Sunday, 5 August 2012
33. Going 'off-piste'
For some unknown reason, whenever we have a dinner party, I find myself not only trying a new recipe, but also going ‘off-piste’. Depending on the disparity between how the flavors come together and what I think a dish should taste like, dictates what seasoning (if any) or extras I add. But it is quite possibly the ONLY instance where I routinely veer off the ‘beaten track’ and become rather adventurous – which is quite the opposite of my 40-something ‘everyday self’.
Take my training for example. Matt and I have signed on to tackle a running event in Angkor Wat in December later this year. Not a fan of running more than 45 minutes (yes, its THAT precise!), I only said yes due to my romantic notions of the location of the race. And so, I thought I had better take a good look at my weekly routine to determine how much my ‘game’ needed raising.
Mondays is a cycle circuit up, down and around Mount Faber to strengthen my 40-something-year-old knees for the week ahead; Tuesdays is a 7km run; Wednesdays and Fridays see me at the gym doing weights, a small cycle and a shorter run; Thursdays is a 10km run; Saturdays is interval training involving 2-minute sprints (BLEH!); and Sundays sees me COLLAPSE in a heap! All in all, if the route is unchanged, I can tackle it relatively comfortably as I am familiar with all the twists and turns of the course (quite often letting gravity pull me along!) and I distract myself by pondering about what to write about next -- never mind all the limping when I am done (but that’s for ANOTHER story)! But, when Matt decides to come along on my run AND THEN takes us on a different route (just for the ‘adventure’!), I struggle mentally and lag far far FAR behind; my labored panting peppered with “You’re killing me!” and “Argh! Where are you taking me?!”, complimented by “I’m sloooooooooowly dyyyyying!” and “Please can we walk for a few metres?” Just as well I have a patient husband who reminds me its ‘all in my head’!
I look back at my past and wonder if I was always like this. After all, I couldn’t be THAT risk-averse if having decided to live life on MY terms, I left home at 17, penniless and with nothing more than a bag of clothes; or when I took off to Japan to sing on a cruise ship without a single word of Japanese; or all those times I started little businesses from scratch; or fell in love? Risks? I’ve taken aplenty!
But I find that the combination of becoming a mother, age and time constraints brought about from the children’s schedules have morphed me into a bit of a control freak, constantly in a state of micro-managing possible challenges that may lay ahead. Choosing safer options, with plans B and C tucked in my back pocket in case plan A doesn’t quite work out. And it has its pros and cons.
I find this inherited quality comes in useful when I have to juggle this family-of-five’s schedule (six if you count Buddy!) because it enables for majority of the elements that make up our crazed lives to fall into place – most of the time. And so, I am accepting of the necessity of being more circumspect than my younger self -- life is no longer just about me.
And so, yet another reason why I am lucky to be married to Matt: he who reminds me (and the girls) of the importance of going off-piste every now-and-then and the fun in being spontaneous – which is why every so often, I allow myself to be led on his crazy adventures to venture into the uncertain; to stay young, find new reasons to laugh, create fresh memories and learn something new.