well, after 250 meters I start to feel like I am out of those woods and I can relax, so I turn my head towards the front and I keep running and then BAM! This damn bird is at me again! And its flapping about my head and beating my neck with its wings and I react with a whole bunch of jumping and screaming and more arms in the air and I would love to talk to the people who were driving past me at that exact moment to ask them what the heck I looked like, wearing an angry Magpie on my face and all…..

Anyway, back into my zone after my unprovoked attack I somehow found myself at the 5 kilometer mark. Cobai Drive.

I took photos along the way… Kind of as proof I had really done it.
My half way mark: Cobai Drive

At Cobai Drive I had to stop. I just had to.
I bent over double and spent about 30 seconds heaving as if I were drowning before turning back upon the footsteps I had left and began to make my way home. I realised that there was no pain in my legs anymore. I must have gone numb, which suited me just fine.
Approaching the location of my near-death experience with the magpie, I outsmarted that stupid bird and crossed the road so it couldn’t get me again. When I say road, I actually mean four lane mini-highway. And on the other side of the road there were decorative trees, which I ran behind to get more cover. Stupid-ass bird won’t see me here, across a four-lane road, behind these lovely trees.

Wrong.

The sun was behind me now, beating upon my back, and from somewhere out of my worst nightmares I see a shadow descend upon me.
Wings.
A beak.

Then I am being attacked again by that same bloody bird!
It had crossed four lanes on a busy road just to give me one last kick in the ass.

Turns out it was the kick in the ass I needed as after I realised I was actually being hunted from the skies, you can bet your bottom dollar I ran hard. I was running away from a magpie that wouldn’t stop looking at me sideways. 

I’ll skip the next 4 kilometers. I can sum it up with 4 words: breathlessness, tears, weakness and agony.
It hurt. The last 250 meters I wasn’t even really running. It was more of a Forest Gump type hobble-hop as if I had metal scaffolding framing my legs. My knees were knocking together and in the last 20 meters I actually put my arms out in front of me, reaching towards my home.

Did I make it? Yes. I made it.
How did I feel when I collapsed in my bedroom covered in disgusting sweat and feathers from a rogue bird?
Like utter shit.

I will never, ever, ever, never do that again. Ever.
But I don’t have to, because I did it once, and thats enough.
I did it, not because I wanted to, or because I felt like it, but because I said I would when I had a glass too many and I stand by my word but you can also bet I will watch what I say from now on because that was the hardest promise I have ever had to keep.
I had to run it alone too, which actually became somewhat of an irony.

For weeks I have been watching what I eat and training. Alone.
Very much alone.

When you first decide that you are going to change your circumstances, your body, your fitness level, your life, you may be enveloped by encouragement from people who love you who carry words like ‘you can do this, I am behind you, we believe in you….’
But then they will go away and it will be just you.
Just you and that dream.
Will you wake up the next morning and still mean what you said?
When you open your eyes and its cold out and its several hours earlier than you would normally arise will you choose to not only remember your words, but stand by them?
Or is your talk cheap?
I really think it is those moments where you are alone and you have no one beside you telling you that you can do it, where the true intention and desire of your heart comes out.
I clearly remember a morning at the gym about 10 days ago:
When I got there I realised my ipod had run out of battery. This is a problem.
Next thing, my cross trainer is out of order. Brilliant.
I am sick to death of the bike, and the only cardio equiptment left is the rowing machine. I hate the rowing machine.
I climb on and strap my feet in and begin rowing and then:
EErrrreeeeeeEEEEEEERRRRRRReeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEErrrrrrrrrRRRRRRRRRR’
This thing hasn’t been serviced in 100 years and while the ride is smooth enough, the sound of un-lubed metal, grinding upon un-lubed metal is agony. Don’t even have my music to drown it out.
At that point I actually stopped rowing. I sat there and sized up my situation.
I was alone.
I was tired because I didn’t get enough sleep the night before and I didn’t have any music to drown out the ‘nails against blackboard’ screams that were coming from beneath me and I was hungry.
I began to loosen the straps that were holding my feet in the machine.
I wasn’t doing this anymore. I wanted to go home and eat something.
Then I stopped. I asked myself if this was me? Was this all I had?
When my friends are far from me and the words of their encouragement are diluting in the reality of my day to day life, am I just going to give up?
When the crowd has gone and the images which carry the inspirational quotes about changing ones life and reaching for ones dreams are fading from memory, am I just going to slump in my seat and say to the empty room  ‘I won’t… can’t…..

