My inner child – by Blooms

This is the post excerpt.


I feel like I’ve just done a marathon! An emotional marathon.  There is so much to heal, so much still left uncovered.

I didn’t think exploring me as a ten year old would be this exhausting. 

The psychologist chipped at my wall this morning. She did a fairly good job at making a small break considering my wall is high and pretty strong. She struck a nerve, a painful one. 

So I explored my ten year old self, shed tears and came home and found this old picture of myself. 

Why had I cried so much? We had explored a memory where I was put down as the ‘little fat kid’ by my brothers friend. It was all a bit of a brief chuckle with no after thought, but his look and words clung to me for years (along with many other memories) like Velcro. 

All those little scenarios,  that made me into the self loathing adult, the hard task master that I am today. Where daily thoughts and expectations to be more, the drowning negative self talk that I can’t do anything, that I’m not good enough, that I am still fat. 

For the past 7 years I’ve worked on physical self improvement; running, entering fun runs, doing Parkrun, eating clean foods. I lost 36 kg. I am at my ideal body weight. 

Through all the trauma of my life I’ve worked hard physically but not emotionally. Both are equally important. 

Today I’m going to be extra kind to myself, tell my inner child that everything is going to be ok and keep looking ahead. 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/heal/”>Heal</a&gt;

Sunday struggles

Hi, Blooms here- finishing my Sunday.
There was a moment out cycling today that I actually forgot about my week ahead. I'm not sure if you do this, but Sunday becomes the day of dread, where a blanket of fear and anxiety about Monday suffocates the fun out of actually having a reasonable Sunday!
Today, as Sunday rolled back around again, I became aware of this thought pattern each week. It's something I've not really noticed consciously too much before. Just having this awareness separated me from 'it' and instead I chose to have a good day. I realised that I had no power over tomorrow, that I could just let it go while enjoying the here and now.

It's easy to be right in the moment on a bike. When you hill climb; the legs burn, I am choking and struggling to breathe, I'm fighting with my head that I can't climb this, then next second I'm thinking 'hey blooms!! You got this, conquer that bloody mountain' Then I get to the top and the view is amazing, a panorama of hills, farms and coral coast – an amazing blessing. Ive forgotten the burning legs, I've forgotten my worries about the future and I'm rewarded with being right where I need to be; present in this moment.

Have a great Sunday x

let’s cycle distance

This AUDAX ride is coming up in September.
I really enjoyed the 200k Get High on The Tablelands ride last month.
For minimal $$ we were treated with not only spectacular views over the tablelands, but a friendly support crew who offered up encouraging smiles while serving delicious home made cake, lollies and bananas along the way. The AUDAX culture merits itself on churning over distances rather than racing the fellow cyclist. Riding in a group is new for me however I was impressed by the teamwork, funny chatter and working out those crazy hill climbs together. https://www.audax.org.au/portal/index.php/component/eventbooking/qld/347-fnq-six-pack-2017

A constant mental struggle

Not sure if anyone can relate but I'm an extremist, I think about how wonderful life is one day and the next just how dismal it is and what the fuck am I doing here?
As an extremis, it is nothing for me to cycle 100km in one morning, do a 200km race over a day when I've just started riding a bike in the last few months.
It's nothing for me to be 105kg, eating myself silly, to be smoking a pack of cigarettes a day or giving it all up completely, to being thin.

All or nothing.

My moods are comparable to a high and low tide. I get these ideas in my head, I get excited, then I rip them down, hate on myself and my mood depresses. I'm so powerless over these moods. I'm powerless to stop the change in my head space and all I can do — day in and day out is try to ride it out .. without sitting in the festering filth of self pity.

I use to drink heavily when I had a low mood. It use to numb me and make me stop feeling pain until I could black out. Or I would get into online gaming, anything for escapism. To take me away from the struggle in my head. Or both.

Escapism only hurt me, it hindered me and made me feel worse, more pathetic. It worked only briefly , the problem was still there ready to rear its ugly head usually worse then before.

My whole behaviour patterns are now under scrutiny. I see a psychologist for trauma related incidents, I now sit with my feelings and guess what, the shitty feelings pass. Everything changes, my emotions are fluid and always evolving.
I am what I think, I don't want emotions to rule me, but somehow they still do. I have a few things that I use that really help me..

1. Have a comfort spot I can go to when I'm feeling down. Mine is my bed. It's warm, it's private and I feel safe here.

2. Exercise, as much as I'm extreme with this it all helps. Today I swam and I got out of the water and felt the sun on my skin. I felt uncomfortable as I hate exposing my body but once I had my towel around me I felt safe and able to relax in the sunshine.

