luckycanuck: (Mr Strong)
I did 12 hours of pushups in Adelaide last Friday, and a little past half way something struck me.  12 hours of pushups is a good allegory for dealing with depression.

But I'll get to that.  I was picked up from Adelaide Airport in an official government car.  A friend of mine who is a Minister in the South Australian Government had sent his car to pick me up and take me to some iconic Adelaide locations to do pushups.  He also put me up for a couple of nights and his office did a lot of work with the media setting up interviews.  On the day I wound up having two television interviews and two radio interviews within the first hour.  People came by and made donations, saying they had seen or heard about me.

There were other interviews during the day, and like before, the first six hours were pretty easy in relative terms.

Then, as usual, it got more difficult, and this is where the allegory comes in.

12 hours of pushups is too much for people to imagine when they hear it.  Even if you are the one doing it, 7,200 is too much to take in when you are starting.  Even when you get past the half way point, going for another six hours when your left elbow is giving you grief seems impossible.  The only way you can do it is to break things down and go one minute at a time.  I can do ten pushups per minute.  So I do just that, one minute at a time.  Ten minutes later, I've done 100.  In an hour, I am 600 closer to the finish.  With your sights set on the short term, you don't notice the long term milestones and obstacles passing until you look back at them and wonder why they seemed so imposing.  12 hours blows people away when they hear it.. It seems an impossible thing to endure, but somehow I manage it.

Depression is a lot like that.  In the low points, it is an immense and immovable obstacle, and being asked to overcome it is a task that is as unimaginable as it is impossible.  So you can only work at it bit by bit, minute by minute, day by day.  In my current place, where I am facing the prospect of actually being happy, the low points that I have passed, which seemed like they would never pass, look rather pathetic in retrospect.

On top of that, people come out of the woodwork when you feel like you're at your lowest.  At around 2pm, eight hours in and with four hours to go, with my left elbow aching with every set and with morale and energy at a low ebb, an Adelaide City Council worker came by.  He had been there at 6am when I started and now he had finished work.  He came by at my lowest point with a litre of ice cold orange juice, a banana, and buffalo wings.  This simple combination came at just the right time and was one of the most delicious meals I've ever had, and it was from a total stranger.  Countless people came by to lift my spirits, often because they had been in the same places I've been.

So yes, doing pushups for 12 hours is actually good practice for fighting depression.

Now Brisbane is next, and I am in the process of arranging for a sign to explain to passers by what I am doing.  I think I can bring in a lot more donations if people know at a glance what I am doing rather than just seeing a confusing guy doing pushups.

An incident at about 10:30am in Adelaide: A mum walks by with her four year old son.

Son: "Mummy, why is that man exercising?"

Mum: (confused) "I... don't... know."

I wish I hadn't taken off so much time from Black Dog Pushups.

luckycanuck: (Mr Strong)
As Bakerypenguin pointed out, I am now having normal reactions.  When things are good, I am able to feel good.

Trivia is going well.  I hope to get more people out and establish myself as a good place for trivia, and I think that will happen once people catch on.  At the moment the first two nights have been won by the owner of the bar and some of his friends. I wondered briefly if he just wants to have his own trivia night where he and his friends can carry on all they like.

I am currently in Adelaide, in the office of the Minister for Sport.  He will be joining me tomorrow as I have another go at doing 12 hours of pushups.  His office has been helpful with the media and I've done three interviews already, and more live interviews on radio have been lined up for tomorrow.  The Lord Mayor's office has allocated a place for me in Rundle Mall and the whole town seems pretty supportive.  I'm actually going to be sleeping on the minister's sofa tonight, and he send his ministerial car to pick me up from the airport and to take me around town.

Work? Nothing has changed really. Plenty of leads but no actual work.  It may be difficult to get something before the end of the financial year in the public service, but I've also applied for a full time permanent job doing research for a public affairs firm.  No response yet, but it sounds like a good prospect and I took care to put together a good application.  It would be a very different job to most of the others I've looked at.  It would not be a contract, and it would not come with the public service culture.

For now, my job is trading, trivia, and occasionally doing training sessions.  That's fine for me.  I'm getting used to the three "T"s.  Not sure what the prognosis is long term.

