Sunday, March 30, 2014

I'm Going To Do Something Wild And Outrageous

I'm doing something a little bit wild and outrageous soon.

I'm running my first race of the year in less than a fortnight. Yeah, I know - nothing wild or outrageous there.

But I'm running this race interstate. Again - neither wild nor outrageous, especially considering that the place I'm going to is Canberra and the wildest thing that happens down there is the bickering between political parties in Parliament House.

The reason that this trip is wild and outrageous is that I'm doing it BY MYSELF.

No, I didn't accidentally press caps locked at the end of that sentence. It's capitalised because travelling by myself is a big, fat, hairy deal to me.

I know that to most of you it's not something that would bother you. It's such a non-event that doing it doesn't even make you blink. But I'm not like most people. I like to think I'm special. Or should I say 'special'?

I have a interesting history with plane travel. And a lot of it involves vomiting. On the plane. And in the terminal. Some has involved being wheeled around in a wheelchair. Being upgraded to business class because I seemed so sick. All because I was nervous.

Sometimes my anxiety has me teetering on a fine wire between normality and insanity. Okay, I might have exaggerated that just a little bit but I'll do what I have to to justify using cute doggy GIFs.

I am slightly better at aeroplane travel than I used to be. Thanks in part to mind-altering drugs. I don't even actually have to take the tablets to cope. As long as they're in my handbag I can pretend that getting on a plane is really no big deal. I can sit relaxed in my chair and just go with the flow.

But if I'm going to be totally honest and before you all get too impressed with my feats of courage, I have to admit that I'm not going to be totally on my own. There's a small contingent of GaleForcers heading down. One of them, Elio, even gave me his flight details so I could be on the same flights after he heard that I get a wee bit nervous about flying. And on Saturday I came clean with the whole vomiting-wheelchair riding extent of it. I've got to hand it to him - I didn't even see him flinch. Either he knows a lot of other crazy ladies or his Mum brought him up so well that he's too polite to show his horror.

The reason that I like to travel with family is that they already know the extent of the crazy that happens when I get nervous. And they have to put up with it because they love me. Or maybe it's because I cook and clean for them, but I choose to think it's because they love me. Letting non-blood relatives in on the act is a totally different challenge. But I've often said that GaleForce is like my other family so I guess it's time that this other family met their crazy aunt. I'm hoping that we have so much fun on the weekend that I won't have time to be nervous. I'm hoping that it's so much fun that Bronwyn Bishop sanctions us for laughing too much (sorry I couldn't resist the political reference that only Aussie's who are current with their news will get).

And my goals for the race? To run without any pharmaceutical assistance. That's a big enough goal for the moment.


  1. Wow. It does sound like it's a big deal to travel by yourself. Bring lots of cupcakes to hand out to strangers who help you and there will be no problem at all. You'll have tons of assistance.

  2. I'm glad that you have Elio to travel with - not completely alone that way!!! Hopefully y'all will be so excited about the race and all that you will forget about the flying!!!

  3. I have actually been to Canberra! I have an Aunt that lives there. Her husband works for something or other related to the government. We were there in 2005.

  4. Am sure you'll be fine... but it's nice you'll have company!

  5. Big hugs! I am sure the squad will have you laughing so hard you'll forget to be nervous.

    That'll be me in July, by the way, as I travel solo (er, with hundreds of other Singaporean runners) to Gold Coast :)

  6. With that said I take it you are not going to be flying over to Africa for a race any time soon...?

    you did fine last time you flew, you will do fine again, and even better. Can't wait to read about how well you race.

  7. I sort of love the idea of cupcakes. How made could someone be about dealing with a light nervous breakdown when you hand him/her a cupcake immediately afterward? Or at least fun sized candybars, which are less likely to get squished in transit.

    Alternatively, make it your business to take care of Elio, whether he needs it or not. Somehow, having someone else depend on me makes me totally unable to remember that I'm also nervous/scared/worried/etc.

    Seriously, though - running teammates see each other through anxiety and GI issues all the time, right? [Running and flying aren't that different after all.] sounds like they'll make the PERFECT travel companions! :)

  8. Totally love Andrea's idea with handing out cupcakes - that would give you something to distract yourself and make you tons of friends on the plane so you definitely won't feel like you're flying alone!

    And I thought I was the only one who suspected her family only loved her for the cooking and cleaning!

  9. I can understand that it is big for you. I'm the opposite... I get all nervous if I learn I am not travelling alone. I'm actually quite the loner. But it sounds like it will be a great adventure and run anyway.

  10. Awww I hope you have so much fun you never think to be nervous. Sounds pretty glorious to me!

  11. How cool that you are doing this! Brava! I totally get irrational fears (I have several), so I know what a big deal it is that you are doing this alone. You rock, Char!

  12. Good luck!! I'm sure you'll do great!! (Referring to both travel & racing ;) )

  13. Is it just plane travel, or do you hate travelling alone by any means? I love being alone and travelling alone - any peace and quiet is a luxury for me. I suppose I travel like the dog in sunglasses - nice image!

  14. I think you will be fine because you are going to have so much fun!

    I went alone to Spain by bus on vacation when I was 18. I went to the USA alone for a west coast trip when I was 25. Now that I'm 45 I can already get nervous when I am planning a walk where I have to park my car, take a bus and walk back. When did I get such a scary person? Anyway long story short: I get you.

    Safe travels Char.

  15. Have a great trip! Glad you have someone on your flight and drugs in your purse! Cupcakes wouldn't hurt either. ;o)


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