So tomorrow, its been exactly 4 months since I ruptured my achilles and Im happy to say that Im nearly there. In saying that, i still have limited movement in my right foot and Im still wearing heal lifts and I cant go longer than an hour of activity without icing but nonetheless, I am on the mend.
It has been a long and arduous injury. I keep saying to people, if you wanted to inflict an injury on someone you didnt like, you would consider an achilles injury, but you would think up something else as this injury is one of the cruelest of them all. Even my wife says, its the only time she wishes I had just broken my leg which would have been healed in 6-8 weeks.
As it is now, I have not been able to drive til a few days ago and I havent been able to just get around and do the things that I normally do. As you may know, we live on a farm and there are always things to do, and lying around on the couch or in bed watching the pool go green, or seeing trees that have fallen down and need cutting up and fencing that needs doing, it has been one of the most frustrating things of my life.
With all that’s happened and my venting, I have to say that this injury has been a bit of an eye opener, as Ive said in earlier posts, I have learned to appreciate things more and even slow down my thinking a bit. In doing so, I have been less annoyed by the kids and more patient, Ive been able to sit back and watch what’s happening before just jumping in and reacting to minor scuffles. Im not perfect but this past 4 months has helped.
So 2017, what will this year bring. Im not really about New Years resolutions, I am goal driven, but I dont like to use the NYE line in the sand to direct where Im going or what Im going to do, as these generally last a few weeks. Of course Ive got some fitness goals. Im not getting any younger. I have to be careful of the middle age spread! I am going to give gluten a wide berth this year and see how that goes (I started in 2016 – for the record) Every year I do set out to read more. I know that when I read, I always love it and love sharing what I read to people who dont… There’s a blog article a week there!
Anyway, I wish all of you a very happy and fulfilling 2017 and hope that you can set some short, medium and long term goals that help you as a person. Dont worry if you feel you’re not achieving them or if things are going slower than anticipated, just keep putting one foot in front of the other and push on!
So tomorrow, its been exactly 4 months since I ruptured my achilles and Im happy to say that Im nearly there. In saying that, i still have limited movement in my right foot and Im still wearing heal lifts and I cant go longer than an hour of activity without icing but nonetheless, I am on the mend.
In 1982, at the age of 7, I was given a rubik’s cube for a present. I think I might have seen the first Rubik’s cube world championship on TV earlier that same year, sparking my interest in it. But with no real knowledge on how to solve it, I think, like many other kids at the same time (or not), took the easier route by removing the stickers and placing them in the right location instead of actually solving the cube or working it out. Unfortunately the stickers were not very adhesive after being removed, and thus the Rubik’s cube was relegated to bottom of my toy box where all the other dysfunctional toys awaited their final trip to a landfill.
Now let me Introduce my friend Matt, whom I met many years later (1998), and who, lets say is a bit of a gadget’s man, and when moving into a share house we had in Geelong had a Rubik’s cube. I cant remember if Matt had ever solved the cube at that stage, but I do remember us spending time trying to solve it. Ive only just learnt that there was a book called ‘You can do the cube’ by Patrick Bossert, that could have helped us all those years ago, but that is the past.
So here we are now nearly 20 years later and another generation of kids born and again a Rubik’s cube has arrived in someone’s stocking last year and the circle completes itself. But this time we are armed with the internet. Mr Rubik and many other people have created websites devoted to helping people solve the cube by simply following a series of algorithms to solve the puzzle, as easy as that! Now, like everything else, its about learning the method of solving it and then practicing until you can beat the current world record holder who solved the Rubik’s cube in an amazing time of 5.25 seconds… Here is a little youtube clip you might like…
But as for me, all I wanted to do was solve it, and that’s just what I did… Unfortunately I’d lost my stopwatch, but who’s counting! 🙂
There is nothing like an injury or illness that sits you fair and square on your arse with hours of thinking time. Time to reflect about who you are, and what you’re doing, and who is important in your life.
This has been my lot for the past month. Where I ruptured my achilles tendon, and have had not one but two surgeries, and have a few weeks/months still ahead of me til Im up and about, fully mobile again.