I traded some shares in VMG for some options in VMG which will give me a lot more exposure to the potential upside if the price goes up.  I also piled some money into capital raisings for AKK and ALK, and I am willing to cash in some of my stocks if the situation suits.  I've also been picking up DTE on the drops with an eye to unloading it on rebounds.
luckycanuck: (Mr Happy)
I've been feeling rather odd recently, like I've not felt for quite a while.

There is a distinct possibility, and I want to be absolutely clear that this is not in any way a sure thing, that I might, possibly, in some way, be... happy.

Is that the right word?  Is that a word at all?

Let me go back a bit.

Read more... )

Things have been going quite well recently, and I know that I can't always count on that being the case.  Circumstance won't always be my friend, and I think the gloom is still around and may return in force in the future, but for now it doesn't matter.  The trick will be figuring out how to ensure that remains the case.

luckycanuck: (Default)
So here goes with Dreamwidth.  Lets see how it work.

My Monday training session went well.  I introduced five girls to Tabata, and one of them nearly spewed.  Nearly I said.  All of them will be back.

I am getting into training, and I feel like I am doing better at it than I did at politics.  Still, there is this sense in my head that it's not a real job.  I've been struggling with unloading old assumptions about how my life would turn out on a professional and a personal level.  It's slow going.  I spent so many years working to a script that it's hard to walk away from it.  I feel like the disconnect between the script and reality is stoking the gloom, and it's not easy to just ignore the assumptions that were present for so long.

Last night there was a function at Parliament for a former employer who is leaving, and I felt in my element again.  I like being there and felt like I could do a job in that area again.  Of course, last winter I was having panic attacks at work.

In the meantime the public service "conspiracy" against hiring me continues.  Fine.  I managed to sell some options in VMG today for a 40% profit in two weeks (and the ones I held on to are still going up) so I am still sufficiently cashed up to live and to take advantage of potential bargains like AKK.  I am also planning a possible exit from BBG if another takeover offer comes around, which is looking like a distinct possibility.  I'm getting better at selling.  Not having a regular salary will do that.

I'm making an effort not to take over the common areas of the house.  I think it has been imposing on the others who live here and I don't want to do that.  I think a better environment currently exists.

Finally, I will have a regular weekly trivia night at the Charlie Black Bar in Manuka starting on 19 March.  It looks like a pretty upmarket venue, and it looks like I may have a lot of friends around for my first night.

luckycanuck: (Default)
I picked up something to wear to the gym on my way back to Canberra.



It's a 20kg weight vest and I've used it a couple of times.  I have full range of motion and can work it into virtually any workout.  I think it will be a regular fixture now.  And I got $10 off the quoted price, which was lower than expected anyway.

On the same day I led my first training session for a group of former colleagues at Parliament.  It came very naturally to me.  There was rain, but everyone stuck it out until it became too slippery.  Everyone enjoyed it, and they will be back with others who have expressed an interest.  There may be training during the non sitting weeks and in the mornings too.  So that's good news.

This was, in a manner of speaking, the first "work" I have done in a while.  I've been keeping busy, but leading that session was the first time I've done paid work since I left Parliament.

Recently the market has done very well for me.  VMG is now being appreciated by the market, I managed to sell SNL for a profit, AKK has been very active and there is a strong possibility that it will see a lot of upside soon, and BBG got a takeover offer and put to rest a lot of fears people had about it on the day after I bought more of it, which resulted in a 50% rise in one day.

Some people have suggested that I should trade for a living.  I can't.  Things have been very good now, I don't have the expenses that a lot of other people have, and if things go well I could stand to have a lot of flexibility, but that doesn't mean this is what I do.  Things could collapse again, and even if they don't I still don't expect a sense of purpose from the market.

I haven't, however, had much frustration with slow responses from the public service.  I applied to the temporary employment register of about half a dozen departments.  Not hearing anything back from anyone hasn't fazed me.

Everything is fine, I guess, but there is still a looming sense of numbness.

There was also a disturbing dream.  I dreamed I was attending my first bushfire, and it came close to a property which we decided to defend.  It turns out that the property owner was involved in producing illegal drugs, and when we approached his stash to set up a defensive line, he came out with a gun and shot at us and nicked me slightly.  We retreated to the far side of the truck and he followed, and when he came around the corner I swung at him with an axe and dropped him.  Later on I was charged with assault and the rural fire service cut me loose.  I woke up with no inclination to help people in need. 

