Archive for September 13, 2013

If you fall three times, you get back up

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“If i fall to the floor im gonna get down, i get up, i get down
And if you fall one time, you get back up
And if you fall two times, you get back
And if you fall three times, you get back up
You get down, get up, i get down”

Rapture Ruckus – No Matter what

 

 

Rapture Ruckus Website >

No Matter What – Buy on itunes >

 

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America’s Cup – Emirates Team New Zealand

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America’s Cup – Emirates Team New Zealand

I’m a novice when it comes to knowing much about this years America’s Cup that Emirates Team New Zealand are currently competing in, in San Francisco.

But sometime-somehow over the last 10 years without me noticing, the boat racing ‘look’ or ‘uniform’ suddenly become very gooood looking?  You could even call it kinda sexy!

See the promo shot of Team New Zealand below from their FB page.

 

 

Gone are the days of boat men (are they called yachties, or catamaranies?) donning their Orange/Yellow Wet Weather gear and home made knitted wool hats to head out on the boat (sorry Deadliest Catch guys, trying really not to dis your uniform, you do do an awesome amazing scary job, and I’m glad you stay nice and dry and identified easily)!

The races are being televised on TV at a time in the morning when we are getting to School and work, they are scheduled to start at 7.10am, 8.10am or 9.10am NZ time. So I’m only able to catch the replays on the news or the replays latter that night or if I still miss it streaming on TVNZ. But from the bits I have seen though so far, it’s very exciting.

In the history of the America’s cup, we have won it TWICE, first in 1995 & in again in 2000.

I remember when I heard the news that we won in 1995.  I was travelling oversea’s with my Parents at the time and we were in Castellana Grotte, Italy (on the back of the heel) when someone in our travel group came down and told us the news that New Zealand had won the America’s Cup! Woweeee.

No, we didn’t hear about the win from a Tweet, a Facebook update, or from watching it streaming live on our mobile…it was through a good old fashioned phone call someone had made home to their loved ones! (imagine that)
We had completed our touring for the day and were all sitting outside in the beautiful setting sun and toasting Team New Zealand’s very exciting win from the other side of the world.

I knew it was a BIG deal, but as we had been travelling I hadn’t really seen any of the racing or been part of any of the hype in New Zealand with skipper Sir Peter Blake and his Team New Zealand and the infamous ‘Red socks’.

Sir Peter Blake would wear his socks, a gift from his wife Pippa all through the 1995 competition every time he sailed. It became a support vehicle that New Zealanders could embrace by buying and wearing the Red Socks to encourage and support the team from home.

Our current skipper Dean Barker is very talented and doing a fantastic job.  I am super impressed that he is helming (is that a word?) his amazing hard working team at still such a young age of 41 as well as having a great history of success behind him.

The tension is building as the races progress and I can’t wait to see if the “America’s Cup is still New Zealand’s cup” – Peter Montgomery at the end of it all.  Hopefully we can reminisce again with a celebration drink in the sunshine.

Have you been watching any of the races?
Who are you backing?

Emirates Team New Zealand official Fan Page here>




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15. Laser Eye Surgery – The most Epic day with my New Eyes!

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Laser Eye Surgery – The most Epic day with my New Eyes!

Wanaka – 27th December 2012

“An Epic day in the small history of my life”

I was the only waterskier out on the lake that morning (it was still very early).
There were no other sounds, no other distractions, just me on the water.

The water was like a mirror and the air was crisp and refreshing.

I was having a sensational ski and performing not to shabbily especially as it was my first Ski of the season (which can normally be a bit rusty like).

 

Laser Eye Surgery

 

My cuts across the wake were smooth and I was laying into my turns deaper and more fluid than they had been in years.  I was pushing myself further as I felt so comfortable out on the water.
This was the best Ski I had had in YEARS!

The conditions were awesome – BUT it was my NEW EYES that Trumpted it!

1 – I could SEE!
2 – I could see really really well!
3 – I didn’t have to think about my contact lenses or the fact I couldn’t see much.
4 – The sensation of the cool crisp air rushing past my eyes and face as I sliced across the wake to the other side knowing those three things above was absolutely awesome!

In the song of the Interislander “What a way to start a Holiday” was the theme running through my mind.

This confirmed yet again, just how blessed I felt to have been able to have my vision corrected through Laser Eye Surgery.

The first time I fell off the Ski’s, it flashed through my head for a split second (squeeze your eyes tight, and try hard not to loose your contacts) and as quick as that thought came in, was as quick as it went out…as I no longer had to worry about that – yeeha, face plant it I did.

