Juneathon 2017, Day 30 (Part 2) – I did it!

I did it!

I completed the whole of Juneathon. That means that every day in June I both exercised and blogged about exercising.

I was hoping to finish Juneathon off with some spectacular feat. I hadn’t worked out what it would be, but I really wanted to see this month off with a congratulatory pat on the back. I suppose I did really. I might not have walked very far on the last day of June, but it was by far the hardest day of the month to complete. Mentally I was in full “nope” mode. I felt so upset by the world and so distraught and scared that moving out of bed, even to go to the toilet was nigh on impossible. So the fact that I pushed myself to complete 3,000 steps is something I think I can be proud of.

I really love Janathon and Juneathon. This year there don’t seem to be many people taking part and even fewer who stayed the course. One thing I enjoy is that fact that the achievement is entirely personal. Some participants complain if they only complete a 3 mile walk, but for me that is a great day and I can reflect that in my blog posts.
It gives me a big health boost to exercise every day for a month. But it is also one heck of an energy drain. I don’t have enough energy to do anything else. Life doesn’t continue around the exercise. What you see me write about is generally all I’ve done. Essentially, if I continued blogging throughout the year nothing else would ever get done.

So, I’ll say goodbye for now.
And I’ll talk to you again in January x

Total Steps: 233,126
Daily Average number of steps: 7,771
Minutes Swimming: Lots ๐Ÿ™‚
Yoga: 40 minutes
Dancing & Stepping: 20 minutes
Stretching: 30 minutes
Dumbbell lifts: 400

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Juneathon 2017, Day 29 – Dentist Day

 

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Today I visited the dentist for the first time in over three years.

I’m not particularly scared of going to the dentist, but my inability to walk easily and bouts of agoraphobia meant that I just never got around to going. Plus, although I qualify for free dental care on the NHS due to my low income, I was having to pay for it, because trying to get an NHS dentist is nearly impossible. (I waited for 6 years in Inverness before I got wind of a practise that had an availability.) This time it was my sister who tripped over the NHS slots and grabbed one for me.

I very nearly didn’t get there. Mentally during the last few days I’ve been in the doldrums. Not feeling really bad, but not quite right either. I’m always amazed at how being in a poor mental state can make everything physically more difficult too. My legs ache more, my body just niggles at me. And that was what it was like today: I virtually crawled out of the door to walk to the bus stop.

But, I did get to the dentist. And it was a relatively pain free experience.
I had a bit of a panic attack trying to get into the building as I’d never been before. But having scouted it all out beforehand using Street View on Google Earth I knew exactly where I was going and which door I had to enter. On the first pass, as I said, I lucked out. I didn’t have quite enough “bravery” momentum to get me through the door and I carried on walking instead. But I got in on the second try.

One of the worst things for me is that dentists invariably will tell you off for your poor dental hygiene. This is especially bad for someone dealing with my mental health issues because I’m paranoid that if I don’t do things correctly then someone will come along and kill me. Don’t ask me who, I’ve no idea. My brain is totally bonkers. Actually, I’m glad that it’s never formulated a massive conspiracy theory as to the precise nature of the people that are going to come and kill me, because then it would be far harder for me to dismiss it.
Normally I don’t have to put up with that little voice screaming at me to “be good”. Normally… unless I get stressed. And dentists stress everybody out, right?

But this dentist was lovely. I mentioned that I had mental health issues and his posture changed, ever so slightly. I thought “uh oh, here we go. He’s either going to talk to me as if I’m an imbecile, or his eyes are going to flit warily between myself and the door the whole time.” But I was pleasantly surprised. He told me clearly what he was going to do and why and not once did he castigate me for not brushing often enough.

Upon emerging I was very happy. I have a tooth that needs filling. But more importantly I wasn’t scared of returning.
I was unfortunately worn out from the whole encounter. So why I then decided to walk home is a bit of a mystery. Because it’s good for me I suppose.
I enjoyed the walk. But it took aeons because my legs felt like lead and my brain had gone just a little bit off kilter from the whole “dentist” thing.

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In the dunes

I even took a short detour into the dunes. I haven’t been along this little boardwalk before.