As you may have grasped by now, Im a bit of a do-er. I like to get things done. The old saying goes, if you want something done, ask a busy person, well that ‘busy’ person is me. Busy in thoughts and busy in actions. Actually, I hate the term ‘busy’… because you can get ‘busy’ doing anything, you can be ‘busy’ watching tv every day of your life, but I assure you that’s not me. I think with me, it was the fact that one day a long time ago, someone decided to put me in a ‘box’ or pigeon hole me and said that you will be like this and there is nothing you can do about it. I have been determined, completely, on the subconscious level, not to be bound by what others say is my lot or destiny in life. I have wanted to live every day to the full. Mind you this has come at a cost, which I have slowly been realising over the past 12-18 months. But, I think everything you want in life comes at a cost; it can be monetary, it can be time, it can be a divorce. Its like we always have to sacrifice something to have something else. You want a big house, you work your tail off, to work more hours to get more money. You want to work overseas, this comes at a cost of missing your family and friend, the list goes on…
For me, the cost has been ‘enjoyment’. I have forgotten what it is like to enjoy life, to enjoy and be in the moment, of getting to a place of peace, where I can sit back and relax. I think this is partially because I always have so many little projects Im working on, so even though one thing gets finished I need to then focus more of my efforts on something else and then I take on more projects.
Last night, I was sifting through some photos that I have saved on my computer, that I NEVER do! We literally have thousands of photos of our life on the computer, that once they are taken they are loaded on the computer and never seen again. But last night, I spent probably 2 hours going through looking at our family and how much it has grown over the past 10 years! 10 YEARS, its nearly a quarter of my life. I started to see my kids again and who they were back when they were little and it made me sad. Not because I wasnt home with them, or away working often, but because I dont know if I have ever really been there! Does that sound strange? I feel like I have almost no memory of the times when I nursed them out of hospital or took them to school for the first time or helped them learn to ride a bike etc. I feel like saying… but but, Ive done all of this so that they can have a better life, well some of this maybe true, but what constitutes a ‘better’ life, is it more things, is it more experiences, is it a big house, or new t-shirts each week? Who bloody well knows anymore? Life has become so ‘busy’ (there’s that word again) that we dont have any time for anything, we have to plan fucking play dates for our kids! When all that used to happen, was we walked over to a friends house and knocked on the door and asked… can Matt come out to play? What happened to life that made us too occupied to be in the moment? It makes me sad, very sad.
So, what does this mean and how is it going to change my life? How am I going to learn from this? I want to say that I am going to slow down a bit, I want to say I am going to take up meditation and go all alternative therapies, but you know what, Im not going to do anything like that. I am just going to get back into the moment, and I am going to appreciate my family and the people around me every day and go from there. Thanks for reading!
I have to admit, I’m a bit of a thinker. Some would say that I’m an ‘ideas man’, others might say a bit flighty, or even that I’m going through a bit of a renaissance, and maybe even a midlife crisis. Maybe I have to agree with them?
In my short 40 something years, I have gone through a few phases, nothing too extreme… I haven’t been a vegan or a vegetarian, I haven’t taken a sabbatical or gone on a pilgrimage to some exotic spiritual place… but I did go through a christian phase which lasted, let’s say around 15 years… Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m completely done with christianity but, I’ve stopped regularly attending church and all the things that go with the ‘church’ life.
Now I don’t want to offend any christians or devalue religion’s place in society as a result of my experience, but I do have some concerns about the modern day religion and its hold on humanity, and how it limits what we as humans could really achieve, if we weren’t so inwardly focused. When you become a christian, you start from a very weak baseline, you are told in many ways that you have sinned (even little kids) and that you have to repent and give your life to Jesus, and all the people who haven’t, now, and throughout history have gone straight to hell!
Now, I’m not declaring here and now that I am an athiest, as I do still believe there is something out there, that is greater than you and I, that does keep the universe and the galaxies beyond, in perfect harmony, but I do want to take a reality check on the whole situation. And after speaking with my friend Adam today, thought I would put it on paper before I lose thought.
I know what I’m about to say may be mocked by scientists, and religious zealots alike, but I think it’s worth putting it out there. So, I’ve been thinking about how the world works, over the last few years and how everything is too convenient. Everything is too perfect. Our amazing planet rotates at the perfect speed around a heat source (the sun) and gives us seasons (except if you live in Melbourne :)) that allow us to grow trees that help us to breath by carbon dioxide being absorbed into trees and giving off oxygen. And we grow and make food that provides energy to our bodies, and we have a food chain that has a natural hierarchy… All this and it happens by accident… or does it??