But in saying that, I did hit the decks pretty hard on that fall slamming my head – head first into the water, your eyes still get a pumpiling and when I rose to the surface my right eye wasn’t feeling too flash.

 

Laser Eye Surgery

 

My eyes were completly healed and I was cleared to now swim so that in itself wasn’t a problem.
But if I rubbed them hard whilst I slept or pushed on the eyeball without thinking about it, they felt still slightly bruised.  So I just made sure I was ‘gentle’ with them.

So I wasn’t too suprised that slamming my face head first into water at a great speed made them feel pretty battered. But this subsided and after I sat in the water for a short while bobbing up and down I was fine and we head off again.

I was so happy to be out on the water with perfect vision!

I loved my water skiing this season (even though we skied in some fairly choppy stuff, trying to make the most of what ever water we could get some days).

I flew off my Ski’s also many more times throughout the month, even more so as we were attempting it in some pretty rough stuff some days. Some times, my eyes would be a bit tender, other times they were fine.

I didn’t loose any contacts of course as I didn’t have any in them loose.
I didn’t have to scramble to find my glasses once I got back to shore so I could see the peope in the boat and the next skiers (and remember where I had safely put them).
I could then sit on the beach with my sunglasses on too! – quite a small luxury!

 

Laser Eye Surgery

 

Things were definitely still very bright and my eyes were still having a bit of a time with the light aversion. So I did have to keep my sunglasses on right up to the point of getting my Ski’s on in the water, and then throwing them to someone on the shore. Or into the boat if we were going to be out on it for awhile while we alternated Skiers out there. The water sometimes seemed to accentuate the glare of the sun even more so. But as said previously it was a very very small price to pay.

The joy of not having to deal with contact lenses that had never been comfortable previously (so were only worn for the minimum time that I could) was unparalleled. Previously I would have either quickly putting my contacts in before we head out Skiing and I would take them out as soon as we got back to camp afterwards (if I hadn’t lost one).

Previous dealing with Contact lenses in a Camping Ground Bathroom = not so much fun!
The sinks and surfaces around them are usually wet and grubby where you want to put you case, lids and solution down onto. Alot of the soaps they provide are strongly scented or antibacterial so I would need to wash my hands, dry them really well, rinse them again to get the ‘residue’ off them before I ever wanted to touch my lenses.
So sometimes I would opt to putting them in in the caravan instead.
This was OK when you were connected to a fresh water supply as we were this year, but in previous years I wouldn’t have been able to wash my hands prior to putting them in.

I have dropped a lense in all sorts of places, when I ‘think’ I have put them into the solution in the case, but as they are so see-through, you can’t always tell especially in low light conditions. I’ve dropped them in the grubby camp ground sink. I’ve dropped them on the floor. I’ve put both lenses in one side of the case. I don’t know where some have gone :-)

I know people deal with contact lenses every day all around the world in all sorts of conditions. But I’m so glad I no longer have too.

 

Raft - Lake Wanaka

Raft – Lake Wanaka

 

Our first day in Wanaka was a scorcher. So after lunch we head down to the beach front for a cool off swim and to be able to swim out to the Raft for the first time that year. I could see. I could leap off the raft and it didn’t matter.

Anytime I jumped back in the water for a swim throughout our whole holiday, I was reminded just how cool this was.

“That having my eyes corrected gave me a freedom to leap whenever I wanted, and not have to think about it first”.

I did have to wear my sunglasses pretty much all day, and even sometimes into the early hours of the evening when it was dusk and we were all still outside. In the early evening I would swap over to my lighter pair. The reason for that is that Camp Ground of cause is grass that dries out more as the summer goes on and dirt roads around past the camp sites. So there would be dust and grit and grass flying around at different times. I was very conscious about not getting anything into my eye unnecessarily so took precautions throughout the day.

I also never knew how helpful sunglasses could be while camping.

Get out of bed in the morning….throw your hoody on…sunnies…grab your gear for the shower and walk across the camp to the toilet block to have a shower without having to even look in the mirror to dig the sleep out of eyes or try to massage that pillow seam line away from your face. When I wore prescription glasses, in the mornings it was glasses on or trip over on the way to the bathroom.

I also never really new the benefit of wearing my dark glasses and being able to look at something or someone as I went past to ‘appreciate it/them’ without being obvious that you are ‘looking’ at them or it. 😉

We had such a fabulous holiday, spent time with so many amazing people and did so many adventurous things. Some that involved my eyes being used. Other times just experiencing those things ‘looking’ through my new eyes without glasses was brilliant.

