About Me

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I'm a 45 year old mother of 3 boys. I live in a beautiful old house that needs a lot of TLC with my youngest son and 2 dogs. I am working hard at keeping myself healthy and fit by working out and doing a spot of running. I'm a creative person and am passionate about keeping traditional skills alive. I cook, knit, bake, garden, preserve, read, write and am now learning to spin and quilt. Oh and I sometimes swear.....

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Awesome, inspiring and life changing?

After last week’s good news from the hospital I started to think about making plans for the future. I’ve spent most of this year working hard to get my fitness level back to what it used to be. I’d started running again although it has been put on hold a bit these last 2 months due to my back being sore and not eating properly. But now I’ve got my mojo (and my appetite!) back, I have been thinking about doing something significant to raise money for a breast cancer charity. I was initially thinking of a running challenge but I’ve already done a marathon for charity. I needed to think outside the box.

So, on Friday night I went climbing at Ratho with the Harriers. Not the obvious choice for someone who has vertigo and can’t even climb up a step ladder to change a light bulb without shaking uncontrollably! But Phil and Liz M persuaded me it was a good idea to get out the house and even picked me up so I didn’t have to drive to Edinburgh.

As we drove into the car park there were banners proclaiming how the experience would be ‘awesome’ and ‘inspiring.’ We even laughed at the one that said ‘life changing.’ The sceptic in me thought that was a mighty claim for a wall!

Things didn’t get off to a great start when I saw the climbing arena through the floor length windows in the cafe. All the kids were leaning against the windows exclaiming how awesome it all looked. I couldn’t even go within 6 feet of the windows. I actually thought I was going to be sick. I hung back when the competent climbers were signing in their charges in the hope that there wouldn’t be anyone left to sign me in. But Phil didn’t let me get away with it! I was duly signed up, kitted out and frog marched down to the arena. I was the last one down!

If I’d only known then what I know now, I’d have been first in the queue to get signed in and would have been down there half an hour earlier! I can only describe it as an awesome, inspiring and life changing experience (cheesy I know but it was!) Apart from the first time I had to let go and come back down (I spun and hit the wall very hard!) I loved it. The height didn’t bother me, my legs were strong enough and my arms were fine. All that hard work with Clark was paying off. Not to mention the sheer determination that came from somewhere deep within me that not only could I do this but I could do it well. It truly was an awesome experience and one I am keen to repeat very soon.

So over the weekend I started thinking. If I can get over my fear of heights, if I can believe that I am now fit enough to achieve something, if I plan and work towards something specific then I can do whatever I set my mind on doing. I had an aha moment!

I’m going to train for a triathlon next year. Yep, you read that correctly! This former exercise hating and all round lazy bitch when it comes to sport is going to train properly and take part in a novice tri in Sept/Oct. Once Clark stopped laughing (actual text read ‘U do realise Merlot, Shiraz and Rose doesn’t count as one!’) he reminded me that ‘Anything is possible if u are committed.’ Well, I am committed.

First step is to get back into a swimming pool and practise 200m front crawl breathing properly to the side every 3 strokes. I used to be able to do it but haven’t tried for years. Might need to find someone who knows a bit about swimming to help me out *whistles innocently* but I’m game.

I know it won't be easy but then anything worthwhile is never easy.  Will it be awesome, inspiring and life changing?  You betcha! :-) x


John Kynaston said...

Go for it Ali. What a great new challenge. Do you have one in mind?

If you need some help with your swimming I'd be happy to help.

Congrats on climbing the wall. Next time you'll have to post a video so we can all applaud.

Subversive Runner said...

Cool! Not sure about the 'train properly for' bit, though.xxx

Kaz said...

Go Ali! Go Ali! I reckon you'll do just great!

So glad you enjoyed the climbing - it is really a satisfying sport.


jo_robertson said...

fantastic Ali I'm totally in awe x

Debbie Martin-Consani said...


Shoot for the moon and you'll fall among the stars.

I would love to do a tri. Got the running and almost the swimming bit sorted.

If you want to try some indoor cycling, Marco will lend you his rollers. And I'll video it :-)

Debs xx

Vicky Hart said...

Ace! You're braver than me! I don't think i could climb that wall, never mind even think about a triathlon.
Well done.

Keith Hughes said...

Reckon if they had a better name I might do one.. Just reckon it should be a Do-Athlon, not Try-athlon.. You will DO IT !!

Fiona Rennie said...

A woman with a goal, there is nothing that you can't deal with to reach it. xxx

Anonymous said...

"Awesome, inspiring and life changing"?

The banner wasn't talking about the climbing centre - it was talking about YOU!

It forgot the word "amazing" however....

Anonymous said...

I am a qualifies swimming coach if you fancy any tips just "yell".