I have never studied Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution (maybe I will in the future), because in the christian world, to side with or agree with Charles Darwin, is to side with satan himself, and this would make you a non believer and destined for hell. But the more I think about it, the more the theory of evolution is ok. Whilst I do not personally believe that I descended from apes, because if we did, then how are there still apes running around? But if that is what some scientists believe, then fine. The fact that Charles Darwin and every scientist who has ever lived has been curious into who we are, how we got here, the natural world and the worlds beyond, should be considered a good thing, shouldn’t it? Shouldn’t we as humans, with an amazing brain and curiosity be able to explore and challenge our existence? Shouldn’t we have the right to fearlessly be the best we can be? What is wrong with that? I want to say, at least Charles Darwin and other scientists weren’t charging across Europe killing non believers for the sake of their theory, as certain people did in the crusades years ago.
It really upsets me when I see really brilliant people start attending church, and then spiral down a slippery slope of self doubt and inferiority, and never achieve what they want to achieve because they are told that what they are doing is not God’s will… It’s shameful, and it’s not just restricted to christianity, I’m sure.
So with that said, one of the main reasons I wanted to write this post is to share with you a theory I have, which probably goes against the christian theory too, so here goes:
Imagine if, the world as we know it, ruled by an external life force has us all on a time loop. Everyone knows that the world is two thirds under water, and only a third being above the water which is the land we live on. Now we’ve probably almost been to every square corner of the earth above ground, but apart from a few marine scientist who have been exploring beneath the oceans and making new discoveries, one thing is certain, the ocean is still an absolute mystery.
So my theory continues… the world is an organism and allows us (humans and animals) to be here on the planet and carry out what we do. Remember nothing that is on earth can leave earth (except by spaceship) and nothing except heat and the occasional meteor makes its way into the planet from outside, suggesting to me that everything we do on this planet happens in cycles. As we dig up minerals and use them for our own needs, they eventually end up back in the ground under tonnes and tonnes of fill such as landfills or tip sites.
Now, humans and animals also need water to drink and grow food, so there must always be a source of water to ensure that everyone on earth can drink and grow food. As the population increases it is my theory that the Arctic and Antarctica release water into the ocean and atmosphere which inevitably becomes fresh water and part of the weather cycle, providing always just enough to sustain us. As the population increases so too does the melting of the polar caps until we reach a point of equilibrium, or we have the maximum amount of life on earth that the earth can sustain in food and water.
I think at some point, we as humans do something catastrophic to our planet. Be it, altering the climate too significantly (climate change (underway)), killing ourselves with nuclear weapons or just plainly become extinct as a result of over consumption, having used up the natural resources available to us that bind the planet together and keep us balanced. Regardless of the event, our planet ultimately resets itself and gets rid of all life, except maybe a few, just enough to start us off again. The ‘event’ that ensues results in an overall change to the balance of the planet. A great flood covers the earth (as a result of the complete melting of the polar ice caps) as often spoken about in biblical terms with Noah, or alternatively in pagan history with Gilgamesh – see this link http://www.icr.org/article/noah-flood-gilgamesh/ for a bit of a history lesson.
After the flood, the third of the planet that we currently live on falls beneath the new ocean and a third of the ocean bed rises to form a new land mass above the ocean that ultimately becomes habitable. Thus restoring a 2/3 ocean 1/3 land mass balance. The flood waters subside and due to the reduced heat of the planet and low population the polar ice caps refreeze to form the arctic and antarctic again.
Now imagine if you have the Amazon forest (carbon rich organic matter) and all of a sudden you dump billions of tonnes of water and rock and sediment on top of it and leave it for say 10,000 years (a cycle) it is all compressed, becomes oil that then becomes the next generation fossil fuel. This is evident with coal and oil being found in both oceans and land areas.
Now, while this blog does not go on to explain all of the intricacies of my theory it does set the scene for some discussion and comments – as I said in the beginning, I’m an ideas man, so you come up with the rest! Enjoy!
As you may or may not be aware, I ruptured my achilles tendon playing tennis in early September. This has required not one but two individual surgeries due to having a fall on the same day I had my cast taken off… Agony!