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Looking over to Mumbles

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Swansea’s tallest building

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Hmm…

It took me a little while to work out why there were loudspeakers strung along the beach. At first I thought that they may have been left over from last week’s half marathon. And then I remembered that it’s the Airshow on Saturday and Sunday. If all goes well with the weather we’ll be treated with displays by the Red Arrows and a variety of other magnificent flying machines. For today though, we’ve got a line of speakers on the sand playing tinny music.

Not a bad day at all ๐Ÿ™‚

Dentist Day: 3 mile walk home
Steps Taken: 11,210
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Juneathon 2017, Day 28 – To streak or not to streak

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That building near my house; it’s just so creepy.

I couldn’t get myself to exercise today. So instead of trying too hard I decided to do some sewing instead.

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It was a quick top to make. But all told it took about 5 hours from printing off the pattern to finishing. It’s the “Free Spirit Tank” by Patterns for Pirates, one of the new wave of independent clothing pattern designers.

Years ago you’d buy a pattern from one of the “Big 4”: Simplicity, Vogue, Butterick and McCalls. In the little packet that you’d buy would be a massive sheet of paper with the pattern printed on it and a not so massive sheet with instructions. The massive pattern sheet was the flimsiest paper imaginable. Think tissue paper. So, one wrong move and the pattern could be torn to shreds. And the instructions assumed that you had the competence of a sewing god. Which I am not. Add to that the fact that I’ve never been in the size range of most of the patterns and you have a recipe for disaster.

And then I tripped over this new wave of pattern designers. They’re much more my cup of tea (even though I don’t like tea) (although I do periodically enjoy iced-tea, so I suppose that counts). Anyway, they’re far more user friendly for the beginner like myself andย some of them realise that we large ladies would like to have clothing that fits too.
Gone are the days when I would be tearing my hair out trying to work out the vaguest of instructions. Instead, because the patterns I buy are downloadable PDF files, brevity isn’t an issue. You’re walked through each step with photos and clear instructions. And if you still can’t figure out what to do then there are Facebook groups where you’re free to ask as many questions as you need. Or, in my case, to spend hours lusting after other peoples’ designs.

The top I made takes some people half an hour. It took me 5. It takes others that long as well. My brain just can’t handle doing the whole thing in one go and I have to take time out to sit, chill and try not to worry too much. That’s how it goes. As long as I have something nice at the end, I don’t care. My brain and I are used to one another’s foibles.

Oh, and boy did I get something nice when I finished.
It doesn’t look like much on the hangar, but when it’s on it looks stunning.

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I suppose I did do some rolling around on the floor when I taped the pattern together, and then again when I cut the material out.

I must have done more moving about than by this time yesterday because I’d reached nearly 2,500 steps. And that then spurred me on to reach my daily step goal. I’ve hit an unprecedented streak of 61 days. I wasn’t going to let a mere 500 steps break that. So I decided that the streak must go on and that I had to head outside for 250 steps and then walk back.
It worked! The streak is still going ๐Ÿ˜€

And now I’m away to lift some dumbbells before midnight.

To streak or not to streak Day: Reached daily step goal, 200 dumbbell lifts
Step Count: 3,423
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Juneathon 2017, Day 27 – Brangwyn

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One of the Brangwyn Hall doors

Today was a bust.
By 10:30pm I’d not even reached 1,000 steps.

But I had forced myself to find my dumbbells and do some bed weights: lifting 7kg up and down whilst lying in bed. I haven’t done it for a while simply because I didn’t know where the dumbbells were. I may have moved over 3 months ago, but I’m still not unpacked. It took a bit of rummaging around and careful lifting of various boxes, but I finally found them nestling in the bottom of one of my still unfilled bookcases behind a wall of boxes.
It was worth humping the weight up and down. My left shoulder was quite tense at the start, but by the end was nicely at ease. And I could feel the burn at the end of the 200 repetitions. As always though, the pumping of iron had pumped my blood around more effectively than normal and my feet were on fire. Cue a quick, cold foot bath.

Having gone for a nap, I felt refreshed enough at 10:30 to go for a quick wander around the block to raise my step count to my minimum goal of 3,000 steps.
I made it to the Brangwyn Hall. It was built in 1934 and subsequently used as the council offices for Swansea for many years. The building is one I frequently walk past, being along the shortest path between my house and the sea. With its ornate screen doors, bright Portland stone facade and simple but sharp lines, it is an impressive and beautiful building.