It was a strange thing that happened then. Not visible to anyone that was observing, but only visible to me, I kind of saw a vision-y thing in my mind and it was me, standing before something.
It was not definable, but I recognised it as being everything I hoped my future would be. A big mass of accomplishments and conquers and victories and happiness and health. 

I stood there with my feet still loosely strapped in that rowing machine and I know this sounds crazy but I felt like I had arrived at a crossroads.
I saw the future that I wanted before me, but it was lying behind rows and rows of stumbling blocks and circumstances and weaknesses and poverty and exhaustion and hand to my heart I swear I looked those circumstances and weaknesses in the eye and if you were walking by that little gym at about 8:45am that morning you would have heard a female voice scream out ‘I can overcome you” and the reply came “Yeah? You and what army?”

Army? There is no army. Its just me…but thats enough.

That morning I re-strapped my feet into that machine and I found a leaf on this tree outside and I focused on it and I worked out so hard that I didn’t stop until I actually fell off the machine because my arms couldn’t hold onto the bar anymore.
I fell sideways onto the floor and lay there with one foot still strapped into the machine and I couldn’t even see. I just felt dizzy and worn out and… kind of out of it. Like high, but in a really, really bad way.
I crawled/limped to the strength training gym and sat on a padded bench and then fished behind me for the bars and then began to do those ab-pulldowns. I had done them before, but not like this. I felt like a crazy lady.
I set the weight to 10kg heavier than I had been pulling in the weeks before and I sat there and pulled one, two, three, four, five, six and then 65 and then 100 and then? I burst into tears.
All alone in that stupid gym with no stupid ipod and no stupid person to tell me to keep going and no stupid hope and no stupid help. Just me, crying like a sissy baby, all alone with nothing but her ideals for her future to keep her moving,
In my 28 years I have not worked as hard as I did in that lonely 60 minutes in that little gym.
This wasn’t just about being fit. I think that being fit had almost taken a backseat to the real purpose I was trying to achieve: re-inventing my life.
And the similarity between changing my body and changing my life seemed to become strikingly obvious:

At the end of the day, this is my battle, and my battle alone. Sure I may have friends and family around me who express words of encouragement and hope and say things like “you go get em” and “you can do it!‘ but at the end of the day, the’re not going to be able to be with me in those moments where I wake up and size up the new day. They may not be there when its just Vanessa, facing the old me, which is battling the new me which is trying to emerge.
This battle, whatever it is that I am facing, whether it be a change in size, a change in fitness, or an ultimate change in life is mine to fight for, and I must fight for it alone.

And so too, must you.

Support is valuable. Encouragement? Priceless. But the hard truth is, no matter how bad your circumstances are, no matter how much you cry over your wee life… at any given moment, you have the power to say “This is NOT how my story is going to end.” And you may re-write the ending of your own story however you want.
But dear, I know first hand that it is not easy. It means many mornings of waking up alone, with no one beside you to be your rock, your cheerleader or your support. But how much you want the change depends on whether you get up and go for it anyway.
Are you going to be weak? Probably.
Going to cry? Yes.
Are you going to scream at an empty wall? I sure hope so.

Has something gone awry in your life? Something ended up not how you hoped it would?
You gonna claw at it?
You gonna tear at it?
You gonna fight for it even when there is no army to stand to your left or to your right to fight with you?

You get what you wish fight for.

You don’t need an army. What you have in your own two hands is enough.