This has meant that I have had to visit hospital on two separate occasions to have the repair done. Fortunately, I have only really been in hospital a few times, and my visits have been spaced over 26 years and despite the small amount of respite it gives you (from the kids) I would rather take a small holiday to some place with a swim up bar 🙂
I wanted to write this blog to tell you about the experience I have had visiting the Epworth Hospital in Richmond. The Epworth is a private hospital and seems to have the market of private hospitals in Melbourne sewn up with 12 hospitals/centres in Melbourne alone. I think the reason it is so successful is the culture. From the time I have entered the hospital to the time I have left, the level of care has been outstanding. From the level 2 reception entering the hospital to the discharge room when I was ready to be picked up and every one in between really do make for a great experience, despite the unfortunate circumstances.
During my stays on the ward, I have been thoroughly looked after, the manager/s, nurses, orderlies, cleaners and volunteers and students who come around and say hello and have a chat. Even listening to the conversations in the corridors has always been positive and courteous.
I have always said, if you want a good society, you have to care for the sick and ensure people are healthy and looked after. Often I have heard about hospitals that try and get people in and out as quickly as possible to make as much money as possible. But at the Epworth, I have not felt any pressure to be leaving until I felt well enough to. The level of care that I have received has been fantastic and really helped me get through the initial stages of this awful injury being comfortable and with a confidence and a positive attitude.
Also a big thanks to Ben and Jared who came to visit yesterday helping the time to pass with some great conversation and a game of Scrabble!
Thank you to everyone that makes the Epworth Hospital – Richmond, what it is today!
Here was my view this morning:
24 years ago (1992), I had just entered the workforce having not made it to university or really knowing what I wanted to do. I landed a job in a quarry (Axedale Sands and Gravel) just down the road from where I lived Axedale, and started as a trainee front end loader operator and labourer.
I am a hard worker and picked up things fast, as was required to hold down a job then as our country was emerging from the ‘Recession we had to have”. My job paid $240 per week, and of that I paid $32 dollars income tax and I receive my pay in a yellow envelope every week. I often had to pick it up off the ground as my boss had some power and control issues. I bit my tongue and put up with it for long enough to get the experience I needed to move on.
$200 doesn’t go far now, but back then it was enough to live on as I was living at home at that time, and unlike today having a credit card was not even a consideration. If I wanted something I would put it on lay-by or save up for it. I managed my money very carefully.
So I had been at the quarry for about 14 months when one day I went to work and started to feel some cramping in my stomach, it went on for a few hours and gradually got worse. I decided after a while to take myself to the doctor, who pressed and prodded for a few seconds and then told me to pull my pants down, and roll over in a ball, while he put on his rubber glove… Sure enough, I had appendicitis and then proceeded to take myself to the hospital as ordered by the doctor to have my appendix removed.
Back then, as part of a low paying job in Australia, you receive 8 days sick pay which was cumulative, therefore I had accrued about 9 days over the 14 months, as I am fortunately not sick very often. I also had some holidays that I hadn’t taken which gave me a further 4 weeks of pay. My job required me to do a lot of physical activity and therefore having my appendix removed meant that I was unable to perform my regular job and could not go to work. On doctors orders, I had to take 6 weeks to recover until my scar healed. Fortunately for me my expenses were low at the time and I was able to get by with my holiday pay and my sick pay, which meant I only had 1 or 2 days where I did not get paid.
This brings me to 1997, I had just spent nearly 12 months in Western Australia working in a gold mine where the money had increased dramatically and so had the hours I worked and obviously my skill level. I returned back to Victoria and need to submit a tax return. My friend (Ben) had been living in Melbourne for a few years and I stayed with him for a few weeks. I asked him if he new an accountant, and he had just started seeing a new guy; I made an appointment and landed on his doorstep a few days later and met Tyler Hunter a young up and coming Accountant. After the initial meet and greet, one of the first questions he asked me was, ‘do you have income protection?’ My answer was ‘what is income protection?’ He explained it as follows:
What is your most valuable asset? At that stage I didn’t have much and I said… ‘my car’ (I obviously didn’t know too much about assets either :)) he said ‘wrong’. He mentioned where I had come from in my working career, that is, the time when I was earning $240/ week and now where I was earning well over $1,000 per week and was tipped to have that keep rising. He even referred to a house and said ‘a house is worth $x dollars, but it is generally a fixed asset and is not easily liquidated (turned into usable money). He continued and said ‘we go blindly along and insure our cars and our house and contents, but fail to insure our most valuable asset which was my income, as this is the asset that we receive every week of every month of every year until we retire which steadily increases over time which is worth far more than a car, a house and its contents’ and he was right.