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Brangwyn Hall

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The Brangwyn Hall clock tower

I reached my step goal just as I stopped taking photos.

Time for bed. And hopefully a more productive day tomorrow.
Nรดs Da

Brangwyn Day: Quick walk to Brangwyn Hall and back, 5 x 20 dumbbell lifts
Steps Taken: 4,436
Difficulty Level: Moderate

 

Juneathon 2017, Day 25 – Nipping out for a nano

Today I thought that I could try to find my nearest unfound Geocache in order to add some steps to the day. It’s less than 1km as the crow flies from my house. And it’s a “Church Micro“. This is a series of caches in Britain all set up near churches. They’re generally tiny little containers that are micro in size. Loads of different cache owners across the country maintain their own church micros. This particular cache was the 5,895th church micro to be published, back in 2014. As with all things geocaching related, there are loads of statistics related to Church Micros, which I’m trying desperately not to bore you with right now. I have now found 73 Church Micros, which is a lot less than the person currently topping the ranking at 5,839 finds.

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Pantygwydr church, Swansea

I found the cache relatively easily once I’d found the church. And I thought that I’d have a wander up and down the nearby roads to increase my step count and generally have a nosey around before heading back home.

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Brynmill Park

At one point I spotted Brynmill Park in the distance and decided to head there for a short sit down.

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Fuschias

When I arrived at my new home back in April I was greeted by a lot of plant pots with dead looking things sticking out of them. I’ve since found out that I am now the proud owner of a red and white fuschia. It’s nowhere near as lovely as this beauty. It’s currently only sporting 3 flowers. But you never know, I may manage to keep it alive and next year it might have 4 or 5.

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My Geocaching “Finds” map

And last, but not least, here is a map showing all of my “smilies” in the Swansea area. Now that I can walk again I’m going to slowly try to turn all of those marks into smiley symbols. But perhaps I’ll leave that group to the north east for a while. Some ridiculous cacher went and put them on a massive hill that I’m still not capable of walking around!
*grumble, grumble*
*grumble*
Ach! It’s only annoying because that cacher is my sister. Yes, we’re all at it: the Old Trout shoves stuff out in hedges up in Yorkshire, my sister and her husband are seldom seen out of their “geocaching room” stocked full of plastic delights and half-painted camo containers, and I complete the triad by erm… what do I do exactly?… hmm… I write a lot of nonsense online.

Nipping out for a nano Day: Wander around the Uplands
Steps Taken: 8,129
Difficulty Level: Easy

Juneathon 2017, Day 24 – A Barbeque


Today I had one of the Sprats over and we had a barbeque. This was because I’d some sausages that desperately needed cooking and because I couldn’t face any activity more strenuous than chucking bits in a box and wandering outside to cook.

I awoke this morning to a little bit of a headache and legs which refused to work. It reminded me of how they were a few months ago. It took a full 5 minutes to get out of bed and to the bathroom. They didn’t hurt, there just wasn’t any power in them.

I can’t say that I’m surprised. I flipping danced last night. Only to one song. But I think I remember jumping up and down at one point. As this is something that has been impossible for the last 3 years it came as quite a shock. My poor knees didn’t know what hit them. Especially as after the jiggling about I also walked the mile home.

I would have done some weights today in lieu of walking, but the youngest sprat has been here, expecting my undivided attention. And as an Aunt I feel it is my duty to spoil my niece and nephew rotten whilst I can and give them valuable life lessons and words of wisdom in the process.


“Dinner tastes better when it’s cooked outside.”

“A little bit of rain won’t kill you.”

“Don’t hold the tongs like that, or you’ll drop the saus… oh.”

“Stop waving that flaming stick in my face, it’s hot.”

“Don’t puggle your nose with the tongs!”

“See what happens if you start jiggling whilst I’m stirring the pot?!”


All in all a very easy way of amusing   the sprat for 4 hours. The highlight was definitely the baked bananas we had for desert. I think she was most impressed. I may have gone up a notch in her estimation with those wonderful delights. I certainly went up a notch in my own estimation. They were amazing. Why have I never had them before?!

A barbeque day: 1 mile walk

Steps Taken: 7,356

Difficulty level: Easy