Here’s what happened at Planted Life in May
For me May holds a special place in my heart as its typically always about birthday celebrations swiftly followed by a celebration of all the special women in our lives in particular our Mums.
May is also about the last leaves falling off the trees as we say farewell to Autumn and head into the cooler months of Winter. This isn’t before we continue to rake up the leaves and jump into them like we are jumping into a cloud.
The Autumn environment around us is rich in colour; from yellows, oranges and brown earthy tones; the landscape is breathtakingly beautiful should we look around us to see it.
Days 1-30 (because all days are still blending into one)
Life has certainly been a little different. 2020 was going to be particularly special especially heading into a new decade however no one counted on the development of a virus that would bring the world to a standstill.
With self-isolation and social distancing rules in place this meant many of our goal races and adventures for the year were either cancelled, postponed or still pending a decision based on that of the government. In a way, our freedom to really enjoy the great outdoors has been held to ransom (but find comfort in the fact that nature is not going anywhere).
Training and running outdoors were not ’not allowed’ however with most indoor venues closed it seemed everyone decided to ’take it outdoors’ leaving those who enjoyed the freedom of the great outdoors in the rain, hail or shine a little concerned with the amount of people around and how this impacted us personally when trying to adhere to the social distancing rules of 1.5m.
Some of us had to be creative; purchasing equipment such as treadmills, wahoo bike trainers or become very familiar with our local streets or even our own backyards. Race directors had to think outside of the ’track’ with numerous virtual races being held to keep us 1) accountable 2) competitive and 3) part of a community. It was this thought process that helped us become ‘virtually immune’ from the any potential danger that might have been lurking within the wider community.
Time to Fly
My physical fitness is paramount but equally so is my mental health. Where would I be without the openness and opportunity of running, who knows. What I do know is; running has made me a heathier person inside and out and it’s the likes of the brainchild of Hoka One One Isolation festival that ensured I kept moving forward within a community that understood how important this was during the month of May.
Early May I ran the 100km slam; running 36km on the Saturday and 64km on the Sunday. This weekend slam was an chance to fly; to just be part of a community from a distance all the while feeling supported. It worked.
To read about my success of this ISO running festival, I encourage you to visit my blog; Hoka One One Australia Isolation Running Festival
ISO Birthday Celebration
My golden rule for a birthday is to ‘never work’ however due to the world-wide pandemic nothing about this year is classed as ‘normal’ so why should how I normally choose to celebrate my birthday be either? With me in Melbourne and my twin sister in Adelaide, there was no chance of us physically being together so we had to settle for second best; a video call.
While Bec was out running the trails of the Adelaide Hills at sunset (lucky for her they are practically her backyard), I was running indoors on my treadmill accepting my situation for what it was as opposed to wishing it was something different. We made the most of an unusual situation even having some fun with it.
As I wound up my session and Bec was still exploring, I turned off all the lights in my house, donned my headlamp and transported myself to her positioning role playing that I too was running the trails. We laughed a lot, more so at our stupidity but also at our ability to be creative and despite our age, never take ourselves too seriously.
Be connected with others without stepping foot outside your home….
I mindfully attended, as part of my birthday gift the ‘At-home retreat’ with Ryan Mannix and Al Jeffery; a 4-hour retreat which consisted of deep thought, connection and meditation practices to help understand and accept the now.
Ryan and Al have both had a profound impact on my self, my soul in particular separately over the years and to have the opportunity to learn and be nourished with their words and guidance was something I could not pass up on. Its amazing how connected you can feel with others when you are the only one in a room.
I gave thanks to Ryan Mannix and Al Jeffery for their creativity and vision to connect participants through thought, breath and movement. I learnt further why meditation is etched deeply into my daily routine; it’s to ‘go through life more awake’. What an eye opener this retreat turned out to be.
Becoming my own MasterChef
Home-cooking is making a comeback; whether you’re #IsoBaking or #CoronaCooking, the kitchen is a great place to help ease stress and anxiety by connecting with your inner MasterChef. The simple art of kitchen creations comes with a sense of comfort and control & a feeling of purpose and productivity.
With the help of small businesses who were keen to connect further with their community, the month of May had these wonderful connections ‘teach an old dog new tricks’ by learning to make raw cashew cheese and sourdough bread.
I cannot tell you what a rewarding experience both these creations have been; I didn’t think one could feel such satisfaction by just watching bacteria do its thing! A big thank you goes out to both Artisa Cheese (cashew cheese making), Prospect, TAS and All the Things (sourdough starter), Barossa Valley, SA for such guidance and inspiration. My kitchen habits have changed for life (not just for ISO).
Success from Failure
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”. No true words have been spoken especially when it comes to baking bread. I am not sure why my first attempt at baking sourdough did not work; was it the mother, the fact I didn’t use filtered water, was my proving room not humid enough, or maybe it was too humid. Was my oven not hot enough, not modern enough or was it just a lesson in resilience and that all good things don’t come easy?
I didn’t post about my first attempt; the loaf was heavier than my fridge, it was so dense I could barely cut through it and my husband joked that it could severely injure a duck if you were to throw it at them (think the scene in the movie, About a Boy). Sourdough baking was both testing and teaching me something; from failure you will eventually find success.
My second attempt I have no idea what I did different other than use spring water to feed my mother. The anticipation when I lifted the Dutch oven lid after baking was a feeling I want to bottle and sell…it was pure elation. I haven’t felt that happy in a long time; it was warming, satisfying and nothing short of rewarding. I was officially a weekend baker and I liked how it rolled off the tongue.
Rewalking old trails
“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child—our own two eyes. All is a miracle.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh
As the state government restrictions lifted allowing us to socialise outside of our homes, I willingly connected with those who help lift me up; my wild women who adore and appreciate not only our ability to connect as individuals but our ability connect with the earth around us. What better place to feel the worlds breath wash over you than to head to the Mornington Peninsula coast for some sweet Two Bays Trails love.
What’s planned in June?
- To continue to connect and quieten the inner workings of my mind through daily mindfulness practices and meditation
- Create a new normal of communication with my friends though more voice calls than digital messaging
- To set an FKT time of the Mornington Peninsula Walk (shhh its a secret)
Don’t be a COVIDIOT
The plans for the next month don’t need to be many they just need to be highly achievable and obtainable. As we have said all year, the year will unfold as the universe has planned and as much as we like to think we have all the answers, questions are being raised daily and this is leaving us all a little frustrated and confused. But remember, we’re in this together.
Welcome to June where we celebrate the Winter solstice 7:43am Sunday 21st June); celebrating the longest hours of darkness or the rebirth of the sun which holds a powerful energy for regeneration, renewal and self-reflection. Just what we need during these uncertain and unpresented times.
[Note: this blog forms part of my accountability promise to myself]