The other day I saw a guy pushing a car in the city, trying to build up enough speed for his friend to get it started.  I rushed in and joined in and quickly we had them on their way.  But that wasn't really for him.  I did that for me.
luckycanuck: (convicts rugby)
I came up to Sydney on Thursday, and had a couple of days with my parents before taking them to the airport on Saturday morning.  Mum and I went shopping and she suggested that for Christmas I bring the girls to the Sydney Koala Park when they come out to visit in July.  Done.  I was going to struggle to come up with anything.  We also had a chat about depression, which she got to see up close on Friday night as we had dinner with the guy who looks after the administrative aspect of the Collaroy Castle and his girlfriend.  Me at dinner with four people in their 60s, 70s, and 80s instead of at the gym where I had planned to be.  With all the frustration and alienation I was pretty shut down and fatigued all night, and almost struggled for breath like I did at work last winter at one point.  When we got home she asked if I was ok, and I said "this is what depression is like."  I don't think she understood until then, and I suspect she probably still doesn't.  She's trying though.

On Saturday I took Minou back to her place on my way to Canberra and stopped in to visit Dora in her post Mr Burns phase.  Back in Canberra at the party I was there to attend, Nerva Chu helped me shave my head.  I know I normally have very short hair, but on Saturday night I shaved it all off in solidarity with JAQ who has lost all her hair during chemotherapy.

Click for lots of pics )


Tomorrow I head back to Canberra so I can lead a training session at Parliament, and on the way I plan to stop to pick up a 20kg weight vest and to visit Minou again.

Reunion

Jan. 21st, 2012 11:14 am
luckycanuck: (Default)
I'm in Collaroy, with my parents for the first time since last April.  Mum's maid of honour and her husband are also around and I've not seen them for the better part of twenty years.

There is always a shock when this happens, because suddenly the Collaroy Castle which I am accustomed to having to myself is much MUCH smaller.  I'm also keenly aware of the fact that I understand my parents (particularly my mum) less and less.  I'm noticing how she seems incapable of doing something without announcing it, that the traditional maternal fussiness is still there, and that she has very little knowledge of what is going on with me.  None of this results in hostility or even awkwardness, but it is still there.  I've not lived in the same jurisdiction as my parents for eight and a half years and it shows.

We did have a chat about the gloom yesterday, which is an issue of some concern to her.  She wanted to make sure I'm not drifting in the direction of suicide (I'm not and she knows I'm not) and I suspect there will be more chats while they are here.  I was kind of hoping to be able to explain what's going on with me, but I can't seem to do it.  It's like it's back to the old drill of things being wrong when nothing is wrong.

In better news, I finished all my work for the Cert III and handed it in on Thursday.  The training manager at my gym signed off on a number of workout sessions that I was meant to observe.  In fact, I just entered workouts that I had done in the past and that was deemed to be good enough.  I did do a flexibility session with Helga (who is leaving Canberra to move in with her boyfriend) and an aerobic session with Coffee Snob to get used to designing programs for people and they were both happy with what I did.  Now I am going to start on my Cert IV.

There have been a number of good workouts recently, including a new concept that involves working out with a deck of cards.  Each suit represents an exercise, and the value on each card represents the number of reps.  Then you just "hit the deck" and go through either the whole deck or go for a set period of time.  Very random, a good challenge, and heaps of fun.

Also, on the Collaroy Castle front, I am getting a stronger feeling that much of the pressure for selling the place is coming from my aunt in Sweden who resents the place and the work required to maintain it.  It struck me yesterday that if she died, there would be far less pressure to sell.  Noticing this made me feel a bit macabre, but maybe that's what I'm like these days.
luckycanuck: (SPARTA!!!!!!!!)
I did my Cert III exam and got 97% (though that's less impressive when it was an open book test and I was looking things up regularly.)  Some of the questions were ambiguous and confusing, but it's behind me now.

Now it's the practical element.  The due date is technically next Friday but it has been extended to mid February.  I'm still going to try to get it done in time to go to Sydney to visit my parents who arrive next week.  Things have been delayed by one of my trainer friends getting an injury and having to cancel some observation opportunities, but the manager of the gym is going to try to arrange a few things for next week.