AJ Hackett Bungy, Kawarau, Queenstown - 2013

AJ Hackett Bungy, Kawarau, Queenstown – 2013

I got to watch my daughter Miss 13 leap off a 43 metre bridge attached to a few bits of elastic and come hurtling towards me with perfect vision!
She was Bungy Jumping for the first time with AJ Hackett Bungy and she wanted me at the bottom platform where the boat boys haul you in, so I watched/videoed from there. It was awesome. She wasn’t even nervous and didn’t even hesitate and thought it totally rocked!
I was fortunate enough to have bungy jumped myself at a young age like her, about 22 years ago in that very same spot, which was before I required my glasses otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to see what I was hurtling towards!

 

What would you look forward to doing – without the need for glasses?
Water Ski?…Scuba Dive?…Sky Dive?…or simply go to a 3D Movie?…

 


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How Miss 13 could spot me easily in a Night Race:

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How Miss 13 could spot me easily in a Night Race:

Bike Reflectors

Bike Reflectors

Miss 13 runs a lot faster than me and likes to go on ahead, which I usually allow her to do as long as I can see her, and then she waits for me further up, or runs back to me.

But for a night time race, in the dark, with a couple of hundred other runners in a Forest, up what I considered a ‘mountain’ was going to be a little harder for both of us to keep track of each other if she wanted to go on ahead (and also the fact that I would be nearly passing out from the hill climb I needed to make it easier).

So I planned early and came up with a great solution that I have used over the last 2 years of  doing the Butterfly Creek Nighttime Madness races:

I bought from a discount shop (a bit like a $2 shop, but the next step up) a clip on “Bike reflector type light”.  It can flash on and off or stay on constant.

We don’t usually wear camelbacks running normally, but for this night time race it’s good sense to carry a rainjacket, thermal top, water, food and cellphone.  As if you injure yourself or you get lost, it can get pretty cold up there pretty fast.  Our “faux camelbacks” have just enough space in them to carry these essentials, I think they are called a “hydration backpack”.
I attached mine to a ribbon up on the shoulder strap, near the chest strap and I attached a hairtye to flick around it so it wasn’t flopping around.

 

Attached to the back of my pack

Attached to the back of my pack

 

Attached to the back of my pack

Attached to the back of my pack

 

So during the race in amongst the myriad of runners, headlights and thermal clad bodies, Miss 13 could look back and easily identify me by the different coloured blinking “Bike Reflector”. So she knew she could carry or, or if she had lost sight of me to wait til I caught up.

I also clipped another one to the back of hers, so I also could glance ahead and would see flashes of her “Bike Reflector” and know I could still see her which gave me piece of mind.

 

Attached to the back of Miss 13's pack

Attached to the back of Miss 13’s pack

 

Attached to the back of Miss 13's pack

Attached to the back of Miss 13’s pack

 

 

Attached to the back of Miss 13's pack

Attached to the back of Miss 13’s pack

 

Most people’s head lights or torches were a ‘white light’, wherea’s the Bike Reflectors were a Red/Orange colour and of course ours where flashing.  They weren’t our only light sources as we also both still wore headlamps and I carried another very small torch strapped to my hand.

We got a lot of comments from other runners and also families that were competing about what a great idea it was to be able to see each other easier and were asking where they could get one from.

I also attached a couple of coloured glow sticks looped into their circles to both the front and back of us too, which was just a bit of fun too.

We missed this years race, but look forward to doing the Night time madness race again next year.

Perfect lights for a night race

Perfect lights for a night race

 

When you’re doing it, you wonder why on earth you’re putting yourself through this again as it really really sucks heading up that first long slog up the hill…but once your past the summit and past all the uphill stuff, the downhill is loads of fun and in the 3 years we have done it I have always found this race to give great satisfaction of just achieving it.  And it’s such a different experience to do with your kid.

These bike reflectors now serve a double purpose, they can be used in races like this in future, but for now do double duty attached to the back of each of our “Grab n Go” backpack kits that sit by our front door in case of emergency.

Have you ever done a night race before?


I had a look to see where else you can buy these from and I see Amazon have a similar one here:

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All Blacks Rugby: Getting to watch the All Black’s training session

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All Blacks Rugby: Getting to watch the All Black’s training session

All Blacks training, Westpac Stadium, Wellington

All Blacks training, Westpac Stadium, Wellington

I love surprising people.