I should explain what ‘Income protection’ is for those of you who don’t know. Income protection is an insurance that you can buy that protects your income in the event that you are unable to carry out your usual job, as I explained above or can be for almost any form of illness, broken bones, heart attack, cancer etc etc. For instance, when I had appendicitis, I could have received my pay from my insurer for the income lost during the 6 weeks that I was in bed recovering, but instead I had to use all of my sick leave and holiday pay to meet my daily needs. Having done so, I had to forgo my holidays where I would usually relax and doing something other than work for the 4 weeks. I also had to risk getting sick again which meant I wouldn’t get paid any more until I accrued more sick leave, even if I had a dose of the flu and needed to stay at home. Income protection has many different forms and
I must admit, I didn’t take his advice there and then which was at my own risk, but a few years later, when I finished my university degree (as a mature age student) I made it a priority to get income protection. This is even more relevant when you have a family to support and the loss of your income could rapidly send you into debt if you are unable to make your mortgage, car, education daily living expenses, which mount up very quickly when you take away the most important asset… YOUR INCOME.
Whilst I don’t sell income protection myself, I would highly recommend going to see a financial planner or financial institution and speaking to them about income protection. It is not a cheap insurance, but it is tax deductible in Australia and could just save you if the unexpected were to happen. Thanks for reading!
The worst thing about an injury that immobilises you is there is no training period for using your new temporary mobility aids.
Never did I need this more than on Thursday of last week when I was given the go-ahead to commence being more mobile and take up residence on the couch, but with the aid of crutches. I had just finished dinner and organising my nephews and my kids to wash the dishes in the kitchen as our dishwasher has given up the ghost; when all of a sudden my crutches slipped on the tiles causing me to plant my right foot (injured one) on the ground to prevent the fall. As I struggled to keep myself upright, I relived the whole rupturing experience again, next thing I know, Im on the floor writhing in pain.
Fortunately, my wonderful sister Naomi (who is a nurse) was visiting, and went straight into triage mode and helped me by keeping me calm and then providing me with some pain relief and getting me back to bed.
Prognosis. I visited my surgeon on Friday – Mr William Edwards (http://www.willedwards.com/) who is fantastic, and managed to squeeze me into a late notice appointment, ordering me then to get an ultrasound to assess and prepare me for the new way forward.
Whilst this is a huge setback for my recovery, Im now clambering around to find other people who’ve had the same experience so that I can glean from their experience in the hope that I can resume a relatively normal and active life post achilles surgery. Ive even joined an achilles tendon recovery blog (https://achillesblog.com) that has other people with similar experiences. I need all the positive thinking techniques I can get as I am a bit worried about how it will turn out. So please send me all your positive energy thoughts and prayers! Much appreciated! Thanks for reading.
Im not a gym junkie or star athlete, but I do love to participate in sport. I have never pursued lessons in any of the sports, and even as a kid I was only able to attend a few sports (cricket, football and tennis) due to a lot moving around, divorce, no money and my mother failing to get her licence, until we all left home.
I played cricket for a few seasons having been able to catch the bus to Heathcote after school, and wait to be picked up after dark, when my step father finished work.
I played football for a few seasons in my adolescence due to having friends who lived close by, able to give me a lift home after training and to the games, sometimes the car was full and I missed out as there was no way of getting there.
I played tennis for a few seasons when I was about 16, til I was 18 or 19 because I was able to catch a lift to the venues by the other players, who were all in their late 30’s or early 40’s with kids of their own. The tennis courts in Axedale were just down the road so I could ride there on my bike or walk there in a few minutes.