There have been quite a few solid workouts this week, and I now have more motivation to keep up with future workouts.  I have started a Twitter feed for my soon to be freelance training business (it still sounds odd to say that) and a Facebook page too.  I'm going with Molon Labe Fitness as a name.  It's a reference to the Battle of Thermopylae between the Spartans and Persians (and to the movie 300.)  In some ways it has become a personal motto of mine (though not because I'm a die hard supporter of gun rights as someone once assumed.)  Also, I think it sounds sufficiently badass and fits my approach to training.  Soon I will have business cards.



There is more news from JAQ.  The last I heard there is a chance that the cancer has metastacised to her liver, she has a 50% chance at survival, she is unemployed and is appealing to friends to help with her medical bills (though after trying twice my donation can't be processed.)  And despite all of this (or perhaps because of it) she has seemed very upbeat and focused.  There is a sense of purpose in her life that is unfamiliar to me.  Her purpose is simply to survive.  There seems to be a wonderful simplicity to it.  I suspect the numbness I feel in my gloom is not quite as present in her life.

As I said before, this is the first time I have had to contemplate someone close to me dying, and that person happens to be one of the bravest people I know.  She is a fighter, and the "FUCK CANCER" t-shirt she is wearing on the front page of her cancer blog is a testament to that.

That cancer is going to wish it had never metastacised.

New skills

Jan. 9th, 2012 11:02 pm
luckycanuck: (Mr Strong)
I registered for a first aid course through Royal Life Saving and did the online course and exam in one night.  I managed to get 100% on the exam, which is the minimum passing grade.  So now if anyone wants to have a heart attack or drown or get bitten by a funnel web spider, come to my place.  Next step is to practice bandaging and slings and to go to the practical session so I can show off the mad CPR skills I have picked up with the help of my rather creepy looking CPR mannequin.

Over the weekend I made some further progress on the practical section of my Cert III, attending a Body Attack class and a Body Balance class and got the instructors to sign off on my attendance/observance.  Body Attack was REALLY not my thing.  A lot of jumping around and confusing moves and blaring music that meant the only thing I could hear from the instructor was her saying "WOO" every few seconds.  Still, it's done and I won't have to do it again.  Body Balance was better.  I've been to it before of my own volition and it does have aspects that I like, but there are still annoyances.  I've tried to be fair to it but to really take to it there would have to be changes.  Less music, more focus on physical challenges, no more of the breathing stuff at the end, and most of all, no more annoying/affirming/pretentious yoga jargon.  The guy told us to "open up like a mango."  I have no idea what he meant.  If you tell me what to do with my body, I will do my best to do it.  If you speak in euphemisms and ask me to "gather my energy from the floor" I am going to want to punch someone.

Arrangements are being made to observe a number of sessions with a trainer at my gym.  In the meantime I am doing more heavy weights that gave me a pretty good tired today, and for the first time I actually kept track of my heart rate in the hopes of maintaining it in a target of 70-80% of the maximum.  I'll have to do this for credit later on and this strategy may come in handy in the future, so I reckon I might as well get used to it.  For my own purposes, however, I would rather just run.  I've also been doing tire and rope circuits and random mini-workouts at home.  This may be a time of getting in much better shape if things keep going this way.

A call came in today from the agency that forgot about me. They have marketed me to a couple of clients with jobs going.  More importantly, they are taking me seriously.

And in sad (or maybe it's not sad) news, JAQ has apparently been diagnosed with Stage III Ovarian Cancer.  I have friends for whom the death of friends and family is a regular issue.  It's very foreign to me.  This is the first time for a long time I have had to contemplate the prospect that someone close to me might die.  Apparently she is going to wear the Convicts t-shirt I gave her to chemo to absorb some Convict strength.  So far she seems to be taking an aggressive stance, vowing to kick cancer in its cancerous balls or something similar.

There's not been much change on the gloom front.  It did strike me recently that once upon a time I was reluctant to accept the prospect that I might have depression.  Now I hope I have it.  If I am actually clinically depressed, then that explains a lot of things.  If I'm not, then I would have to face up to the possibility that I am just a horrible/petty/unpleasant person.

