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Rated: GC · Book · Biographical · #1940894
Originally efforts for the 30 Day Blogging Challenge in July... now just a blog
The 30 Day Blogging Challenge ..... lets see how far I get... Pretty far it seems!

Winner (1st place) for the July 2013 "30-Day Blogging Challenge
Second place for the September 2014 "30-Day Blogging Challenge
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February 26, 2015 at 11:31am
February 26, 2015 at 11:31am
Soundtrack to My Life – Track twenty

I *think* I have spoken about the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games before. I can’t find it in my blog but I am pretty sure it is here somewhere.
At the Games, I won one bronze and one silver medal. The silver looks like this (but with the Paralympic logo instead of Olympic), real solid silver with real jade set into it:

The bronze medal wasn’t very dramatic: it was what I expected to win in that race.
The Silver, however, has two stories attached to it. The first of which is the one I believe I’ve already told here – my shoulder was falling off, couldn’t move my arm, told not to swim, I did anyway, won silver then had surgery. It is a story I tell at all my schools to demonstrate determination and not wanting to give up.

But the other story is one that I’m 90% certain I haven’t told here. In fact, I don’t really tell it to anyone anymore. There is very little point. But I will today.

In 2006, I won gold in the 50m backstroke at the World Championships. I beat the rest of the field by 6 seconds! I was over the moon and found myself right at the top of the world rankings. And I stayed at the top until May 2008 (three months before the Paralympics) when suddenly I was relegated to 2nd in the world, which I didn’t realise until I was chatting to a friend.
Me: so, yeah I’m aiming for gold and that 17 year old World Record that no one can seem to break [at Beijing]
P: Ahh…
Me: What?
P: it’s just been broken by 5 seconds… you have a new girl in your class.
Me: Oh shit!

So, my dreams of easily getting a gold medal were smashed. But the story doesn’t end there…

I didn’t get to see this new girl swim until we got to Beijing. I then saw here in the warm up pool a few times and I watched her race because she was in the heat before me in my bronze medal race. She was very very able. She might have been slightly weaker than me, but her control was perfect and her arms went round like windmills. It was very clear she was in the wrong class

(in disability swimming, swimmers race in classes according to their physical impairment. So, S1 are the most severely disabled and S10 are the least – I was a S3)

In the race I won bronze in, the new girl got silver. Afterwards, a few people told me I’d been robbed. But the 50m back was the next day so I needed to focus.

The next day I was in agony, stressed and in a bad mood. In the morning heat, the new girl broke the world record again and I qualified in 2nd for the final. I remember storming to the swim-down pool and having the following, heated, discussion with my coach:

Me: This is ridiculous, she’s clearly in the wrong class
C: I know…
Me: Yes, everyone knows. Do something about it!
C: I can’t
Me: Errr as a country we can appeal
C: We’ve been told not to
Me: WHAT? Why?
C: Because we don’t want other countries appealing against our borderline swimmers
Me: You mean our cheater?
C: ahem… they have a good chance of gold
Me: I WILL get gold in six hours if this becomes a fair race
C: I know and I’m sorry. But I promise you it wont
Me: Fuck this shit *swims of to cool down*

Soooo yeah politics stopped me getting gold. I won silver, three seconds faster than the bronze medallist – despite a severe injury.

Anyway, the music: Just before I raced to silver I listened to track twenty on repeat. I mostly chose it because it was catchy. But actually the words fit quite well:

I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own
I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing
"Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!"

Coldplay – Viva La Vida

February 26, 2015 at 11:24am
February 26, 2015 at 11:24am
Soundtrack to My Life – Track nineteen

Given how much time off I’ve had recently (probably over two weeks), you’d think I’d have written loads and be well up to date with this here challenge. But, no, don’t be ridiculous. I’ve written absolutely sod all! I tell a lie: I’ve filled half a journal with a ton of crap in the hope that something inspired might flow out of my pen. Nada!
I am thinking of doing a Creative Writing course I found. I’ve wanted to do a course for a while now. I figure it will give me a focus and a writing course might crack the writer’s block I currently have. I just need to decide. I got paid today so that might help my decision.

Anyway, now I have to write ten blog posts (this one included) by Saturday in order to complete this challenge. Not to mention the five book reviews I need to write – also by Saturday. I refuse to give up.

Brilliant – just opened my post to find a ton of paperwork that I have to do. I guess I have a paperwork day coming up. Gahhh.

I won’t lie; I am absolutely shattered! For some bizarre (probably not that bizarre) reason, my body and mind are not to keen on the whole sleeping thing. Don’t get me wrong, I am getting some sleep: But it isn’t a lot and it isn’t good sleep. I came down stairs at 3:30 this morning, wrote crap in my journal, read for a bit and then dozed on the sofa while trying to fight off a rogue mosquito. Fun times.

