Category Archives: Mission Accomplished

Guest Post: What’s a Sherrin?

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Guest Post: What’s a Sherrin?

By Karen B.

When Amanda first told me about her “30 things to do before she turns 30” list, I thought wow! That’s awesome!

When she followed it up by saying that she was asking her friends and family to populate the list, the thought was, wow! She’s game!

For those of you who know me, you will know that I am “a bit” of a sports nut. So it is quite ironic that my oldest friend is, simply put, possibly the furthest thing from it. There has been more than the odd occasion where I have been on the receiving end of rolling eyes when sport related topics or footy plans come up…

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The Amanda Race

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The Amanda Race

Challenge number 28 on the Top 30 Countdown dared me to ‘Spend a week’s wage on a night out‘.

That’s my kind of “challenge”!

I umm’d and ahh’d about this one for pretty much the entire year. Should I gamble it all away on a single spin of the roulette wheel? Should I rent a stretch Hummer and drive around Sydney sipping champagne and lording it all over everyone? I even briefly considered an international trip, but thought better of it when I checked out my rather grim looking annual leave balance.

In the end I decided that the best way to blow a week’s wage would be to spend it all celebrating with my closest friends and family – so, last night, that’s exactly what I did!

… but not before running around Sydney dressed in a police outfit inviting strangers to dance ‘Gangnam Style’ for the camera…

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Guest Post: Postulations of a Tortured Soul

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Guest Post: Postulations of a Tortured Soul

By Mitch D.

Authors Note: The following article contains liberal doses (dollops, even) of sarcasm. Please proceed with your tongue firmly implanted into your cheek.

I must confess, I am disappointed.

No, my friends, not the utter disappointment that arises when the Blues lose the State of Origin again, or when Steph returns and creates havoc on Ramsay Street and causes pain in the lives of your favourite peeps. No, this is just a mild feeling…

Of let-downedness…

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Guest Post: Mirror mirror on the wall…

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Guest Post: Mirror mirror on the wall…

By Rachael L.

As one of the main characters in Amanda’s first book High Doses of Obsession (whose only hard-copy edition sits lovingly on my bookshelf), I thought it was only fitting that my suggestion for her ’30 things’ list would be for her to write another book. But Dave already beat me to it, and just about every other idea I had was taken too. Lacking in creativity (and yes, being rather indecisive), I couldn’t think of anything else so asked her to find someone else to contribute.

With 30 being a looming milestone for so many of my friends (and sadly for me too), I started to notice how it was becoming a time for reflection. But everyone seemed to be reflecting about all they things they hadn’t accomplished or wouldn’t achieve by the time they turned 30. A bunch of Negative Nellies

I thought Chris’s challenge for Amanda to spend a weekend in solitude was the perfect time for some self-reflection. Anyone who knows Amanda knows that she is full of love, compliments and great advice for her friends, but tends to be the self-deprecating type when it comes to herself.

Being a bit of a Positive Polly, I set Amanda a little bonus challenge – to reflect positively on herself and to think about some of the things she likes about herself and the things she’s good at. 30 of them, in fact.

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All by myself

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All by myself

List item number 26 challenged me to ‘Spend a weekend alone in silence – no TV, internet, iPhone, etc – to think, reflect, pray, whatever it is you do’. The challenge came from one of my oldest and dearest friends, Chris, who is currently in training to be an Anglican priest (and can therefore no doubt speak from experience when it comes to this kind of thing).

I don’t really pray much these days – I leave that to my skydiving friends. I’ve never spent enough time thinking (especially when it comes to thinking before speaking), and I’m sure I could benefit from a bit more time reflecting. It was a good challenge.

But, I didn’t pray this weekend either (well, not unless you share my rather convenient theory that to enjoy and appreciate life is to pray – I did plenty of that). I did, however, spend plenty of time thinking and reflecting… and doing “whatever it is I do” which is, of course, writing!

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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!

 

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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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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