3. Pause and then sleep: I hate it when I feel like shit. I use to make some poor decisions on impulse when my mood was low. Now I hit the pause button.. it's hard sometimes. I pause then I rest if I can, I try and sleep. If I can't I just give myself some time.

4. Eat. Food helps keep me sane and on a level playing field.. especially good food. It all sounds simple and I know all these things already but oh my does it help so much! Yes!

5. Give myself a break: it's ok to feel .. it's ok to be me, to have a bad day. I am my own worst enemy, a hard task master. Give it a break!

If you happen to read this, I hope it somehow helps as much as it helped me to write it.
Just for today I'm ok, I'm safe and I'm loved.

Blooms X

The Newbie Cyclist

A year ago, I was one of those people who cringed at getting on a road bike for fear of impending doom, of broken bones and of certain death! The whole idea of cycling was alien and frightening to me.
I was more than happy to throw on my runners and pound the pavement. One day I wondered why this Tour de France looking cyclist had slowed in beside me on his bike while I ran.. I tried not to notice his strong legs in Lycra and several months later we were dating. Dave found me a great first bike and suddenly I was giving this cycling thing a go, I'm not even sure how it all unfolded. My only life experience of riding a bike was a 5 speed Kmart silver special. I was ignorant that bikes could be better then that.
When I jumped on my carbon fibre second hand bike, a Malvern Star.. it was light as a feather, and it had 20 speeds. WTF!

After running a lot of distance in one of the hottest months of the year, i was told I had to rest from running as I had a bursitis in my forefoot. I didn't cope well with the news, I couldn't imagine my day to day without running. It wasn't so simple just to stop running. But when the pain became unbearable, my extreme passion for running was brought to a halt.

Suddenly bike riding saved my sanity.So I wore my runners on my bike in anticipation to run asap , I felt like Happy Gilmore with his ice hockey stick on the golfing green!

My first month on the bike was focused on staying upright, in borrowed Lycra, my hoka running shoes keeping my nerves at bay.
After that I felt more confident and like running I wanted to build up my distance and my climbing ability.

As I cycled down through the rainforest, hearing the click of gear changes, the cold mountain air through my sweat laden shirt, I fell in love with cycling. It was that simple.

I suddenly had my eye set on doing a 100km ride and a future 200km ride with 2600m elevation with AUDAX.

Give me mountains, fresh air and my awesome bike and my spirit smiles

Blooms X

Trekking solo on an Island- By Blooms

I was completely and utterly lost on this damned island. 

My eyes searched the map in confusion. 

I was deep in the shadows of the valley sunlight dappled through the green and the sun dipped silently past the trees that lined the hills above me. 

Logically, the track ahead should be visible with the reassurance of the orange arrow marker, but this time the markers were nowhere to be seen. 

I had left my heavy pack, silently telling myself to stay calm, that everything is ok, until I unexpectedly fell down an embankment. 

Dirt covered me, I could taste crunchy moist clay and I struggled to get back out of there. That’s about the moment where I lost the plot. 

The uninhabited island, sported an arduous 35km hiking track, snaking North to South weaving along the coral coast line.

I remember booking the 4 day solo journey, I was euphoric at the prospect of some time alone, a chance for self discovery and inner healing. 

It hadn’t gone well so far. 

My first day, which was the day before getting completely lost, had started off joyfully.

I waved goodbye to Gary, the boat driver who dropped me at the top of the island, ‘See you at the other end in four days, love,’

His boat disappeared from the mooring and I had a skip in my step, taking photos of the mountains, selfie with mountain, selfie with beach, selfie with forest. 

The morning trek ahead proved challenging with adapting to my heavy pack across sandy white beaches, through dense forest and river ways. 

I was surprised to reach my first camp site so quickly and with the tent erected, I boiled water in the billy, made a cup of tea and headed to the beach.

I drank my tea quickly, ate and gazed down the shoreline where beach stretched beyond into a humid haze.

There was nothing except the crashing of waves, the whistling of thick salty wind through sun craving palms and just me sitting on driftwood with hot tears rolling down my face. 

I’d never felt so alone as I did in that moment, I suddenly felt baffled as to why I was here and was overcome by an overwhelming urgency to leave the island immediately. But I knew it wasn’t possible, there was no phone reception, no second option. 

I realised at that point that I didn’t know myself at all; I hated being alone, my head careered into a collision of negativism, I hated this trip, I hated being with myself. 

That evening, I resolved that when I woke up the next day, I would walk as far as possible to the furthest campsite south in hopes of getting off the island early. 

The next morning, the day where I get lost, I walk 17km negotiating coastal rocky crags and diligently followed the orange arrow markers through forest, in and out of valleys and over mountain ridges. 

