Sunday, April 20, 2008


Further Weekend Adventures of the Crazy Parents.

Geez this role model stuff is hard work. I mean.. we do all this insanely active stuff, but The Children appear to be placing too much credence on the times when we sleep in, and not so much on the get-out-in-the-fresh-air-and-do-a-bit part. Why is that? Can't they see what fun we're having?!

The Eldest Daughter every now and then rolls her eyes and says "I have weird parents." Perhaps we haven't broadened her horizons enough, because there are plenty out there doing crazier stuff than we are. (Plus we think she secretly likes being able to tell friends 'meh, I rode 50km today...' and, perhaps having whacko parents is at least a bit interesting, insofar as how Complaints about the Parentals go...)

So meanwhile the three of them have been dedicating their school holidays to training themselves in all aspects of Sloth. They have perfected the art of still being in their PJs at midday - and Caitlin has been doing much research into the art of staying in bed till after midday and still being clothed in what she slept in at 5pm.

And god forbid I suggest they go outside and do something ACTIVE!

It all came to a head this afternoon when they didn't look lively enough when I said that maybe we could go to the movies this afternoon. They have been told that if they want to do anything interesting during this coming week, then they have to be out of their pyjamas and breakfasted at a reasonable hour. And so now finally this afternoon they are all out and getting wet as the weather closes in again...

But anyway, the topic I set myself was actually The Crazy Parents... and another weekend sample of the things we choose to do...

The forecast was for crappy weather ("showers , heavy at times") and so it came to pass. (See, the Weather Bureau doesn't always get it wrong!) We passed up the Saturday morning community ride - deciding at 5am when the alarm went off that those showers were too heavy, thanks, and we went back to sleep for another few hours! (All good role model stuff huh..) We squeezed in a quick visit to a local Curryfest market day thingy, but then dragged everyone off because we had more Important Things to do....

We had decided that rain, hail or shine we'd paddle, and the weather was kind enough to schedule a break in the downpours and even bring on some sunshine. So we made the crazykids accompany us, and sit by the banks of the creek for the 50 mins of the race. ("It won't hurt you to be out in the fresh air.. We watch enough of your netball...."... and besides which I bought us all hot chips on the way home which they wouldn't have got had they stayed home!) The problem was we all paddled out of sight, so it was not much of a spectator sport... but at least we got a couple of photos for the record. (There was an ulterior motive to the ultimatum!)

Zoomed and cropped shot of us starting off... He In The Front who steers and sets the pace (aka Mr Competitive) had apparently decided that one week of taking it easy was enough warm up after 5 years. While we will surely go faster as we find our groove again, I didn't have much left in the tank 46 minutes later. I am a bit out of practice with the washriding of other boats, and paddling at very close quarters alongside other kayaks.

Late afternoon shot of everyone floating to a stop after crossing the finish line..

With upper bodies throughly 'worked out'... the plan for Sunday was to focus on trashing the legs. (He's in training remember.) A 'walk' in the morning, and a mountain bike ride in the afternoon. Again, despite hearing early morning rain, the weather was kind to us this morning, and we only ended up with a few spots of rain, despite the ominous rumblings of thunder in the distance. (What?! The forecast was showers, not thunderstorms!)

Mr In-Training plotted a route from home out to the state forest, and up some steep state forest tracks onto the ridgeline. Along a bit. Then back down again.

I guess that doesn't mean that much... How about an elevation profile? See what looks like the steep bits in the middle? They were the steep bits.


(Ignore the red spot on the map.) We started off from home... a block back from the beach there. First a few kilometres through residential streets.. .. along the bike path ...

Ooh look, kangaroos... Mum with joey in pouch, plus older brother/sister?

...and then up towards the state forest.

This time we were detouring off our usual bike riding route and heading up "a steep track". At first I was thinking "Oh, this is nice, perhaps we could ride our bikes this way some time."

Then we hit this hill....

Hmmm... maybe not.. or.. well... maybe you could just push them up this bit...

But then...

[Apparently I swore - he heard me...]

"Slippery When Wet." Indeed. We've had rain. It wasn't too easy to negotiate in runners or cross trainers... (Normally I'd choose dunlop volleys when I need some tyres with grip.) So now he is talking about acquiring adventure racing shoes ... there is apparently this whole retail industry set up to sell adventure racing specific clothing and gear! Who would have thought it?!

Looking back down:
I was so busy worrying about traction, I didn't think to get puffed. And you certainly get height value for each step when it's that steep. Before long we were at the top and tootling along a gently undulating track, to be rewarded with the view back down from where we'd come.

And then State Forest emerged back out into farmland. The road back down was pretty damned steep too, but fortunately paved. Some landowner had placed "Private Property" signs at the top, but there was no gate, and as it was the most direct route home, we took it. I was too busy worrying about my knees on the steep downhill and didn't get the camera out.

My feet, legs, hips and bum were suitably 'trashed' by the time we got home, and so I wussed out of the afternoon's MTB adventure. Mr In-Training went off to meet up with a cycling friend to explore some tracks near town... while I stayed home to recover "encourage" the girls to get out and do something. Suggestions of going for a jog to get a bit of practice in before the school cross country were met by an apoplectic and tearful reaction from Ms 9. [So I thought she liked it when she came first last year! Go figure.. who am I to understand.. or to suggest doing a bit of training?! God, it's not like I don't practise what I .. suggest...]

The eldest finally decided to go for a run/walk with a friend - seeing they were told by their rep netball coach to keep their fitness up during the holidays. The other two managed to contact some friends - also sisters - and did a swap for an hour or so. Not quite as active, but then the rain closed in again anyway. If they'd got themselves going earlier they would have had a much more productive and fulfilling day! Just ask their crazy parents.

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I think Every teenager had crazy parents. If they had normal parents they'd think that was crazy, too.

That's quite a hike you had! Does it ever seem like there's twice as many uphills as down?
I guess not many kids think their parents are cool!

Usually it's a case of what goes up must come down. Or vice versa in the case of canyoning. (Only in canyoning, often you get metreage on the downs by abseiling.. and so the slogging back up does seem a steep price to pay!

Yesterday I actually think the downhill was worse.. sometimes it is actually easier to go up. I was bloody glad I wasn't doing it the other way round... I don't think I could have stayed upright trying to negotiate that heading down!
Even my four year old has requested I NOT visit her class NEXT year when she goes starts primary school because I am apparently "too embarrassing". I felt like saying "what did I do!!!" I don't think that is a good start at all.
Loved your bush walk shots. Beautiful.

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