I’ve just come back from the most rejuvenating of breaks. As we do most years, my fiancée and I travelled down to a small costal town on the Great Ocean Road. It’s small enough that you can still get around in peak tourist season but big enough that there’s plenty to do. The nearest supermarket is in the next town over, but to get everything you need you really need to go two towns over. The best coffee shops are in what is officially referred to as “the top shops” and the fish and chip place is in “the bottom shops”. One set of shops being on top of the hill, the other at the base. Genius, huh?
There’s lots to do around the town, with plenty of beaches within walking distance, and the back porch is perfect place to read a book in the afternoons
Who needs a gym?
We tried stand up paddle boarding (no photos, sorry). It was sooo much fun! Easier than I thought, (thanks pilates and yoga for all the balance and core work!). Towards the the of our session I did let my mind wander as I took in the beautiful, tranquil surrounds… and I fell off! Much to the amusement of my fiancée, who (typically) stayed very poised and dry on his paddleboard. Can you tell who is the clumsy one in our relationship? It made the experience more enjoyable though, and anyway it was a hot day!
We went for many a walk along the beach, sans shoes and I even did yoga in the backyard. That is, until I got ravaged by mosquitos, at 9am (seriously?!). The general store (for basic grocery things you might have missed, like I do. Every. Single. Time.) and the best coffee shops are all within walking distance as are some stunning beaches. It’s very easy to leave the car behind and see what adventures you can have on foot.
Between all this, there was lots of much needed rest and rejuvenation. I took many books with me and nearly got through them all (after a dubious look from my other half “really? You need all those books?!”). I read far and wide from adventure to non-fiction to aspirational and inspirational.
I did (and always will) struggle with the need to listen to my whole body to rest and slow down and to the joints that are affected by my Ethlers Danlos who keep telling me to do more and more exercise. I don’t fully understand the mechanism as this is a new diagnosis for me but it goes like: I have less connective tissue between my joints than people normally do, which means that the joints have a tendency to rub and knock against each other which is immensely painful but exercising regularly helps keep the muscles around the joints strong which helps reduce the joints knocking, equaling less pain. I haven’t been totally pain free for a while now but mostly I can keep it to the point that the joints simply feel stiff (and while this isn’t the same this as not being in pain at all, I can cope with it). I’ve learned that the stiffness is the place between being pain free and living with lots of pain. As I’m typing I can feel the pain returning in my hands and fingers. Luckily, I know that after a few sessions of using my hands to grip barbells and kettlebells, the pain will slowly die down. Was it worth the pain to let my whole body rest? Absolutely
Yes, I’m in pain and yes doing less formal “exercise” landed me in this situation but I’m actually in a much better frame of mind to deal with the pain and the inevitable “why my” thoughts. All the walking kept my lower limbs from suffering the same fate, so there’s an upside!
Food, glorious food
Our food adventure began on trip down to Airey’s Inlet. A roadside fruit market had been set up in Geelong and nothing pleased my heart more than being able to stop and sample their wares. We stocked up on so much lovely fresh fruit that kept us going for the whole week.
We had the most divine wood-smoked pizza-Hawaiian for him, and prosciutto, pear and blue cheese for me. So good! That night I had planned honey mustard chicken and had foolishly gone to the small supermarket in the next town over only to find they had run out of chicken! (seriously, a supermarket with no chicken??). We had always wanted to try this pizza place, so we thought why not? A classic intuitive eating example!
There was many a cheese platter, fresh fruit, and local produce to try. Clearly, I was in heaven.
An introverts’ dream
The one regret I had was not swimming in the ocean as much as I would have liked, because, sharks. There were so many in our area!
I sampled the freshest local produce, swam (albeit, very briefly) in the cold ocean waters and spend a lot of time inwardly reflecting on the year that was, and what I want to achieve in 2017, how I’m going to get there and what I want my days and weeks to look like.
I’m ready to tackle 2017 head on and I have so many excited things planned. I can’t wait to see how this year unfolds!
Although, the hardest thing I’ve had to remember while on holidays is whether our destination required footwear so I feel that it will take awhile to ramp back up to full speed!