For some strange reason sports was the lowest priority of my parents, and thus I fought ‘tooth and nail’ to do the sports I did. We used to live in a place called Barnadown on a property that my step father was managing and I played cricket in Goornong. So to play, I had to ride the 8-10 kilometres in the morning to leave my bike at the coaches place, and make sure I would beat the bus, so I could catch it en-route to school. After training I would ride my bike home with one of those dynamo powered lights which only gave light if you kept the wheels going. The roads in central Victoria back then left a lot to be desired, and so every time there was a car or truck coming I would have to pull all the way off the road to be sure they would not hit me.
To play football when I lived in Barnadown, I would sometimes ride my bike the 25 km to the venue (when we played at home in Toolleen (Mount Pleasant). I would then play in my under 17’s game then also play in the reserves and then ride home. I was super fit… I dont think I was very good, but I always liked participating in the team and even though we got flogged most weeks, I just loved playing, running around and having a kick.
When I got my licence on the 15th January 1993, (a day etched in my memory banks as one of the best days of my life), I had freedom. I could go where I wanted and when I wanted! However with my age and having just finished secondary school (year 12) I had to get a job. At that stage of my life, and with everything else on my plate, University was not an option, I didnt value education as I do now, so I drove around to different places in search for a job, with nothing more than a piece of paper with my name, address, home phone number and a couple of lines about my work at McDonalds and on a farm – that was my resume. Now this blog is not about my career from then on, what Im telling you is that I had to get a job and with no experience and no leverage, I had to take what I could get. This meant working when and where I was told.
I started work at Axedale Sands and Gravel and this job had sporadic hours and I needed the overtime, so this took priority over my sporting career (if you could call it that). I also had a girlfriend and so I made that a priority too. That was just it, sport was and never was a priority of mine or else I would have made it work. I instead chose to do paid work and that allowed me to get better at that side of things and make more money, which was, and is still a priority of mine.
The fact that sport wasnt a priority to me didnt change the fact that I enjoyed it. So in the years since getting my licence, I have played a few seasons of various sports. This was always combined with catching up with my friends and enjoying a beer or two after a game. I played a few seasons of tennis, cricket and table tennis. I also like mountain biking, rogaining – which is like competitive orienteering and hiking.
I do like to stay fit, but the days of owning a 6 pack, or caring for one for that matter are gone. I think the whole fitness industry is ridiculous to be frank. It preys on the weakness of people and causes people to cough up huge sums of money, knowing full well that unless the person is completely obsessed with fitness the rest of us are just paying for the ‘privilege’ of saying “I go to a gym”, it might be once a year but I still go.
So, we were at a friends place a few months ago now and one of the friends of our friends was telling us about playing tennis in a competition on Thursday nights. My ears pricked up! I said, ‘well if you need a fill in let me know’. He (Steve) said ‘really’? we have players pull out all the time and we have to forfeit, so be ready for a call! I was thrilled. Mind you I hadnt played tennis in a competition since ive been married which is nearly 10 years and before that maybe once or twice in a few social games with a mate. Armed with the fact that I ‘could’ be called up the following Thursday, I went a bought a racket. Sure enough the call came on Wednesday evening… ‘Owen can you play in Eltham tomorrow night?’ ‘I’m there’!
Rocking up on the Thursday night was great, I limbered up as best I could, a few little hip flex moves, stretch the quads, move the hips and arms around and I was good. We won the game that night which was great, I played a few good shots and I was back… thank you muscle memory! I continued to play for the next few weeks and was accepted as part of the regular line up. We lost a few games too and I thought, if only I got to practice some shots and watch the ball onto the racket we could win every week… white line fever… can you see it?
I caught up with another mate (Ivan) and he mentioned he’d love a hit of tennis too and so we arranged a regular fortnightly Monday night game. I rang around finding a place to play, with Ivan on one side of town and me on the other, I wanted somewhere central. So where else in Melbourne, than good old Melbourne Park, you know, where the Australian Open is played. Unfortunately centre court was unavailable and so we were ushered to one of the indoor courts with no grandstand seating. Again after a few stretches and limbering up, we were into it and decided to have a game as all men do… who is going to win bragging rights! About 4 games in and POP!!! Im on the ground rolling around in agony. Someone has just thrown a brick at my leg but turning around no one was there! I knew instantly what I had done… My right achilles!
