Back on the horse – so to speak.

By now most of you would have read my running ramblings on, well, running. And you’ve probably had a giggle or three at my expense. That’s ok! I exist only to entertain, or as an automatic teller machine for my children 🙂

Today though instead of dodging doggy doo and the usual shelob shenanigans, I though I would share something a little different – Injury.Injury

In August 2012 I was running between 30 and 40 kilometres per week. I had completed my first ever City to Surf at my fastest ever time per kilometre. My weight was a comfortable 82 kilograms and I was feeling fantastic. Then it all fell apart.

Injury 1: Calf Muscle Calamity.

In early September that year I was running through Port Meadow, just outside of Oxford in the UK, when I stepped in a divot and hurt my leg. I tried to run through it but the pain was too much, so we settled down at the Trout Inn for a couple of pints and an ice pack. The bar staff teased me mercilessly, but kept the amber fluid flowing so I didn’t really care. A few days later I hobbled out for a slow jaunt around Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. It was stupid, but there was no way I was going all the way to London and not take in a run. Abbey Road, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, too much to see and do. Injuries were sent packing, but when I got off the plane in Sydney they were waiting for me with reinforcements.

My Achilles tendon was damaged and, by pushing myself, I had strained my calf muscle. Diagnosis – several months to heal. Bugger!

So I spent the summer playing with the kids and taking it easy on my leg. We bodysurfed, jumped off jetties, rode waterslides, raised chickens and BBQ’d every day. Sunburn was inevitable as were mosquito bites, but it was a brilliant summer of relative inactivity. As the leaves began changing colour I began running again and by May I was on track to return to my pre-Oxford state. My leg nagged me a little, but it wasn’t anything to really worry about. Then it all fell apart again.

Injury 2: Nerve Wracking Neck

Cervical VertebraeWhilst moving house in May 2013 I managed to wrench the nerves in my neck. The resulting disc bulge between vertebrae 5 and 6 in my cervical spine caused numbness and strange pain sensations down my left arm and into my hand. My triceps ache as if I have just undergone a strenuous workout. My forearm is painful to the touch and my thumb feels as though it is recovering from a severe burn. There is no damage to my arm whatsoever, but my nerves think that there is and the feeling is surreal.

Exercise was out of the question. Wii bowling and PS3 Rugby League were the only sports I could play, and even that was limited to short bursts before my neck gave up on me. In spite of the fact that muscular definition was still there, my left arm could scarcely hold up my iPhone. Brushing my teeth was a chore and carrying my kids was impossible.

Eventually, thanks largely to a brilliant physiotherapist, opioid analgesics gave way to paracetamol and I was able to walk without wincing at every step.  Finally, thirteen months after my initial injury, I am back pounding the pavement.

My weight has gone up – I hate that.

My fitness level has gone down – I hate that too.

But I am back on the horse now and hoping its not headed for the glue factory.

Impending End and the Super Zombie

Zombie Heroes

So with the Mayan philosophy allegedly coming to fruition this Friday, and the imminent rising from the grave of our decaying loved ones, I thought I’d pose the question;

What if Superheroes were zombies?

zombie_cartoon_characters_02

Zombie Robin the wannabe Dark Knight doesn’t worry me whatsoever. A silly kid in spandex tights with a fetish for trapezes and undies on the wrong side of his leggings, is no bigger threat than any other member of the living dead, but how the hell do you outrun the corpsified Flash? Our only hope here is that one of his legs rots off and he becomes the Hobble or perhaps, the Crawl. Actually, you don’t have to be able to outrun the Flash, you just need to be faster than the guy next to you 😉

The Green Lantern is no problem. Zombies are just mindless eating machines, so without the willpower to wield the ring he’s just another shambling walker with an allergy to shotguns.

I won’t even comment on the fact that Wonder Woman still looks hot regardless of the drooling cadaver she has become 😉 However, I’m not sure I want her wrapping the lasso of truth around me.

The guy on the left could be a bit of a challenge though.

MARZOM2001

Batman, or The Zom as he would be known, may only be human, but he is a human with superior strength, agility and a hankering for dark alleys. Lets just hope he’s too busy slugging it out with zombie Joker.

And what about those guys and their cohorts? Yes, Zombie Avengers would make a cool movie. But I’d rather not have a fetid Thor whacking me with his hammer from hell.

zombie-hulkI wonder whether Wolverine would actually look like a walking corpse or would his mutant healing skills keeping him fresh?