The thought that I had some time ago about not being suitable for relationships has come back.  It's certainly not self pity this time, and it's not quite like the time a while back when I felt as though I had nothing to offer, it's just a fact.  I have no business being involved with anyone right now.
luckycanuck: (Default)
I don't do resolutions for the same reasons that a lot of you don't do resolutions.  But I accept that this is a time where many take stock of the year that has passed and look forward at the year to come.

Most years I have been able to look back and say that things were getting better.  I'm not sure if I can say this about 2011.  I wonder if this is the first year in as long as I can recall where I didn't feel like things were better.  The gloom began almost exactly one year ago and was the most notable feature of the year.  I accept that it's something that has to be dealt with so it may as well be out in the open rather than tucked away.  I suspect it had been there for a long time.  This was the year I realised it, which is technically a step forward.  It just doesn't really feel like it.

Things have been pretty good overall.  I put some my BOW profit into DTE which cllimbed about 15% the following day, there have been wonderful waves at the beach and I have been going two or three times per day, I spent New Year's Eve and New Year's Day at a party meeting some new people I think I will get along with and seeing some others I hadn't seen for a while, and I've been doing some solid workouts.

YW: Run to Dee Why, AMRAP 15 minuntes - 15 pullups, 10 burpees, 5 overhead squats - 7 rounds, run home with 10 pushups per minutes.

TW: Establishing my 1RM on a variety of lifts using the sub-maximal method I learned while studying for my training certification. Bench - 117kg, dead lift - 150kg, shoulder press - 75kg, squat - 142kg, lat pulldowns - 160kg, kettlebell swings - 52kg. I may try these again to see if I come up with similar results.  I'll also try them with others.

I'm hoping to get the first part of the two Certifications done by 20 January.  I have the formal exam, the practical training (which means getting someone to sign off on the fact that I can do the things in the manual), and a first aid certification to get.  It should be fine.

My parents arrive on the 18th.  It will be good to see them.  They're not coming alone (they never do it seems) but the people coming with them this time should be of the non stabulent variety.

Back to Canberra tomorrow.

P.S. My birthday is exactly nine months from today.  This means that according to The Great Sperm Race which I chanced across on SBS this evening, 35 years ago today, out of a quarter of a billion, I was the fastest in the most extreme race that exists.
luckycanuck: (Default)

Cut for pics )


Since then I've been doing a lot of studying for my training qualifications, watching the Boxing Day Test (which was an outstanding back and forth affair that was finely balanced and could have gone either way until very late) visiting the beach, and having very little personal contact.  That's suiting me fine this time.  There is no feeling of isolation, in part because I have plenty on the horizon.
luckycanuck: (Mr Strong)
It feels great.

Click for 12 hours of pushups )


The reception I got in Melbourne was inspiring. Parts of the challenge were trying, parts were frustrating, but overall the experience was great. For a while, instead of feeling stalked by the black dog, I felt bulletproof.

www.everydayhero.com.au/blackdogpushups
Twitter: @blackdogpushups
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Black-Dog-Pushups/220574198010624

Coming Down

Dec. 6th, 2011 12:34 am
luckycanuck: (Mr Lazy)
Is what happened on Saturday night.

I was at a get together in an atmosphere that I would normally enjoy, and it started off fine but in short order I found myself feeling out of sorts and tired.  I suspect a substantial part of it was coming down from the high of accomplishment surrounding my recent pushup challenge.

For much of Sunday I was wistful and indecisive.  It didn't help that we had visitors around taking up common areas.  I was happy to have them there, but I did feel kind of hemmed in.  By the end of the day I was dressed to run to the gym, but I couldn't actually make the decision to go.  I just found myself pacing around.  Eventually I did go and got a concentrated 10 cal row, 10 pullup, 10 situp AMRAP workout done in 15 minutes.  Then I ran home.

Getting exercise helped, as it always does.  I was struck by the thought that I can't exercise constantly.  I can do pushups and feel like a champion and hear how inspiring I am, but then that goes away and nothing inside me has changed.  I still have to face the same problems.  The sense of not fitting anywhere and having no purpose returns every time.  Maybe that is just going to keep happening and I need to learn how to deal with it.

