As Friday go, this last one was superb.
After a week of reading, learning , training and finding the lay of the land at my new job at Your Money Is Important To Us, Inc, I was looking forward to this morning most of all.
See, Friday is running morning - and since I've been somewhat slack on the running front, I was looking forward to this all the more.
In my defence, the week has been hard going on a number of levels and the running has had to take a back
seat for a week, even though I know I have this Great Ocean Road Half Marathon coming up in a month. Starting the new job took a bit out of me. However, I've been making sure I've been getting a lot of walking in - around 10 kms a day knowing I wouldn't make the gym.
Thursday night I'd had a session with Pinochet, getting tortured in Pinochet's special way - which this time just happened to be reasonably heavy weights and some revolting abdominal crunches. The adult human body is not supposed to be able to support itself only on the toes and forearms with nothing else touching the floor. Add into this what I'll refer to as the 'horizontal hokey pokey'. Left foot out, right foot out, up on the right hand, up on the left hand, down on the right elbow, down on the left elbow, right foot in, left foot in. Repeat ten times, three times over. Not pleasant.
Pinochet's other favorites from Thursday night - hoiking a 12.5 - 15 kilogram dumb bell from the ground to over my head - one armed, 10 times each side, three times over. We were in the trainer's room with another trainer, a rather large, bald, intimidating fellow who would fit in well at a Hitler Youth parade a la Rolf from the Sound of Music. A middle aged man was being put through his paces by a stern looking Rolf. I looked at the weights he was pushing. He looked at mine.
"Your trainer's soft." I told him.
He replied in dulcet South African tones. "No, you're effing scary."
Rolf chipped in, "Would you say that to my face?"
I had to smile. "Of course. You're soft." And I continued shoving this mass the weight of a two year old child over my head.
Pinochet instructed me to play nicely with those less fortunate than myself.
I do enjoy this light-hearted brinkmanship. I know I push what's referred to as 'boy' weights. I like being strong...It's rather nice to stand there and be a little intimidating - not that I am - but I like the feeling.
The other occurrence which threw me out this week was dream group. My dream this time round. A dream of an old boss who would give David Brent a run for his money in the people management stakes, his only saving grace being he was very switched on when it came to computers. A dream where he and I were getting on well. There was a baby in the dream too, well fed but it wasn't really nurtured, and this guys plain, pretty accountant of a wife. Then this rather disturbing bit about picking large, ugly lemons rotting on a vine (or maybe they were custard apples) - but it was this bit of the dream that got to me.
Regardless, after an hour of some really intense conversation where a part of my life never discussed came up, I left dream group feeling like my psyche had been given a once over with an industrial cheese grater and the instructions to wear lots of blue and be nice to myself.
Wednesday night one of the rare nights when I come home from dream group and wished that there was somebody around to give me a cuddle - which considering the last time anybody held me was years ago, I had to find another way to cope and not dwell on this desire. Resisting ice cream, chocolate, alcohol - not wanting to numb the emotions, I just had to feel, and cry and weep and process. And feel, cry, weep and process I did. As dream group reactions go, this was a big one - but necessary - cleansing and affirming. I made it to bed well after one, cried out, but at peace.
On the Thursday, dutifully wearing a pair of blue knickers and blue top went to work - and went shopping at lunchtime for something I've been coveting for a while. This wasn't a compensation present. This was a reward for all the hard work. A gift to myself for the work that is being done. A gift to mark a milestone that came out in dream group the night before.
I'm a collector of Pandora jewellery - I have been since before it was really popular. I walked away with the Tree of Life bead and earrings, their power resonating with me as walked back to the office, wallet moaning, but happy.
Anyway, back to Friday morning and running. For once, I was a bit early - making the 7 a.m. tram. It had started to spit as I boarded, the morning warm and close. By the time I reached the office and dropped off my bag, it was raining. Al and Den, the old workmates from Bastard Bank came out of the building as I arrived at our meeting spot.
"Should we go?" asked Den.
"Of course, the rain might pass." I said, ever the optimist.
"Looks like it might be heavy." said Den.
"Don't be a wuss. It's only water," added Al.
"And it's not cold. Besides, I need this. Mush, mush."
Friday morning's run was one of the best runs ever. An eight kilometre traipse around the botanical gardens from the far end of town. It was pelting down. Very few people were on the footpaths and trails. I tucked my glasses down my bra, the water making it impossible to see through them, thankful I'm not so myopic that I'd trip up. This was warm, driving rain - rain that had made its way down from the tropics. If you're going to run in the rain, this is the rain to do it in (fine drizzle only just trumping this).
Best of all, the three of us, all in our late thirties and early forties, made a point of jumping in EVERY puddle we could find, of which there appeared to be one every few hundred metres. The more splash the better - with points given for if you got somebody else in the process. I made the mistake as we neared the office to jump in a puddle which was deceptively deep, saturating what was already damp and everybody around me. Even better, wearing a new pair of ASICs, I felt they were appropriately christened.
This run was seriously brilliant fun.
The three of us agreed that though our time wasn't great, that was the best run we'd ever gone on. Changing and showering at the gym ten minutes later, my running clothes felt like they'd just been pulled out of the washing machine. I can't remember being so wet in ages.
It set up the day beautifully.
Later that evening, I had Jonella and Teddy - a new friend of mine and an old mate of Jonella's, came over to mine for a quick dinner and an evening of cinematic cherry popping.
See, Jonella and Teddy had never seen Donnie Darko before this evening. When I found out they'd never viewed this masterpiece, my incredulous look had them bamboozled. Both of them had heard of Donnie Darko, but had never investigated.
Like how can you not have seen Donnie Darko? Superlative film.(Though saying this, Glen Waverley hasn't seen it either and we keep trying to make a night to see it) It's up there in my top five favourite films.
So after a meal at the local Italian pizza joint, the E Lounge - one of Melbourne's best kept secrets and home to some of the best pizza I've had out of Italy, it was back to mine for a viewing of this magnificent film, and some ice cream - being of the Maggie Beer's Burnt Fig, Honeycomb and Caramel variety.
All of this made for a wonderful day.
Jonella and Teddy left suitably perplexed and in awe of the magnificence that is Donnie Darko, their Donnie Darko cherries well and truly popped - with a view to doing this pizza and film thing regularly - the next film on the list, another favorite of mine - Krzysztof Kieslowski's "Three Colours - Blue". Another of my very favourite films and another one I can never believe when people say they haven't seen it.
All of this, the puddle jumping, the friends, the laughter, the great cinema - and of course the ice cream, made for a pretty good day all round.
Here's to more like it.