I lied on the floor of the tennis court for the next hour and twenty minutes in pain just trying to stay still and putting up with Ivan’s jokes about me being old etc… Never did I realise what this was going to mean for my life for the next 3 months and up to 6 months. If only I could take back one minute and pause for a longer drink, a rest, run around and pick some balls up, would that have changed the result. Maybe we couldnt get a court, or something else become a priority… but no, it had happened and I am lying on the floor in pain, waiting to go to the hospital.
Im now 14 days into my rest/recovery period which sees me not able to get out of bed til Thursday, with strict doctors orders to stay in bed 23.75 hours per day. I had surgery last Monday and Thursday is my first post operative appointment, hoping that the swelling and recovery is going to plan.
For the family this has had a huge impact, I am the primary carer for our 3 children, its my job to get them to school each day and pick them up, whilst running my business, allowing my wife to be the main breadwinner of our household. Fortunately, I have an amazing wife (Lisa) who has gone above and beyond to do the best for me and our kids while I recover. She also has a very supportive workplace who has allowed her some time off to take up the slack where we are unable to arrange care for the kids. This has made my wife’s life (hell) very stressful, which upsets me and Im sorry for, but she is taking it in her stride, which is great.
Ive been waited on hand and foot for the past 14 days, which is something that I could never get use to. I have so much to do for my kids, my new business, my work and around the house which is going to have to wait while I recover, however long that may be, much to my dismay, but I will be back! I dont really know yet what to tell people yet for how to avoid this type of injury, but when I do, i’ll let you know! Thanks for reading!
The past few years for an Essendon bombers fan have been, lets say hard to bare. This is in reference to the supplements scandal that has taken the life out of, what was an amazing and successful football club.
For those of you who dont know, we are going to talk about Australian Rules Football (AFL) in this post… I’ll embed a link to a game at the end for your viewing pleasure…
Now, I have barracked for the ‘Bombers’ since 1978 when I was about 4 years old visiting my nana in Vera Court, Dandenong, and remember vividly that she used to stick a Bombers sticker to her letter box every year – probably free out of the Herald Sun on a Saturday. I remember going and checking if the sticker was still there every time we’d visit Nana. Remember this sticker?
Well this sticker is what made me as a 4-5 year old follow the Bombers til this very day. The ‘plane’ insignia was enough to get me hooked. I had and still have a fascination with planes (as a lot of boys do), but it was enough to have me throw down the navy blue beenie and jumper (Carlton) my dad tried putting on me at the same time. It was my Nana and I, and it was our thing. I was then able to brainwash one of my brothers and now my kids into being Bombers fans too.
Lets say, I’ve backed a pretty good team, and whilst we weren’t successful in the late 1970’s, we dominated the 1980’s, well I like to say that… where we won 2 premierships (84 & 85) and runners up in 83. The Bombers have won 4 premierships and been runners up 3 times since Ive been around, not to mention making finals a total of 23 times (thanks wikipedia). Some other clubs havent made the finals once in 50 years… but we wont go there and open up wounds for other readers…
So every year since Ive been able to, Ive made my way with some mates and now my children to the football to watch a few games. Im not fanatical by any stretch, but I do like to go to a few games a year and watch it on TV or in a pub too. Its a chance to yell at the top of my lungs and get behind my team – although my kids give me plenty of opportunity for that… 🙂
With the football season also comes the ‘other’ fun things about football, like footy tipping and fantasy football like Supercoach or Dreamteam – I think if the amount of time people spend on these three activities could be harnessed and focussed into one activity, we could actually build that fast train between Melbourne and Brisbane… :).
I personally have ran a few tipping competitions over the years and also dabbled in Supercoach for a few years which has been great as it allows you to really get to know some of the players from other clubs. Although, sometimes tipping in the footy with the focus being – winning money at the end of the year, has its flaws, you can end up not being happy if you’ve not backed your team to win and they get up! Conversely, you might pick your team to win every week and find yourself on the bottom of the tipping ladder very quickly!
GLOAT ALERT – you know… I did win, not 1 but 2 footy tipping competitions in 2007, netting me about $1200 for the year… although, its been a long time since those glory days now…
But this year – 2016 – has seen me barely participate in any form of football activity for the whole year! No footy tipping, no Supercoach and I have only been to 1 game of football (Essendon V Carlton – where we did win) for the whole season. This was due to most of the Bombers players being suspended for the whole year! This has been a result of the relentless pursuit by the media to bury people within the Essendon football club and to get a story – its been horrible and lasted over 4 years. I have it on good authority that there were several other clubs ready to be exposed for similar drug and supplements they were taking, but unfortunately Essendon was first, and with the fallout of the scandal sent the rest of the clubs to ‘rethink’ their declarations.