I especially love surprising my daughter Miss 13.

I got the perfect opportunity to do just that last year, completely unexpectedly to me too.

A couple of years ago I registered with Backing Black, the official All Blacks fan club run through Telecom. When you register they send you news and updates about the games and interesting bits. They also let you know about advance ticket sales etc…

Anyway, as a result of simply being on their database. I received a call whilst I was at work that morning from Backing Black to let me know that I had been picked at random from the database and had won:

“The chance to watch the All Blacks Training session at Westpac Stadium!”

How cool is that. Not at all what I expected to hear over the phone on a Wednesday morning at work. Awesome! He let me know the details of where and when. It was about 6 days away on the following Tuesday.

I had been having a look a week or so before at tickets for the upcoming All Blacks vs Argentina game, the ONLY All Blacks game being played in Wellington at Westpac Stadium in 2012. I would have loved to have gone and taken Miss 13 to her first All Blacks game. But in reality the cost of the tickets for her and I were just too far out of my reach at that time. Too many other budget priorities ahead of that.

Back to the phone call about winning the chance to watch the training. As he was signing off from the conversation, he just threw in there real quick….”And your tickets for the Game will be in the post…”

I said “What”…he said “As part of the prize, you also get two tickets to the game on Saturday”. All Blacks vs Argentina – 8 September 2012.

Woohooo, double awesome. Getting to go to the training which was so different and also getting go to the game that we wanted to – for FREE!

OK, I knew instantly that I wanted to keep it a surprise for Miss 13. Surprises just about do my head in, as I am itching to tell the person, but I love the surprise more, so do my best to play it cool, but on the inside I’m bursting!

Westpac Stadium, Wellington - glorious sunshine

Westpac Stadium, Wellington – glorious sunshine

I quickly needed to sort:

* Call Miss 13’s School that she was going to next year to change the day that she was coming to do a School visit. Tick.

* Ask work for Time off. Tick

* Email current School the night before and let them know she would be absent. Tick

On the day of the training, it was a glorious morning, frosty and chilly, but the sun was shinning bright. A typical May day and Wellington at its best!

I got Miss 13 up like normal and then when it was time to get dressed, I gave her her clothes (I had swapped out the ones she had laid out the night before for School to ‘Warm ones’) and said “Hmm, change of plans, no School today for you, but not telling you what for yet”.

She was bursting.
She loves surprises too, but soooo WANTS me to tell her, but then doesn’t want me to tell.

When it was time, we head out the door laden with snacks, water and cameras. As we live in the City we are able to walk easily to the Stadium, so we head off down the street. She is getting so excited, as she is trying to guess.

We head up towards the stadium steps by the Railway station and she tries to guess again “are we going to a HOME SHOW”…”No”, “are we going to a “RACE”…”No”.

We start walking along the Fran Wilde walkway towards the stadium which is really really long (takes about 8 minutes to walk down it) and she spends ages trying to guess. There is no one around, it’s a glorious morning so we have the run of the walkway. We muck around, running up and down, goofing about and making the most of just sooo much space and completely enjoying the morning sunshine.

As we approach the entrance, I finally give in and tell her what we are about to do. Miss 13 could NOT believe what she was hearing, she was ecstatic and was squealing with delight, and almost didn’t actually believe me.

“How”
“Why”
“When”

Ahhh, so much fun.

We arrive at the stadium entrance and wait where they had told me to. We are at least 20 minutes early (I always am early) and so we just wait and chat away about what today might bring and other silly stuff.

A couple of other people join us, they are winners too. Then someone from Backing Black team joins us and we wait for the last few to arrive. In total we are about 10 of us. They lead us down the driveway and we head in via the “Players Entrance”, that was cool enough as it is, to be able to see this end of the Stadium.

We walk down the hallway past the changing rooms, and see the odd pair of shoes and bags strewn throughout the hallway (looks like someone was in a hurry!).
We get to pop out via the Players tunnel, the same one the Teams run out of for the games. Sooooo cool.

The stadium in bathed in sunshine, the 35,000 seats are bright shiny yellow and completely empty, bar a small handful just to the right of us where a few people are sitting that look like they are ‘meant’ to be there.

The All Blacks had started their morning training earlier than expected that day, so they were already into it. The stadium was silent except for the “hip, yip, yap, hip” sounds the guys make running a 1/2 field game warmup.
They were playing ‘across’ the field, rather than along and not tackling hard.

It was quite a strange thing to hear all the “hip, yip, yap, hip” sounds, as normally in the stadium, the crowd is so excitedly noisy and loud and that’s all you hear. You don’t hear what they players are saying.