This is not the first time in my life that I’ve had sleep issues, and I very much doubt it’ll be the last. Therefore, track nineteen has been chosen to reflect this…

Faithless - I can´t get no sleep/insomnia

February 22, 2015 at 11:10am
February 22, 2015 at 11:10am
Soundtrack to My Life - Track eighteen

I promise this will probably be the final track taken from my wedding last July.

In a way, music was a pretty important ingredient in our wedding. You see, we didn’t have a DJ or band etc. Chris and I decided we hated the idea of paying someone loads of money to DJ only to have them play crap music. So, instead, we had five people put together one playlist each. Chris & I did one each, as did his dad and two of his best men. All we had to do was press play on each list and get on with the reception.

I’m not sure who’s playlist was played last, but the very last song (before the hotel turned the lights on) was New York, New York. It was a lovely moment. Everyone that was still there was on the dance floor, in a circle, arms linked, singing and dancing. It was such a nice way to end a wonderful day!

Frank Sinatra – New York, New York

February 22, 2015 at 11:08am
February 22, 2015 at 11:08am
Soundtrack to My Life - Track seventeen

This track is a classic that I believe should be on everyone’s sound track for one reason or another. If it wouldn’t be on yours, you are absolutely crazy. Just my opinion!

I’ve always loved this song, but it became my favourite sing-a-long track when my old best friend forced me to do it with her at a karaoke party. From then on it became our little party piece – not because we could sing (far from it), just because we found it extremely funny. Sometimes, when we were in the car with her husband, we’d just burst into song (no music necessary) just because he hated us doing so.

One night I was annoyed (I think I had just split up with someone), so my friend and I drove to a deserted supermarket car park. We turned the volume right up in my car and sang along as long as we could three or four times. I felt better

Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody

February 22, 2015 at 10:51am
February 22, 2015 at 10:51am
Soundtrack to My Life - Track sixteen

Just like the last track, track sixteen is also taken from my 2006 summer (although I could probably relate it to other times too).

Before I lived here in my nice three-bedroom house, I lived in a one-bedroom council owned bungalow on a old people’s estate type thing. It was far from ideal for a 20-year-old. But it was a roof.
During the summer of 2006, my ex stayed with me in my extra small house for 95% of the time.

My dream at the time (and still is to a large extent) was to own a yellow VW camper van, paint flowers on it and go travelling around Britain. Alas, I’ve never had enough money to do something so extravagant – well, I definitely didn’t back then.

Sooo… one evening, my ex and I decided that since we didn’t have a camper, we could paint my living room walls just like a hippy camper van. So, that’s exactly what we did.

We painted a road, a rainbow, flowers, stars, a sheep (not sure why) and a giant bright pink flower - the pink was acrylic because that was the only paint bright enough. It took five coats of normal paint to get rid of it a year later!

That wasn’t enough. We decided we needed some words of wisdom on the wall, too. After hours of trawling through books and the internet, we settled on the following quote:

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don't ask why
It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time

Green Day – Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)

February 22, 2015 at 10:43am
February 22, 2015 at 10:43am
Soundtrack to My Life - Track fifteen

In the summer of 2006 I went out with someone who just made me laugh constantly. They were the first person I’d been out with who was exactly my age (everyone else has been older) and we just spent the whole summer doing ridiculous stuff. We partied a lot, drunk and smoked way too much. It was fun.
One night we laughed so much we literally couldn’t sleep – we hadn’t even been drinking that night!

The relationship only lasted until September – which is probably a good thing as we both started Uni that month and think we would’ve distracted each other WAY too much.

For some bizarre reason, we both got really obsessed with the Dixie Chicks (among others) that summer and played certain albums constantly.

Now, whenever I hear track fifteen, I am taken back to the random summer of 2006.

Dixie Chicks – Travelling Soldier

February 22, 2015 at 10:36am
February 22, 2015 at 10:36am
Soundtrack to My Life - Track fourteen

For the past week I’ve done very very little. I haven’t been moping around necessarily; I just decided I need a break. Everything I do or need to do, at the moment, turns into something huge in my head – even something as simple as popping to the shop or writing a blog post. Ridiculous, huh? Therefore, I needed a break.
I’ve started back on strong painkillers for my foot. Last time I was on them, through autumn, I wrote about 50-60 poems and wrote a novel for NaNo. Unfortunately, the obsessive writing has yet to come. However, I’ve been reading non-stop this week and have ploughed through about six books. I’m not complaining – it’s good to be reading again!