Today I got my proper fire gear including boots, so I can return the second hand stuff they loaned me (after doing one more in gear workout.)  I also did some shopping and came away with two near identical pairs of shoes as part of a buy one get one free deal.  Also after some inexplicable falls on a very good day last week, today was a good day on the market.  ERA and CCV surged over 10% and may go further.

Tomorrow we will have a house dinner now that Surveyor (named for her occupation) has moved in and is getting settled.  There is some new furniture in the house too.

TW: Around the block with Bulgarian sandbag, 8 tire flips, 50 slegehammers - 3 rounds. 29:45.
luckycanuck: (Mr Happy)
I'm doing Black Dog Pushups again tomorrow.  This time it will be a target of 2,000 in two hours at lunch time in Garema Place, and there should be some pretty good exposure.  I rejigged the media release and sent it to local TV, radio, and the Canberra Times, who are sending a journalist and a photographer to cover the story.  I've also been hyping BDP on Twitter and today I was retweeted by two rugby league players, an ABC journo, a comedian, a judge on Australia's Next Top Model, and an Olympic swimmer, which means hundreds of thousands of people have been told about my project.  After a good retweet, for an hour there was a surge in people following me.  At times it was on the cusp of going viral.

I had a session with my psychologist yesterday and it was the first time there was more positive than negative talk.  Plenty of talk about BDP.  Excepting some frustration with Coffee Snob and work and one of the agencies, it was all good stuff.  And to improve things further, while I was in session the frustrating agency rang and set things in motion to resolve my frustration over being knocked back from the DoHA job.  Later, Coffee Snob dropped the Spartan Death Race advocacy, so I'm running out of things to complain about.

I was advised to think in terms of "and" rather than "but".  Instead of saying, I have x, y, and z but I don't have a real job, I can say I have x, y, and z and I would also like a real job.  I've also started thinking that I've been living with the gloom for a long time.  Far longer than this year when I really started to notice it.  I've long felt aimless and like I don't quite fit.  It's only recently that this started to wear enough on me to make things break down.  It could be that the gloom has been with me a long time and will remain with me for a long time, and it just needs to be managed.  Much like the Asperger's perhaps.

Gym, fire, possums, markets and more behind the cut. )
luckycanuck: (Default)
Ok. First the links.

Click for links and pics )
So although things in the gloom department have been going a lot better recently, this weekend there was a bit of frustration at being lectured on things I should be doing.
luckycanuck: (Mr Strong)
I managed 3,615 pushups in three hours.
Click for details and pics )

It was a good physical challenge to take on, and I raised some money for a cause and an organisation that is important to me, but on top of that, I was moved by the level of support that friends and even strangers offered me throughout the challenge. A lot of people had no idea that I had been facing depression all year and many of them sent me messages of support or came to visit me on the day.

It was a great challenge and a great cause!
luckycanuck: (Mr Strong)
The project is going very well.

I set myself a high fundraising target and so far it is going quite well.  I have raised close to $1000 without having done a single pushup.  Most of it is from friends, but some donations have come in from total strangers who heard about me through others.

Barack Obama has just arrived in Canberra, and he will be around tomorrow so the Sunrise program will be doing at least some of their broadcast from Canberra rather than from the site of my pushup challenge.  They may do the whole thing there which would mean the probability of getting on TV has dropped.  That is a pain.  I'm still doing it tomorrow.  People are coming to support me, but I've thought about having another go tomorrow to get on TV.

I have been very impressed with the support that people have offered me.  Plenty of friends have promised to come to visit me during the challenge and messages of support have been flooding in from all quarters.  Even people who I thought might be cynical or who might find my endearing quirks to be annoying habits are being supportive.

This is good beyond helping me do pushups or helping me raise money.  It is a reminder that there are a lot of people who care about me and are concerned about the state of my moods.  My cousin and cousin in law who arrived in Sydney this morning were very supportive and were clear that there is nothing wrong with feeling gloom.  They also mentioned a book by former All Black John Kirwan entitled All Blacks Don't Cry that details his problem as a big strong rugby guy who suffered from depression and couldn't talk to anyone about it without them saying "harden up."

Here are the contact details for Black Dog Pushups.