I followed the track up to a cliff side. 

The path seemed to end there, I turned 360 degrees yet the path did not continue, it stopped at the cliffs base. I finally peered up and saw that orange arrow marker gingerly pointing up the rock face. 

I silently mouthed obscenities as I eyed off the rope hanging down for me to take. 

I again had no choice but to go up, knowing I hadn’t climbed before and equally knowing I had a monster pack to carry. 

So I took the rope and wedged my feet into that cliff and climbed almost horizontally toward the top. I groaned, spat and heaved my way to the crest of the mountain and struggled into a painful stand. I was in shock of what I had just accomplished. 

Things just got more interesting from there. The walk brought me to a wide swollen river where massive smooth boulders that sported that damned orange marker pointing across the rapid flowing water. 

“Rock hopping huh,” I laughed deliriously then, this was more like boulder hopping across treacherous waters! 

I jumped to the first rock, deep water forcing its way through the wide spaces of the granite, my legs shook. I was very aware that my centre of gravity was altered. I took my time, but knew I was losing time and daylight. 

My relief of crossing the fast flowing river would be short lived, as this was the part where I got lost. 

So there was no orange marker, I lost the plot in a fit of tears, walking backwards and forwards, rubbing my head looking for a solution, struggling to get my shallow breath in check. 

I decided to switch my mobile on in hopes that I had coverage. My hands shook as I waited for the phone to finish searching. 

It felt like forever waiting for a signal. I moved around with the phone high in the air biting my lip and drawing blood. 

Then one signal bar appeared on the phone and I screamed out in shock, ‘Yes!!’

I dialled Gary the boat driver, I had responsibly placed his number in my phone before my arrival to the island. 

He answered after several rings, I could hear the football match jeers on tv in the background.

‘Hey, Gary this is .. Penny Blooms. You dropped me off here on the island yesterday??’

‘Oh yeh, I remember. How’s it going, love?’

‘Well, uh, I’m kind of lost’ my voice hoarse as I fought back tears. 

‘Sorry, the phone is really breaking up here’

‘Gary I’m lost. I’m lost! Can you hear me?’

The phone went dead and there was no reception. I burst into tears as I stretched my arm out high to try and get the signal back, but to no avail. Tears blurred my vision as I stuffed my phone in my pocket. 

I resolved to set up camp there, on the rock terrain. 

Surely someone would pass tomorrow?

I went to find small branches to make a fire. Jumping over a fallen tree, I crouched and quickly gathered a handful of wood.

I gazed back at the fallen tree.

And there it was. 

The damned orange marker! The marker nailed to the newly fallen tree had been obscured!

I staggered to my feet dropping the branches and climbed over the fallen tree to the other side. 

And there was the path! The joy of seeing that winding narrow path made me fist punch the air. 

A few moments later, the pack was on and a smile was plastered across my face as I took off into an unsteady jog for some time, the sun had melted away and the first of the stars patterned the deep indigo sky. The orange markers beckoned me forward. 

I suddenly heard a few women laughing and as I rounded the corner into a rainforest clearing, I had stumbled upon the campsite. Four ladies sitting around a campfire looked up, startled, to see me but they quickly welcomed me.

I threw off my worn out shoes and one of the ladies offered me a steaming cup of tea. I took it gratefully, the kindness overwhelmed me and tears pricked my eyes. 

I had managed to get to the bottom of the island! I was glad to sit around the campfire with them all, my limbs pulsing with aches, my shoulders burning with pain from the weight of the pack, but my head full of gratitude. 

It had only just dawned on me that I had conquered my day, even while extremely out of my comfort zone. My ability had completely outshone my lack of confidence, my determination had squashed my fear. 

I was truly capable of much more then I had ever imagined. 

The lady sitting next to me leaned in to refilled my mug telling me they had arrived today from the southern end of the island. The four became energised and bantered about the journey ahead north, the journey I had just completed. 

They had the same wanderlust and promise in their eyes, the same that I had at the start. I didn’t tell them about the obstacles, the challenges, the tears, the pain, the breathtaking experience that awaited them. They had each other and they would experience it all in their own way. 

I hugged my cup of tea knowing that physically and emotionally I had exceeded any expectation I had of myself. It didn’t matter that I didn’t enjoy my own company. The situation is what it’s meant to be, no right or wrong. 

A new chapter had been etched into my life experiences, I was no longer the same person I was the day before. Someone told me once that every obstacle is a gift. 

The island had certainly gifted me a large dose of strength and determination.

The stars shone extra bright that night, food was passed and shared, crimson sparks from the fire floated up between us, with the damp forest bearing the only witness to it all.