Ness

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66 responses to You and what army?

  1. 

    Superb young lady…Your challenge and the struggle many of us also have meeting thoses challenges hit home with me as I read your post. I have passed this along to my daughters in hopes that it will keep them motivated when it all seems bleak!
    Thanks

    • 

      You know, I hit the ‘publish’ button on this one and then ran away. I wondered whether this would resound with anyone at all. Thank you for your reply. The timing of your message was perfect….. just as I was hovering over the delete button…..

  2. 

    Oh I so get the running. I did the 8k mothers day run. That was me, minus the magpie. Good on you for doing it anyway. 🙂

    • 

      The only thing you were missing with the magpie was a few feathers in your mouth and a lifetime of nightmares. No love lost.
      Well done in honoring the special mother figure in your life by doing the 8K mothers day event!! 🙂

      • 

        As mum is a survivor and we were back ‘home’ (from interstate) all my boys did the walk with her while I did the run. My goal is to do it faster next year.

  3. 

    Wow….I can only say WOW! that sent shivers down my spine Ness! Well done and I’m so proud of you for all you accomplished! xx

  4. 

    Been waiting to hear how it went. You did it.

  5. 

    Very inspiring post! Thanks for sharing; this has definitely made my day! 🙂

  6. 
    Samantha Templeton September 4, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    Heya Vanessa not sure if you remember me from whangas 🙂 came across your blog through someone we both know and been reading a few of your blogs as you post them(totally just got autocorrected from blogg to blog) don’t normally write to people I read (normally just an observer) as you can tell from my blog spelling blunder hahabut this post I have to say was awesome and very inspiring to me because I totally get that running feeling you get it is just plain terrible to me also. And the setting the alarm each morning planning to get up to do some sort of exercise always ends up i look at the time hmmm I think I’d rather have an extra hour sleep. And then there’s the I feel yuck feeling because I still havnt done any yet.. And I’d like to say this week… But its more like.. months… Hell who am I kidding years… I can’t remember the last time I did exercise so point is.. I’m inspired. I’m gonna exercise tomorrow morning. And now I have to do it because I wrote it… And its all your fault well not really but I’m sure il be thinking it tomorrow:) so keep up the awesome writing 🙂 x

    • 

      Sure I know you! You are the pretty, dark haired friend of Teraza’s.
      I am so glad that at this post resonated with you as it was nearly not published, and then nearly deleted.
      Sam, what you must realise is that true discipline is built in between the four walls where no one watches on.
      If you want a change, you must build that change in the hours when no one else sees. Discouraging? perhaps, but your dreams matter girlfriend, and you know what? Pursuing your dreams is damn hard…. thats why not many people do.
      When you wake up and decide you are going to keep at it, whether it be your dream of fitness, or of achievement or of love…. know that there is someone else out there at the same precise moment sizing up their own life just as you are.
      You are alone, yet in the same breath, you are never alone.
      Work for what you want in this life dear, for it is the only life you get to try for it.
      Love Ness

  7. 

    Your post was lovely. I’m going to admit that I did laugh at the way you wrote about the magpie, though it is terrible to be attacked by a bird for no reason. I probably would have had the same reaction.

    • 

      Oh I laughed most of the night away about that damn magpie! If I were handy with a shotgun I would be laughing over a magpie stew, but no such luck.
      Damn bird.
      🙂

      • 

        Okay good. I realized how mean it could be to laugh at someone getting attacked by a magpie but I think it was image it produced plus it was not once or twice but three times and by the same one!

  8. 

    When you figure out what you want you’ll be in good shape to get it. I still can’t figure out why you didn’t get in touch with James again (referring to a previous post). Maybe you’re scared that it will not be the dream you remember. But how else can you find out? Would it be more painful that doing that run if it didn’t work out? Or is that what you’re preparing for? (No answer required – just thinking out loud.)

  9. 