As I said, I’ve not been moping around. But I guess I have been thinking about the situation with my foot and been feeling pissed off by it.
In the old days, if I was angry or upset, I would nearly always seek comfort in the music of Sarah McLachlan. It didn’t necessarily cheer me up, but her music is calming. I don’t really do this anymore. In fact, sadly, I don’t listen to as much music as I used to – I wish I did.

Nonetheless, for track fourteen, I thought I’d share a Sarah song with you. Don’t worry – it isn’t one of her more depressing songs. This one comes from one of her two (?) remix albums.

DMC Ft Sarah McLachlan – Just Like Me

February 16, 2015 at 3:18pm
February 16, 2015 at 3:18pm
I was going to just going to write a normal blog post about what’s been going on recently, forgetting the soundtrack to my life challenge. BUT I’ve just thought of a great track to go with how I feel today. Boom! So, without further ado…

Soundtrack to My Life - Track thirteen

Right, as you may or may not know, I broke my foot in August. I’ve been regretting going out that day ever since. The hospital didn’t know what to do with me, so they just wacked a cast on me in anyway they could. Even though I was probably high on pain meds, I remember trying to fight them every step of the way. I was not happy with the way they’d done things. In fact, I’ve just found this in my WDC blog:

At this point, I feel I ought to explain my feet. I can obviously walk, so when I put my feet on the floor I can get them flat and fairly straight. However, at rest or when I lift them up they naturally turn inwards – because that’s what my muscles want to do, clearly…
However, they had to cast it just in its natural position. Sounds sensible but [the position] scares me…
Because it is an awful position – basically. I had tendon surgery on my ankle nine years ago (same foot), which was casted in the same position and it took months to get it back in use. Mind you, I did have to train my tendons again so I guess that made it harder. But still, its worrying. Especially as 7 weeks in cast will make you weaker anyway.

I wrote that a little under six months ago. Guess what? I was right.

When I had the cast off, I was sent to a crappy physio who did nothing then discharged me in December. At Christmas, my foot swelled up then started being really painful. So, I went to my GP who gave me crappy pain killers and sent me to another crappy physio.

Last week (3rd visit) I saw my physio and pointed to exactly where my foot hurt. She said, “oh, that’s just where you broke it” … *sigh* noooo it is NOT! Seriously, I know I look thick, but a bit of credit, please?

The day after I went to see my wonderful friend Derek. Not only is he a great friend but he is the only Doctor in this world I actually trust. I’d popped in after work so I’d driven two hours and he was shocked that I could barely walk into his house because of the pain. He was also angry that this was even a problem… but lets move on from that, for now, shall we?
Derek said there was definitely a problem - very likely a tendon problem.

Armed with this, I went to see my GP this morning. I opened the discussion by saying, “no one has listened to me so far and I’m reaching boiling point, not helped by extreme pain” … ahh you’re all ears now, are ya?

I explained that the pain was getting worse and that his diagnosis of a tight achilles tendon was wrong. I showed him my foot and he agreed. He now thinks there might be damage to the peroneal tendon*

I told him what I wanted: an X-ray to rule out bone issues, a MRI scan and a referral to see the guy who did my original surgery. Oh, and strong painkillers. I had the x-ray today so will go back for the results in a few days, at which point he WILL book the other two things for me.

Before I left, out of interest, I asked if he could look at my records and tell me which tendon I had surgery on 9 years ago: “peroneal tendon”…*

I Hate to Say I Told You So

February 15, 2015 at 3:15pm
February 15, 2015 at 3:15pm
Soundtrack to My Life - Track twelve

So, Chris and I’s first dance went from "Sea of Love to "Walk Like an Egyptian. That has to be all we did, right? No more mixes, no more randomness?

Meh - this is me. So, of course there was one more surprise! The third part of our first dance was probably my favourite. This was the part where we got to rock out, sing at the top of our lungs and were joined by all our best friends to tie up our non-traditional traditional first dance. It worked well and it was fun.

We ended with…

The Darkness - I Believe In A Thing Called Love

February 15, 2015 at 2:49pm
February 15, 2015 at 2:49pm
Soundtrack to My Life - Track eleven

Our first dance started well, right? Picture the "Sea of Love playing, a nice romantic song, and the newly weds swaying lovingly in each other’s arms. All the guests were looking on, probably with tears welling up, threatening to trickle down their cheeks. How delightfully romant…


Suddenly, the groom has started dancing like a loon and the bride cannot move because she’s in fits of laughter, watching her husband trying to look like an Egyptian.
Why? Because we’d mixed this in…

The Bangles - Walk Like an Egyptian

To be continued…

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