Despite having a bad year, where we only managed to win 3 games for the season, it has worked out ok for us. We have first round draft picks that we would never ordinarily get, as we NEVER finish on the bottom of the ladder and we have most of our players returning for the 2017 season, we have a new coach in John Worsfold, who has done a great job this year with a young and inexperienced team.
I love watching Australian Rules Football, its a great opportunity to have a few beers with my mates and continue sledging other teams all in the name of some fun. Im looking forward to the 2017 footy season and getting back into following my team again.
So at the start of this post, I suggested I would embed some footage of a game (courtesy of Youtube). Now I originally wanted to put in the biggest come back in AFL history between Essendon and North Melbourne in 2001, but I think this ANZAC day clash against Collingwood is a sweeter victory! Enjoy!
Hi there, just thought i’d drop a line to give you an update of my life as a stay-at-home-dad, because it has now been nearly 19 months and amazingly, Im still here!
Well, the past 19 months have been fantastic. When I say fantastic, I haven’t said ‘easy’, or ‘a walk in the park’, or ‘without its challenges’. In truth it has been exhausting, thrilling, rewarding, sad, lonely, frustrating and emotional, to use a few adjectives. Im not saying I use each of these feelings every day, but on the whole, it is a roller coaster ride that I’m learning to endure and roll with (no pun intended), knowing that (sometimes)’ every day’ is a new day.
I still have 3 amazingly different children with whom I love and a very loving and supportive wife. I have days when nothing seems to get in my way and I get heaps done, and others when nothing will go as planned. Being a project manager, I like to solve problems and get a solution or outcome, but Im learning that some days it’s better to let things go and fight the battles I can win. I heard or read something once where the person said ‘I make my bed as soon as I get up each morning, at least then I know I’ve accomplished something for the day’. As simple as it may be, I started doing this every day too and it does help, particularly being someone who is driven by writing a comprehensive list of things to do and ticking them off as I go.
I have to say, one of the hardest things I deal with on a daily basis is the social aspect of this role as it is often a lonely job. I am a dad who takes 2 of my 3 kids to school each day. I have done so for 19 months and unfortunately being a male, in a generally female dominated area, has its challenges. If I was a woman (mum) and took my kids to school, it would be nothing to stop and have a conversation with another mum and talk about what I was doing for the day, ‘oh and I have half an hour free this morning, lets grab a coffee’. But unfortunately being a man (dad), Im alienated from being part of this social aspect of being a stay at home parent. I understand the perception that a man and woman, who are both in committed relationships going for a coffee, could be frowned upon and get front page in the school gossip column, but sometimes it would be just nice to have some adult/friendly conversation during the day on purely a platonic level…
Watching my children getting a bit older has been a real blessing. I get to listen to them read, do maths problems and work them out, watch them try and succeed (and sometime fail) at their sporting or extra-curricula activities and see them explore and work out where they fit into their little world, it is great! When my older 2 children were young, I spent a lot of time away, late at the office, leaving early in the morning and only really seeing them (to be honest) for about 45mins – 1 hour per day. Enough to say good morning… and then bathe them and put them to bed in the evening. I missed out. But with my youngest one, I get to see him throw his first massive tantrum (terrible 2’s) experience gravity with his food (yes, it drives me nuts) and be defiant and push the boundaries (and my buttons) but that’s just it, I get to see it!
In reflection, over the past 9 years, we have had every form of child minding available, we’ve had nannies, aupairs, baby sitters, mothers-in-law, child care, day care, after school care… with the aim of providing some financial security for our children and our future. But in the end, all our children want is time with us, and to have us (parents) around. I highly recommend, if you can work it, and do away with some creature comforts, take a step back, and have at least one parent home with your kids at all times (even dads). You will never regret it. A wiser person than me once said, ‘on your death bead, you will never wish you had worked more…’
So all in all the past 19 months has had its challenges, but its a time that I will always remember and time that I will never get back!