    I needed to hear this. I need the encouragement, I want the encouragement and most of the time, when I’m alone and no one is watching I fail. I give up and give in. I’m not accountable to myself when I don’t have to be accountable to someone else. And I hate that. I want to change that. And the bottom line is that you are absolutely right! I AM alone. And while that is infinitely scary, it’s also inspiring. Thanks for this–it actually does serve as encouragement even if that wasn’t your point:) Loved the running story too and am so impressed that you did it! I can hear your Aussie accent as I read and I love that…takes me back to my summer living in Sydney as a kid; great memories!

  10. 

    No worries. I said I’d run the Bolder Boulder barefoot for a whole year but when it came time, my lack of finances and my fear of crowds caused me to back out. So on that morning, I went out and ran my own 10K right in my town. I had a pedometer on me just to make sure I ran the right amount and I ran half of it barefoot and half of it in minimalist shoes. So I’m proud that I did it on my own terms. I will never be a crowd person and that’s okay with me!!!! Running is what I do to be close to God and my Soul and nature. And that’s okay. I don’t have to do what “most runners” do and run competitions. I also learned that I’d rather do something spontaneously than talk about WHAT I’ll do for a whole year and then not do it: we rebel, even against ourselves (our ego). So one more reminder to keep my mouth shut!

  11. 

    I love your posts; you are a wonderfully evocative writer. I’ve recently had my life turned upside down and ever since then I keep running across people and ideas burn me to the quick. After briefly wondering why I wasn’t privy to these insights some time ago, I am thankful for learning them now.

    Keep up the good fight, not despite the supporters, but because they won’t be strong enough to make you finish on their own. You’ve pointed out the importance of that to me and I wanted to chime in with whatever tiny support I might provide.

    • 

      Ah, I am up so much later than I should be but I loved this reply. Your support is SO not tiny, it is monstrous. When I am super tird, as I am right in this moment, it is comments like these which I read for the push forward I need.
      Thank you for being the encouraging, (albeit unwilling) cheerleader that I needed tonight.
      Ness

  12. 

    Love it! In my own head I’m a runner waiting to be born….kinda like in my head I’m a dancer like JLo! LOL Thanks for sharing such a great story! I was feeling kinda down this morning and your humorous way of sharing – got me smiling!

  13. 

    I just got in from a run (only 3k) and thought it might be the end of me! Your article really hits home for me. Today is my first day back to running after several months off and I was feeling motivated — until a friend invited me for coffee and I was very tempted to say yes. A little voice said ‘you need to do this and stop letting yourself get sidetracked’. You are so right, it’s the moments when we are fighting our battles alone that we discover what we are really made of! Congratulations for finishing that 10k!

  14. 

    I loved reading this post!!! I feel so alone on my journey but your so right, only I can fight this battle!!! Thank you for this post!!!

    • 

      It’s ironic because in the moment you acknowledge that you are alone, its almost as if you enter into a camaraderie with every other man/woman who goes it alone. Every day we have to wake up and face a new day which brings fresh questions such as ‘Do you still mean it?’…’Do you still want it?’
      But know that however difficult that question is to answer, somewhere else on this planet, perhaps around the corner, or on the other side of the world there is another man… another woman asking themselves the same questions.
      They will answer “YES. Yes they DO mean it. Yes they DO want it.
      But will you?
      And in the light of such comraderie…. will WE.
      Because we are in it together, and yet we are in it alone.
      Strange, but true.

      • 

        I do want it so badly! I want to keep running for me even though it hurts so bad I want to scream sometimes. Your posts always inspire me to keep going! You’re an amazing writer and I can relate to so much that you have written! Thank you for responding!!!

  15. 

    You did it. I’m proud of you (not that why I say means a thing, obviously). Every weekday morning, I get up at 4 a.m. so I can pick up my son at 5 and go to the gym (I’m 58 and he’s 26). We work out for about 45-50 minutes and then go to my place and get ready for work (we commute to and from work together). Two weeks ago, my son changed our workout routine to something more challenging. I thought he was trying to kill me. But it’s working. I’m feeling better. I’ve lost a few pounds. At my age, I’m not looking to become a beautiful body, but to maintain some sort of quality of life as I get older. And it’s good to have a challenge and to know I can accomplish something.

