Monthly Archives: May 2013

Guest Post: Whoa-Oh Running On a Prayer

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Guest Post: Whoa-Oh Running On a Prayer

By Dane L.

When Amanda asked for some challenges for her birthday some 10 and a half months ago, it seemed like such a good idea to give her one with a healthy kick. Probably for the best given that other challenges included such indulgences as “Blow a stack of cash”, “Eat McDonalds-esque food” and “Watch 100 movies”.

Still, 10 and a half months ago, a 21.1km (don’t forget the .1) “fun” run didn’t seem like an impossible task. And given the amount of time we had to train and prepare, it was sure to be a positive experience for her, and myself. Yet, life gets in the way (or 29 other challenges) and we both found our training a little lacklustre. I have at least run the City2Surf in the past, and Amanda has done the Central Coast Bay2Bay, but we are both far from fitness freaks. As the date drew nearer and nearer we both felt a growing sense of dread, much rather than excitement for the challenge itself.

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What goes up…

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What goes up…

When I was a kid I used to be quite proud of the fact that I wasn’t scared of roller coasters. It was one of the few things I was tougher at than my big brother (and don’t go denying it now Ryan – while not a scaredy-cat by any means, you did sit out a couple of rides!)

I don’t know why it mattered to me so much to feel tough, but it did. The first time I braved a ride my brother refused was a proud moment only equal to the first time I finished my dinner before my Dad. The repercussions of both of these early experiences are still being felt today… I still eat like a duck and I’m still not a scaredy-cat (with the exception of my automatonophobia, but that’s a whole other story).

But a funny thing happens as you get older… It’s not that you become more scared, it’s more like you just forget how to be brave. It’s easy to find excuses not to do reckless things. Think of the mortgage! Think of how you’ll feel at work tomorrow! (And, won’t somebody PLEASE think of the children?!) We’re all guilty of finding our comfy little rut and nestling in for the winter. It’s human nature, but it’s also a big, fat shame.

Thanks to my list and thanks to another almost-thirty-year-old, today I got the opportunity to dust off the cobwebs – and what better way to dust yourself off than to jump out of a plane at 14,000 feet?

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Crossing the Finish Line

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Crossing the Finish Line

Okay so Dane and Andy looked cool as cucumbers at the half marathon… and I looked about as cool as…. a beetroot!

So, if you’re curious to see exactly how fast a beetroot can run, check out this video!

(Skip to 2:27 if you’re short on time and see if you can spot me!)

What did you think of my “marathon” effort? Leave me a comment below!

 

Movie Review: No 76. Chinatown

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Movie Review: No 76. Chinatown

This movie has received the following accolades:

  • The line “Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown.” was voted as the #74 movie quote by the American Film Institute and #71 by Premiere (it also featured on The Simpsons);
  • In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked it as the #21 Greatest Movie of All Time;
  • In 2008, the American Film Institute ranked it #2 on the list of the 10 greatest films in the ‘Mystery’ genre;
  • It’s number 76 on imdb’s Top 250 movies list; and…
  • It has now received 4 lousy, stinkin’, semi-rotten pumpkins on the Top 30 Countdown scale of overall movie whelmingness.

A much worthier film once posed the question, “I know you can be overwhelmed, and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?”

And to that I say “Yes. Watch this movie”.

Run to Paradise

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Run to Paradise

Yesterday I completed one of the most difficult challenges of my life, and it’s all thanks to my little brother. When he first set the challenge I just thought he was being cruel. Run a half marathon?! You’ve got to be joking! His alternative challenge, “Have a baby”, was starting to look pretty good, but I’d made a pact to accept each challenge as it came and not get picky. So, much to the dismay of the would-be grandparents, I’d have to run that half marathon!

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Movie Review: No 62. Life is Beautiful

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Movie Review: No 62. Life is Beautiful

If, like me, you grew up in the 80s and 90s, you will remember these fun-loving city-slickers:

perfect-strangers-1

But, if I were to tell you that watching ‘Life is Beautiful’ is like watching a feature-length episode of ‘Perfect Strangers’, what would you say to me?

I hope you’d say, “Don’t be ridi-cool-us”.

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Murder at 40 Baskets

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Murder at 40 Baskets

With the remaining days of my twenties slipping between my fingers faster than a wet fish, panic has begun to set in. Will I really complete all of my Top 30 challenges before I turn 30?!

On Friday night, I dashed to my friend Pat’s house to commiserate. She has signed herself up to a similar challenge. With more time up her sleeve, but fewer challenges completed, she understood my predicament well.

You may remember Pat from the Maccas Challenge. You might think that challenge a little less… well… challenging than some of the others, but that’s probably because Pat knew she’d be asking me to return the favour. Little did I know, when providing Pat with my challenge, that her list has a catch. You see, anyone who offers Pat an item for her list has to actually complete the challenge with her. It’s only now that I know to regret my challenge for her, “Break the law”.

Pat enjoys the outdoorsy life in Sydney’s beautiful Northern Beaches. So, after a night drowning our respective third-life-crisis sorrows, we headed out to greet the new day with an excursion to a little beach called ’40 Baskets’, nestled along the shore of Sydney Harbour.

Little did we know that we would both tick off a challenge that day… and little did we know it would be one of the most traumatic days of our lives.

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Movie Review: No 73. The Great Dictator

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Movie Review: No 73. The Great Dictator

Charlie Chaplin could talk! Who knew?

Yes, this 1940 masterpiece shows Chaplin in all his verbal glory. In fact, the film’s closing speech left me… well… speechless myself. I’d love to quote the whole thing to you but I’m afraid you’re just going to have to watch the entire film to the very end to see what I am talking about. After all, that’s where the true joy of this film lies and I’d hate to steal it from you before you’ve even seen it! Let’s just put it this way – he gives Churchill, Martin X and all the other great historical orators a run for their gut-stirring money.

So… while we’re waiting for you to get around to watching it yourself, I’ll mention a couple of other things…

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