Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Thank You ..

As we struggle with the loss of Jenny and we try to find our place in this new world, we have much to be grateful for.

Joanne, Jenny and Geoff - Paddling on Fitzroy Island Far Nth Qld - 26 March 2009

Jenny "in her element" - PD's Women's - CNY/Heat 1 - Sat 08 Feb 2009

We are grateful for the time we had with Jenny. We did some amazing things together and we feel honoured that we were a part of her journey through this life and that we were there to support her in all her endeavours (and for her support in ours) and in particular the final steps she made as she broke free from this world. She "touched" many people, more than we will ever know. She has given us strength, motivation and inspiration to go forward. She lives on through us and she helps to inspire and guide us as we continue to live fullfilling lives - something she showed us and wanted for us all. In particular, we are very grateful to our Family and Friends who have shared our Grief, shown us their Empathy, given us their Support and quietly look out for us.

PD's and the "Orange Twist" - FOW - Sun 07 Dec 2009

Family and Friends - FOW - Sun 07 Dec 2009

We continue to lead the lives that Jenny would want for us, and the day following Jenny's Funeral, Joanne and I returned to our training with the Australian Dragon Boat Team. We went to Prague to represent Australia at the World Dragon Boat Championships barely 8 weeks after Jenny's passing.

Jenny - St George Private Hospital - Tue 23 Jun 2009

We went with open hearts and minds, and had "the time of our lives".

Geoff, Mike and Joanne with Jenny's Paddle and Gold Medal - Prague/Racice - Day 5 - Sun 30 Aug 2009

Australian Senior Mixed 500m Team – Prague/Racice - Day 4 - 29 Aug 2009

Joanne and I have so many people to thank. I cannot even attempt to start this process, but I hope everyone will know the part they played in supporting and guiding us through this period of our lives.

After all this time, all I can say is "THANK YOU" from the bottom of our hearts.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Thank You: RPM ..

I started RPM (an interval based stationary bike programme with 7 cherographed training tracks) at Sydney University's Aquatic Centre's RPM Studio on Fri 11 May 2007. I was so "pumped" and I can still remember calling Jenny almost straight after the session to say that it was everything (plus more) that I hoped it would be. Jenny and Jo had told me about their "Spinning Classes" and how much they enjoyed it. I had finally found the same thing - thanks Jenny and Joanne.

RPM Studio - Sydney Unit Aquatic Centre (Mon 30 Nov 2009)

I had been toying with the idea of doing some Group Fitness at the Sydney Uni Gym. My membership at the time allowed me to use the Gym equipment only. The previous weekend I had successfully trialled for the Australian Senior Open's Dragon Boat team to participate at the 2007 IDBF World Dragon Boat Championships. I was looking for something new and thought I needed to try something different, to compliment the running I was doing for my cardio.

I was a little nervous about the joining the Group Fitness Programmes and in my normal way, I put it off until I read a blog post by Drew Ginn titled:

I had been following Drew's Blog for a few months. I had really connected to his writing style (particularly the grammatical and spelling errors :-) and found all his articles to be very motivating. Being a Rower, his articles could easily be translated and related to my world of dragon boating [in actual fact, I have felt that I have almost lived a parrallel life, though not quite at the same level :-) ]

Vincent and Geoff - RPM Sydney Uni Aquatic Centre (Fri 27 Nov 2009)

Heart Rate - First RPM Class - Fri 11 May 2007 (Vincent)

The Ridden into the ground and loving it post was a motivating story, but it was the following quotes that really caught my eye:

[..] The remarkable thing is each time I go into this place, into this zone I find something special, something new. [..]

[..] The pleasure is in the relationship the lies within the range and scope of extremes. The vastness of feelings marks a cycle. Not just the one we ride but the one that is ever present inside us. [..]

These were the feelings I wanted to explore more. Maybe RPM could accelerate what I had already learnt in the boat.

RPM has turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made regarding my development. It has been everything I hoped it would be, plus more.

What have I found in RPM? I have found many things: discipline, the cherography for each track requires a mental discipline. A sense of timing and feeling: the music and tracks require a feeling for the beat and rythym - much like the feeling you need to find when paddling. The interval based workout requires a measured approach to your effort. On top of all of this you become very fit.

Ali and Geoff - RPM Sydney Uni Aquatic Centre (Mon 30 Nov 2009)

When I first started I would hide in the middle of the class and try not to be noticed as I do with most things. As my confidence and understanding grew, I bought a pair of bike shoes with clips (the 2007 Tour de France really motivated me there). With the new shoes, I had to move upto the front row where the bikes with toe clips were. It was a great move. It helped me with my dragon boating (even more), where I had just started to stroke (i.e. sit in the front seat). I started to develop a sense of feeling the energy, and timing behind and around me - it is very similiar to stroking a boat.

Loulou and Geoff - RPM Sydney Uni Aquatic Centre (Tue 01 Dec 2009)

One of the bests parts of RPM for me has been the people. Vincent is the head instructor at the Gym and has worked (and still teaches instructors across Australia) for Les Mills (an Auckland based company) who run and develop the RPM Programme worldwide. James has been an instructor for years and is probably one of the best instructors in Australia - he brings his mountain bike experiences to the class. I have seen both Ali (she started the same time as me) and Loulou go from participants to intructors who run amazing classes and bring their own personalites to each session. Vincent has taught them well, it has been a delight for me to watch their progress and development. As I said, this has been one of the best parts of RPM for me and they have inspired me in my own endeavours.

James and Geoff - RPM Sydney Uni Aquatic Centre (Wed 02 Dec 2009)

These people have contributed significantly to make me the person and athlete I am and I can't thank them enough. Just recently I personally thanked each person and gave them a copy of Jenny's Gold Medal story with a big thank you for their part in my development. Also took the chance to get a photo.

Thank you Vincent, Ali, Loulou and James and all the RPM team at Sydney University Aquatic Centre.