 

All Blacks Training - 1/2 field game

All Blacks Training – 1/2 field game

All Blacks Training - 1/2 field game

All Blacks Training – 1/2 field game

Lineout practice

Lineout practice

Telling secrets

Telling secrets

 

The Backing Black person had been telling us earlier about the competition that had happened earlier that morning. Israel Dagg and Dan Carter had been chosen to create their very own personalised Adidas Training Kit using a new software Adidas had designed http://www.miteam.adidas.co.nz

She explained that each player in the All Blacks team was then given “both” designs of training kits to choose from that morning in the changing room (without Dagg and Carter there).
They then appeared out on the field with their chosen kit…

Daggs was predominately Pink, with some Blue stripes on the top and splashes of Yellow. I actually quite liked it as it was very striking and looked good.

 

Daggs Training Kit

Daggs Training Kit

Daggs Training Kit

Daggs Training Kit

 

Carters was a Red, Blue and White striped combination which looked very smart and having Red and Blue on it as some of my favourite colours, it would have been my pick in the end too.

 

Carters Training Kit

Carters Training Kit

 

What I don’t get, is that the training shirts have lately all had this weird half circle piece above the small of their backs that is often in a different colour. It just makes their profile look a little weird. I’m sure there is some really really good reason for this, probably makes the guys run faster or something…but it’s just a little odd design feature.

Anyway…The result was there was about 22 team members in Carters Red, Blue & White coloured kit and about 5 in Daggs Pink, Blue and Yellow coloured kits.
On the field it looked quite spectacular watching them run around in these colours and seeing them joke around with each other about their choices.

 

 

You can see a video of Carter and Dagg creating the designs here.

 

 

You can see their interviews before and after the training here.

 

 

Then we just watch. I find it absolutely fascinating watching the training.
Miss 13 sets about trying to spot the players she knows of…Israel Dagg, Dan Carter, Richie McCaw, Aaron Cruden…She also sets about snapping photos and taking videos of all she can.

The team then come together and do some kicking practice.

 

Kicking practice

Kicking practice

 

Then they break into what I imagine is Forwards and Backs (or something) and work on catching high balls with jump catches landing on the other player who has a giant turtle shell padding thingy on their back.

Some then head over to the side and start working on their scrums.

 

Scrum practice

Scrum practice

Scrum practice

Scrum practice

Scrum practice

Scrum practice

 

Some would find this really really boring, but I am completely fascinated seeing the types of drills that make up part of their training week.

 

I think they are practicing their worm breakdancing moves here...

I think they are practicing their worm breakdancing moves here…

 

It’s nearing the end of the training and it’s at this point that the Press are allowed in to set up for their weekly interviews.
I recognise Jim Kayes from TV3 and James Somerset from Backing Black.

There are others there, but I don’t know who they work for.

They set up behind the sideline advertising signs.

Media interviews Dagg & Carter about their training kits

Media interviews Dagg & Carter about their training kits

Media interview Weepu

Media interview Weepu

 

The players are then released from training and from my guess they have been briefed earlier as to who is up for interviews afterwards.
Carter and Dagg get interviewed about their training kits that they had designed.
Peri Weepu about his return to the squad.
Richie McCaw about the upcoming game and about his thoughts on Carter and Daggs Kits.

 

Media interview McCaw about Carter & Dagg kits

Media interview McCaw about Carter & Dagg kits

McCaw ribs Dagg about his 'design'

McCaw ribs Dagg about his ‘design’

 

It’s now time for us to leave.
We get led around past the players doing their interviews and head back the same way we came, through the players chute and past the changing rooms to which we hear the familiar din of jovial chatter you would normally hear in any sports changing room around the country on a Saturday.

We are waved goodbye and we walk home. Rehashing excitedly about what we had just been watching, the interesting bits, what we saw etc…

As I only took a half day from work we now need to walk home, jump in the car and head to School and work.

Miss 13 is so very excited to be able to relay what she was up to this morning to her friends when she gets to School.

What an experience. It was like no other. Something very unique and I am so delighted we got the chance to go and watch the All Blacks train.

Best Part:
Actually getting to watch them run through the type of drills they do each week. In the beautiful May sunshine too.

Not so fun:
The end. I would have happily watched all day, it was fascinating.

Would I go again:
In a flash!

https://www.allblacks.com
http://westpacstadium.co.nz

 

Which kit would have you chosen? Carters or Daggs?

 

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