Would Spidey’s webs be decayed upon deployment?

Will the super soldier have the cranial capacity to swing the shield, or can he be brought down like any other man with Kevlar body armor?

Hopefully Jarvis would not allow the putrefied Tony Stark to don the iron suit, but could we actually stop the Necrotastic Four?

Zombies hate fire so I guess the Torch is a no-brainer (pun intended) and Mr. Fantastic can be stopped with a puddle of Supa Glue, or by being tied to a lamp post.

However, an indestructible rock-skin Thing and an invisible zombie!!! Well that’s just downright unsporting.

And what would the jolly green giant say?

‘Hulk smash’ or ‘Hulk eat’?

Perhaps with his limited vocabulary all we would hear is ‘Brains’, which would be funny – for about 0.03 of a second.

Unfortunately, the only way to stop the big fella is to wait until he changes back into Bruce Banner.

Or maybe Superman could help?

Unless of course he looks like this, and then we’re all screwed.

Zombie Superman

Inner City Oink

I’ve written before about the pneuma of the urban dweller. Smokers desperately inhaling their last puff of poison before boarding the train to work. Boofheads going nun-bowling and smelly swearing students show boating in front of schoolgirls. That’s all part and parcel of life in the big city and it provides a vibrant backdrop for the upcoming eight hours of mundane office work most people endure. Public transport however, is not the only place in Sydney inhabited by ‘colourful’ characters.

I like to go for a run in the mornings and, whilst my usual route crosses some unpleasant roads, the overall experience is generally peaceful and serene. Today however was a little different.

Wyndham Street in Alexandria is a busy thoroughfare of commuter vehicles, buses and trucks heading for the fringe of the city and the north. From 6:00am onwards there is a steady stream of carbon monoxide belching from blackened exhausts and a cacophony of horns honking for no apparent reason. It’s enough to make you sick – literally. In the midst of this motorised chaos was a cyclist, weaving in and out of traffic, with headphones in his ears and no helmet on his head. Was he drunk, on drugs or just plain stupid – I don’t know. We call people like that ‘temporary Australians.’

A few minutes later I am jogging down Bourke Street in Waterloo and another cyclist almost cleans me up on the footpath. I ride a bike too and I don’t like battling for space with cars, so I understand the desire to get off the road. However, what you may not know dear reader is that the footpath I was on runs parallel to a purpose-built bike lane. Yes there is a lane dedicated to push bikes. Only push bikes! No cats, dogs, kids, cars, camels, goats or joggers are allowed on it. Just cyclists. Yet this fool figured he was better off bashing into pedestrians. Seriously fellow riders, it’s no wonder motorists hate us.

After a cursory spray of bad language from yours truly, which was met with a flippant flipping of the bird from the two-wheeled twat, I headed back towards Redfern Park. As I enjoyed a long cool drink from the bubbler I felt a dog snuffling around my feet. It’s a very family friendly park full of people and pets so I leaned down to give the little fellow a pat. But this weren’t no canine. Instead of a cute little puppy there was a huge black pig snorting and lapping at the water I had splashed onto the ground.

Pigs don’t scare me, but seeing one in the city is certainly a strange sight, especially one so at ease with humans all around. I plucked up some courage and gingerly touched his head. It was covered in thick bristly fur that felt more like a scrubbing-brush than the soft hair of a typical domesticated animal. His curly tailed wiggled. Suddenly high-pitched whistle shattered the serenity and Bacon Sandwich (or whatever his name was) oinked and shot off across the grass to play with his owner. He had a lead. He chased tennis balls. He wrestled with the other dogs. Clearly Porky was a pooch, or at least he thought he was. With a fat and happy hog frolicking in the fountain I headed home to shower and go to work.

The train ride was largely uneventful, until it began rattling its way out of Wynyard Station. A couple of girls, with foundation like Liquid Paper and teeth bleached beyond a whiter shade of pale, plopped their dainty derrieres in the chair opposite me and proceeded to critique my fellow passengers. With high-pitched squeaky voices and an annoying penchant for finishing their sentences with an inflection as if posing a question, where no question existed, these two little bimbos from Ella Baché squawked on about how grey hair makes you look old. Its called DISTINGUISHED ladies. Thankfully they got off at Milson’s Point and gave everyone’s ears a rest.

As I arrived at my destination I reflected on how my day had begun.

Out of the idiot, the ignoramus, the bimbos and the swine; piglet was the nicest person.