    I’m glad you accomplished what you set out to do, too.

  16. 

    GAH! You’re like a total super hero! YOU are the voice that I pray to have in my head, when MY voice mostly just really likes cake.

    Congratulations on being awesome. You’re completely motivational.

  17. 

    I’m so glad you didn’t delete this post! It is amazing! I am always looking forward to your next posts! Also I saw that you and someone renewed contact and it makes me happy. 🙂

    I don’t think we have magpies in this part of the states, but I’m amazed that the thing was actually smart enough to FOLLOW you and ATTACK you repeatedly. Stupid smart bird!

  18. 

    This post was just what I needed to read this morning. You have put into words what I have been internalizing a lot lately. Thank you for pouring your soul into this post and showing that even though the actual journey is one we must face alone, we can know that there are others struggling on the same journey too.

  19. 

    Your observation about being alone is absolutely right! You are alone. But the good news is that, YOU are a pretty awesome person, and you are becoming more and more awesome every day. So, if you have to be alone, being alone with yourself is actually a gift.

    Just keep at it and I hope you reconsider and give running another shot. There really is a point when it gets easier. It does not happen right away, but it does happen. I know because it happened to me and I am so grateful that it did.

    Best wishes and happy journey

  20. 

    WOW. Well done, that’s some accomplishment. I can’t help wondering why the magpie had it in for you though….. I totally agree with your conclusion about your own motivation being the only thing which can produce results: I’ve just discovered it myself with a radical change of diet for my health, involving the cutting out of all my favourite food from my diet. I’m still going strong, and may even be trying out some running (without magpies) soon 🙂

  21. 

    so true, change only happens when you decide for yourself, love your blog, all of it, inspiring. (ps don’t respond to this do something better instead!)

  22. 

    Great laughs this morning. Thank you. And also great words of inspiration as I was assessing my health and fitness or should I say rather the lack there of in my life at the moment. And you are quite correct the only thing standing between your dreams and goals is you (me).

    The biggest battle we fight is with ourselves.

    Once again, thank you your words inspire.

    🙂

    Ivonne

  23. 

    Damn girl. This is EXACTLY what I needed to read right now. AMAZING post. Love love love it!!

  24. 

    What a loveable read this was! Funny and so inspiring. You have a great way of taking me with you every post. FYI: not that there is going to be a next time, however, there are such things as running shorts, no undies required.
    The bird, good Lord that bird! ( are there such people as ” birdie guards “? ) THAT would be a video to see.
    SOOOOOOOOOO happy you did it!!!!
    Um, survived it.
    You always have me either laughing or crying, today it was both. Well done as always dear Ness.

  25. 

    That’s epic! The bird is your nemesis.

  26. 

    Way to go! Great call to action on so many levels. I read this post on my phone very early this morning before I had to do something I was dreading and it gave me courage. Thank you!

  27. 

    Your never alone because you have paired up with greatness.

  28. 

    Great work, and I’m so glad you took the time to document it! The photos + way you expressed it all is brilliant. Way to go!

  29. 

    Congratulations on your victory. I’ve been there myself and I have to fight that particular fight each new day. Thanks for sharing.

  30. 

    I loved reading this. I can relate in so many ways, even other areas of life that don’t revolve around exercise but you are so right, and so articulate and this was just a fabulously written story. It makes me feel better to know that, as you pointed out, I am alone. But at the same time, I’m not, because you and a zillion others are right there with me, fighting your own battles. Thank you.

  31. 

    Thank you.

    I’ve just read all your blogs in the past two days, and I want to thank you. For inspiring me to be strong, for motivating me to change the parts of my life that I am not happy with, and for making me accept that I am my greatest ally on this journey of life.