Twitter: @blackdogpushups (I am picking up new Twitter followers all the time, and I intend to live tweet during the challenge itself.)
E-Mail: blackdogpushups@gmail.com
Fundraising page: http://www.everydayhero.com.au/blackdogpushups

And here is the media release, perhaps the first media release in history that I've helped write that actually mentions me!

BLACK DOG PUSHUPS TO TACKLE DEPRESSION

A Canberra man who has been fighting a battle against depression is doing 3,000 pushups in three hours to raise funds for the Black Dog Institute and awareness of depression.
 
Luckycanuck will undertake his challenge from 6:00am to 9:00am on Thursday 17 November at the corner of Martin Place and Elizabeth Street in Sydney.
 
“I love pushups and I hate depression, so doing one to fight the other was a natural fit,” Luckycanuck said.
 
“All year I’ve been engaged in a running battle against depression. I've had good days and bad days, but one thing that always seemed to help me keep the black dog at bay was getting regular exercise.
 
“It was a self test from the Black Dog Institute that convinced me to seek further help earlier this year, so I wanted to do something to help them reach others struggling with depression.
 
“I know that exercise can have a very positive effect on people facing depression.  Doing 3,000 pushups in three hours is how I choose to get exercise, but if you aren’t quite up to that, there are plenty of other ways to let exercise lift your mood.
 
Around one in five Australians will suffer from a mood disorder in their lifetime.
 
For some people it will be an isolated occurrence. However, the reality is that for many people, it will be an ongoing challenge throughout their lives that will also impact loved ones around them.
 
The Black Dog Institute is a not- for-profit organisation helping people with mood disorders and by undertaking this initiative/project we know we are helping those impacted to enjoy a normal life.
 
The Institute has an international reputation for its outstanding research while at the same time operates a clinic for people with mood disorders at its Randwick facility as well as extensive community programs and education and training for health professionals, including GP’s.
 
Donations can be made at http://www.everydayhero.com.au/blackdogpushups
 
To find out more about the Institute visit their website: www.blackdoginstitute.org.au


I may send this off to the newspapers along with photographs after the fact if there is not much media coverage of the event.

I am very optimistic about tomorrow.  In 24 hours I expect I will be quite sore, quite tired, but also quite happy.  It's good having a purpose again, even if it's just for a little while.

Black Dog

Nov. 8th, 2011 10:45 pm
luckycanuck: (Mr Strong)
No, I'm not feeling like the proverbial black dog is stalking me.  I'm actually feeling pretty good.

But I am working on a new plan.  My plan is to do 3,000 pushups during the three hours of a Channel 7 Sunrise broadcast in Martin Place right in front of the studio.

I've found a charity that would suit this purpose.  It's called the Black Dog Institute and they do more than raise awareness of depression. They provide clinical support and conduct research too.  They also recently staged Exercise Your Mood week promoting exercise as a way of fighting depression.

I think they would also be better at getting a foot in the door with the network people better than I would as they are a respected organisation rather than some random weirdo who does pushups in public.

Tomorrow I will make some calls and see what I can arrange.  I'll be up in Sydney next week and it could be a great opportunity.  Pushups and exercise in general have always been a lifeline of sorts for me, and I think there could be a lot of interest in this.  I could do some good and have a sense of purpose again.

I'll keep you posted.

Today my interval timer arrived and I put it to use immediately with a tabata workout at the gym.

TW: Tabata sandbag squats (163), tabata rowing (65 calories), tabata sandbag around the worlds (75), tabata SDHP 32kg (84), tabata pullups (93), tabata hr pushups (114).

Also, there will me more change in Chez Canuck.  Esky is leaving.  She couldn't bear to go without winter, and will be moving to Europe in December as soon as she finishes work.  Also, her boyfriend is there.
luckycanuck: (Default)
I watched the rugby with [livejournal.com profile] bakerypenguin and her family.  It was a low scoring game and it could have gone either way, but in the end I was happy to see the All Blacks win at last.  They were a bit shaky on the night and looked like they might choke again, but they did enough to hold on for an 8-7 victory.  The title went to the team that was the best in the tournament.

The whole thing was overshadowed by the haka controversy.

This is what happened.