    One of my favourite phrases is Be the change you want to see in the world. You are the change I want to see in the world. I hope I can be as willing to change as you are.

    I look forward to reading more of your blogs. I wish you nothing but the best on the rest of this journey. Being physically alone and being truly alone are different things. Just because you may walk part of this journey physically alone, don’t ever think that you’re truly alone. So many people want you to succeed and are watching out for you every step of the way.

  32. 

    Someone asked about the magpie, it’s mating season. The male’s testosterone levels go sky high and he attacks anything in sight.
    Loved your epic post Vanessa, sounds like you found one of life’s real moments.Your qoute:
    ‘but at the end of the day, the’re not going to be able to be with me in those moments where I wake up and size up the new day. They may not be there when its just Vanessa, facing the old me, which is battling the new me which is trying to emerge.’

    I’m far from being a religious man, however I do like Johnny Cash’s rendition of his song, The Reverend Mr Black.

    You got to walk that lonesome valley
    Well, you got to walk it by yourself
    Ain’t nobody else can walk it for you
    You got to walk it by yourself.

    When it’s life changing, important and has to be done it’s usually done by yourself.
    Cheers
    Laurie.

  33. 

    I love the humour and the sentiment in your writing. You are one inspiring woman!

  34. 

    Awesome post! You capture so many moments so very well. Funny how the posts that are most important to others are always the ones that make us want to hit the delete button. Thank you for your courage in sharing your truth. I’ll think of you the next time I get swooped by a Magpie!

  35. 

    I like your post, it is a testament of what it looks like to push pass your reality, and endure the battle by any means. I really like the vision you had, it help me to look at my life in that aspect, and not in the moment-to-moment aspect. Awesome post

  36. 

    Great post. It is amazing how being alone proves the truth of our determination. I’ve had those days recently when I had to rely on my hope for the future to give me strength. I really enjoyed this.

  37. 

    I loved this post. Very inspirational!!! Just know that someone, halfway across the world from you, has been incredibly touched by your journey. Good on ya, girl!

  38. 

    Well done! What a great effort! 10kms is not an easy feast for everyone. It would put me on my ass. Awesome post! Kat 🙂

  39. 

    Great post! Your story in the gym is a great one. I know that story myself. When you’re about to go down again and accept defeat, but for some reason you finally make a stand and fight. You did it that day in the gym. It doesn’t get easier, but you get stronger (yes that’s a cliche but it’s one of my faves).
    Ps. as a runner, your 10k was epic! Well done!

  40. 

    You are one inspirational woman.

  41. 

    Continue running.
    And I would like to thank you for liking my post “Broke House”.

  42. 

    “You get what you (wish) fight for.
    You don’t need an army. What you have in your own two hands is enough”. -> love this quote, Ness! I bet all your works gonna be worth at last! 🙂

  43. 

    This definitely spoke to me. Wonderful post, thank you!

  44. 

    I’m so happy you liked a post of mine and that led me to reading this wonderful blog of yours! Life is funny, this is exactly what I needed at this moment in my life. I’ll be watching your story from the US!

  45. 

    Such brave writing. This is why I love your blog

  46. 

    Compliments for this post, I am glad I noticed this website on yahoo.

  47. 

    Brilliant story Ness,and a great and accurate description of running and all the pain that goes with it…

    The swarming magpie part had me rolling of my chair with laughter 😀
    Very funny.. I wonder what he took exception to?

    You could always pay the little blighter a return visit armed with a catapult, that would give him a shock.. and you too if you get caught comitting magpiecide by the law :-D( I’m not being serious by the way, about the catapult that is)
    Thanks for the advice at the end too 🙂
    take care and dont overdo it though Ness
    love n hugs
    xxx

  48. 

    Awesome. Took your advice and started on twitter today. Gave your blog a plug on mine today. Thanks for coming to my blog.

  49. 

    “you get what you wish fight for. You don’t need an army. What you have in your own two hands is enough” love this. so true. that it is action, we are given what we need to overcome xo

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