It was a great moment of rugby history, but the IRB has now fined Les Bleus for encroaching on the haka.  They stepped over the centre line and that breaks the rules put in place to prevent teams from showing disrespect to the haka,

The thing is, there was no disrespect in this.  The ABs weren't offended, but all the same the fine has been levied.  I like the haka.  I think they should continue to do it, but if one side is going to do a tribal war dance, I see no reason why there should be regulations in place dictating what the other team can and can't do.  The IRB shouldn't force the opposition to keep their distance, they shouldn't force them to stand still and watch, and they shouldn't institute rules to protect the pre-match rituals of any team.  If you are going to say to the opposition "you must stand still and watch the haka without moving or coming to close or turning around, you are not far off from just playing one national anthem or saying that it is culturally insensitive to score tries against New Zealand.  Besides, it is unnecessary.  The haka is part of rugby and I don't think it needs protecting as though it was a wee delicate bloom.

I have had a lot of good workout days recently.

TW: 10 tire flips, 20 sledgehammers - 10 rounds. Max pullups, 10 20kg db pushups, 10 burpees - until 150 pullups done. (5 rounds)

YW: Legstravaganza. Leg presses, overhead weighted lunges, burpees, 28kg kb swings. 100 openers in as few sets as possible - 3. 5 80kg deadlifts, 10 bench jumps - 10 rounds.

MonW: 1 minute pushups, 1 minute situps for 30 minutes - 908 pushups, 409 situps.

It has been a while since I've missed a day.

I have been put forward for two jobs in the Department of Communications and I'm still waiting to hear back from the health job from last week.

I also had a meeting with a business advisor and took home plenty of things to read to help me decide if I want to set up a business.  The party hq types have reaffirmed that they are interested in my doing some freelance work for them including a lecture for their training day next month.

Today I went back to visit my psychologist.  It was good to get back actually, and at the end I came away with a better idea of what all of this is meant to be doing.  She pointed out that my recently improved mood is likely related to the fact that I am living more in line with my values.  I highlighted a few of them as homework, and having purpose, challenge, adventure, uniqueness, intimacy, trust, and physicality helped.  Her advice was to continue moving in the direction of these values, and when I feel myself drifting into gloom, to take some small action consistent with them.  SHe also advised me to notice when distractions keep me from living with my values, and to take note of how I feel when this happens.  This is the whole "notice and name" part of ACT and the idea of being mindful of what sets me off and what soothes me is key.  It's about being aware of when I am doing well and when I'm not, and when I get the gloom, to do something to restore my values if I can.  If I can't, then it's notice/name/accept.

The issue of anti-depressants also came up and she agreed with me that in my current state anti-depressants may not be the right thing right now.  Her advice, keep going with mindfulness about how I feel and maintaining my values, and in a few months, if I can continue doing that and I still feel gloomy, then re-consider the chemical option.
luckycanuck: (Default)
I wound up going to a Q&A session featuring six American political types from both parties on Wednesday night.  It was kind of like networking, though not exactly, but ti did make me feel busy and important again.  It was one of the rare occasions over the last couple of months when I have worn a suit.  Some of them liked my pushup ideas and said to get in touch with them regarding election experience opportunities next year.

TW: 10 rounds - 20 situps, 5 100kg deadlifts. 10 rounds - row 200m, 10 situps.  I also did 10 handstand pushups, for which I had to ask for help with balance.  The pushups themselves were fine, but I do need help with balance and I will keep practicing them.

The market seems to be ok but there is still the chance for major falls if people get spooked again.  I am mostly in, but I am looking to get out of a few stocks like Nexbis which has long frustrated me and has not responded to my requests for further information like VDM Group did.  I'm considering tipping a bit more into their capital raising now that it has been extended and sweetened with one option for every two stocks held after the raising.  There is another capital raising for ERA that I will likely participate in.  I usually like capital raisings.  Some people complain about diluting the stock, but that only happens if you don't participate.

The house has been pretty quiet with people away.  It's just been Roxy and I for the last couple weeks, but now Esky is back.  Ginger Harpist is still in France, but I am getting photos from Facebook.

I'm feeling a bit better, having been busy.  The gloom isn't quite as intense as it was during recent lows.  I plan to go back to therapy next week.

Off to Sydney tomorrow for the weekend.  I have successfully learned Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau in Welsh and I am all set to sing on Saturday.

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